MPK-170 Project 1124
On the military tricks of peacetime
The area of service of the multipurpose nuclear submarines of the US Navy 50-80 miles southeast of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky was known for a long time. But the American aces of the deep sea did not allow themselves to be detected either by submarines or surface ships, evading detection in a timely manner. I really wanted to make them flinch. Then the “great and terrible” lieutenant-captain Nikonov V.N. (yes, it’s not only me who will last the memory of him - the anti-submarine was excellent) offered, through the division command and division commander, to the command of the KVF, a plan for operation “Tug”. The essence of the matter was that the American submariners perfectly classify surface targets and absolutely do not shy away from fishing vessels, and the latter often pass through the area likely to be located by the US Navy reconnaissance submarines.
Two medium fishing freezer trawlers were identified for participation in the operation. And in the summer of 1978 of the year, each of the SRTMs took a tug on one of the IPC Ave. 1124 and, with a small time interval, took the POU KT – 1А POUs to drop down. The screws of the towed ships were locked in order not to create the characteristic unmasking underwater sounds when rotating from the incoming flow of water. Power supply from diesel generators No.2 (DG No.2 were not structurally on the foundations, but were suspended through sound-absorbing shock absorbers to the upper deck). The rest of the observed silence and radio silence. Radar for navigation purposes used only SRTMy. The speed of deployment of ships at given points corresponded to the usual speed of fishing vessels when traveling to fishing areas. Came out at night, with the dawn of the day turned out to be overcast and not stormy. Upon arrival, the ships delivered towing ropes to their points, lowered the OGAS MG – 339 antennas to the optimum depth in accordance with the hydrological section and began to listen to the water column in the direction finding mode using analyzers of discrete noise components (“Cassandra”) from the NPS. SRTMy followed their courses the same speed.
The gloss operation was a success. Two U.S. Navy submarines were discovered in the silo mode at once! It turns out that we found the moment of a shift on reconnaissance duty from one boat to another. Each ship had noise bearings on both nuclear submarines and, exchanging information using the P-770 Grenade group attack system, determined their coordinates accordingly. Since the Americans were calm, it became clear that they did not find us. We were not in a hurry to switch to echo direction finding mode, we gave an alert by the fleet about the detection of IPL and caused anti-submarine Aviation. With the arrival of aviation, they handed them contact with the nuclear submarines and began to work in echo direction finding mode. In general, the surprise for the American Verdruz was completely successful. The total contact time of anti-submarine ships with the detected nuclear submarines was 16 hours, and in total with the PLO aviation, two days!
It was after this operation that the American submariners were forced to shift the area of their intelligence duty another hundred to one hundred fifty miles to the south-east, away from these insidious Russians.
Cats - mice
Outside our territorial waters, almost at the latitude of Sovetskaya Gavan Bay, the patrol ship 50 Ave. “Irkutsk Komsomolets” visually discovered the periscope of an unidentified submarine and gave a special signal about this to the fleet. At this time, the IPC – 4 and the IPC – 155 Ave. 1124 were in the combat training area near the periscope detection site. Of course, the duty officer Admiral of the Pacific Fleet (OD of the Pacific Fleet) at the shortest possible time gave us the order to proceed to the area of the periscope detection to search for a foreign submarine (IPL). Why foreign? Because according to the plan of combat training of the Pacific Fleet in this area, our submarines should not be, if it is not a control target for checking the readiness of our own PLO forces and not lost aces of the sea depths. But we ourselves have already received an alert from the TFR, dismantled it, stopped the implementation of combat training activities and with increasing speed, turning on the “Zavet” screws, and went to the search area of the IPL.
