America ahead of the USSR for three years. In July, the 1958 of the year, when the first Russian atarin K-3 made the first movement towards the sea, the American Nautilus was already racing at full speed towards the North Pole.
But our apparent lag was in fact an advantage. Unlike the USS Nautilus, which was an experimental nuclear-powered icebreaker, the Soviet K-3 was a full-fledged warship — the ancestor of a series of multi-purpose SSNs from the 13.
Ellipsoid nose, optimized for movement under water. Advantage in the speed of the underwater course and depth of immersion. Large size and enhanced armament: initially it was planned to equip the boat with T-15 super-torpedos equipped with an 100 MT warhead, but in the end, the choice focused on eight standard TAs, with the possibility of using T-5 tactical nuclear torpedoes.
In comparison with the first Russian PLA, most of its American peers were expensive toys, unsuitable for combat missions:
- The Nautilus, the world's first PLA, was launched in 1954. She became the first ship to reach the North Pole (3 August 1958);
“The Sivulf, equipped with an experimental liquid metal coolant reactor, turned out to be a floating tomb: the ship was not able to confirm its calculated performance characteristics on tests, and, in addition, ditched part of its own crew. A year later, the dangerous and unreliable reactor with the liquid metal filter was replaced with a conventional one: the US Navy forever refused to use this type of YSU;
- "Skate" - a small series of 4 submarines, which were the post-war diesel-electric submarines "Teng" with a nuclear reactor;
- “Triton” - at the time of creation it was the largest and most expensive submarine in the world, with two nuclear warheads. The Triton was built as a boat of radar patrol, but in reality it became a demonstrator of military technology, having completed a round-the-world tour in 60 days in underwater position. I didn’t go into the series, remaining a “white elephant” fleet;
- “Halibat” is another “white elephant”. It was built as a carrier of Regul strategic cruise missiles, in the year 1965 was converted into a boat to perform special operations;
- "Tallibi" - the smallest in the world combat atarin underwater displacement 2600 tons. Despite its miniature size and low speed, it has been quite remarkable since. points of view. The only boat of its type.
The first truly serial submarine was Skipjack. The headboat entered service in 1959 year. The first American atomarins with the "Albacorov" form of the hull in the form of a body of revolution, ellipsoid nasal extremity and horizontal rudders on the sides of the wheelhouse. Total built six units. One of the boats, the USS Scorpion (SSN-588), disappeared without a trace in the Atlantic in 1968 (fragments of the Scorpion were later discovered at a depth of 3 km).
The wreckage of "Scorpion"
The next famous type was the "Tracher" - a series of 14 multipurpose submarine hunters. The lead boat, the USS Tresher (SSN-593), died tragically along with its crew during testing in the 1963 year. The remaining boats were renamed to the type "Permit" - on behalf of the next submarine of this type.
A truly breakthrough project was the "Stage" - a large series of multipurpose SSNs built in the number of 37 units (in service with the 1971 year). By this time, the Yankees finally came to the idea of large-scale construction and unification of submarines. The main development vectors are reliability, reduction in the level of intrinsic noise and, once again, reliability. Considerable progress was made in hydroacoustics: “Stedzhen” became the first boat in the world with a spherical antenna GAS, which occupied the entire nose of the submarine ship.
USS Parche (SSN-683) is sent to the next "case"
However, the full unification did not work: nine submarines were longer than the rest by the 3 meter. In fact, the total number of “Stegedzhens” should be limited to 36 units. One of the last boats of the project - USS Parche (SSN-683) - was considered the “top secret” boat for performing special operations (theft of wreckage of Soviet aircraft and ballistic missiles from the ocean floor, breaking into submarine communication cables, covert reconnaissance). “Parche” had an additional 30-meter section of the hull with oceanographic equipment, external mounts for mini-submarines and a noticeable “hump” with electronic reconnaissance equipment - as a result, it has unrecognizably changed controllability, performance characteristics and compartment layout.
In parallel, the Yankees have built a couple of “white elephants” in serial “Stegedzhen”:
- “Narval” - experimental submarine equipped with a reactor with natural circulation of the coolant;
- "Glenard P. Lipscomb" - experimental submarine with a turboelectric GEM. The absence of traditional gearboxes (GTZA) made it possible to reduce the noise of the submarine, but the large size and lower speed of the Glenarad played against it: the boat with the turboelectric GEM remained in a single copy.
USS Glenard P. Lipscomb (SSN-685)
In 1976, Los Angeles appeared - the most numerous series of submarine nuclear ships ever built. 62 units. Not a single serious radiation accident in three decades of operation. Not a single lost boat. High-speed, low-noise "Moose" is considered the crown of the efforts of the "father" of the American submarine fleet - Admiral Hyman (Haim) Rickover. They - one of the few nuclear submarines, which happened to directly take part in hostilities.
However, even in the case of "Los Angeles", there is no need to talk about complete unification. As it is known, “Elks” were built in three large sub-series, each of which had noticeable differences. The first is a basic modification, multipurpose torpedo submarines (SSN-688). Starting from 1985, the second sub-series (VLS) went into the series - 12 vertical mines appeared in the forward part of the hull to launch the Tomahawk SLCM.
