The Neva Design Bureau, part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), is the oldest Russian organization dedicated to the design of large surface ships. It was here that a series of heavy aircraft-carrying cruisers of the 1143 project, anti-submarine helicopter carriers of the 1123 project, a number of special-purpose ships, as well as all large landing ships were created.
GROWING ROLE OF DESIGN OPERATIONS
In the last decade, there has been an increase in the interest of military experts from many countries around the world in moving from sea to land. This is primarily due to the fact that almost two thirds of industrial enterprises and more than half of the world's population are concentrated at a distance of no more than 50 km from the coast. Established in the recent past as part of the modern world naval fleets, the class of universal landing ships has now reached a high level of technical development. This makes it possible to solve many combat missions in conditions of regional conflicts and to carry out humanitarian operations.
And yet, above all, landing ships and various landing craft are being created to solve military tasks. The coastal water area, equipped by the enemy with various anti-landing defenses, significantly complicates landing operations. In addition, during the amphibious assault operation, many other obstacles have to be overcome. In this regard, it is necessary to solve all the more complex problems associated with the creation of amphibious ships and boats. Their design is complicated, the cost of creation and operation grows. The solution of new tasks assigned to them entails the need for the emergence of new constructive types of ships.
The naval landing operation as a form of warfare developed during the First World War. During World War II, a difference appeared - self-propelled military equipment, including armored, including heavy, was widely used Tanks. Such a technique required a significant change in the approach and basic principles for the design and construction of landing craft.
During the period of 1942 – 1945, the views of specialists and commanders of the naval forces on the use of amphibious weapons changed significantly. The accumulated experience has demonstrated the need to solve landing tasks in remote areas. It took the creation of means of different long-haul. In this regard, in addition to the construction of amphibious coastal action, the serial construction of new types of ships and vessels began to unfold.
In the Soviet Union, during the Second World War, amphibious ships and boats were not built, although during this period more than a hundred assault forces were landed, in which practically all subclasses were used to station the forward detachments. The absence of landing ships and boats entailed great difficulties in carrying out the tasks of amphibious landing. The landing force had to overcome long distances to wade, to fight without artillery and tanks. This led to great losses. In turn, the level of loss of the landing force during the battle for the landing directly influenced the success of the landing operations as a whole.
The Soviet Union ended the Second World War with a significantly weakened Naval fleet, in which there were no landing ships of special construction. Former allies, especially the United States, continued to develop their shipbuilding base and, with its help, create balanced naval forces. During the Second World War, the United States gained extensive experience in the creation of various types of landing ships, ships and boats, which made up a large group, which in the reference books and various publications received the universally recognized name "Marine Amphibious Forces". In Russia they are called the "Marine landing forces."
AMERICA GOES IN LEADERS
In the first post-war decades, the United States shipped various types of amphibious assault ships created during the Second World War to China, Greece, Turkey and other countries. In this regard, the composition of the countries that possessed the means of disembarking amphibious assault forces has expanded significantly.
In the 1950-s for their naval forces, the United States continued to build amphibious ships, similar to the subclasses created during the war years, but with more sophisticated basic tactical and technical characteristics. The improvement was mainly related to increasing the speed of travel, above all large tank landing ships of the LST type, the construction of which was a priority during these years.
Large amphibious assault ships of the LST type should have ensured the landing of the first echelons of the assault forces at a higher rate. At that time, they were the only type that possessed the ability of "horizontal cargo handling" during the landing of self-propelled equipment and landing forces. This made it possible in some cases, under favorable military-geographical conditions, to achieve greater success, since the landing military equipment had the opportunity to move from ship to shore along the bow. Landing transports and ship docks ensured the possibility of expanding the landing stage and strengthening the positions of the assault force landed from ships of the LST type, and ultimately ensured success in the landing of subsequent echelons.
World powers, with the exception of the United States, Britain and France, have stopped the construction of large and small amphibious ships. Military experts had different opinions on this. One of the weighty arguments against the creation of such ships and ships was that, in conditions of significantly strengthened anti-landing defenses, successful amphibious assault forces were considered unlikely.
This period can be considered the final stage in the creation of maritime amphibious, or amphibious, forces of the military generation. The creation of Russian amphibious landing craft began in the 50s of the last century with the development of the 50 project in the TsKB-1785 of the Ministry of Shipbuilding Industry - a self-propelled scooter with a nasal ramp.
The first domestic middle landing ship of special construction was the landing ship of the 188 project. The lead ship was built in 1958 year. The project developer is TsKB-50. The 188 project ship provided the ability to transport and parachute five medium tanks to the unequipped coast and 350 man of the marines with weapons and light equipment. His nose landing device - double gates and a ramp - made it possible to provide access to the water or receiving floating army equipment with a mass up to 15 t from the water. The personnel of the landing force were located in a special room under the tank deck. The wheelhouse, bridge and landing control post were protected by anti-bullet armor. To protect against self-guided torpedoes on the ship was first used towed guard type BOKA. Artillery armament consisted of two 57-millimeter installations. The speed of a long full stroke in 14 units was provided by two 37DR-type diesel engines with 4000 horsepower in terms of X each. The sailing range was 2000 miles, autonomy for provisions reserves - 10 days.
