Today, representatives of the military leadership talk a lot about the development tasks of our fleet, its individual subsystems and ship structure. In the open press, you can find materials about the combat power that our fleet can possess by the completion of GPV-2020. However, how true are the current priorities and the whole path of development of the Russian Navy? What should be our fleet in order to fully satisfy the country's needs and protect its interests in the oceans? We spoke about this with the Chairman of the Committee on Defense of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov, and in the past, the commander of the Black Sea Fleet.
- Vladimir Petrovich, what are the tasks facing the Russian Navy today?
- To answer this question it is necessary, as they say, to dance from the stove. If Russia at the global level considers itself a sea power, then the fleet should be treated accordingly. The length of our borders is more than 60 thousands of kilometers. Of these, 38,8 thousands are sea borders. River - more than seven thousand kilometers. Lake - five thousand. On land, 14,5 is thousands of kilometers away. True, geographically it turned out that all of them are cold and freezing. There is no other country like this in the world. Therefore, the Russian Navy should be sea, ocean.
Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov
Today, our fleet is assigned a fairly wide sector of tasks that can be summarized in two groups. The first is to protect the interests of Russia, to maintain the combat readiness of the fleets in peacetime. And the second - a reflection of military aggression with the outbreak of hostilities.
The main tasks of the Russian Navy in peacetime are deterrence from the use of military force or the threat of its use against Russia, the creation and maintenance of conditions to ensure the safety of its maritime economic activities in the World Ocean, ensuring the country's naval presence in the World Ocean, displaying the flag and military forces, visits of ships and ships of the Navy, participation in the international community’s military, peacekeeping and humanitarian actions that meet the interests of the Russian Federation, as well as maintaining the freedom of the open shit
In wartime, the Navy will carry out the armed defense of Russia's sovereignty in internal territorial sea waters, sovereign rights in the exclusive economic zone and on the continental shelf.
- How wide is the geography of solving these problems? Indeed, it is one thing to act at one’s own shore, and another one far in the ocean.
- If you look from the ocean or from the sea, geography today, unfortunately, is not in favor of Russia. In all fleets, the action of any maritime component — underwater, surface, and air — is under the control of neighboring states. I will give a specific example. The Baltic and Black Sea fleets are closed theaters. The Northern Fleet seems to be open, but the Faro-Iceland frontier has been created against it - the NATO anti-submarine defense line in the North Atlantic between Greenland, Iceland and the United Kingdom. The Pacific Fleet is under control, but it has direct access to the open ocean from Kamchatka, the territory of which can only be reached by air or sea. Unfortunately, this line is not fully equipped for the operational building of forces.
We do not compare with the United States, which is protected by two oceans. In such circumstances, to create some kind of grouping against America is extremely difficult. There is no such country and no such forces that could do it.
It turns out that the zone where our fleet has to solve tasks may be a large part of the World Ocean. This is evidenced by the geography of geopolitical and economic interests of Russia, areas of the seas and oceans, from which threats to its security and interests may emanate.
As an example, BRICS is a global economic project. Its uninterrupted operation is largely due to the availability of the countries participating in this group, the ability to prevent possible pressure on any of them. Solving the task of ensuring the safe operation of BRICS is possible only by the forces of the military fleets of the participating countries. The Russian Navy plays a key role here.
The global challenge is to ensure the global economic interests of Russian business. The support of the Russian Navy is also important in ensuring the activities of the SCO, as well as other economic and political alliances.
To ensure economic interests, the presence of the Russian Navy in peacetime is necessary in the South Atlantic, in the ocean zones adjacent to the coast of South America and areas of South-West Africa, in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Norwegian and Greenland Seas, in the North-West Pacific fishing areas, in the Mediterranean, in the Indian Ocean, adjacent to the northwestern coast of Africa, island zones and the seas of the Pacific Ocean, where there is a threat of pirate captures, in the northern part ndiyskogo ocean. In these areas, our fleet must have sufficient groups of its forces.
- What exactly are the requirements for these groups?
- Our fleet must be able to withstand the most powerful sea adversary, to be able to inflict such damage on enemy fleet groupings so that they refuse to perform their tasks.
Russian naval groups in the long-range offshore zone must, by operational capabilities, crush or at least effectively weaken aircraft carrier and missile attack formations and groups of a potential enemy, hit its military infrastructure to a level at which it cannot deliver effective strikes on our targets.
They must be able to ensure the combat stability of the submarine missiles at the sea, bases and deployment routes, prevent the enemy from gaining superiority, maintain a favorable operational mode, and ensure the protection of sea communications and objects of the national economic complex of Russia.
Navy factions must be prepared to inflict the required damage on enemy ground targets, and the combat capabilities of the strategic non-nuclear deterrent groupings are unacceptable damage to the likely enemy.
The most difficult thing is to ensure the combat sustainability of groups in the open sea and ocean. It is necessary to maintain air supremacy.
With the 11 nuclear multi-purpose strike aircraft carrier, the US Navy accomplishes this task anywhere in the world.
- This is in wartime. And in peace? After all, it is known that our fleet is not idle today. As soon as the situation worsens somewhere, our warship or group immediately goes there. Visits to ports of other states are constantly being made, and joint exercises are being held.
