The increased presence of the Russian Navy in the World Ocean responded to the flow of loud messages in the media: interviews, questions, forecasts, comments and assessments of domestic and foreign experts. The main "star" of the events, as usual, is the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Peter the Great, the largest of the non-aircraft-carrying warships in the world, the 26 000-ton giant with the monumental look of an imperial cruiser and three hundred missiles on board.
Whenever the name of “Peter” is mentioned on the forums, its comparison with foreign ships of a similar class and purpose begins. Of course, there are no direct analogs of the domestic TARKR - this cruiser is a unique technical masterpiece of its kind. But, according to a number of parameters, it is possible to pick up rivals: the capabilities of Peter’s air defense can be compared with the American Ajis cruisers (or destroyers — which, however, is the same thing). And this is where the fun begins ...
Launch of anti-aircraft missile complex C-300F
- The cruiser carries on board the 200 with more than anti-aircraft missiles, that's enough for everyone - the patriots confidently say.
- Not! - pro-American citizens are yelling, - the Aegis (Aegis) combat information system is worth the whole world. Your cruiser is just a puppy compared to the proven "Ticonderog" or "Orly Burke."
- Go to hell! - supporters of the domestic lose their temper fleet - there are two S-300 complexes on our cruiser - just try to snoop around!
- Shoot, cheap! - respond to them from across the ocean - Ships of the Yankees are able to hit targets in low near-earth orbit - this is where the real, and not ostentatious power!
Constructive dialogue does not happen as long as one of the vigilant citizens does not notice the oddity in the guise of the Russian cruiser: - Gentlemen, why do the Peter’s superstructures look like the Chernobyl forest after the accident?
An artsy silhouette, bulky pyramidal masts, sprawling "branches" of antenna devices of radar and communication systems stick up everywhere ... The mere enumeration of this "zoo" can cause a smile: the Peter the Great radar equipment complex includes the Voskhod radar, Frigate M2 "," Tackle "," Positive "," Wave ", 4Р48 with a phased antenna array, antenna post 3Р95, artillery fire control radar MP184" Lion ", finally, two navigation radar" Vaigach-U ".
In addition to the general irrationality and difficulty in coordinating the work of such a large number of radio equipment, Petra’s sloppy appearance greatly increases its visibility - the cruiser shines on the screens of enemy radars, like the brightest star. Surely, backward Bolshevik technologies played a certain role ... But not to the same extent!
How fine and modern, after that, the American Aegis destroyer of the Orly Burk type seems to be - clean lines of add-ons made with regard to the stealth technology, a minimum of external decor elements, the only multi-purpose detection radar with fixed canvases of HEADLIGHTS. The American "Burke" is similar to a guest from other worlds - its appearance is so unusual compared to the ships of the Russian Navy.
Destroyer type "Orly Burke"
But is it really? What are the "pitfalls" behind the stylish image of an American destroyer? And is our “Peter the Great” outdated, as it seems at first glance?
In high-tech glamor, or Miser pays twice
The American ship is built around the Aegis combat information and control system, which combines all means of detection, communications, weapon and systems to combat the survivability of the ship. Universal robot destroyers are able to exchange information with their own kind and make decisions for the commander. The creation of such a system of the Yankees went 20 years - a truly serious development, which laid the most progressive ideas of modern naval combat: at the forefront is the detection and instant selection of targets. The American ship will be the first to make a decision, the first to shoot and the first to destroy the enemy. The Pentagon calls the Aegis destroyers the best naval air defense system to date.
A key element of the system is the AN / SPY-1 radar station, which is a combination of four planar phased antenna arrays fixed on the sides of the destroyer superstructure. Spy can automatically perform an azimuth and elevation search, capture, classify and track hundreds of aerial targets, program autopilots of anti-aircraft missiles on the starting and cruising segments of the trajectory.
Phased array radar AN / SPY-1D
The use of a single multifunctional radar made it possible to simplify the collection and analysis of information, as well as to eliminate mutual interference occurring on other ships when a large number of radar stations are operating.
However, behind the apparent advantage of the SPY-1 lies the most complex technical problem: How to teach the radar to efficiently detect targets at large and at short distances simultaneously? Decimeter waves (“Spay” works in the S range) are well reflected from the sea surface - a barrage of interference makes it difficult to recognize the rockets flying above the water, making the destroyer completely defenseless against supersonic anti-ship missiles. In addition, the low location of the SPY-1 antennas reduces the already short detection range of low-flying targets, taking the precious seconds from the ship to react to the threat.