In general, by that time, the anti-submarines had a dissenting opinion on the issue of submitting a notification on the fleet about the discovery of IPL. A single anti-submarine ship (in peacetime) could produce detection either by accident or according to plans of the opposing party. And the ship's anti-submarine shock group (KPUG), too. Submariners always had and now have an absolute superiority in the detection range of surface ships and vessels with their acoustics. Due to the ability to change the immersion depth and having a schedule for the distribution of sound speeds and temperature of outboard water at different depths, they can take a depth to provide maximum ranges in the direction finding mode or in the direction finding mode with their hydroacoustics. Therefore, they effortlessly evade the detection of PLO ships, leaving the KSUG search bar. This tactical superiority of the submarine during the search, which is called the control, is used against them: the submarine evades detection, and we construct the search maneuvering so that, evading detection, the submarine leaves the surveyed area for a while. At the same time, the noise and maneuvering of anti-submarine ships are demonstrative. And even the detection of submarines by surface PLO ships is possible when the submarines are forced to make a breakthrough or the search operation of heterogeneous PLO forces is launched against them and operational connections of heterogeneous anti-submarine forces (OS RPLS) come into play. These are coordinated in time and place, under unified leadership, the actions of multi-purpose submarines, anti-submarine aircraft, surface ships and coastal detection devices aimed at detecting and long-term tracking of detected submarines. But in general, as the “secretary general” said: “The report on the discovery of the submarine and the loss of contact with it must be prepared at the same time.”
So, in order not to be accused by the upper command of the full tactical superiority of the likely enemy (or probable friend, but less likely), the commanders of the PLO ships extremely reluctantly resorted to warning about the detection of IPL by the fleet . Despite the fact that the reporting forms were prepared in advance and it was enough to enter only the coordinates of the detection point and the detection time, although they were transmitted with priority over the fastest communication channels, the fleet’s operational service responded to ships with a half-hour or more delay: it was necessary to parse the report, record it in the on-call documentation, find the Fleet Commander or his deputy, report, receive instructions, spell them in a cipher telegram and send to the ship (submarine, aircraft, helicopter s) for performance. And in thirty minutes the nuclear-powered vessel could double the speed of the underwater course and use the entire arsenal of evasion and sonar noise. And who is to blame for the loss of contact? Yes, the one who installed it. Therefore, those who occasionally made contact with the IPL did not rush to please the entire Pacific Navy.
As a rule, the commanders or chiefs of staffs of anti-submarine surface ships brigades were commanders of the OS RPLS. The commander of the brigade of the ships for the protection of the water area, the captain of the first rank, Arkhontov Gennady Sergeevich (he had the nickname “General Secretary”) with some officers of the brigade headquarters was on my board (MPK – 155). Along the way, they made a decision to search for IPL or use one of the standard search options. They immediately agreed that the IPL commander intentionally allowed himself to be discovered in order to identify the capabilities of the PLO forces and means in the area of the Sakhalin Flotilla base - Sovetskaya Gavan Bay. Entering the ships in the underwater position will be only in case of emergency. It would not be intriguing to evade detection, otherwise why did he show himself? In shallow water will not go (ie, the depth in the area of maneuvering submarines will be at least 120 m). He hardly knew about our presence at sea, since we did not work with acoustics, but worked through preparatory activities for rocket shooting. Now, of course, he has already heard us, but we are coming from the southern direction, from the side where he came from, and where he will dodge. In the northern direction, the territorial waters from the side of Sakhalin and the Khabarovsk Territory are closed and it is possible to break the state border in the course of separation from tracking in that direction. It is undesirable for him, because then he will receive from us an international signal to ascend and in case of non-compliance he will be attacked.