- The Russian Navy is a type of the Armed Forces of constant readiness, and in peacetime it is in the seas. The range of tasks is quite large, and for each it is necessary to find combat units. However, the strength is not enough.
To combat piracy and protect the vessels of Russian owners engaged in fishing activities and carrying out shipping, in each of the important areas should be deployed at least one ship of the ocean zone class destroyer, a large anti-submarine ship or frigate. A total of three or four ships on the Atlantic and the Pacific, as well as one or two in the Indian.
Demonstration of the flag and the implementation of other measures to support Russia's diplomatic activities require connections of surface ships of the ocean zone of at least three to five units led by a cruiser or aircraft carrier class ship. Requirements will be at least three to five trips per year of such groups in each of the ocean fleets.
Participation in peacekeeping operations and demonstration of the determination to protect Russia's interests in areas of military conflicts will require the allocation of a group of six to eight to 20 – 30 surface ships and from two to three to five to six submarines, including at least one aircraft carrier. The required number of marines on board the formation ships must reach at least a battalion.
In case of sufficiently long military conflicts, where the interests of Russia are affected, the presence of such a grouping of ships may be required for quite a long time.
A full-fledged solution to the problems of searching and tracking naval groups of foreign states, conducting reconnaissance of marine and oceanic theaters will require the presence of space reconnaissance satellites that are capable of viewing important areas of the World Ocean and the presence of a ship or submarine at intervals of two to five hours. for solving intelligence tasks in the areas of the southern part of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and in the Indian Ocean zone - at least one radio intelligence center in foreign territories.
In addition, it is necessary to be able to conduct aerial reconnaissance of the most important areas of marine and ocean theater of operations at least once a day, which will require from three to four to 10-12 or more reconnaissance flights aviation daily.
The task of combat patrols of the RPL SN in readiness for nuclear strikes against the enemy will require that at least three or four SNR SNs be permanently at sea, and even taking into account the possible loss of one of them, the enemy will be able to inflict guaranteed unacceptable damage on the enemy. For their combat support, it will be necessary to have on a permanent basis, in all the theaters, groups of anti-submarine forces with a total number of 10 – 12 surface ships of the near-sea zone, three to four multi-purpose nuclear and five to eight non-nuclear submarines, and also three to four anti-submarine aircraft in the air aviation and at least one aircraft or helicopter of the radar patrol and control.
To solve the task of maintaining a favorable operational regime in areas of naval bases and bases and areas of combat training of fleet forces, up to 20 – 30 surface ships of the near sea zone of different classes, as well as 10 – 12 non-nuclear submarines will be required. To do this, you need to urgently update the fleet, its ship composition.
- You have touched on the quantitative characteristics of the required fleet forces in peacetime. Could you assess what forces will be needed to solve the main tasks of the fleet in wartime? Of course, without disclosing secret information.
- Of course, I give only my personal, very approximate estimates, which do not contain information constituting a state or military secret.
Naturally, with the outbreak of hostilities, the number of ships at sea will have to be significantly increased.
To solve the task of weakening the groups of aircraft carrier forces of a potential enemy in the far sea zone, it will be necessary to create adequate strike groups. Each is at least 10 – 12 multipurpose and six to eight missile submarines, one or two aircraft carriers, five to eight missile cruisers and destroyers of URO with long-range missiles (500 – 800 km), 10 – 15 frigates with medium-range missiles, divisions of sea rocket-carrying or long-range aviation and at least a regiment of reconnaissance aviation of the ocean zone.
Combating enemy submarines in the near-sea zone, where their numbers can reach 10 – 15 units, and ensuring the combat stability of the RPL SN on each of the ocean theaters will require creating anti-submarine forces of three to five nuclear and 15-20 non-nuclear submarines, 20 –30 class ships corvette, patrol or small anti-submarine ship, 25 – 35 aircraft and up to 40 anti-submarine helicopters.
In closed sea theaters - the Baltic and Black Sea, the required number of anti-submarine force groups can be up to 15 non-nuclear submarines, 20 – 25 ships of the corvette class, patrol or small anti-submarine ship, up to 20 aircraft and 25 anti-submarine helicopters.
To combat surface ships in the seas and areas of the oceans immediately adjacent to our coast, each fleet requires the creation of a group of 10 – 15 corvettes and small rocket ships with medium-range missiles, 20 – 25 missile boats, three or four coastal missile battalions. medium-range complexes and the regiment of naval ground attack aircraft on the Su-24 or Su-34.
The specificity of solving the task of covering fleet forces at sea requires the inclusion of at least a regiment of fighter aircraft and a squadron of DRLO and U planes or helicopters with the possibility of their basing on the deck of an aircraft carrier.
The task of assisting the coastal flank of the army will require the creation on each of the fleets of a group of 12 – 25 landing ships of at least one regiment of transport and combat helicopters, a regiment or divisions of the marines. This will allow the landing of tactical landings and troops of the first echelon on an operational scale.
Combating mine hazards in fleet-based areas, deployment routes and sea lanes will require the creation of a group of up to 30 mine-sweeping ships of various classes on each of the fleets.
