Adventure thriller about the campaign of the Soviet Navy to the Falkland Islands, based on real events.
Lovers of the naval stories I can't wait to find out: was the operation, similar to the one that took place in the spring 1982 of the year on the South Atlantic, according to the forces of the Soviet sailors? During the two months of hostilities, the British "sea wolves" stormed the Falklands, returning the disputed territories under the control of the British crown.
Was the USSR Navy able to repeat something like that? A journey of thousands of miles long in 30 to complete autonomy, through the "roaring forties" and "frantic fifties"? Could our fleet be able to fight in an environment where the nearest logistics center is 6000 kilometers from the theater of operations?
Ahead - roaring storms and Antarctic cold, daily air attacks and shooting until blue in the face ... The time to prepare for the hike is 10 days. Started!
Do not rush to make your bets, gentlemen - because there is no intrigue here.
The results of the long-range campaign of the Soviet squadron are known in advance: the Russian Navy will powder the Argentine fleet (and, if necessary, the British), and then, within a few days, capture the distant islands, with virtually no losses on its part.
The epic with the "participation" of our sailors in the Falkland War is just a farce, the purpose of which is not so much an alternative story as proof of the possibility of conducting a database by the forces of the Soviet Naval Fleet at any distance from its shores.
This whole story is a good reason to talk about the special capabilities of the Navy of the USSR and experience a pleasant surprise on how much the domestic Navy was superior to any of the foreign fleets at that time. Even the once mighty Royal Navy of Great Britain, the third largest fleet of the Cold War, looked like a shameful gathering of junk against the background of the Soviet fleet.
Ur patriot or realist?
Skeptical objections to the successful breakthrough of the USSR Navy to the Falklands are primarily based on a comparison of the Soviet and British deck aviation.
The domestic Yak-38 VTOL, unlike the British Sea Harrier, was not equipped with an onboard radar - the Yak’s fighter capabilities were limited to cutting circles around the top of the mast and firing by sight at short-range targets at the zone in direct visibility. The built-in gun was missing - a suspended cannon container could be installed only instead of a part of bomb and missile weapons ...
Before continuing the criticism of the Yak-38, I hasten to draw your attention to some features of the use of aviation in the Falklands:
In view of the almost complete absence of modern air defense systems on a British ship, the task of air defense fell on the shoulders of Sea Harrier fighters. Alas, as further events showed, the Sea Harriers safely failed their mission - a third of the squadron's ships suffered from enemy air attack weapons, six of them went to the bottom.
* Of the 25 surface warships of the "first line" (aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates), the modern Sea Dart air defense system was only available on seven ships. Most of the British frigates (9 from 15) were armed with C-KAM air defense systems - subsonic (!) SAMs with an effective firing range of less than 6 km - no wonder that all 80 C-CATs went into “milk”. As for self-defense in the near zone - the British "sea wolves" had nothing better than 114 mm "universal cars" with limited shelling angles and anti-aircraft guns "Oerlikon" of the Second World War.
It is not surprising that the British squadron was brazenly shot from guns and smeared with bombs from a strafing flight.
In the case of the Soviet Navy, everything will be completely different.
Heavy aircraft-carrying cruisers "Kiev" and "Minsk" with the Yak-38 aircraft had no value in terms of air defense.
Instead of them, the TARKR “Kirov” - 26 000-ton atom monster with a rocket weapons.
Unhappy Argentine footballers can relax and breathe easy - “Kirov” will not use supersonic “Granites” with YABCH. The missile complex P-700 is more expensive than any of the "pelvis" of the Argentine Navy.
The main value of the "Kirov" - the presence of a multichannel air defense system "Fort" - "gloomy" version of the legendary C-300 system.
Twelve 8-charging launchers. The maximum firing range is 75 km. The possibility of simultaneous guidance to 12 missiles at six air targets. The cruiser’s full ammunition is 96 SAM, and even taking into account the consumption of two missiles for each target, the cruiser Kirov, theoretically, could single-handedly destroy all the combat aircraft of the Argentine Air Force.
