Judge the sins of others. You rush so hard, start with yours and you will not reach others.
- W. Shakespeare
- W. Shakespeare
The Iron Curtain collapsed, and the established Age of Glasnost allowed millions of Soviet citizens to learn many new and shocking secrets related to history their former country.
For example, the free press found out that the Soviet Navy Fleet ruled by completely mediocre and incompetent people. Instead of developing an American-style fleet (with emphasis on carrier-based strike groups), the insanity from the Soviet General Staff set about searching for “asymmetric answers,” spending tens of billions of people's rubles on building expensive but ineffective submarines, cruisers and supersonic missile carriers.
Against 14, the American Nimitz, Kitty Hawk and Forrestal, which formed the US Navy's combat core in 1980, the Soviet Navy set up an incredible variety of “squadron” consisting of:
- 15 surface missile cruisers - from the simplest "Grozny" to the incredible nuclear "Orlan";
- numerous series of SSGMs: 659, 675, 670 “Skat” projects, “aircraft carrier killers” of the 949 and 949 Ave. - only about 70 submarines with cruise missiles;
- the monstrous titanic boats “Anchar”, “Lira”, “Fin”, “Condor” and “Barracuda”;
- dozens of "ordinary" multi-purpose submarines and diesel-electric submarines;
- rocket boats and corvettes (IRAs);
- missile aviation Navy - hundreds of Tu-16, Tu-22M2 and Tu-22M3;
- anti-ship missile systems - from the primitive "Termite" to the fantastic "Granites", "Volcanoes" and "Basalt".
Obviously, this impressive set weapons he had an enormous cost, but he could not solve the task entrusted to him - the problem of effectively countering the American AUG remained in question.
Many claims are the Soviet system of issuing target designation of missiles. American AUGs moved in the ocean at speeds of 700 miles per day — tracking and taking on such moving objects was an exceptional task. And without qualitative information about the current location of the AUG, the formidable "aircraft carrier killers" became helpless.
And try to shoot him down!
Any reconnaissance Tu-16Р or Tu-95РЦ who risked approaching the AUG in wartime will inevitably be shot down by an air patrol many hundreds of miles from the warfare carrier order. The only acceptable solution is space reconnaissance. The Soviet Maritime Space Intelligence and Targeting System (MKRTS) "Legend-M" was a real nightmare - every 45 day US-A satellite, equipped with a small-sized nuclear reactor and side-looking radar, burned in dense layers of the atmosphere, and along with it burned millions of full-fledged Soviet rubles.
The list of comments on the organization of the service of the USSR Navy usually ends with a statement about the need to build a huge number of airfields for naval rocket-carrying aircraft (MRA) of the Navy, reconnaissance and cover fighters. Again, considerable costs without any useful returns.
Each solved problem opened a series of new difficulties: the leadership of the Soviet Navy drove the fleet to a standstill. Having spent insane funds on "asymmetrical weapons", the Soviet fleet remained an extremely inefficient system, unable to fight on equal terms with the US Navy.
The outcome of this dispute may be a simple and logical conclusion: to the leadership of the Soviet fleet it was necessary to learn from the experience and start creating carrier strike groups modeled on the US Navy. It would have turned out to be more powerful, more efficient, and most importantly - cheaper (according to a well-known legend, the cost of two submarines of the 949 project exceeded the cost of the Kuznetsov aircraft-carrying cruiser).
Or should not?
Various speculations about the exorbitant value of the Navy of the USSR are broken, as if about a rock, about the only fact:
The budget of the Soviet fleet was less than the budget of the US Navy.
Expenditures on the Soviet Navy in 1989 amounted to 12,08 billion rubles, of which 2993 million rubles for the purchase of ships and boats and 6531 million for technical equipment)
- directory “Soviet Navy. 1990 — 1991 ”, Pavlov A.S.
For the purchase of weapons and military equipment for the US Navy, it is planned to allocate 30,2 billion dollars, of which 8,8 billion will be used to purchase aircraft, 9,6 billion - combat ships and auxiliary vessels, 5,7 billion - missile weapons, artillery and small arms weapons and torpedoes, 4,9 billion - other military equipment.
