On November 16, 2013, in Severodvinsk, the Sevmash enterprise hosted the ceremony of transferring the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier to India. The flag of the Indian Navy was hoisted on an aircraft carrier. The Indian motto of the ship: “Vikramaditya” - courageous as the sun. ”The first reaction - I want to say“ uh ... ”, take a breath and wipe the sweat from your forehead with your sleeve.“ Vikramaditya ”- the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier modernized at Sevmash already turned into a long-term construction, complicating relations in Russian-Indian military-technical cooperation Work on the “Pot” on the “Sevmash” - as this ship refers to the working people in Severodvinsk, began in 2004 and ended just now - in 2013. Similar pace make you remember realities Arsky fleet Russia before Tsushima, when the battleships and cruisers built at state-owned shipyards for years became obsolete even before they entered service. According to Sergei Chemezov, head of the Russian Technologies State Corporation, workers had to gather workers from all over the country to fulfill the Indian export contract for Sevmash in Severodvinsk. (1)
The design documentation for Vikramaditya had to be redone many times in the Nevsky Design Bureau due to the changing requirements of the customer and due to a lack of understanding of the state of the ship and the required amount of work on it. The initial Russian-Indian contract, signed in 2004, implied the launch of the ship in 2008. However, the timeframe had to be revised, and the initial cost of the ship modernization project rose from $ 974 million to $ 2,2 billion. Scheduled for November 2011, the first exit of the Vikramaditi at sea was postponed to the end of May 2012. The scheduled delivery of the ship of India in December 2012 of the year was delayed for a year due to the float trials that required repair work on the insulation of the boilers of the propulsion system. Apparently, the total amount of contracts related to the aircraft carrier - this includes purchases of aircraft and the construction of a berth in Mumbai, a simulator in Goa - cost India $ 5 billion.
A major event in the military-technical cooperation of Russia and India gathered in Severodvinsk last Saturday two delegations: the Russian one, headed by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Chairman of the Military Industrial Commission under the Government of the Russian Federation Dmitry Rogozin, and India headed by the Minister of Defense of India Arakkarambil Kurian Anthony. The ceremony was attended by Indian Ambassador to Russia Ajay Malhotra, Chief of Staff of the Indian Navy Admiral Devendra Joshi, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Admiral Viktor Chirkov, Commander of the Northern Fleet Admiral Vladimir Korolev, new head of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) Vladimir Shmakov, Deputy General Director of Rosoboronexport OJSC "Viktor Komardin, Governor of the Arkhangelsk Region Igor Orlov. The act of transfer of the ship was signed: from the Russian side - Deputy General Director of Rosoboronexport Igor Sevastyanov, from the Indian side - Commander of the aircraft carrier Commodore Suraj Berri.
Vikramaditya will leave the mooring wall of Sevmash at the end of November. At the time of transition from Severodvinsk to India, a team of factory specialists and contractors in the number of 183 people will be seconded to the crew. For the base of the aircraft carrier, the infrastructure was created at the naval base of the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay). Estimated life of the ship - 30 years. The Indian Navy plans to use the frigates of the Russian construction of the 11356 project and the frigates of the Indian construction of the 17 project based on them as the Vikramadithi escort.
At the ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, in particular, said: “For our country, this event is a demonstration of the ability to build warships of this class. After many years, we were able to restore our industry’s competence in building aircraft carriers.” (2) However, we note "Vikramaditya" still was not built in Severodvinsk. Built in the USSR by the Black Sea Shipbuilding Plant and launched in Nikolaev in 1982, introduced into the Soviet fleet in 1988, the Baku TAKR (from Adventum Gorshkov’s 1990) managed to actively serve in the Northern Fleet until 1994. In July, the 1999 of the year, the aircraft-carrying cruiser was towed to Severodvinsk to undergo a deep modernization commissioned by the Indian Navy. The Russian-Indian agreement signed in January of 2004 only provided for the restoration and deep modernization of Admiral Gorshkov, renamed Vikramaditya. Vikramaditya was modernized in Severodvinsk. Now in the ship’s museum there is a stand with the layout of the ship, in which the areas of the ship that have undergone modernization are marked in green.