In addition to the “Fort” air defense system, two small-range Osa-M air defense systems and four AK-630 batteries (eight six-barreled radar-guided assault rifles) were installed on board the cruiser — try to attack the Kirov as the Argentine pilots did ... dare even the bravest of kamikazes.
The only snag is the C-300F Fort marine with the 5В55РМ missile was officially put into service only in 1984, despite the fact that the cruiser Kirov became part of the Northern Fleet in October 1980. The paradox is easily explained: the Soviet Navy often practiced a scenario in which new weapons and systems reached a working state several years earlier than the official decree of the Council of Ministers was signed to adopt them (long bureaucratic procedure, comprehensive tests and ever-occupied Commander-in-Chief).
One Soviet = three British
Whether or not Kirov will be able to take part in the campaign (as of spring 1982) is not known for certain. In any case, the light on it did not come together with a wedge - a whole squadron of 100 warships and support ships is going on a long hike - we will focus on the British squadron as a reference.
The battle core of the British consisted of eight destroyers URO (type 42, type 82 and a pair of obsolete "County").
In the case of the Navy of the USSR, the functions of British destroyers of URO were performed by large anti-submarine ships (BOD) of the 1134A and 1134B projects - by that time, the Soviet fleet consisted of 17 ships of this type - quite enough to form an operational connection from the 7-8 BOD.
Behind the hypocritical terminology of the “Large anti-submarine ship of the 1134B project” (“Bercut-B”) is the 8500-tonnage missile cruiser with hypertrophied anti-submarine weapons. The Soviet BOD were twice as large as the destroyer Sheffield (the one that burned from unexploded rockets), while, unlike the British ship, had on board four air defense missile systems (against one “Sea Wolf” on Sheffield), but also a complex of rocket-torpedoes, a helicopter, mine-torpedo armament, RBU, universal guns of caliber 76 mm and a self-defense system of four AK-630 "metal cutters", forming a continuous air defense circuit of the ship.
Any "Sheffield" or "County" - just kissel on the background of the Soviet "Golden Eagle". In terms of the capabilities of its air defense systems, one BNC 1134B cost three British destroyers. Flurry of anti-aircraft fire.
Of the other warships, the 15 heaped up quite primitive frigates (type 21, type 22, Rothesay and Linder) in the British squadron, most of which turned out to be defenseless from air attacks.
To repeat the record of Her Majesty's fleet for the Soviet Navy would not be difficult. At that time, our sailors had the following: “singing frigates” (BNK of the 61 project), ocean-going guard of 1135 Ave. (cipher “Burevesnik”), old, but still strong destroyers of 56 Ave - more than 70 warships each of which was in no way inferior to the British frigates.
Patrol ship project 1135
To form the 15-20 sentry ships (BOD II rank, destroyers and frigates) from these means - the situation for the Soviet Navy is quite prosaic.
The most destructive ships
One of the most important components of the British expeditionary compound was submarines — the 5 nuclear and one multi-purpose diesel-electric submarine were involved in the operation. Modest, but with taste.
What would the underwater component of the Soviet squadron look like?
Hmm ... so what, and this good, we have always been in abundance. For example, the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom at the time was listed as 15 nuclear submarines; for comparison, there were more than two hundred of them in the composition of the USSR Navy!
To allocate a dozen nuclear-powered vessels and several diesel-electric submarines for the operation is a thing that is obvious and necessary. Moreover, among the Soviet nuclear submarines there were such models as multipurpose boats of the 671РТ, 671РТМ (K) or impact atomics of the 670 Scat project (carriers of Amethyst supersonic missiles) - such animals could kill the Argentine fleet in a few hours.
The fleet of Her Majesty is resting - the British at that time simply did not have anything like it.