- Foreign Military Review, #9 1989 year
Even if you do not go into the details of exchange rates (official and real), pricing, corruption and features of the implementation of military programs on both sides of the ocean, the fact remains the same: despite its titanium submarines and super-cruisers, the Soviet fleet was cheaper several times!
Actually, on this wave it was possible to finish the narration, but the public is interested in the main question: was the Russian Navy capable, as it was, to neutralize the carrier groups in the North Atlantic?
The answer is obvious: YES.
According to calculations carried out on both sides of the ocean, in the event of war, the submarine and the USSR Navy's MRA drowned the American fleet, while the Soviet sailors and pilots themselves suffered heavy losses — after the attack of the AUGs by the Navy of the USSR Navy, it would in fact cease to exist.
Whenever anyone tries to write about the confrontation between our and the American fleets, the mantra is surely pronounced: “for the destruction of one AUG, three aviation regiments of rocket-carrying bombers were allocated”! Usually the mantra is pronounced in an ominous tone, frighteningly goggling in order to convince everyone in the “invulnerability” of the American fleet.
Supersonic bomber bomber Tu-22М3
Although if you look, you can’t do without losses in a war. And the destruction of an aircraft carrier, five cruisers, frigates and 50 ... 60 units of enemy aircraft in exchange for the loss of a hundred Soviet aircraft (take the most pessimistic scenario) - the exchange is more than fair.
Or someone seriously hoped that to counteract the powerful US fleet, for the maintenance and development of which the Yankees spent $ 30 billion a year, a pair of supersonic Tu-22М is enough?
Another misconception associated with the detection of the enemy: it is considered that deprived of high-quality intelligence ships of the Soviet Navy helplessly circled around the expanses of the oceans, like blind kittens. And the Americans? Americans are great! The US Navy has both deck aircraft and DRLO sea planes - flying radar E-2C Hawkeye will instantly detect the enemy, and deck Hornety will tear apart any surface or air target, not letting it go to AUG closer than 500 miles.
In this case, the theory is very different from practice.
Of course, being in an ideal “spherical vacuum”, aircraft from an aircraft carrier should be the first to detect the enemy, and the first to strike. Having come under continuous attacks of carrier-based aviation, any of the atomic “Orlans” will die, not even having time to go the launching distance of their missiles.
Supporters of such scenarios usually do not take into account the fact that the Soviet "Orlans" and submarines DO NOT NEED to break through anywhere - Soviet warships were constantly in the most important areas of the oceans:
- 5-I operational squadron - the solution of operational and tactical tasks in the Mediterranean;
- 7-I OpEx - Atlantic;
- 8-I OpEx - The Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean;
- 10-I OpEsk - Pacific;
- 17-I OpEsk - ensuring Soviet interests in the Asia-Pacific region (mainly - the South China Sea and Southeast Asia), the appearance of the squadron is a consequence of the Vietnam War.
The Soviet Navy practiced tracking the “probable enemy” ships — missile cruisers and submarines were always on duty somewhere close to American AUG and NATO warship formations, ready to open fire. In such conditions, deck aircraft lost its main advantage: a large range. Soviet "Skates", "Orlans" and "Antheus" securely kept the "gun" at the temple of the American fleet.
Launch of anti-ship missile complex "Vulkan" with RKR "Moscow"
It only remains to add that in addition to warships, with strike weapons, the naval forces of the USA and NATO were continuously monitored by numerous naval intelligence officers of the USSR Navy - large, medium and small communications vessels (CER), more than 100 units. Modest ships, outwardly almost indistinguishable from fishing trawlers and dry cargo ships, whose tasks included visual observation of the “likely enemy”, radio-technical reconnaissance and retransmission of signals. Despite the lack of weapons, the Soviet CER unceremoniously strolled alongside the formidable Nimitz and Ticonderogs, measuring the electromagnetic fields and noting the current coordinates of the American compound.
The Soviet submarine wound a screw on a secret American TASS antenna and lost its course. The first to help came CER-506 "Find". In the background - the US Navy Peterson destroyer. Sargasso Sea, 1983 year
The Yankees gnashed their teeth with annoyance, but it was forbidden to offend “kids” in peacetime — the security of the CER was ensured by the military and political might of the Soviet Union. In the event of war, the CERs became pure suicide bombers, but before their death they would manage to contact the strike force and transfer the coordinates of the "elusive" American squadron. Retribution will be cruel.
