"Iron" of the new fleet of Russia
After the collapse of the USSR, the Russian fleet lost a significant part of the surface ship structure due to insufficient financing of operating costs and repair and modernization work. A long pause in the procurement of new combat units allowed to partially determine the priorities of construction fleet in the new political and economic conditions, however, the question of the timing of receiving the Navy's new ships was raised.
At the end of 1990-x - the beginning of 2000-s, it was decided to prioritize the fleet’s saturation with second-level surface ships . Due to the massive withdrawal of Soviet ships after 1992, this universal niche turned out to be the most vulnerable. It was on such ships that new approaches to building fleet weapons systems were developed, which would then be scaled to larger ships.
We are talking about the patrol ships of the far sea zone (frigates) of the 22350 project (such as “Admiral Gorshkov”) and the patrol ships of the near sea zone (corvettes) of the 20380 / 20385 project (such as “Steregushchy” and “Thunder”). With the help of serial construction of these projects, it is planned to increase the "meat" on the very fragile "skeleton" of the Russian fleets.
In general, these ships can be considered quite typical for the Russian school of shipbuilding. They carry heavy multifunctional missile weapons, for the first time in stories domestic fleet located in the standard vertical launchers of the universal ship shooting complex (UCSC). The American fleet, for example, has traveled this path a long time ago, and the elimination of the zoo of launchers and missile complexes of the Soviet fleet was inevitable. Most of the guided missile weapons Until recently, the Russian fleet not only did not have universal launchers, but more than that - each individual missile system had its own system of use. The unification of the Onyx / Caliber missile systems, in combination with the new anti-aircraft complexes and the new combat information and control system Sigma, allows flexible building of the fleet’s combat equipment.
Frigate project 22350 "Admiral Gorshkov"
The main reason for the delay in the commissioning of these ships is the unavailability of individual systems. This is an important detail that should not be missed by analyzing the breakdowns of shipbuilding schedules. As a rule, the responsibility for the transfer of deadlines lies not with the shipbuilders “golovniki”, but with the subcontractors developing and bringing up new ship systems. In particular, at different times, there were problems with the readiness of the Poliment-Redut air defense missile system (SAM), radio electronic systems, hydro-acoustic systems, artillery systems.
The problem with the rapid saturation of the fleet with ships is attempted to be solved by palliative methods, namely the “reproduction” of projects operating in a similar tactical niche. As the construction of the 22350 frigates was delayed, the fleet command decided to order six frigates according to the fulfilled 11356 export project (six such ships were built for India - these are Talwar frigates). Despite the fact that the ships of the 11356 and 22350 project are likely to be used in different fleets (for example, the 11356 project will go to the Black Sea and, possibly, to the Baltic Sea, and the classmates of Admiral Gorshkov will go to the Northern Fleet and the Pacific Ocean) , it nevertheless brings in a certain inconsistency in the nomenclature.
Assessing the readiness of frigates for the Black Sea, the following should be noted. Taking into account the actual period of construction at the Yantar plant of identical ships of the Talwar type, approximately 57-60 months, it is possible to estimate the time of commissioning of all six Black Sea frigates. Admiral Grigorovich will be ready for the second half of 2015 of the year, Admiral Essen - not earlier than the spring of 2016 of the year, Admiral Makarov - hardly before the winter of 2016 / 2017. Even if we take into account the modernization of the production of the Yantar plant and the inevitable increase in labor productivity at the shipyard with rhythmic serial construction, the rest of the frigates still risk appearing on the Black Sea only by the 2018-2019 years.
If you take a step up to the ships of the first rank, then we find ourselves in the niche of the new destroyer. This is a place of the universal ocean ship, carrier of several types of attack (anti-ship and intended for firing at ground targets) and defensive (directed against aerodynamic and ballistic targets, as well as low-orbit spacecraft) rocket armament.
