The project of the atomic strike cruiser CSGN appeared in response to the construction in the USSR of heavy atomic cruisers of the 1144 Avenue Orlan. There is no exact evidence on this score, but the principles laid down in both ships, like the chronology of events, completely coincide (1973 year - tab of the head Kirov, 1974 year - the urgent appearance of the CSGN program).
Why did the Yankees need to "hit hard" and compete with the Union in creating atomic surface monsters - in the presence of a developed sea aviation and the complete lack of experience in creating multi-ton supersonic anti-ship missiles? The strike cruiser’s project is an additional confirmation of the proverb “Fear is Big”, as well as evidence of the vile desire of the US military to “knock out” more money by intimidating its own leadership with the successes of the Soviet military-industrial complex (both real and fictitious).
Atomic "Orlan"! Pentagon dwellers collapse in consciousness
With all this, the project GSGN there was one major difference from the Soviet cruiser: eight-inch artillery! Yes, dear reader, in the age of nuclear reactors and rocket technologies, someone seriously expected to equip their ships with lumbering pieces of iron, spitting out pieces of hot steel to a distance of 29 000 meters.
Otherwise, the Americans sacredly followed the criteria laid down in the Soviet Orlan: "To love is like a queen, to steal is like a million." No concessions and compromises. Large, extremely expensive ship, equipped with the latest technology.
The nuclear reactor, the latest in its time, the Aegis IUSC, the most advanced detection tools, a huge ammunition set of 128 rocket-torpedo and long-range anti-aircraft missiles, anti-ship Harpoons, small-sized torpedoes and a pair of anti-submarine helicopters. Later, the Phalanx six-barreled anti-aircraft guns and armored boxes with Tomahawks will be added to them.
Cruiser Strike, Guided Weapons, Nuclear-powered - strike cruiser with guided missile weapons, and even on a nuclear move. Here is a rarity hidden under the nondescript designation CSGN. This "superhero" of the American action movie, able to deal with everyone who gets in his way!
Despite all its inadequacies, the GSGN program was in the process of being put into practice - in this sense история the nuclear strike cruiser repeated the story of the United States supercarrier (whose construction was stopped on the 5 day after the laying). The same irresistible desire of the admirals to get a "super-ship" - with the stubborn position of Congress, who did not want to get involved in another senseless spiral of the arms race.
Moreover, all the necessary components of the future CSGN existed "in hardware", and subsequently most of them went into service fleet.
Nuclear power plant
The tactical and technical requirements (TTZ) for the development of the strike cruiser set the highest speed at the level of 32 nodes. At the stated displacement in 17 thousand tons, the cruiser was required to have on the shafts of propellers at least 100 - 120 thousand hp.
At the time of the appearance of the TTZ, the main type of reactor for surface combatants was D2G, installed on eight US Navy atomic cruisers. A pair of such modest units provided power on the shafts of ships 44 MW (60 thous. Hp). On board the CSGN, two echelons of four similar NPGS with three GTZA designed to transmit more power could be installed. Or developed a fundamentally new reactor. In any case, the nuclear strike cruiser project would not have encountered any significant difficulties in terms of creating a nuclear power plant.
A squadron of six US Navy nuclear cruisers (the Yankees had 9 in total and all were sent for scrapping at the start of the 90's)
Another question - why the strike cruiser needed a nuclear power plant? Time gave the obvious answer - no need.
The combat information and control system created on the basis of the most modern developments in the field of microelectronics and 70-s detection tools. Computerized combat information center, AN / SPY-1 radar with four fixed panels PAR. Reserve two-coordinate radar air review AN / SPS-49. Four anti-aircraft fire control radar AN / SPG-62. Navigation radar AN / SPS-64 and surface viewing radar AN / SPS-10F. Next are the antennas and units of the LAMPS data collection and centralized information processing system for the underwater environment, which combines an AN / SQS-53A hydroacoustic station and onboard systems of two anti-submarine helicopters.
Atomic cruiser "Long Beach" with the Aegis system (unrealized project)
In general, a wonderful system for its time - BIUS, subjugating all the subsystems of the ship. The only problem of Ajis was its high cost, especially by the standards of 40 years ago. Moreover, the system was positioned as an "impenetrable shield" in repelling the attacks of Soviet anti-ship missiles and was intended for installation on escort cruisers of the US Navy. Shock CSGN had, frankly, other goals and areas of work. Like most American cruisers of those years, it could easily do with the simpler NTDS with a bunch of radar AN / SPS-48 and SPS-49. As it turned out later, these systems were no worse than the advertised "Ajis" - a powerful and reliable SPS-48 Yankees still put on their ships.