It was the largest at that time domestic landing ship of special construction. Its full displacement reached 1460 t, length - 74,7 m, width - 11,3 m, draft at full displacement - 2,43 m. Serial construction of these ships was carried out at a shipyard in Vyborg. In total, 1957 – 1963 for this project was built 18 ships.
With the advent of the leadership of the country, Nikita Khrushchev, the development of the Marine amphibious forces of the Navy significantly slowed down. The concept of building a surface fleet that existed at that time was rejected by him. Artillery ships were scrapped. The construction of surface ships, including amphibious ships, was reduced, and the development of the marines was completely stopped. Available in the fleets of the Marine Corps in May 1956, were disbanded. This was reflected in the development of landing ships, the creation of which was just beginning.
A different position in the understanding of this issue was taken by the Admiral of the Soviet Navy Sergei Gorshkov, who from 1956 led the Navy and in many respects determined the construction directions of ships and ships both in the second post-war decade and later, until the middle of 80's yo As a result of the admiral's persistent efforts at the beginning of the 60's, the marines were recreated in all domestic fleets. Intensive development of methods for landing in various conditions for conducting operations on coastal directions began.
In the world of shipbuilding, in 60, amphibious ships and boats continued to be built, the appearance of which was formed on the basis of the experience of the Second World War, but at the same time, in accordance with the new concepts of the use of amphibious forces, their improvement continued. The amphibious sea forces created in the pre-war, war and post-war years in different countries had certain indicators of the effectiveness of landing operations. The presence of such forces has allowed these countries to solve many transport-landing tasks and reduce the possible losses of troops landed on the enemy's coast. This explains the continuation of the mass construction of such facilities in the USSR and in other countries until the 70s.
The development of antiamphibious vehicles and the emergence of new means of destruction required a different approach to the recruitment of amphibious forces with amphibious ships and boats. This approach began in the 60-e with the introduction of aircraft armament on landing ships.
Helicopters were massively and successfully used in combat operations in Vietnam in 1964 – 1975. From now on, amphibious assault ships and amphibious transports began to be equipped with airstrip for occasional helicopter receiving. At the same time, the development of ships with an unconventional hull shape and the introduction of new principles of movement began in the world. Research has been intensified to analyze the possibility of increasing the speed of amphibious amphibious boats through the introduction of dynamic maintenance principles. Serial construction of such ships unfolded in the USSR.
In the United States, the introduction of the concept of creating a universal amphibious assault ship, capable of replacing all subclasses of large amphibious assault ships by the transport and embarkation tasks, began in this period. At the beginning of the 60-s in the USSR, in accordance with shipbuilding programs, the creation of amphibious ships continued, ensuring the solution of the tasks of assisting the advancing ground forces in the coastal directions.
In 1963, TsKB-17, which later became the Nevsky Design Bureau, the GCS transferred design and engineering works to create large amphibious ships from TsKB-50, which later became the second main specialization of the bureau. According to this decision, the chief designer of the 17 project, a tank landing ship, Kuzmin, with a group of employees working with him, was transferred to TsKB-1171. In the process of building the lead ship was reclassified into a large landing I rank. In 1964 – 1975, 14 built four large amphibious assault ships of the 1171 project. The ships of the type "Voronezh Komsomolets" were the first domestic landing ships capable of successfully solving tasks in the ocean zone. High seaworthiness ensured their safe navigation in all sea and ocean theaters.
The creation of the main large landing ship of the 1171 project in 1969 was awarded the State Prize, the winners of which were Ivan Kuzmin, Nikolai Semenov, Nikolai Maksimov, Yuri Koltsov, Yantar’s plant and the customer’s organizations — active participants of the design and construction of this ship.
In 1963, the Central Research Institute of Military Shipbuilding developed a draft tactical and technical assignment for designing a large landing craft of a new type specially adapted for use in the ocean zone during long combat service. The tactical and technical assignment, approved by the commander-in-chief of the Navy at the beginning of 1964, envisaged the development of two variants of the ship in the draft design - with and without the main dock chamber. A new type of project has been assigned an 1174 number.
The new ship was intended for landing vehicles as part of the first echelon of the landing on the coast with a heavy relief (low slope) of the ground in the conditions of opposition of the enemy. This required the presence in it, in addition to the armament of self-defense, as well as military means of suppressing individual enemy firing points of the enemy’s anti-landing defense on the coast; providing increased (compared with large landing ships of the second echelon) speed, better protection of assault forces and facilities during sea crossings, greater survivability and unsinkability and improved equipment deployment to reduce the time for its loading and unloading.
At the end of October 17, at the end of October at TsKB-1964, the development of the draft design of 1174 was decided to change its version: the main version was the dock camera. The ship was designed with the use of industrial weapons and equipment with the widespread introduction of mechanization and automation.