This ship is currently at the stage of determining the technical appearance of the project "Leader". Of the more or less established facts, we can talk about basing long-range antimissiles on it from the prospective ground-based C-500 system, as well as an advanced attack armament complex, which may include hypersonic cruise missiles (developed in Russia as part of the Zircon project ). The ship with a high degree of probability will have a displacement of about 11-13 thousand tons and carry an atomic power plant (this issue has not yet been resolved to the end).
Despite the obvious "disguise" under the guise of a destroyer, conceptually it is a full-fledged missile cruiser. These ships are potentially capable of replacing the entire “zoo” of ocean ships of the first rank, inherited from Soviet times in Russia: 1144 and 1164 missile cruisers, 956 project destroyers, BNXXX, 1134 and 1155 project destroyers.
Large amphibious under construction
ship "Ivan Gren" project 11711
in launch launch dock PD-8
JSC "PSZ" Yantar "". Kaliningrad,
The abundance of shock systems shows the continuation of the line for the construction of arsenal ships - carriers of a large number of anti-ship guided weapons. This is inevitable in the face of the impossibility of quickly creating an aircraft carrier fleet with a strike deck. aviation. The new aircraft carriers themselves, by the way, are in the early stages of design - or rather, as far as one can judge, at the stage of prospecting, which should answer the question about the need for such ships in the combat system of the fleet and their possible technical appearance.
If, on the contrary, we descend from frigates and corvettes to the small forces of the fleet, then there will be noticeable activity here: many new ships and boats are being built. In particular, the construction of small special ships is quite active. Only one example is the creation of the base minesweepers of the 12700 Alexandrite project, whose fiberglass hulls are built using vacuum infusion technology (by the way, these are the largest ships in the world with such a hull).
However, this is where the annoying gaps in the construction of the new ship structure begin.
The prospects for building new ships for landing forces are completely unclear. The existing old large landing ships (BDK) of the 775 and 1171 projects are still quite suitable - moreover, they are one of the most active combat units in the Black Sea and Baltic Fleet due to the constant exits to the Mediterranean Sea. However, they need to be replaced in the future. The 11711 “Ivan Gren” BDK, which has been under construction for ten years already in Kaliningrad, was to become the lead ship in a series of such “deputies”.
However, the attitude of the fleet to this ship can hardly be called loyal. Suffice it to say that, despite the six-year development period, the technical requirements for the ship were already copied several times during the construction process, and major changes were made to the project 22. In particular, the composition of weapons was completely revised. At the same time, in 2012, the fleet officially refused the serial construction of the BDK project 11711 after the “Ivan Gren”, although it was previously reported that the military estimated the need for ships of this type to be at least 18 units.
From the point of view of the rapid renewal of the landing forces, there was an order in France for four Mistral-type helicopter carriers. However, this venture, and formerly the subject of sharp battles in the press and among experts, lost its promise after cooling relations with the West due to the annexation of the Crimea against the background of aggressive lobbying by the domestic industry of full import substitution programs.
Ilya Kramnik: Prospects for Russian Naval Aviation
Not appreciating the suitability of this type of ships for the needs of the Russian Navy (we only indicate that there are various opinions on this matter, including among the naval specialists themselves: from careful support and search for benefits in the project to categorical rejection), we note that the alternative “here And now "is not a hypothetical Russian analogue, but the absence of four ships in the fleet. Shipbuilders regularly hint that the fleet wants small helicopter-carrying dock ships that are similar in size and functionality to Dutch Rotterdam-type ships. However, the degree of readiness of such a project, if there is one at all, is completely incomprehensible.
The upper part of the mosquito fleet, a segment of small warships and boats designed mainly for operations in the coastal zone or at an insignificant distance from it, is sagging so far. The fact is that the corvettes of the 20380 / 20385 project stepped behind the 2200 tons of full displacement and received a heavy missile system. These ships are quite expensive and redundant for use in the interests of protecting water areas (OVR), although, most likely, they will be used, including for leading ship search and attack groups composed of small fleet forces. There are a number of reasons for this, including the presence of a helicopter and the ability to deploy a command post on the ship.
In this niche was supposed to appear "corvette OVR." However, both of the ships currently in construction with a tonnage of about 1000-1300 tons have their drawbacks to be used in this role.