But that time the admirals wanted to do everything with “special chic”. The idea of a “super cruiser” so deeply penetrated the brains of the inhabitants of the Pentagon that any compromises were excluded. Sailors chose only the best and at the highest possible cost!
The CSGN cruiser ammunition consisted of 4 type missiles (Stender-2 SAM, AURROK PLUR, Garpun anti-ship missile and Tomahawk SLCM) - only one and a half hundred rocket ammunition for various purposes. Missiles were launched from launchers of three different types:
- Mk.26 GMLS Mod.2 - two universal beam PU, located in the bow and stern of the ship. The installations were intended for launching Stender-2 anti-aircraft missiles and ASROK anti-submarine rocket-torpedoes;
Even by the standards of the 70-s, the Mk.26 GMLS was considered too cumbersome, heavy and outdated (the “dry” mass of the Mod.2 is 265 tons!). By that time, the first models of underdeck launchers had been installed on Soviet ships (8-chargers of the C-300F drum-type launchers), and American sailors were looking forward to the appearance of the universal MK.41 UWP for storing and launching any types of missiles, which was announced in 1976 year. However, before reaching the Mk.41, operational readiness would have had to wait at least 9 years, so the strike cruiser was designed for the old PU Mk.26 Mod.2 (max. Capacity of the rocket cellar of each of the installations - 64 of the rocket);
- Mk.141 - sloping quadruple launchers for launching the Harpoon RCC. They represented a light truss structure with transport and launch containers (TPC) mounted on it at an angle 35 ° to the horizon;
Above is the “classic” CSGN. Below is its simplified version of the CGN-42 (Virginia-class nuclear cruiser with the Aegis system)
- Mk.143 Armored Launch Box (ABL) - armored launchers on the upper deck, designed to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles. The process of storing and launching Topor resembled the scheme used in the modern Russian Club-K missile system. Only instead of the sham 40-foot container under which the PU of the Russian Klab was made, the Mk.143 ABL was a heavy metal box with dimensions 7x2x2 m and weight 26 tons. If necessary, the top cover lifted and four TPK with "Tomahawks" occupied the starting position. Thus, it was supposed to place the latest Tomahawk missiles on the deck of any naval ship (including on old battleships built during the Second World War). With all its obvious merits, ABL was recognized as charscural and outdated. Soon after the appearance of the Mk.41 CWP, the Mk.143 installation was decommissioned.
Perhaps the most important feature of the draft cruiser. In the forward part of the CSGN, the well-polished 203 mm cannon sparkled - in addition to the missiles, the newest highly automated naval gun Mk.71 was supposed to be included in the cruiser armament.
The background to the appearance of this system is as follows: at the beginning of the 70's, the American fleet began a massive write-off of missile-artillery cruisers (impromptu based on WWII ships). Together with the old ships, the last large-caliber guns disappeared into the past. A few more years - and the only type of artillery armament of the US Navy will remain light "five-inch" Mk.42 and Mk.45.
"Yes!" - the reader will sigh. - Time rushes forward inexorably, erasing to the dust the achievements of the past years. The glorious era of battleships and big cannons was left lying on the dusty shelves of history. ”
However, despite the appearance of remarkable rockets, the sailors did not plan to part with their “big toys”. Fire support for amphibious assault forces and the shelling of the coast of the enemy (Naval Gunfire Support in the Basurman) remained a pressing task for the modern fleet. The Marine Corps experienced the most: instead of the corpses of their draftees, the Yankees preferred to throw packs of heavy projectiles at the enemy - and now they are seriously thinking about how to go into battle without having an “8” naval gun in the form of an offshore battery.
The transition from the 5 caliber (127 mm) to the 8 caliber (203 mm) meant a threefold difference in the mass of the projectile and a longer range of 5000 meters.
The compact, automated Mk.71 cannon with 55 barrel lengths of calibers together with ready-to-fire ammunition weighed 78 tons and ensured the rate of shooting of 10-12 shots / min. Power was supplied from the 75-charging store. To control the mechanisms of Mk.71 during her firing, an 1 sailor was required. However, in the future, when moving the ammunition from the main installation to the store, it was necessary to attract another N-number of strong hands.