Already after the signing ceremony, a clarification from Rogozin followed: “We have shown that we can make such ships. But this is a matter of making a political decision. So far we have no need for a ship of this class.” (3) "and" geopolitics ", the statement of the Russian Deputy Prime Minister draws a line using the dot method under the discussions that have periodically appeared in the Russian media after 2008 about the construction of large deck carrier carriers in Russia. After the statement by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu at the Valdai forum of September of this year about the possible rejection of the Bulava (2012) solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile of the sea-based missile 4, this is the second recognition of the Russian military-industrial complex in the naval sector . The statements of recent years that modern Russia has the potential to design and build large aircraft carriers are overly optimistic. True, Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov promises that it will be possible to return to the program of building aircraft carriers in Russia in 15-25 years. Obviously, without a large-scale reconstruction of Russian industry, actual new industrialization, the construction of a next-generation heavy aircraft carrier in Russia can be forgotten. Domestic shipbuilding should focus on the implementation of the current program of military shipbuilding, "Sevmash", in particular, to continue work in its traditional niche - to build submarines with nuclear reactors.
Now it remains only to recall that only for the period from 2007 to 2012, the views on the prospective construction of aircraft carriers in Russia were twice reversed. The existence of plans for the construction of aircraft carriers was announced by the former Minister of Defense Anatoly Serdyukov. However, funding for the construction of aircraft carriers by the state arms program of Russia for 2011-2020 was not provided. In July 2010, the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky, announced the prospect of deploying five or six new Russian aircraft carriers in the Pacific and Northern Fleets. On February 9, 2012, the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Vladimir Vysotsky said that the technical design of the new aircraft carrier would be developed before 2014, and the ship itself would be built after 2020. In December 2012, the new Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Viktor Chirkov, confirmed that serial construction of promising aircraft carriers would begin in Russia after 2021. The beginning of the aircraft carrier project in the Russian Federation, it seemed, was marked by the creation of a new deck pilot training center aviation in the village of Morskoy, 10 km from Yeysk. The Krylov State Scientific Center (former Central Research Institute named after Academician A.N. Krylov) even commissioned draft designs for the new Russian aircraft carrier by order of the Ministry of Defense.
In July, 2013, the former commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Felix Gromov, said that Russia should have at least two aircraft carriers with an escort in the Pacific Ocean, and one in the Northern Fleet. Then it was reported that the construction of an aircraft carrier would cost the Russian treasury, including R & D, all in 400 billion rubles. (5) Russian military expert Alexander Khramchikhin looked at this assessment pessimistically. He called the sum of $ 50 billion at the minimum, $ 100 billion at the maximum - that is how the construction of the shipbuilding base, the aircraft carrier itself, the air group and the entire infrastructure of the ship maintenance, plus training can do. (6)
For comparison, the construction of the American head supersurveyor of the new generation "Gerald R. Ford" is estimated at $ 12,3 billion, of which $ 3,3 billion is spent on research and development. It was recently announced that the ship was ready for 70%, but the cost of building the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford had already exceeded the planned one for 22%. The cost of the air group based on Gerald R. Ford, basically consisting of X-Numx-generation F-5 airplanes, will be almost $ 35 billion. In total, more than $ 10 billion is obtained (32)
Two shock aircraft carrier of a new generation - "Queen Elizabeth" and "Prince of Wales" are being built in the UK now. November 7 2013 was announced that their value reached £ 6,2 billion (approx. $ 9 billion), which is £ 2 billion more than the initial estimates, and this does not include the cost of the air group for which F-35B planes are to be purchased from US (8)
Because of the high cost of living, France was forced to freeze the program for building new aircraft carriers such as the Porte-Avions 2. Spain and Italy are forced to limit themselves to the content of modern light aircraft carriers in a single version. (9)
Let us list the existing problems in the construction of aircraft carriers in Russia.
