Disruption of the construction of the newest nuclear submarine will lead to a significant delay in the entire shipbuilding program.
According to customer - Naval fleet Russia, the latest nuclear submarine of project 885 does not meet the specified sonar characteristics, which significantly reduces its combat capabilities.
The scientific readings devoted to the 100 anniversary of the great Soviet designer Vladimir Nikolaevich Chelomey, which took place in February of this year in the Scientific and Production Association of Machine Building, were visited not only by rocket designers, but also shipbuilders. Earlier, a memorial plaque dedicated to the legendary rocket maker was installed at the Bauman Moscow State Technical University. And then the representatives of the Ministry of Defense, Roscosmos, various design bureaus, manufacturing plants and other structures visited the research and production association located in Reutov, located near Moscow.
With thanks to the representatives of the Russian Navy and shipbuilding engineers about the offshore missile complexes created in the NPO Mashinostroitia. During the Chelomeyev readings, it became known that the 3K55 “Onyx” missile system developed by the NPO at the end of last year was successfully tested on the latest nuclear submarine “Severodvinsk”. Although at the beginning of 2013, the question of using 3K55 from onboard the main submarine of the 885 project was very serious.
Severodvinsk: a failed breakthrough
According to some data, voiced in the media, if successful launches of the Caliber rocket complex developed by the Novator NGO were held at the end of 2011, Onyx fired only at the end of last summer. But according to an officer of the Russian Navy who is familiar with the situation, Onyx is not the only problem of Severodvinsk.
“In naval circles, Severodvinsk received an insulting nickname, rhyming with the name of this city, because of the constant attempts of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) to push the boat at all costs to the fleet. Although at the end of last year we took a clear position - the ship is not ready for delivery, it needs to be improved, ”the source told the Military Industrial Courier newspaper.
According to the officer, if the problems with “Onyx” are now generally resolved, then the hydroacoustic characteristics and the nuclear power installation do not move yet. There are problems with torpedo tubes.
“Last year, USC unofficially made it clear that the fleet was not ready to accept Severodvinsk. We do not have the infrastructure for it, the base is not built up, even the pier is not ready. Although the Navy does not seek to drown the project at any cost, it only achieves the characteristics laid down in the project. We and the designers of the submarine understand that there are technical solutions in its design, without bringing that to a normal "battlefield" now, we will jeopardize the rest of the submarine construction program. But my opinion is that the leadership of USC needs only one thing - to hand over the boat to the Navy as soon as possible, and then to figure out what to do, ”the fleet officer complained.
Despite the fact that in the media (not only industry, but also federal) quite often there is information about work on Severodvinsk, all of it is in the nature of duty Newstaken from press releases of the United Shipbuilding Corporation. “He went to sea”, “So many nautical miles passed”, “Successfully shot back” - all that can be read about the latest submarine. Against the backdrop of these triumphant reports, the Navy’s commander-in-chief at the end of last year, directly “under the tree”, from accepting the ship into the fleet, was limited by the so-called pilot operation, when the crew begins to fulfill the tasks of the combat training course, and the breeders eliminate the discovered shortcomings. Joint tests are also conducted of previously identified problem nodes and assemblies.
“Although not only domestic, but also foreign media speak of Severodvinsk as a submarine ready for combat use, in fact it is not so,” a high-ranking source in the Navy told the Military Industrial Courier.
So what is actually happening with the newest nuclear submarine and how soon will it be transferred to the Navy? Let's try to understand the situation.
From “Ash” to “Boreyu-A”
“Now in Severodvinsk there are three technical solutions, which will also be included in the Borey-A project 995, although the boats of the 885 project are developed by Malachite and the 995 are developed by the Rubin Central Design Bureau. Work on the head Borey - "St. Nicholas" began in 2009, "the shipbuilder familiar with the situation informed the military industrial complex.
We are talking about the newest hydroacoustic complex (SAC) “Amfora-Irtysh”, the so-called on-board torpedo tubes (TA) and the integrated monoblock nuclear power plant (NPI) combining a reactor and a steam generating plant in one unit. All this is at Severodvinsk, and the results will be used in the design of the 995A series.
“The first three“ Boreas ”were a compromise solution. They were created from the backlog of unfinished submarines project 971. But from the fourth hull of the boat project 995А will become as originally planned, ”said the source.
But the work on the newest “Boreas” is disrupted largely because of problems with the delivery of “Severodvinsk”.
“Due to the fact that the main antenna of the SJSC Amfora-Irtysh is rather large, the torpedo tubes must be removed from the nose section into the middle part of the hull and made so-called airborne. The Americans did the first to design the multi-purpose nuclear submarines of the Los Angeles class. Now this decision has become typical and is used not only at Los Angeles, but also at Sea Wolf, Virginia, and British Astityuta, military historian Maxim Tokarev told Military Industrial Courier.
According to him, until recently, there were no such torpedo tubes on Soviet boats: “Even on the most advanced submarines of the 971 project, both the TA and the GAS Skat-3 hydroacoustic antenna were in the nose at the same time. The first Russian submarine with "onboard" torpedo tubes was the "Severodvinsk".