So, the small rocket ship of the 21631 “Buyan-M” project is an extremely specific and expensive platform with heavy weapons in the form of eight launchers of the “Caliber” complex. In fact, it is the carrier of an operational-tactical missile system, and if we recall the maximum ranges of 3М14 missiles (2600 km, according to military reports), then it is strategic. It is not yet possible to use the "buyans" as a universal base for the IRA corvette, mainly due to the lack of any hint of the development of its anti-submarine version.
The patrol ship of the 22160 project, firstly, is still under construction (six ships were ordered for the needs of the Black Sea Fleet, the first one was laid), and secondly, as such, it is not a ship of the OVR. Having increased autonomy and range (exceeding the range of 20380 project corvettes by one and a half times), it becomes a “ship of presence”, incl. and in the far sea zone. However, it is these ships that will be built in the near future instead of the former alleged “OVR corvette”. This choice looks ambiguous.
"The modular principle of execution" implies including and the ability to install shock (8 cells UKKS for missiles "Caliber") or anti-aircraft (vertical installation of the air defense system "Shtil-1") rocket weapons. It is stated that the ship carries a powerful hydro-acoustic complex, but its anti-submarine capabilities look frankly insufficient. An exception is the version of the configuration with the UCSS module, which allows the use of anti-submarine missiles, but this version of the corvette is unlikely to become widespread due to its high cost. It is still difficult to say to what extent the combination of these ships with the ships of the 21631 and 20380 / 20385 projects will ensure the combat stability and versatility of the IAD forces.
The presence of factories does not always mean the presence of shipbuilding
Ilya Kramnik: Black Sea Fleet:
23 year of adventure
In Soviet times, the transfer of projects for serial construction to several factories was fairly widely practiced. This was due both to the interests of the rapid commissioning of a large number of ships, and the geography of the fleet-based system, which did not coincide with the geography of the main shipbuilding centers. The two priority fleets, the Northern and Pacific, had an extremely weak shipbuilding base, and the shipbuilders' historical “centers of competence” focused on the secondary Baltic and Black Sea directions. Almost all the major ships of the Soviet era were built either in Leningrad or Nikolaev, while they served mainly either in the North or in the Pacific Ocean.
At the moment there is an attempt to reproduce this experience on the family of 20380 / 20385 projects - with a failed result in the form of a sharp increase in cost and disruption of terms. If the construction of corvettes at the Severnaya Verf in St. Petersburg goes more or less within the framework of the original schedules, orders for the Pacific Ocean transferred to the Amur Shipbuilding Plant are still not ready and have an unclear prospect of commissioning. Moreover, since the 20380 / 20385 family of projects has already begun to multiply by “budding options” (in the 20380 and 20385 versions in the Baltic, 20380 in the Pacific), the situation is further complicated.
At the same time, it cannot be said that the problem of transferring projects from plant to plant is insurmountable and is caused by objective economic difficulties in the country. It is due to the lack of coordination and well-built business process management. Thus, great doubts were expressed at the end of the 2000s, when the execution of the fourth, fifth and sixth frigates of the Talwar type (patrol ships of the 11356 project) for the Indian Navy was transferred from the Baltiysky plant, which built the first three, to Kaliningrad's Yantar factory. Nevertheless, the breakdowns of the planned time-limits for entering ships ranged from 11 to 14 months, which, for the plant that actually received the first major military order after the collapse of the USSR, was an excellent result.
The second problem with the implementation of projects in practice is the lack of a built “kerchief of cooperation” - a multilevel scheme of interaction between the lead executor of the order with the manufacturers of the systems and units with which the product must be completed, as well as, in turn, the relationship of manufacturers with component suppliers. Practice shows that the main delays in commissioning financed ships are not connected with the work of the shipbuilders themselves, but with the unpreparedness of the ship systems, equipment and weapons produced by third-party collectors. The lead contractor, the shipbuilding company, has minimal influence on its subcontractor, and coordination of programs between defense holdings (say, between the United Shipbuilding Corporation and the rocket engineers, between USC and manufacturers of radio electronics, etc.) is still rather poorly defined. This factor is associated with lengthy delays in 20380 / 20385 projects, and especially on the 22350 project.