In order to determine the composition of the fleet, it is necessary to assess the threats, and then the capabilities of the opposing groups on strategic sea routes. And the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the Main Headquarters of the Russian Navy must determine the qualitative and quantitative side.
- You called impressive numbers. This will require a significant increase in the naval composition of our fleet, and a qualitative strengthening of naval aviation. Can the overall required composition of the Navy be reduced in any way, for example, due to strategic inter-fleet maneuver by forces?
- Unfortunately, our fleets are strategically isolated and there are practically no opportunities for inter-fleet maneuver by ships and submarines in wartime. However, there are resources for maneuver by naval aviation, marines and coastal forces. This allows you to apply the principle of "strategic mobility". In accordance with it, in addition to the existing fleets and other components, it is advisable to include the center forces in the structure of the Russian Navy. Their basis should be formed by units and units of naval aviation, coastal missile and artillery troops and marines, which, in the event of a military conflict in one of the theaters, can be transferred to the combat zone to strengthen the corresponding fleet to the required level.
If other countries did not have their own naval forces, if there were not so many weapons that the USA and NATO possess, we could manage with one aircraft carrier that we already have and which is so high in breadth.
- Can you, in the roughest approximation, say what composition our fleets should have in order to be able to solve the whole range of tasks assigned to the Navy?
- Of course, in the roughest approximation of need can be defined as follows.
Northern Fleet: 12 – 16 RPL SN, 20 – 25 atomic multi-purpose, 10 – 12 missile and 30 – 35 non-nuclear submarines, two aircraft carriers of medium or large classes, 20 – 25 of ocean-going surface ships and up to XNXHX ch-chiHX-un. , including rocket boats, up to 140 anti-submarine and up to 30 mine-trawling) near-sea zone, up to 40 of large landing ships, two aviation regiments of naval aviation, one regiment of coastal fighter, reconnaissance and anti-submarine aviation, anti-submarine and transport-combat helicopter regiments, squadrons lya Marine Attack Aviation Regiment coastal missile and artillery troops, the regiment or a battalion of marines.
Pacific Fleet: up to 20 nuclear multipurpose, 10-12 missile and 20-25 non-nuclear submarines, two aircraft carrier medium or large class, 20-25 surface ships of the ocean and up to 160 (including up to 40 shock, including missile boats, to 60 anti-submarine and up to 60 mine-sweeping) near-sea zone, 20 – 25 large landing ships, two aviation regiments of naval aviation, one coastal fighter, reconnaissance and anti-submarine aviation regiment, anti-submarine and transport and combat helicopter regiments Mobile aviation, a regiment of marines, two regiments of coastal rocket and artillery troops.
Baltic Fleet: 10 – 12 non-nuclear submarines, up to 20 shock (including missile boats), up to 20 anti-submarine and up to 40 mine-landing surface ships of the near-sea zone, 10 – 12 of large and medium landing ships, fighter aviation regiment, separate squadrons of reconnaissance and anti-submarine aviation, anti-submarine and transport-combat helicopter regiments, a squadron of naval ground attack aviation, a battalion or regiment of marines, two regiments of coastal missile-artillery troops.
Black Sea Fleet: up to 15 non-nuclear submarines, to 30 strike ships and boats, 15-25 anti until 30 mine-sweeping surface ships near maritime zone, seven - ten large and medium landing ships, a regiment of fighter aircraft, the individual squadron reconnaissance, anti-submarine and naval attack aircraft, anti-submarine helicopter regiment and transport and combat helicopter squadron, battalion of marines, a regiment of coastal missile and artillery troops.
As part of the center's forces, it is advisable to have a division of naval rocket-bearing aviation, one regiment of reconnaissance aviation of the ocean and near-sea zone, anti-submarine aviation, naval attack aviation, a division of marines and one or two coastal missile and artillery regiments.
Gunpowder must always be kept dry.
- Could you compare these requirements with those laid down in the shipbuilding program and the LG-2020? To what extent do the indicative indicators in them meet objective needs?
- Comparison of the required composition of the Russian Navy with a shipbuilding program before the 2020 year, at least with the part that is available in the open press, shows that the combat strength of our fleet will not reach the required indicators.
Practically for all ships and submarines of the main classes, the number of planned combat personnel will be 20 – 50 percent of the calculated one. And this is on condition that the fleet ships that are in service will undergo the required repairs and modernization.
Fully able to meet the requirements, only the number of RPL CH. However, the problems with the Bulava missile system give rise to serious doubts about the feasibility of plans in full and with respect to the LPS.
Thus, in the future up to 2020, our Navy will be very limited in its ability to accomplish the tasks of ensuring Russia's military security from sea and oceanic directions.
Summing up, I note that there should not be one-sided solutions. It is necessary to take into account all the tasks facing our country. We have no right to forget that one of the most difficult issues for our state is the social unit - wages, pensions, jobs. In addition, the process of reforming all industries is underway. The country's leadership has to solve many parallel tasks. I support the opinion that by raising the defense-industrial complex, financing it and restoring its viability, other industries will also catch up. It is also necessary not to forget, along with the quantitative composition and quality of weapons.