In August, the 1967 of the year, based on the review of the technical project and proposals for it, the Navy and the Ministry of the Shipbuilding Industry decided to adjust it with an increase in the width of the dock chamber to double the number of received flyouts and the possibility of receiving promising landing craft on an air cushion. In addition, it was supposed to strengthen the artillery and aircraft armament due to the additional installation of four X-NUMX-millimeter A-30 machine guns and an increase in the number of Ka-213TB helicopters to four. The revised technical design was approved in May 252.
The construction of a large landing ship of the 1174 project was carried out by the Yantar Baltic Shipbuilding Plant, which is currently part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation. The lead ship of this type "Ivan Rogov" was laid on the horizontal construction site of the new slipway complex in September 1973. The construction technology provided for a maximum reduction in the amount of completion work, with access to sea within a year after the ship was launched. After testing it was handed over to the Navy in June 1978 of the year. In terms of the versatility of the task of landing and the uniqueness of the landing-landing complex, the ship “Ivan Rogov” with a docking chamber and helicopter armament had no analogues in the practice of world military shipbuilding of that time. It was first introduced the use of amphibious air cushion boats, which could leave the dock chamber on the ship’s course.
In 1981, its creation was awarded the State Prize, the laureates of which, along with other active participants in these works, were Chief Designer Boris Pikalkin and Deputy Chief Engineer of Nevsky Design Bureau Yevgeny Timofeev. Until the end of 1989, the Yantar plant built and handed over to the fleet two serial large amphibious ships of this type, replacing in the latter separate samples of combat and technical equipment with more modern ones. "Ivan Rogov" and "Alexander Nikolaev" replenished the composition of the amphibious forces of the Pacific Fleet, and the third large landing ship "Mitrofan Moskalenko" - the composition of the Northern Fleet.
The large landing ships of the 1174 project became the crown of the Soviet period in the development of the landing forces of the fleet. Photos provided by the author
In 1981, the Navy and the USSR Ministry of Shipbuilding Industry, after reviewing the proposals of the General Staff of the Armed Forces on draft plans for building and designing ships for 1981 – 1990, decided to include in the design plan the development of technical proposals for the new large landing ship-helicopter 11780. Upon review tehpredlozheny Navy Commander was considered appropriate to further develop the project 11780 the following main TTE:. Displacement of about 25 thousand tons desantovmestimost - reinforced motorized infantry battalion, six amphibious 1176M type boats or three hovercraft type 1206, 12 military transport Ka-252TB or 24 helicopters of anti-submarine Ka-252PL helicopters when performing anti-submarine missions.
The 11780 project helicopter carrier was almost on a par with the US Navy amphibious assault ships of that time, in terms of airborne capability, and surpassed these ships in carrying capacity of airborne assault and assault capabilities. Creating a ship capable of performing such diverse tasks as landing and anti-submarine defense, had at that time no analogues in the world military shipbuilding.
The technical design was developed in 1984 – 1986. Its variants were repeatedly considered in the Ministry of the ship-building industry, the conclusions of all basic enterprises were received and coordinated. However, the date for creating the lead ship for the 11780 project was postponed to 1997 year. After the collapse of the USSR at the end of 1991, the question of building the BDKV project 11780 for the Russian Navy was not raised.
In January, 1984 of the year and October of 1985, the orders of the Council of Ministers of the USSR were signed, according to which the Neva Design Bureau was designated as the head of technical assistance to the Polish People’s Republic regarding the design and construction of landing ships of 775 / III, 778 and 756 projects for USSR, as well as projects 767 and 769 for the Polish Navy.
In 1994, in accordance with the tactical and technical tasks issued by the Navy, the bureau began to design a new large landing craft that was to replace the large landing craft of the 1171 project, as well as those designed and built in Poland in 1970 – 1992 of the last century 771, 773 medium landing craft and 775 large landing craft. One of the main tasks of the latter is to provide access by internal shipping routes.
At the preliminary design stage, several variants of the ship layout were developed. According to the results of its consideration and approval in 1998, the option that best meets the requirements of the Navy was chosen. The implementation of these requirements in the technical design entailed an increase in the ship’s displacement while maintaining the overall layout and architectural features adopted in the approved draft design. The technical design of a large landing craft and counterparty work were carried out from 1999 to 2004 year.
For the first time in the practice of the Nevsky Design Bureau, this ship was designed based on the implementation of modern technological solutions and a unified information database of design data, three-dimensional prototyping of the ship as a whole and all main premises and posts, landing devices and structures, the technological chain of information processing using the latest application and specialized software packages.
After the technical project was approved in December 2004, the Yantar Baltic Shipbuilding Plant laid the groundwork and began construction of the lead large amphibious ship of the new generation, named Ivan Gren in honor of Admiral Ivan Gren, head of the Leningrad naval defense artillery. Now the lead ship has started the test program.
Currently, the amphibious assault operation is one of the most complex types of joint actions of all types and branches of the armed forces of the country. Over the past decades, domestic shipbuilders have gained a lot of experience in designing amphibious ships of various types. Successful delivery of a number of ships built for the Navy and a foreign customer suggests that the Russian shipbuilding industry as a whole and the United Shipbuilding Corporation in particular are able to cope with the task of creating a new generation landing craft.