As long as the government structures regulating the execution of the state defense order do not create an effective staff superstructure capable of quickly “expanding” the bottlenecks that have arisen, the risks of permanent disruption of the construction of new ships remain.
The most painful for Russia is the import question.
The most painful question in planning shipbuilding programs is the question of import, i.e. about ordering warships abroad. This question is of an emotional-political nature and is rather indirect in the planning of naval development programs. The main and so far the only example (but noticeable) is the order in France of four amphibious helicopter carriers of the Mistral type.
30 April at the Baltic Shipyard
(St. Petersburg) was launched
aft section of helicopter landing
ship dock (DVKD) "Sevastopol"
(such as "Mistral")
It is difficult to question the ability of domestic designers to develop the project of the “Russian Mistral”, and the shipyards - to build it. The only question here is: how long will it take to create and refine the project, as well as the building itself? Is it not cheaper and more effective to solve the issue by ordering a spent ship at a shipyard debugged by the technical process? That is, the discussion should be reduced to the alignment of accents in public policy between the rapid adoption of new ships and the support of the domestic manufacturer.
We are not talking about alarmist interpretations, according to which Russia enters a state of dependence on weapons and military equipment from Western countries. However, the rapid closure of individual niches in the framework of clearly defined technical tasks seemed quite acceptable. Nevertheless, at this stage, these arguments are purely speculative - the temporary cooling of Russian relations with the West after the annexation of the Crimea does not allow us to speak about the implementation of such projects in the medium term. And it does not allow both from the point of view of the West, where there is a growing reluctance to “sponsor” Moscow, which is actively involved in the reintegration of spheres of influence in the post-Soviet space, and from within Russia, given the growth of anti-Western sentiment in society.
Summarizing all the above, we can formulate the following conclusions.
In general, Russia is actively expanding the construction of combat units. After a long “purchasing holiday” that lasted from the beginning of the 1990-s, new ships began to arrive at the fleet. However, the breakdown of the timing of the commissioning of the leading ships of new projects and the delaying of the start of serial construction leads to reproduction in the construction of types of ships existing in similar or completely identical tactical niches.
The military is not always ready to provide the industry with clear and consistent technical specifications for the design of ships. Also, there is regular editing of the technical appearance already in the process of construction. Examples with repeated editing of technical assignments for ships already under construction were cited above.
At the same time, there are problems with filling in some important niches for which there are either no design options or there are options with significant drawbacks or limited capabilities.
Launching of the fleet’s armament complexes and electronic systems is lagging behind shipbuilding itself, which lengthens and increases the cost of building ships, and also prevents the transfer to serial reproduction of type specimens.
Also, the ability to transfer projects from plant to plant is still limited. The industry is set up not just in manual mode, but literally with an individual approach to each enterprise.
The situation with the renewal of the ship composition is complicated by the undeveloped ship repair system in the potential fleet number one - the Pacific.
All this will lead to a rather sad phenomenon known as the “shift to the right” - this euphemism describes attempts to introduce a burning work schedule into a controlled state after the breakdown of a previously set deadline. Each of these problems separately is not able to be considered insurmountable, but their combination will begin to act purely statistically, through accumulation.
Blocking military-technical cooperation with the West will not have a systemic impact on fleet renewal. The import of ready-made solutions would help to close some important positions already today, but at the moment such a solution seems unlikely for external and internal political considerations.
This will lead to the fact that separate, uncritical in value, niches in the ship composition, which, theoretically, could be relatively quickly closed with the spent “iron”, will have to be built on our own. Taking into account all the above, about the features of the working rhythms of the industry, for individual positions, we will almost certainly see long schedules for the construction and fine-tuning of ships. In the end, with all the resources expended, including the time and efforts of the USC management team, “import substitution” can be much more expensive than imports.
Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest news and the most important events of the day.