It was planned that after working off at Severodvinsk, the torpedo tubes should have gone over to Borey, but at the time of the start of work, the onboard TAs remained only in the drawings, SJSC Amfora-Irtysh switched to the boats of the Borey-A project . Although, according to official data, exactly such a sonar complex was installed on the Yuri Dolgoruky, Alexandra Nevsky and Vladimir Monomakh, this raises reasonable doubts, given the size of the main antenna of the GAK and the presence of torpedo tubes in the bow of the submarine. According to some information, the modified submarines Skat-3 from submarines of the 971 project, combined with electronic systems and digital libraries Amfory-Irtysh, are still installed on these submarines.
Until recently, the "onboard" torpedo tubes on the Severodvinsk were a headache not only for shipbuilders, but also for sailors. It was not possible to produce launches, breakdowns constantly occurred.
“To test TA happened only in the middle of last year. True, they now work like a clock. But how much it cost the nerves to the crew, the plant and the designers, ”the officer of the Navy complained.
If the situation with the torpedo tubes has improved, the monoblock nuclear power plant, developed and manufactured by Rosatom enterprises, continues to cause a lot of trouble for its creators and submarine crew.
“The monoblock scheme saves space and significantly reduces the level of noise from operating components and assemblies. Compared with the power plants of the 971 project boats, it is several times lower, ”said a shipbuilding engineer familiar with the situation. True, he refused to explain the principle of operation and the technical features of the Russian monoblock nuclear power unit, although he acknowledged that there are still a lot of problems.
According to the "MIC", the reactor does not always give the required power, there are problems and noise.
“The reactor did Rosatom, although there are certain issues with Malachite about the placement of nuclear power plants in the hull of the boat. To some experts, it seems suboptimal. Such integrated power plants will also receive boats from the Borey-A project, the Russian Navy officer noted.
If the problems with torpedo tubes and SJSC Amfora-Irtysh, Malakhit and Sevmash were resolved, the NPI is still the Achilles heel of the entire project.
Creaking shafts of the “roaring cow”
Another misfortune of “Severodvinsk” was the shaft line, or rather, its bearings.
“The steam produced by the reactor enters the steam turbine installation and rotates several interconnected shafts. Due to problems with bearings, friction occurs and the boat cannot increase speed so that the line does not collapse, ”the shipbuilding engineer explained.
This problem haunts the boat from the start of the 2011 th trial in September. During the two years of testing, Malachite made significant changes to the design of the shaft line several times, and at the same time replaced the line itself with the docking of the boat. The last time it happened was on state tests in May last year.
“The tests that began on May 27 should have lasted until mid-August. July 19 boat due to technical problems returned to the plant in Severodvinsk. True, on July 30, she again went to sea, ”says the shipbuilding engineer.
A team of workers was called to the factory from vacations, which in an emergency mode eliminated problems in the shaft line.
“We managed quickly. The funny thing is that even the local newspapers wrote about the repair, ”the source recalled.
Despite the speed of work, Severodvinsk returned from testing with more than 200 comments.
The combination of shaft line flaws and exceeding the noise threshold during operation of nuclear power plants in some modes led to the main problem of the submarine - the discrepancy between its sonar characteristics and the fact that the navy was laid down in the technical specifications.
“Now we have ensured the stable operation of all systems of the boat, therefore the level of acoustic noise does not exceed the established ones. But in some modes of operation, there are so-called bursts, when noise rumbles at times, albeit briefly, ”the engineer said. According to him, the boat must pass advanced hydroacoustic tests, tentatively scheduled for March-April of this year, when ice conditions improve in Motovka Bay. Now the boat is located at the Sevmash plant. How shipbuilders count, by this time the problem of bursts will be solved.
“Because of these problems, we sometimes jokingly called the boat a“ roaring cow. ” Although the real “roaring cows” - the old boats of the 675 project are far away for her. But for such an advanced submarine pleasant little, "- said the officer of the Navy. He added that the Navy is confident that in the near future the problems of the submarine and the entire project will be resolved. But the military is confused by the position of the leaders of the United Shipbuilding Corporation.
“Their task is to shove the boat to the fleet at all costs, regardless of the problems and difficulties encountered. We do not need an unfinished ship. Everything happens, the first in the series is always problematic. But it is impossible to transfer the sky boat, ”the newspaper’s interlocutor is outraged.
It is difficult to disagree with the sailors, because the USC talks with the Russian Navy went right up to 30 in December last year, although at the end of November the military clearly indicated their position. According to the "military industrial complex", the commander-in-chief of Admiral Viktor Chirkov and the head of USC Vladimir Shmakov were supposed to sign the report on the reception of submarines in the ship's personnel.
It is also not true that in the Western Person, where he should come after accepting the “Severodvinsk” in the fleet, nothing is ready to receive it. Last fall, Spetsstroy reconstructed the berth, built additional structures by completing the first phase of work.
It is hoped that the hydroacoustic tests planned for the coming months will pass successfully and Severodvinsk will become part of the Russian Navy, and the technical reserve, as planned, will be widely used in the construction of the newest strategic missile submarines of the Borey-A project. It is also worth noting that shipbuilding is now lost on the positions lost after the collapse of the USSR. The most important thing is that the situation with Severodvinsk should not happen again.