Finally, the latest 23 boats belong to the third sub-series (better known as 688i or "Improved Los Angeles"). This time, the Yankees went even further: the rudder wheels had disappeared from the boats, instead there were retractable rudders in the bow of the hull; the structure of the cabin was strengthened to ensure a safe ascent in the ice; The modernization of antennas and computers of the hydroacoustic complex, the boat was able to carry and put mines.
USS Albuquerque (SSN-706) - the first moose sub-series
USS Santa Fe (SSN-763) - representative of the third subseries
In fact, the first USS Los Angeles (SSN-688) and the last USS Cheyenne (SSN-773), which came into operation in 1996, were two completely different projects, united in words only by words.
The next attempt by the Americans to build a large series of underwater hunters (SSN-21 type “Sivulf”) suffered a complete fiasco - due to the end of the cold war, instead of the planned 30, only three “Sivulf” were built. The project index directly indicates the value of these boats - the real submarines of the XXI century. Even now, after 20 years, the SeaWolfs are still the most advanced submarines in the world.
Curiously, there are only two real “Sivulf”. The third, USS Jimmy Carter (SSN-23), is fundamentally different from its colleagues: it is longer by 30 meters and carries the Ocean Interface diving complex on board. As you may have guessed, Carter replaced the Parche special operations boat at the fighting post.
Instead of super-expensive "Sivulf" it was decided to build a series of simpler submarines - with "castrated" TTX and an orientation to local conflicts of low intensity. However, recent reports to Congress indicate that the simplification of the design did not help at all: the cost of Virginia-type submarines confidently exceeded 3 billion.
USS Virginia (SSN-774)
Despite belonging to a single project, "Virgins" are distinguished by a large variety of designs. Only among the first 12 launched submarines, experts distinguish three subseries. It is clear that this is not done from a good life: this is direct evidence of attempts to eliminate major problems identified during the operation of the first "Virginia" (primarily in the work of sonar). The result was:
- 1 block. Basic version (built 4 submarines).
- 2 block. New construction technology using large sections (built 6 submarines).
- 3 block. Spherical antenna gas replaced by the horseshoe-shaped Large Aperture Bow (LAB); 12 bow mines to launch "Tomahawks" replaced by two 6-charging mines of the new type (in the plans - 8 submarines).
The rest of the "Virgin" will be completed with even more serious changes in the design - for example, the 5 Block provides for the installation of the Virginia Payload Module (VPM) - a tie-in of the 10-meter section in the middle of the hull, with 40 "Tomahawks." Of course, by that time the SSC and the ship’s combat information system were evolving. In fact, this modification can be considered a separate project.
As a result, we managed to count 17 independent projects of multi-purpose PLA *, adopted by the overseas fleet - without taking into account their intermediate modifications (VLS, “Block-1,2,3 ...”, “long-hull”, etc.).
* Nautilus, Sivulf (old), Skate, Triton, Halibat, Tallibi, Skipjack, Trescher / Permit, Stage, Partche, Narval, “Glenard Lipscomb”, “Los Angeles”, “Superior Los Angeles”, “Sivulf” (new), “Carter” and “Virginia”.
No less interesting is the situation with strategic missile submarines. Their история 15 began on November 1960 of the year, when a nuclear submarine with ballistic missiles (SSBN) "George Washington" started to patrol the base in Scotland. The Western press immediately dubbed him the "Killer of Cities" - on board the 16 solid fuel "Polaris", capable of destroying life throughout the north-western part of the USSR. "Washington" became a formidable harbinger of a new round of the arms race, defining the appearance and layout of all subsequent SSBNs (SSBNs) on both sides of the ocean. Modern Boreas and Ohio carry a bit of the Washington heritage, continuing to use a similar layout of ammunition.
The first SSBN was impromptu on the basis of the Skipjack multipurpose PLA and initially bore the name of the deceased Scorpion. Over the next decade, the Yankees created another 4 SSBN project - each of them was a further step towards the evolution of Washington. It is curious that all the boats used the same type of reactor (S5W), but differed in size (each subsequent type in a big way), the material used to make the hull and the shape of its outlines, the level of intrinsic noise and weapons. The missiles were continuously improved: “Polaris A-1”, “Polaris A-3”, “Poseidon C-3”, some of the rocket carriers at the end of their careers received the “Trident-1 С4”.
Thus was born the squadron "41 on Guard of Freedom". All the rocket carriers carried the names of prominent American figures of the past.
- "George Washington" - 5 units;
- “Ethen Allen” - 5 units;
- “Lafayette” - 9 units;
- “James Madison” - 6 units (had few differences from the previous project, in reference books of the Soviet Navy were held like “Lafaate, the second sub-series”);
- "Benjamin Franklin" - 12 units.
USS Mariano G. Vallejo (SSBN-658). Missile carrier type "Benjamin Franklin"
The real headache of the Soviet commanders. It was these missile carriers that represented the main military threat to the existence of our state — because of their secrecy and multiplicity, it was not easy and essentially unreal to defend against them (however, the same was true of our SSBNs). “Defenders of Freedom” served faithfully and for a long time, demonstrating amazing combat capability: they managed two blue and golden crews to replace 80% of their time at sea, targeting missiles at industrial and military centers of the USSR.