No one in the world ventured to repeat the American focus with a “single multi-function radar” - on projects of warships created in other countries, in addition to the general detection radar, the installation of a specialized radar to detect low-flying targets is always provided:
- British "Daring" (decimeter survey S1850M + centimeter SAMPSON)
- the Franco-Italian Horizon (S1850M + centimeter EMPAR)
- Japanese "Akizuki" (dual-band FCS-3A with active PAR. In fact - two radars (range C and X), united under a common name).
But what about the detection of the EC at the Russian nuclear cruiser?
Radars "Peter the Great"
The Russian ship is in perfect order - the detection of air targets is assigned to three radar stations for various purposes:
- powerful survey radar MP-600 "Sunrise" (located at the top of the foremast - the first mast from the bow of the ship);
- three-coordinate radar MP-750 "Frigate М2" with a phased antenna array (located on top of the next, lower mainmast);
- specialized two-coordinate radar MR-350 "Tackle" for detecting low-flying targets (two antennas are located on the sites on the sides of the foremast). The main feature of the station is a special radiation pattern with narrowed “side lobes” (scanning at a small elevation angle) and a high frequency of updating data.
It is precisely this radar that the American Aegis destroyer lacks.
At the top of the foremast - the antenna of the Voskhod survey radar, just below, on the sites on the sides of the mast, two antennas of the Podkat radar are noticeable. Ahead, on the roof of the superstructure, a phased antenna array of the radar OMS ZRK S-300FM "Fort-M"
Scheme of a general type of the TARKR superstructure Peter the Great, view from the starboard:
1 - combat module SPORT "Dirk"; 2 - PU SG1PP PC-10; 3 - command module SPORT "Dirk"; 4 - direction finder; 5 - the stabilized post of a TV system for monitoring the near outdoor environment "Rotan"; 6 - AP Vaygach radar; 7 - wheelhouse; 8 - AP complex "Crystal-BK"; 9 - astrocorrector AP; 10 - optical periscopic reamer; 11 - AP RLS SU "Fort-M" SAM C-300FM; 12 - navigation bridge; 13 - optical periscopic sight of the conning tower (PCG); 14 - operational logging; 15 - AP of the Privod-V system; 16 - AP radar "Sunrise"; 17 - AP of the Privod-V system; 18 - AP radar "Sunrise"; 17 - AP complex of EW "Kantata-M"; 18 - AP complex "Coral-BN"; 19 - AP Radar "Podkat"; 20 - rubber spherical mooring fenders; 21 - AP FARGAT-M2 radar; 22 - AP RLS SU "Fort" SAM C-300F; 23 - RBU-12000 of the Udav-1 complex; 24 - lazport RTPU PARK "Waterfall"; 25 - AP RLS SUAO "Lion"; 26 - AP RLS SU VC "Dagger"; 27 - command post control the landing (take-off) of the helicopter; 28 - 130-mm AU AK-130.
But to discover does not mean to destroy. The goal must be taken to escort, point the weapon at her and control the entire process of the missile’s flight to the target.
As usual, the AN / SPY-1 multipurpose radar, as well as three target radar radar, deals with this in the US ship. Spay super-radar can simultaneously monitor up to 18 ... 20 anti-aircraft missiles: determine their position in space and automatically transmit corrective impulses to the automatic pilots of the SAMs, directing them to the right sector of the sky. However, the Aegis system carefully monitors that the number of missiles in the final segment of the trajectory does not exceed three units.
The trick is that most modern naval air defense missile systems (including the "Standerd" and C-300F) use a semi-active method of targeting: a special radar "highlights" the target, the rocket head reacts to the reflected "echo". It's simple. But the number of simultaneously targeted targets is limited by the number of radar lights.
As noted above, the American destroyers have only three AN / SPG-62 radars. The course corners are covered by one, the feed corners - by two, from the board - all three together. The situation is fundamentally different for the Russian nuclear cruiser: the C-300F and 300FM missiles are guided by two specialized radars, each of which provides tracking of the missile defense system from the moment it starts to hit the target:
- a radar with a phased antenna array 4P48 (flat "plate" in front of the Peter the Great superstructure). Unlike the American AN / SPG-62, which provides simultaneous illumination of only one target, the domestic system generates six guidance channels: a total of 4Р48 is capable of simultaneously guiding 12 missiles at 6 air targets!