First, it is necessary, in fact, to re-create in St. Petersburg the design bureau of large surface ships. Avianosnaya program will require the design of such a completely unfamiliar device, as the aviation electromagnetic catapult. Planes need a new generation of deck-based aircraft, including a compact carrier-based long-range radar guidance and reconnaissance aircraft. Secondly, in Russia it is necessary to build a new shipyard with a slipway for the construction of 100 ships, thousand tons with a displacement.
Note that the possibilities of Severodvinsk "Sevmash" for the construction of large surface ships are limited. Indeed, Sevmash, at its base, was intended for the construction of "Soviet Union" type battleships with a displacement of 60 thousand tons. However, in practice, in surface shipbuilding everything was limited to Sevmash by the construction of two light cruisers of the 68-bis project Molotovsk (1954) and Murmansk (1955) with a displacement of approx. 17 KT Since the beginning of the 1950-ies, Sevmash has successfully specialized in the construction of submarines, including submarines. The versatility set in the years of perestroika is difficult for Sevmash. One can say that no matter what Sevmash does - tankers, an oil-producing platform, super-yachts, only he gets submarines. At present, Sevmash is focused on the implementation of construction programs for the Norex 955 submarine of the Borey project and the Ash tree 885 project. Under these conditions, Sevmash finds it difficult to split apart between the programs for the construction of submarines and surface ships. If we want to build aircraft carriers on Sevmash, then for this it is necessary to build a new covered boathouse on it. Work on the Vikramaditya method in the open air cannot be effective with frequent frosts in winter in Severodvinsk with low temperatures and normal cold winds blowing from the White Sea. At Sevmash, it will also be necessary to deepen the pool where the ships go down and expand the existing bataport. Of course, a dry dock with the size of 420x100x14 meters needs to be built on the Zvezdochka next to Sevmash, but this is for repairing ships of this class. The estimated cost of building an open dry dock in Severodvinsk is $ 572 million, and a closed $ 750 million. (10) In addition, the project for the construction of two aircraft carriers on Sevmash, announced in 2011, with modular delivery of modules from two other enterprises is guaranteed This means that the project will be more expensive, since the modules will have to be moved from St. Petersburg to Severodvinsk, bypassing Scandinavia. It should be noted that the Baltic Plant, which is currently working on the Mistral project, is developing a method for building large surface ships in sections and then transporting them to the assembly site.
In addition, the program of large surface shipbuilding in Severodvinsk will inevitably raise the personnel problem. The need to attract workers and engineering staff will require additional costs for the construction of additional housing and social services.
In 1990, the American expert of the Center for Defense Information, David Eisenberg, in his work Illusion of Power, called the supercarriers "white elephants" and "paper tigers." (11) In his opinion, the power of these ships is greatly exaggerated, and their cost is devastating for the budget. It is more than likely that the first position of Eisenberg is false. Nevertheless, it is obvious that the current Russian Navy is preferable to seek options for an asymmetric response to the carrier threat of a possible enemy. Obviously, the answer lies in the closer interaction of the Navy with the space grouping, which should provide real-time uninterrupted targeting with exact coordinates of the aircraft carriers of the probable enemy and their escorts moving across the sea. Compact, accurate and intelligent systems weapons, including UAVs and combat robots moving in water and air, can be an asymmetric response to a carrier-based threat. Russia has yet to find adequate time for new naval strategies.
Now back to the Indian shipbuilding program. (12) Reconstructed under the supervision of the Indians, the Russian Vikramaditya opens a series of three aircraft carriers. 12 August 2013 India launched the next light aircraft carrier, the Wikrant, which is the Vikramaditya cousin, because it was designed using the St. Petersburg Nevsky Design Bureau. Outwardly and in its parameters, "Vikranta" reminds "Vikramadityu." The Indians invited the French, as well as the knowledgeable Italians in light aircraft carriers, to design the Wikranta. Wikrant is equipped with the LM 2500 gas turbine engines in the United States. Wikranta is being built late on schedule, which indicates difficulties. In the summer of 2012, India began work on the third aircraft carrier of the program, the Vishal. It is planned that Vishal will join Wikramaditi and Wikrant at the start of the 2020s. However, "Vishal" will be significantly larger than its predecessors. Its full displacement will be 65 thousand tons, against 40 thousand tons from "Vikramadity" and "Vikranta". In terms of its parameters and appearance, with the springboard on the nose and the lateral take-off deck, the Vishal will resemble the heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov. And only after Vishal the Indians will be able to start building their own supercarrier with a nuclear power plant on board, i.e. India will technologically reach the level of the Soviet 1143.7 project - the non-built Soviet heavy aircraft carrier Ulyanovsk.