In general, the conclusion is: either the unprecedented arrogance of American submariners or intelligence intent. Based on these considerations, we chose the lowering points of the containers of the low-flow hydroacoustic stations (OGAS) MG-339T, prepared for the measurement of hydrology to refine the forecast data on the detection range of submarines. MPK – 155 and MPK – 4 discovered IPL five minutes after starting the search in the direction finding mode. The submarine was trying to pass between the two ships (breakthrough) and was already heading south. I already wrote about the peculiarities of our hydroacoustics, I will repeat only that it allowed us to detect submarines further than the Don navigation radar detected surface targets. And the system of group attacks P – 770 “Pomegranate” allowed, with only noise from the two ships, to determine the elements of the movement of the target (course and speed) without unmasking themselves with active sonar radiation. Alert on the fleet on the detection of IPL has already been sent. Data for anti-submarine aviation on the nature of the waves in the area (to set the sensitivity of radio-acoustic buoys) sent. In peacetime, the American submariners, after confirming the fact of their discovery, broke away from tracking the PLO surface ships by pattern. They were always aware of the weather conditions on the surface. The direction of the wave can be clearly seen in the anti-aircraft periscope from under the water, without ascent. And therefore, we chose the course of separation from tracking with the direction against the wind and waves on the surface of the water, every 30 minutes DOUBLE DIVING speed of separation (in accordance with the capabilities of the nuclear power plant, NPI). When attempting to move against the wind and the waves following the detachable submarines, surface ships could not develop significant speeds due to the strong impacts of the oncoming waves and due to a sharp decrease in the range of the HFGS from their own noise interference (OGAS was used only “on the foot”). If at the time of detection, the submarine had a speed of 5-6 nodes, then within an hour from the start of the separation, the speed was a 20-24 node. Continued tracking was possible only by PLO aircraft, but having detached itself from surface ships, the submarine switched to the lowest possible noise and performed an evasion maneuver from aviation.
In our case, the commander of the American submarine did not begin to be clever, but went right through, as I have already described above. But the excitement of the water surface favored high speeds of movement. Kombrig ordered the IPC-4 to lift the container and change the lowering point of the OGAS with the maximum stroke, moving southward after the submarine and with some lead, while the IPC-155 continued noise-finding until the new point arrived. The fact that we already knew the American submarine exactly, because the discrete acoustic analyzer (“Kassandra”, KMG-4) allowed us to determine the component of the noise spectrum from the submarine in 12 hertz, and this is a sign of nationality. Our submarines rustled at the discrete frequency 60 hertz (now they and we, to eliminate this noise factor, have returned to the DC systems on the next-generation submarines again!). At the new point, the IPC – 50 began to work with acoustics in the active mode, and we followed the speed of 4 nodes to our new OGAS lowering point. The “Four” made contact with the submarine and guided us through the system of group attacks to the point of the next descent of OGAS. Two PLO Il – 36 aircraft appeared on VHF communications and we proceeded to transfer contact with the IPL from KPUG AUGP (aviation anti-submarine strike group). To facilitate the orientation of our “eagles” among several KPUG ships, onboard roofs were inscribed on the roofs of the IPC logging. This simplest element of interaction with aviation made it unnecessary to lower aircraft to the height of a flight for reading flight numbers, which saved time to transfer contact with IPL, fuel for aircraft and increased flight safety of PLO aircraft. The pilots set up several linear barriers from the RGAB (radiohydroacoustic buoys), and after 38 minutes the commander of the anti-submarine air group reported on the reception of the contact. It was no longer our job, because the boat was still audible in the direction finding mode, but it was already far away.
The PLO-TOF aviation, after receiving contact from the PLO ships, monitored this American submarine for more than 12 hours. When preparing the tracking report, for the first time we were faced with the need to take into account the drift velocity from the current. In other points of the sea this is not so relevant, but in the northern part of the Tatar Strait there is a strong influx of water from the Amur River. And only after taking into account the drift from the current, did the laying of the IPL course acquire its outlines and meaning. Means of hydroacoustic counteraction (GPA) our “Verdrug” did not apply and acted, as we expected, according to a pattern. The report turned out to be a classic one with recordings on recorders, photographs of OGAS screens, sound recording of IPL noises and tapes of a discrete analyzer. KPUG forces from two ships, the contact time with the IPL was 2 hours 17 minutes, and taking into account the efforts of aviation almost fifteen hours. That is, in real conditions, the American nuclear powered icebreaker could be attacked and destroyed in the first ten minutes of contact with PLO ships. But the true anti-submarine warheads always understood that without interaction with anti-submarine aviation they were only carriers of long-acting submarine detection means, and the weapons were only suitable for self-defense.