Sometimes the Soviet Navy is criticized for its “one-sidedness” - allegedly the Soviet fleet was focused exclusively on a global nuclear conflict, but was completely useless in solving tactical tasks.
It is worth noting that prior to the invention of high-precision sea-based cruise missiles, any of the modern fleets played a purely episodic role in local wars - except for super-large-caliber guns on the four surviving battleships of the US Navy, the fleet could not provide any real help and fire support. In all local conflicts of the twentieth century, the main role was assigned to land forces and aviation.
You see! - supporters of the creation of AUG will exclaim - the fleet cannot do without aircraft carriers in local wars!
Fans of flying from the deck, please do not worry: the air - this is the scope of the Air Force. Decker wing wings are too small and weak to cause significant damage even to such a small country as Iraq. "Desert Storm", 1991 year - the six US Navy carrier strike forces provided the entire 17% of the Coalition's sorties. All the main work was performed by ground-based aviation - on their side were mass character, qualitative superiority, and special equipment for solving complex issues (E-8 J-STARS, RC-135W, stealth planes, etc.).
During the bombing of Yugoslavia, the only American aircraft carrier Roosevelt landed only on the 12 day of the war - without it, the 1000 of NATO aircraft certainly would not have coped. Libya, 2011 year - none of the Nimitz 10 didn’t even lift a finger, but the US Air Force "frolicked" in the Libyan sky. Comments, as they say, are superfluous. The value of aircraft carriers in local wars tends to zero.
The only significant function of the American fleet in local wars is the delivery to the region of several hundred Tomahawk SLCMs, with the help of which the Yankees “endure” the most difficult and highly protected targets - positions of air defense systems, radars, command centers, air bases, etc. objects.
As for the domestic fleet, he did everything that a normal fleet should have done, with the exception of striking targets in the depth of the coast.
The fleet did an excellent job of escorting ships during the tanker war in the Persian Gulf - of course, of which, and destroyers (large anti-submarine ships) as part of the Soviet Navy were always well off, more than 100 units.
The fleet was highly praised during the trawling and clearance operations of the Suez Canal and Chittagong Bay (Bangladesh). Naval sailors provided military and humanitarian aid delivery to countries in Africa and the Middle East, in passing being a clear demonstration of the military power of the USSR. The ships took part in suppressing the coup in the Seychelles, rescuing the crew of the American intelligence officer Alpha Foxtrot 586, driving the cruiser Yorktown out of the Soviet territorial waters — thanks to their large number, universality and global network of naval bases, the Soviet Navy ships were always operational in the right place at the right moment.
Soviet KIK (ships of the measuring complex) regularly kept watch at the Kwajalein (Pacific Ocean) missile range, observing the trajectories and behavior of the US ICBM warheads, and monitored launches from foreign launch sites - the USSR was aware of all the “likely enemy” missile innovations.
Anti-submarine cruiser "Leningrad"
The Soviet Navy was responsible for assistance within the framework of the Soviet space program - ships were repeatedly involved in the search and evacuation of spacecraft landing in the Indian Ocean.
The Russian fleet did not have bulky and monstrously expensive docking helicopters, similar to the American "Wasp" and "Taram". But in the composition of the Navy of the USSR there were 153 large and medium landing craft, prepared parts of the marines, as well as 14 old artillery cruisers and 17 destroyers with automated 130 mm guns for fire support. With the help of these means, the Soviet fleet could easily conduct a point landing operation in any corner of the Earth.
This is the "one-sidedness" ...
The Navy of the USSR was ruled by competent people who understood their goals and objectives perfectly: despite their smaller budget, the Russian Navy could adequately withstand even the mighty American fleet - the ships performed tasks anywhere in the oceans, defending the interests of their homeland.
The landing of Soviet marines on the island of Nokra (Ethiopia)
Soon a permanent logistics center for the Navy of the USSR will appear here.
Soon a permanent logistics center for the Navy of the USSR will appear here.