At present, military technical cooperation between Russia and France is close to zero. The initiator of this state of affairs is Paris. The behavior of the French, who want to cooperate with Russia and put two universal Mistral-class amphibious ships to her, suddenly do not want to and refuse to fulfill the previously signed contract, described Oleg Sienko, General Director of the Uralvagonzavod corporation, very well: in understanding: “I want - I do not want”, this is not a capricious girl for extradition, but military-technical cooperation, there should be no mistakes here. ”
Nevertheless, the military shipbuilding of France occupies one of the leading positions in the world and its results in this area, which are clearly reflected in the qualitative and quantitative composition of the Navy of the Fifth Republic, are very useful for analysis.
What is the strength, frere?
The strengths of the French Navy today are characterized by the possibility of delivering nuclear strikes from virtually any region of the oceans, as well as the presence of an aircraft carrier with a tactical nuclear weapons, the ability to successfully solve the tasks of anti-submarine and mine warfare, to conduct air and naval reconnaissance over vast territories. The creation of a sea-based missile defense system is considered particularly relevant for the Mediterranean.
Paris declared a radical reassessment of the geopolitical situation and does not name any country as its likely adversary. However, at the same time, the goal is not only to preserve military power, but to increase it to a level that is second only to the United States.
By 2015, the strength of the French Navy was planned to be reduced. However, this measure will be compensated by increased combat capabilities due to the qualitative renewal of the ship’s personnel and, above all, the commissioning of modern PCBs, destroyers (EM) and frigates (FR).
Currently, the program of military shipbuilding in France is subordinated to the ongoing reform of the Armed Forces and is most fully implemented in the field of SSBN, PLAT and FR. Due to financial problems, the Horizon EM construction program was completed in 2009, with the delivery of only two ships, although more impressive figures were originally announced.
SSBN France’s naval strategic nuclear forces are an essential element in the country's national security system; therefore, much attention is paid to their improvement. Unlike the UK, they are equipped with self-developed ICBMs. The Navy has four submarines of the Le Triomphant type.
The armament of the first three of them consists of the M16 / TN45 75 SLBM. The M45 missiles have a maximum firing range of up to 6000 kilometers and carry an FPG with six BBs. The fourth SSRB (Le Terrible, S619) hosts the M51 missile system (16 SLBM M51 / TN75, firing range - 9000 km, HSRP IN with six BB or TNO monoblock). After adopting the M51 complex, the remaining three SSBNs are being equipped in 2011. The rearmament started with the Le Vigilant SSBNs (S618), which are undergoing tests for the certification of new systems, including the CICS and the navigation system. Then the MNNXX SLBMs will go into service with the Le Triomphant SSBN (S51), and in the 616, into the Le Temeraire SSBN (S2018).
PAYMENT. In 2005, work on the Barracuda project began to replace the Rubis type card. Construction of a series of six units began in 2009. The program has been allocated 7,9 billion euros (in 2012, the entire program was estimated at 8 – 8,7 billion euros.). The first PCB in this series was named Suffren and was laid in 2009. The stated characteristics of the new board for some elements clearly do not correspond to the real state of affairs. If we can agree with the depth of 350 – 400 meters, the declared speed of the full stroke of 23 – 25 knots is clearly underestimated. Under financial constraints (the cost of the entire program was cut twice), the development of a new reactor for this PLAT is unlikely. Therefore, the K-15 SSBN Le Triomphant reactor is likely to be adopted. In 2008, it was officially confirmed that it will be installed on a new Suffren PLATFORM. However, in this case the power of the power plant cannot be less than 50 percent of the power of the power plant of the SSBN Le Triomphant. According to a number of experts, a reduction in reactor power less than this limit is absolutely inexpedient. In this regard, the probable power of the Suffren main power plant (GEM) will be from 25 000 to 35 000 horsepower, which will allow it to develop a full speed of more than 30 knots. With the full power of the K-15 reactor and with the declared submerged displacement of 5300 tons, it is possible to achieve a full speed of more than 35 nodes.
A high degree of automation will reduce the crew size to 60 people (on Rubis type cards - 75). The board has four 533-mm torpedo tubes (TA) with 24 ammunition units, consisting of the torpedoes of the new generation ECAN F21, advanced modification type SM39 Exocet and new SCALP type SLCMs (maximum number - up to 12 units). The PLAT will also be able to mine and support the actions of the units of special operations forces (up to 12 special forces). The hydroacoustic complex (GAK) will include a hydroacoustic station (GUS) with a bow, airborne (with a wide aperture) and towed antennas. According to experts, most likely on the PLAT will be placed SJS Thales UMS300. This is probably a new modification of the SOOM DMUX-80, since there is no time and money for the development of a fundamentally new SAC.