- the second radar - 3Р41 "Wave", received in the fleet for its distinctive appearance the nickname "boob" (clearly visible in the rear part of the superstructure). In fact, it was used to install modern 4Р48 at this place, but, alas, during the construction of the cruiser, there was only enough money for a boob, and modern 4Р48 were sold abroad and installed on board Chinese destroyers of the Liuzhou type.
As a result, from the stern "Peter" is able to direct all 6 missiles on three targets - but, in any case, this is the best result, compared with the US Ajis destroyer.
In addition to a larger number of control channels, the domestic fire control scheme based on the specialized 3P41 and 4P48 radars provides much more reliable and interference-proof missile guidance on the cruise missile, compared to the American multifunctional AN / SPY-1.
Unlike the American Aegis destroyer, where all types of anti-aircraft missiles (“stander-2,3”, “si sparrow”, ESSM) are guided by a single fire control system (SPY-1 + three SPG-62), the Russian cruiser is equipped with two types of air defense systems with individual guidance systems. In addition to the C-300F / 300FM zonal air defense missile systems, the Petra has a Dagger self-defense system - 128 short-range missiles designed to repel anti-ship missiles.
"Dagger" has its own antenna post 3Р95, located in the rear part of the superstructure, next to a paired artillery gun. The anti-aircraft complex uses the 4-x channel radio command system, which provides simultaneous guidance of up to 8 missiles at 4 air targets in the 60 ° x 60 ° sector.
Launch of the Dagger SAM system from the Frunze atomic cruiser (Admiral Lazarev), the end of the 1980's
The last line of defense of Peter is formed by six Kortik anti-aircraft artillery complexes - each combat module is a twin 30 mm machine gun (total 10 000 firing rate / min) combined with a short-range 9М311 anti-aircraft missile block. In addition to its own radar facilities, the Dirks receive target designation from two antenna posts of the Positive radar.
In this case, the American cruisers and destroyers are much sadder - on board the Orly Berkov, in the best case, a pair of automated anti-aircraft guns, the Phalanx, are mounted, consisting of a six-barreled 20 mm gun and a compact radar fire control, mounted on one gun carriage. In connection with attempts to reduce the cost of their construction, the destroyers of the US Navy of the last series are completely deprived of any anti-aircraft self-defense tools.
Actually, “Orly Burke” is deprived of a lot of things - the fantastic Aegis destroyers, positioned by the Pentagon as the best air defense / anti-missile warships, have neither a special radar to detect the NLC, nor a sufficient number of target radar. This explains the pleasant “smoothness” of their add-ons and the absence of “extra” antennas.
“Fragat”, “Tackle”, “Wave” ... Each of the radars has its specific purpose and is focused on performing some specific task. Combining them into a single “universal” station is an attractive idea, but difficult to implement in practice: the fundamental laws of nature stand in the way of engineers - for each case it is preferable to work in a specific wavelength range.
It is no coincidence that one of the most advanced developments in the field of marine detection equipment - the promising radar AN / SPY-3 with three active phased arrays, planned for installation on the American destroyer Zamvolt, was originally created as an integral part of a system of two radars: the centimeter AN / SPY- 3 for searching low-altitude targets and viewing AN / SPY-4 (decimeter wave range). Subsequently, under the blows of financial cuts, the Pentagon abandoned the installation of AN / SPY-4, with the wording "the destroyer is not intended to provide zone defense". Simply put, the super-destroyer Zamvolt cannot effectively hit aerial targets at a distance over 50 km (however, unlike Berk, which can shoot down space satellites, the Zamvolt is ideal for repelling low-flying anti-ship missiles).
The Yankees, as you know, are big fans of standardization and unification - now let them choose what is better ...
Unlike the American Idzhisov and Zamvoltov, the Russian nuclear cruiser carries on board a full set of fire detection and control tools for hitting air targets at any distances. Even now, given the deliberate weakening of its characteristics, due to the well-known political and economic events, the heavy nuclear missile cruiser Peter the Great remains the strongest combat unit whose capabilities, in terms of air defense, are equivalent to two or three US Ajis destroyers.
This giant has enormous potential - replacing the outdated Voskhod radar with a modern radar with active lights, similar to the European S1850M and equipping the ship with C-400 missiles and replacing part of the ammunition with anti-aircraft missiles with active homing heads - will turn the cruiser into an inaccessible sea fortress .
3. Reference book "SHIPS of the Navy of the USSR Volume II. Impact ships. Part I. Aircraft carriers and rocket-artillery ships of 1 and 2 ranks ”, Apalkov Yu.V.
4. “Nuclear-powered cruisers of the Kirov type”, A. Pavlov