Doubts about the ability of Soviet submarines to get into the South Atlantic under their own power are completely groundless - back in 1966, domestic K-116 and K-133 made a transition from the North to the Pacific Fleet on the route West Face - Atlantic Ocean - Cape Horn - Pacific Ocean - Kamchatka.
It is noteworthy that for all 52 running days atomic ships never got to the surface. Right. Do they need it?
Now we will once again turn to the subject of the VTOL - by providing fire support to the advancing marines, the C Harrier planes dropped bombs of 200 bombs on the enemy’s head.
In the case of the Soviet Navy, the problem will receive a comprehensive solution - in addition to possible participation in the operation of the Kiev and Minsk TAVKRs (although is it worth taking such huge and voracious ships on a long voyage to drop a couple of hundred bombs?) As part of our the fleet were specialized artillery ships suitable for fire support of the landing - the devil's dozen cruisers of the project 68-bis. Most of them were 30 years old, but the old artillery cruisers were still on the move and had a number of impressive skills unknown to modern warships - cannons and armor.
According to dry statistics, during the Falklands War, British ships launched more than 10 thousands of 114 mm shells on the Argentine positions on the islands - it’s scary to imagine what six-inch guns of Soviet cruisers would do!
On each - 12 mm caliber 152 and 12 universal caliber 100 mm guns - cannons beat in any weather, through the darkness of the night, fog and snow blizzard - no “Harrier” and Yak-38 can compare with the effectiveness of a naval artillery gun.
Unlike most modern ships, the old 68-bis cruisers were wrapped in a reliable "skin" 100-mm armor. The British destroyer Sheffield warmed from the unexploded RCC - the Soviet cruiser simply did not feel the Argentine missile hit. RCC would have burst when hitting armor, like an empty nut, only peeling paint on board the cruiser.
All for them and for their sake!
By analogy with Britain, we will need to deliver to the islands about 10 thousand soldiers with heavy weapons, mobile air defense systems, MLRS, artillery and armored vehicles. It's nice to get a couple to the islands tank mouth - rather modest T-55 or T-62.
And after - to supply the group for a few weeks. Deliver provisions, tools, ammunition, fuel, spare parts, medicines ... The task is not simple.
We will return to the supply of expeditionary forces a little later, but now we will try to determine what forces the USSR Navy had to deliver such a large group of forces through half of the Earth?
At that time, the Navy had about 25 large landing craft (BDK) of 1171 (Tapir), 775 and 1174 (Rhino) — probably 10-15 of them could have been involved in such an important operation.
What are these ships? For example, the BDK Pr. 775 is a multi-deck flat-bottomed warship of the ocean zone, designed to transport a reinforced company of marines (225 paratroopers and 10 units of armored vehicles).
Ship of Naval Forces of Ukraine "Kostyantin Olshansky" (U402) - formerly Soviet BDK-56
The larger ship, the BDK 1174 Pr. Ivan Rogov (at that time the only ship of its type within the USSR Navy) was designed to transport 500 paratroopers + to 80 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles. In addition - on board the "Rhino" are 4 helicopter.
A notable feature of the Soviet BDK are the self-defense systems and the MLRS A-215 systems (broken Grad) - this is another question about the fire support of the landing force. The second important difference is the ability to unload tanks to the coast under its own power through the gates and a retractable gangway.
It is obvious that the capabilities of some BDK will not be enough. Part of the personnel will be able to place on board the hospital ships of the Navy of the USSR. The other part is located on large warships. And if not enough space?
In such cases, merchant ships come to the rescue - rocking ships, container ships, and floating bases. Cheap and angry.
In reality, those of the British who were lucky got to the battle zone on the luxury liners "Queen Elizabeth 2", "Canberra" and "Uganda" - the British command was not afraid to "dispossess" the company "Cunard Line".
The Soviet Navy also had something that the most daring "British scientists" could not even dream of - the Legenda-M Maritime Space Intelligence and Targeting System: the orbital constellation from the satellites of passive radio intelligence and the incredible US-A spacecraft low-orbit satellites with a nuclear reactor and side-looking radar.