Bookmark on the stocks of the first PLAT is officially implemented in 2009 year. Commissioning is scheduled for 2017. Subsequent ships of the series are supposed to be commissioned with an interval of two years (the sixth board is to be commissioned - in 2027). The current appearance of this PCB and the models demonstrated at the naval salons are of an advertising nature and represent a transformation of the PCB like Rubis, which clearly does not correspond to the actual appearance in the presence of another GEM and GAK. At the same time, the possible placement on this PLAT X-shaped feed rudders is quite reasonable.
NPSL For the national naval forces, the construction of non-nuclear submarines (NNS) is not conducted, but the available developments are actively being offered in the external market. Over the past ten years, two projects have been designed for export and implemented: Agosta-90B and Scorpene. Both can be equipped with an air-independent power installation (VNEU) of the French development MESMA (closed-cycle steam turbine installation). This VNEU is designed to recharge batteries in a submerged position and for economic progress.
In 2000, in France, at the shipyard in Cherbourg, for Hamza-type submarines of the Agosta-90B type, which was built in Pakistan under a French license, the MESMA VNEU was built and tested in a strong hull section. Two other previously built Pakistani naval submarines are being retrofitted by a MESMA VNEU in the process of repair and modernization. After the integration of the VNEU into the design of the NNS, the length of the boat increases to the 76,2 meter, and the underwater displacement increases to 1980 tons. The use of VNEU increases the duration of the stay of submarines under water by three to four times (up to several weeks), reduces the unmasking signs of the boat, reduces the likelihood of its detection. The VNEU is supplied as a replaceable module and is installed during construction or during repair of the NNB.
Currently, the Navy of Chile and Malaysia are armed with boats "Scorpion" (two in each country). In 2005, a contract was signed for the construction of six Skorpen naval subsystems in India, in 2007 for the Spanish Navy, construction began on four Skorpen submarines with a VNEU. In 2009, an agreement was reached on the construction of four naval submarines for Brazil, which are planned to be commissioned from 2017 to 2021 a year.
VNEU type MESMA is the easiest to install this class, and therefore it is widely distributed in developing countries. At the same time, the MESMA noise level slightly exceeds the fuel cell-based VNEU used in Germany, Italy and other countries on submarines.
The only medium-sized nuclear aircraft carrier (ABC) Charles de Gaulle was launched on May 7, 1994 and was handed over the fleet in 2001 The ship took part in anti-terrorist operations, including in Afghanistan. In September 2016, it will be sent for overhaul and modernization, which will end in February 2018. 1,3 billion euros have been allocated for these works. The modernization of the ship will ensure its operation until 2041 and based on it multipurpose carrier-based fourth-generation fighter Rafale. ABC was already under repair from January to July 2013.
Since for the full aviation support of one FAA is not enough, France has long been planning to build a second aircraft carrier. As a result of a long-term selection, the most promising option is considered to be AB based on the English CV (F) project, but with an ejection takeoff and full displacement of 70 thousand tons. The project received the code name PA2. However, a number of experts doubt the reality of this project.
Firstly, the country has a strong scientific, technical and industrial “nuclear lobby”, which is unlikely to allow a ship to abandon the AEU. This lobby was formed on the basis of the extensive use of nuclear power plants in France, which in the 20th century provided for the production of more than 50 percent of electricity. In addition, France does not have its own sources of hydrocarbons.
Secondly, the ship will have a well-known drawback of Charles de Gaulle - low speed (only 26–27 knots), which complicates the use of deck aviation.
Thirdly, if you build a ship of this size in civilian shipyards (arsenals without conversion are excluded), you will need to build a new infrastructure for its home base, as the size of Charles de Gaulle is almost marginal for the existing infrastructure at the Toulon naval base.
And, finally, to have in the Navy two different types of aircraft carriers is an unaffordable luxury for a country like France.
The table shows the comparison of Charles de Gaulle with some ABCs. A number of its flaws can be corrected during repairs and upgrades in 2016 – 2018. This applies primarily to increase the length of the flight deck and speed. As can be seen from the table, Charles de Gaulle has opportunities to increase the length of the flight deck, since it has the lowest Kpp value (the ratio of the length of the flight deck to the length along the design waterline, KWL). If we assume that the ABC Vikramaditya value of the gearbox = 1,16 is the limit, then the length of the flight deck at Charles de Gaulle can be increased to 276 meters. Of course, this will require reworking the aft end of the ship.
According to experts, K-15 type reactors have reserves to increase power by at least 15 percent. Usually, when designing any reactors for ships, a reserve for power is laid precisely in this size. The power reserve of the main tubing unit (GTZA) is also within this limit. Consequently, after the planned repair of the ship, the power of its power plant can theoretically be increased to 96 000 horsepower. This will increase the full stroke speed at the 1 – 1,5 node.