Similarly, the Indians intend to work with the maritime air group. The Russian MiG-29K will not be the only aircraft capable of being based on Indian aircraft carriers. The Indian Navy plans to receive a deck modification of the Tejas fighter, its own Indian design. In addition, given the planned deliveries to India of 126 french fighters "Rafale", we can not exclude the purchase of the deck version of this machine "Rafale-M", now used in the French aircraft carrier "Charles de Gaulle".
The aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy already provides India with an overwhelming superiority in terms of the forces over the Pakistan Navy. However, it is obvious that a potential opponent of the Indian aircraft carriers, in fact, are the new aircraft carriers of China. Now India is guaranteed to guarantee itself at least equality, and perhaps even superiority, even if the Chinese Navy, following Liaonin (the former Varyag), will be put into operation two more aircraft carriers based on J-15 aircraft. (13) China spent 10 years rebuilding the Soviet "Varyag" in the aircraft carrier "Liaoning", which is comparable in time with the efforts of "Sevmash" over the Indian "Vikramaditya". The "Liaoning" can become no earlier than 2017 of the year. Now it becomes clear that the transfer by Russia of India of Soviet aircraft-carrying maritime technologies has allowed New Delhi to overtake in the race of aircraft carrying naval armaments of its neighbor and main rival in the region.
List of sources:
(1) Chemezov explained the delay in repairing the cruiser Admiral Gorshkov // http://gzt.ru/politics/2007/12/22/125921.html
(2) In the Severodvinsk ceremony of transfer of the Indian Navy to the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya took place // http://www.1tv.ru/news/social/246305http://www.1tv.ru/news/social/246305
(3) Rogozin: Russia does not yet need aircraft carrier development // http://www.itar-tass.com/politika/762161
(4) Mace rocket - what to do next? // http://warsonline.info/raketi-i-artilleriya/raketa-bulava-chto-delat-dalshe.html
Tests of the Alexander Nevsky and Vladimir Monomakh submarines are suspended // http://www.aif.ru/society/army/315572
(5) Russian aircraft carrier estimated at 400 billion rubles // http://lenta.ru/news/2013/07/05/aircarrier/
(6) Hramchikhin Alexander. Shipbuilding adventure is expensive // http://nvo.ng.ru/armament/2008-06-06/1_avantura.html
Khramchikhin Alexander. Let's live without aircraft carriers // http://rusplt.ru/policy/avianostsi.html
(7) Tebin Prokhor. Superavianostsy - the last argument of Washington // http://russiancouncil.ru/inner/?id_4=634#top
(8) British aircraft carriers: price increases // http://www.bbc.co.uk/russian/uk/2013/11/131107_uk_carrier_cost.shtml
(9) Bogdanov Konstantin. Carriers of Europe: from the costly tradition to inexpensive uniformity // http://russiancouncil.ru/inner/?id_4=2302#top
(10) The creation of a dry dock in Severodvinsk is an urgent need - Chief Engineer of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise "Zvezdochka" Oleg Frolov // http://portnews.ru/news/18533/
(11) David Isenberg. The Illusion of Power: Aircraft Carriers and US Military Strategy // http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa134.html
(12) Kramnik Ilya. Indian aircraft carrier: in search of solutions synthesis // http://russiancouncil.ru/inner/?id_4=1605#top
(13) J-15 successfully landed on China's carrier Liaoning: Navy // http://english.sina.com/china/2012/1124/530358.html
The Chinese got a fake aircraft carrier // http://www.rg.ru/2012/10/03/blef-site.html