Supergun could produce 118 kg shells at a distance of 29 km. In addition to the usual "blanks", the Mk.71 arsenal was attended by the Mk.63 lighter projectile, created during the Vietnam War, which allowed shelling Vietcong bases at a distance of more than 40 miles!
The actual gun model was assembled and tested on the Hull destroyer in the 1975 year. According to official data, the accuracy of the Mk.71 was low, and when firing active projectiles "eight-inch" had almost no advantage over the "five-inch". But, most importantly, the "five-inch" was cheaper! The developers of Mk.71 did not receive funds for the further continuation of the work and in 1978, the project of the modern marine 8 “gun” was minimized.
Currently, the main artillery gun of the US Navy remains the Mk.45. The Yankees are trying to compensate for the lack of her power with adjustable projectiles and high initial velocity ammunition: the barrel length of the Mk.45 Mod.4 was brought to incredible 62 calibers!
Wreck of a CSGN project
According to the 1974 budget of the year, the fleet expected to receive one experimental CSGN based on the upgraded Long Beach atomic cruiser (estimated cost of $ 800 million) and 12 serial strike cruisers at $ 1,5 billion each. In the 1975 budget of the year, the number of serial CSGNs has been reduced to 8 units. The necessary funds were to be obtained by reducing the order for the construction of Virginia-type nuclear cruisers from twelve to four units (which happened in reality).
USS Long Beach (CGN-9). It was launched in 1959 g. Full displacement of the giant - 17 thousand tons.
USS Long Beach after a slight upgrade at the start of the 80.
Clearly visible are the protruding RCC "Harpoon", white caps of the "Falanx" and armored containers with "Tomahawks".
Clearly visible are the protruding RCC "Harpoon", white caps of the "Falanx" and armored containers with "Tomahawks".
In the future, the projects were repeatedly revised; as a result, five different projects are immediately hidden under the designation CSGN:
- two heavy "classic" CGSN (samples 1974 and 1976), differing only in the composition of weapons and the perfection of the technical performance of their structures;
- “test” CSGN-9 based on the old cruiser “Long Beach”;
- “light version” of the CGN-42 - nuclear missile cruiser with the Aegis system in the hull of the Virginia cruiser with a simplified composition of weapons.
In reality, none of the projects was implemented. Only Long Beach has been upgraded by a simplified project — without installing the Aegis system and no major changes in the design of the cruiser.
What ruined the brilliant project of the "superhero ship"?
It turns out that the blame has become ... political correctness. To the congressmen’s direct question: “Why did you need strike cruisers?” Followed by a completely nonsensical answer: “Fight with the Russians.”
But the main Russian power was hidden under the water! In order to effectively counteract the submarines of the USSR Navy, tens and hundreds of anti-submarine ships, destroyers and frigates were required. The impact of the CSGN in such conditions was completely useless, and Congress immediately "hacked" the project.
No, the American admirals were not so stupid. But they did not have the moral right to announce out loud the launch of the strike cruiser: the beating of “third world countries” in numerous local conflicts throughout the Earth.
Speaking seriously, the whole reason lies in the money. The designers noticeably became too clever with the design of the strike cruiser - in the planned form, the CSGN turned out to be excessively expensive to participate in local wars. And just as ineffective as an escort ship - for this purpose, the Yankees planned to build a large series of Aegis Ticonderoga type cruisers in the body of the destroyer Spryens (the contract for the construction of the head DDG-47 was concluded in 1978).
Project CSGN sunk into oblivion? On thematic resources devoted to fleet development trends, there is an opinion that we will not see such a ship in the 21st century.
In the dank November 2013 of the year, a squadron destroyer of a new generation, the Zamvolt, stepped onto the water of the Kennebec River. Here are the sizes (14 500 tons), and the price ($ 7 billion dollars with R & D), and 80 rocket launchers, and the newest superradar AN / SPY-3 and a pair of AGS 6-inch ammunition with 920 ammunition.
However, in modern times the admirals have a more flexible vocabulary: instead of straining the “strike cruiser” (no remnants of the Cold War!), The neutral word “destroyer” is used, and instead of the vile phrase “to hammer the third world countries” a beautiful traffic is used “this ship is oriented to counterterrorism operations. "