It should also be noted that in the USSR during the tests of "Admiral Gorshkov" and "Admiral Kuznetsov" the power of the power plant was rarely brought to the limit. In this case, it was not the maximum travel speed that was achieved, but the one that was spelled out in the contract. Therefore, the speeds shown in the table correspond to the lower power of the power plant.
Experts believe that the second AB for the French Navy will be a modification of Charles de Gaulle in terms of increasing the size of the flight deck and travel speed by using a modification of the K-15 reactor and turbines.
However, it was reported that a decision was taken on the use of the conventional GEM on the second French AV. For the first time, a model of such a ship was presented at the Evronaval-2010 cabin. Unlike AB for Great Britain, this ship already has one “island” and a chimney, very similar to the one that is located on the UDC of the Mistral type, which also indirectly indicates the use of only diesel generators (DG). It should be noted that France has powerful high-quality diesel engines of its own design and has experience in building fairly large and high-speed combat ships of EM class with pure diesel GEM. Thus, more accurate information about the type of GEM will appear only when the construction of a new AB starts. The use of a catapult on it is beyond doubt. At the same time, the timing of the start of construction of the ship has not yet been determined.
In the first part of the publication, the main shock forces of the French fleet and the prospects for its renewal, which the industry can provide, were examined.
Landing Ships (DC). The naval forces of the Navy are 4 DK (3 UDC type Mistral, 1 DKVD type Foudre). The most modern ships are Mistrals, the cost of each is 350 million euros. The UDC project was developed in 1995 year and was accepted for construction in the version with full displacement 21 600 tons.
The French designers managed to create a full-fledged UDC with a dock camera for the 2 DKA VP or 4 DKA type CTM and a hangar above it, like in similar ships of the US Navy, in a limited displacement.
At present, France also has two Mistral UDCs, built and not transferred to Russia for political reasons. These ships today are offered for sale.
Previously available in the Navy, the STDK and MTDK of the old types were withdrawn from service and partially sold out.
The construction of an EDA-R-type MTDK is currently underway. By architecture, it is a catamaran carrying capacity of 80 tons and with a speed of 18 – 25 knots. Four MTDK built and transferred to the Navy, it is assumed the construction of four more units.
Amphibious boats (DKA). As part of the Navy has 15 DFA type CTM 80 – 90-s built. There are no programs to build a new DKA.
Destroyers. By the middle of 2015, 12 EM (2 of type Forbin, 2 of type Cassard, 7 of type Georges Leygues and 1 of type Tourville) remained in the naval force of the Navy.
For financial reasons, the advertised Franco-Italian EM Horizon construction program limited itself to building only two ships and then curtailed. In the 2008 year, the lead Forbin EM was commissioned; the second ship, Chevalier Paul, was handed over in 2009. If, from the point of view of architectural forms and weapons, these two destroyers are a significant step forward, then in the field of shipboard GEM (DGTU with separate use of gas turbine engines and DD) technologies of yesterday are implemented in them.
Successful tests of the EUROPAAMS air defense system with the Aster family of anti-aircraft missiles (Aster-15 and Aster-30) confirmed the high combat characteristics of the air defense of these ships.
Frigates. The naval forces include 13 FR (5 of type La Fayetee, 6 of type Floreal and 2 of type Aquitaine). In recent years, new multi-purpose FR of the Aquitaine type, built under the FREMM program, have begun to arrive. This class of multipurpose frigates, created by France in cooperation with Italy, is designed to provide air defense and anti-aircraft defense, destroy surface ships and attack land targets deep in enemy territory. Each of them has the opportunity to act as a control ship of the target group.
The frigate manufacturer DCNS emphasizes that FREMM is unmatched in its class (displacement 6000 t) due to the build quality, reliability of all components used, low fuel consumption at cruising speed.
Initially it was planned to build 27 FR (including 10 for the Italian Navy) for 11 billion euros. At present, the planned number of FR of this type for the French Navy has been reduced to 11 units, of which 8 ships will be built according to the F-ASM enhanced weapon version, the remaining 3 - according to the multipurpose version (F-AVT). The multipurpose version is supposed to be equipped with a Sylver A70 type UVPU with the possibility of using the new French SLCP type Scalp-Naval from them. In addition, a new power plant - DGTEU was applied on all these FRs.
As of the middle of 2015, the head of the French Navy Aquitaine and Provence are part of the French Navy. Four more ships are under construction.
DCNS conducts active marketing to promote the Aquitaine-type DF to the world market, however, there was not much success before 2015. At the end of January, the first export multipurpose frigate of the type FREMM Mohammed VI was delivered to the 2014 Navy of Morocco. The Moroccan frigate is the second in a series of 12 FREMM frigates built for the French Navy (11 units) and Morocco. According to the Eko newspaper, the Moroccan side was actually forced by the then French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who demanded a kind of "compensation" for having previously refused to buy French Rafale aircraft.