In 1982, the fantastic system had already come to a working state - it is known that during the Falkland War, the Soviet military was closely watching the events on the other side of the globe. Receiving data from MKRTS satellites, the Soviet Union saw the situation in the Falkland Islands region at a glance, knew the balance of power and the position of the ships of both opponents, had the opportunity to foresee further actions of the British and Argentines.
In those years, not a single state in the world had such a perfect intelligence system!
Paradoxically, the immediate participants in those events were much worse informed: in order to get at least some understanding of the situation in the theater of military operations, Britain was forced to constantly keep the Nimrod naval intelligence officers in the air and beg for intelligence from "Uncle Sam" NOSS intelligence system, also known as Wall Cloud). As for the Argentos, these cranks drove around the ocean in a circle passenger Boeings and business jets.
An extremely important point in preparing for such a long and ambitious operation at a great distance from its native shores. Immediately it should be noted that all doubts about the incapacity of the Navy of the USSR (“will not reach”, “not enough”, “collapse”, “accident rate”, etc.) on closer examination turn out to be a mirage - in 1985, in the expanses of the World Ocean DAILY 160 order service of surface and submarine combat ships and support vessels of the USSR Navy.
The issue with the rear base is solved much easier.
The British squadron used the harbor and airfield on about. Ascension (a tiny piece of land in the middle of the Atlantic, halfway to the Falklands). And what will the Soviet fleet do?
The answer is obvious, the Soviet Navy had a dense network of bases around the world; in the conduct of hostilities in the southern part of the Atlantic Ocean, Luanda (Angola) could act as a rear base.
As for the supply of dozens of ships on a long hike - a painful question, but solvable. For these purposes, an entire armada of auxiliary vessels existed in the Soviet Navy: reconnaissance, advice, tanker tankers, integrated supply ships, refrigerators, weapons transports, floating workshops and ship bases - if necessary, merchant fleet forces with their oil tankers, high-speed rokers and container ships could be involved .
Some conclusions from all this crazy story
We do not need foreign lands - we would master our possessions. Falklands remain British. Never mind! The main thing - in those days, our fleet had the potential to conduct a major naval operation in any corner of the planet.
Of course, such a quick charge and long hike is a tremendous stress. In normal times, ocean combat services were prepared in advance — a sure sign of a speedy campaign was a course of vaccinations against southern fevers and diseases, which was assigned to all crew members without fail. They checked the cards, loaded the supplies and food in the sweat, checked the electromechanical part of the ship, systems and weapons.
Would you be able to get ready in at least two weeks? Could. Urgent order, the situation does not tolerate delay. In addition, at least half of the squadron was already in the ocean — all that was needed was to redirect the ships to a new square.
Turmoil will adversely affect the preparation for the campaign. Not without errors, accidents and losses ... however, any war in terms of organization is a fire in a brothel during a flood.
The main thing is that we had the second Navy in the world, exceeding in size the fleets of all the other countries of the world combined (except for the US). A fleet capable of besieging any enemy and fighting anywhere in the oceans.
Gas turbine BOD project 61, the so-called. "singing frigate"
British destroyer York (Type 42 Batch III) is a modernized version of Sheffield. The consequences of the Falkland war are noticeable: the forecastle is extended, ZAL "Falans" is urgently added
Roller-gas turbine ship "Captain Smirnov" from Odessa-Vietnam line. Double Designation Vessel, max. speed - 25 nodes!
BDK av. 1174 "Ivan Rogov"
Felling submarine pr 670 "Skat"
Large sea tanker of the Navy project 1559В. Displacement - 22450 tons. Load capacity: fuel tank for 8250 tons, 2050 tons of diesel fuel, 1000 tons of aviation fuel, 250 tons of lubricating oil, 450 tons of feed water, 450 tons of drinking water, 220 tons of food
Transport weapons "General Ryabikov"
TAVKR and ship integrated supply "Berezina"