Starting in the 80s, the Washington and Madison began to transfer the new generation of SSBNs, the Ohio. New boats were 2-3 times larger and much better than their ancestors. Armament - 24 solid-fuel submarine-launched "Trident-1" SLBMs (later re-equipped with the long-range Trident-2 D-2).
A total of 18 missile carriers of this type were built. Nowadays, within the framework of signed agreements on the limitation of strategic offensive arms, four Ohio were converted into shock boats with Tomahawk cruise missiles (there were two diving chambers up to 154 cruise missiles).
Since the beginning of the era of the nuclear submarine fleet, the US Navy had 59 strategic SSBNs built on 5 different projects (if we count Lafayette and Madison as one type). Plus - Ohio-based special operations boats (SSGN), which can be easily identified as a separate project.
Total - six projects SSBNs and derivatives based on them. Excluding the endless upgrades, upgrading to new types of missiles and the creation of unexpected impromptu (for example, one of the kind of "Franklin" - USS Kamehameha (SSBN-642) was converted into a boat for the delivery of combat swimmers and remained in this form in service until 2002 year) .
6 projects of nuclear submarines and SSGNs. 17 multi-purpose SSN projects. Agree a lot. The facts show that the Yankees, like their Soviet colleagues, built ships apart. All plans, plans and concepts of using the fleet were copied several times.
And after that, someone dares to say that the underwater component of the Soviet Navy represented a disorderly collection of boats of various types? Many domestic sources still claim that the Russian Mongols built their fleets, horribly - built a bunch of different types of trash - and then did not know how to serve it. The number of projects almost 10 times the number of projects of US submarines.
In reality, nothing of the kind was observed: in the period from 1958 of the year to 2013, the 247 of nuclear submarines built according to 32 of various projects were adopted by the Navy of the USSR / Russia, including:
- 11 multi-purpose SSN projects;
- 11 projects of nuclear submarines with cruise missiles (SSGN);
- 10 strategic missile submarine projects (SSBN).
Of course, a knowledgeable reader will certainly remember about special-purpose atomarins: repeater boats, experimental, deep-water and other “Loshariki” - whole 9 projects! But it should be understood that most of them are test benches converted from serving submarines. The rest are ultra-small submarines and their carriers.
But if so, then it is worth considering all American impromptu - “Kamehameha” with combat swimmers, intermediate versions of “Los Angeles” with VLS, modification of “Virginia” Block-1,2,3,4,5. Then, do not forget to take into account the nuclear deep-water bathyscaphe NR-1 - and the weights index will rapidly shift towards the US Navy.
32 domestic project of nuclear submarines against American 23. The difference is not so great as to sound the alarm about the mental abilities of Russian engineers and military.
A somewhat larger number of projects is explained by a different concept of the use of the Navy. For example, the Yankees never had analogs of the domestic Skat and Anteyev, specialized boats equipped with long-range anti-ship missiles (instead, their absence was compensated for by the disparate family of aircraft carriers — the main striking force of the US Navy at sea).
Finally, we should not forget that many types of domestic boats were distinguished by relative simplicity and low cost of construction - comparing some of the “George Washington” with the K-19 (eg 658) is simply offensive to both of them. Therefore, the presence of two types of SSBNs instead of one SSBN is not good, but not as problematic as they are trying to present in our time.
Reproaches in the construction of super-expensive titanium boats and submarines equipped with liquid iron and liquid metal reactors — many of which have remained in a single copy — are just as groundless. Over the ocean, no less than we were “sinned” by creating controversial structures - as a result, the US Navy had a significant number of “white elephants”. The same two-reactor "Triton", in the creation of which there was no need. This whole mess is called technical search - engineers experienced trial and error method looking for the most efficient and balanced design.
Along the way, all of the above will dispel another myth - about the distorted path of development of the national fleet, which, allegedly, was not too keen on submarines. The Yankees also knew very well about the high combat qualities of nuclear submarines - and built them no less than we did. As a result, the fleets of both superpowers were equipped with the latest technology - with an equally well-developed surface and underwater component.
Transfer of cargo from a helicopter to the PLA "Triton"
"Tomahawks" instead of "Tridents"
Two launch shafts aboard the converted Ohio converted into airlock chambers for divers exit
As you know, the Yankees built their last diesel-electric boat in the 1959 year. But the cessation of construction did not mean a complete abandonment of the diesel-electric submarines - modernized by the GUPPY project, many diesel engines of the time of WWII and the first post-war years remained in service until the end of 1970's. The project itself GUPPY represented dozens of options for modernization - as a result, a whole “zoo” of diesel-electric submarines of various types was born. In the photo - a typical American base, berth with diesel-electric submarines, 1960-e
Cabin SSBB "J. Washington"
"Sea Wolf"! (USS Seawolf)
The bridge of the submarine "Toledo" (type "Los Angeles")