In connection with the signing at the beginning of 2015 of the contract with Egypt for the supply of 24 fighters "Rafale" and the frigate FREMM, it was decided to supply the Egyptian Navy frigate Normandia, intended for the French Navy.
According to DCNS CEO Patrick Boissier, the FREMM frigates for a number of countries turned out to be too large, too technical and, in particular, too automated. In this regard, he proposes to begin in the framework of the new law on the military program the creation of an “intermediate” in its characteristics frigate FTI.
The frigate, highly automated and filled with the most up-to-date electronics, was designed to be purchased by the largest fleets, which at that time were striving to reduce the number of crews of their ships. However, smaller countries do not pursue such goals in their policy of arms procurement.
According to DCNS, at present, CVD production facilities in Lorient provide for the construction of one FREMM frigate per year. At the same time, with an increase in the number of orders from foreign countries, an increase in output to two ships per year is envisaged.
The reason for the sharp reduction in the number of FRs ordered for the French Navy is not only the huge cost (more than 500 million euros per ship), but also the redistribution of funds to more priority areas. First of all, this is the PLAT upgrade program and the expected construction of a second AV.
Combining the requirements of several countries in one project without increasing displacement and cost was not possible both in the HORIZON program and in the FREMM program. Therefore, it can be expected that after the folding of the FREMM program, a national program for the development of FR will be developed, most likely on the basis of successfully exported RF of La Fayetee type.
Technically, the FREMM DFs are a reduced copy of the Horizon EM, but they are equipped with a new GEM - DGTEU, similar to the GEM DF of the 23 project of the British Navy.
Corvettes (KRV). Continue to remain in the military 9 obsolete KVV project A69. With them removed PKR and towed GUS. Thus, they gradually turn into PC.
The Navy has 3 PC and 8 PKA P400 PCVs.
Currently, the focus is on new coastal patrol ships of the Gowind type. The lead ship L'Adroit was built by DCNS for a period of less than two years at its own expense and transferred to the French Navy for trial operation for three years. Formally, the new ship was accepted into the Navy and began to perform fleet operational tasks, while the DCNS was able to promote this class of ships on the world market, offering it as a new ship in service with the French navy.
The crew changes on a rotational basis once every four months. Each year, the ship will perform operational tasks for 220 days.
To attract the attention of potential customers in the market of naval technology, the OPV Gowind ship includes a number of innovative technologies, including a bridge with a circular view, the possibility of covert deployment of airborne submarine submarines in less than five minutes and ensuring the actions of deck UAVs. All of these innovations are designed to optimize the actions of the maritime, sabotage and border shipborne border services. Ships of this class will also be equipped with information and control technologies developed by DCNS. This, in particular, SATCOM and other channels of communication, providing the ship with the opportunity to act in the global network of marine intelligence. Acting remotely, the ship also has the ability to give a proportional response day and night in the fight against asymmetric threats.
The French Navy demonstrates the capabilities of a new ship in solving various tasks in the sea — from constant round-the-clock surveillance to fighting pirates, conducting counterterrorism operations, regulating fishing in the economic zone, intercepting drug trafficking, protecting the environment, carrying out humanitarian missions, conducting search and rescue, ensure safety at sea.
A ship of the Gowind type with a displacement of 1500 tons can be in autonomous navigation for three weeks, has a cruising range of 8 thousands of nautical miles at a speed of 12 knots, and a maximum speed of 21 knots. The length of the headline L'Adroit is 87 meters, and its design provides accommodation for 30 people and 30 passengers on board.
The ship is equipped with two ABC 12VDZC diesel engines, Terma Scanner 4100 radar (Terma Scanter) for reviewing air and surface space, search and navigation radar Terma Scanner 6002, Sazhem optical-electronic system, electronic support systems Thales company.
Operational application will provide two replaceable crew, replaced every four months. Every year the ship will be at sea for at least 220 days.
The Navy has 14 BSTSH (11 type Eridan, 3 type Antares) and 4 BMTC type Vulcain. And VMTK are used also as diving vessels. Mineral development plans are absent.
Naval shipbuilding occupies a prominent place in the French military industry. It fully provides the domestic Navy ships of all classes and subclasses. Until production is only mastered DKA hovercraft.
The shipbuilding industry in France is almost completely provided with components of all classes of its own production.
The exceptions are steam catapults for aircraft carriers and some other elements of weapons (for a long time only modern air defense missile systems were produced). At the same time, in a number of cases, more efficient imported equipment is purchased, and sometimes weapons. So, for example, all ship MZAK are acquired in Switzerland.
In ship engineering there is, perhaps, only one drawback - the production of ship gas turbines and their development are completely absent.