I will offer my opinion to the court of a dear audience of the Military Review.
We surrendered Yugoslavia (Serbia), Libya and Iraq, we turned away from the Poles, Bulgarians and others. Matter of the past. Now the BRICS countries, who disagree with the world order of the Anglo-Saxons, are looking for support from each other. And these are only those who dared passively not to obey, to whom they have not yet sent color revolutions and terrorists. I will not reveal the truth if I say that only China and Russia are capable at the present time, no, not to challenge, but simply to have and defend their point of view, different from the United States. And what kind of real help could we provide to such potential allies as Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, India, Vietnam?
The ways of US pressure are simple and clear: the arrival of aircraft carriers, the declaration of an economic blockade, the creation of a no-fly zone, civil war or terrorists ... Of this set, only the naval component is not available to the BRICS countries. And it will not be possible to come closer to its solution by building ships of the “Leader” type.
It is proposed to change the concept of the ship. Russia cannot afford to have a fleet of a dozen nuclear aircraft carriers and amphibious groups with cover and support ships. We must try to seize the initiative at sea in another way. It is well known how expensive and time-consuming R & D in the field of air defense. When a call arises, Americans will have to answer it with dignity, on the subject and forget about the projection of force around the world in the form of aircraft carriers. The territory of the USA, EU, Australia is washed by the oceans and, if a threat from the ocean arises from the air, then the European missile defense system in Poland and Romania will seem like children's pocket expenses!
Even the nuclear destroyers of the Leader project will not succeed in creating such a threat to a potential enemy. By the way, why a "destroyer"? Indeed, in size it surpasses all the "Ticonderogs" and "Glory" and no less than the atomic predecessors from the United States. Cruiser - it sounds proudly, and in fact, the assigned tasks are more suitable. The following tasks are proposed. Creation of a no-fly zone, both along the route and at the point of the combat mission. Destruction of the enemy aircraft carrier group. Destruction of the enemy amphibious assault group. Destruction aviation and enemy naval bases in coastal areas. Raider actions on sea and air communications. Ensuring the stability of the forces of the fleet during the passage by sea. Localization of the amphibious assault landing area.
And what's in the arsenal? Let's start, so to speak, with the main caliber. Yes, from that very “Calibra-NK”, with a stated range of 2600 km and the ability to start from the CWD with discreteness in 3-5 seconds, very similar to the BGM-109 “Tomahawk” product. “Buyan-M” with a displacement of 950 tons carries 8 “Calibrov”, reworked “Ohio” with a displacement of 18500 tons carries 154 “Tomahawka”, the average temperature in the hospital is 120 tons per product. I would like to propose as a carrier for the “Calibrov” an analogy with existing cruisers of the type “Kirov”, which in the modern world are also called line cruisers for the eyes. So, for such a ship 120-144 rocket type "Calibra-NK" in combination for various purposes will not become an unbearable burden. As a highlight for the new cruiser, I would like to preserve the well-proven 16 weapons in the form of the PU SM-248 under the 3М70 "Vulkan" anti-ship missiles, similar to those of the "Glory" type cruisers. Still, it is necessary to do away with aircraft carriers decisively and beautifully, especially since no one is going to remove the Volcanoes from service.
We are awaiting the question of intelligence and target designation for such weapons. If for “Calibra-NK” when attacking ground targets I will modestly keep silent, referring to the well-known recent events and examples from Syria, then for the “Volcanoes” I will offer to recall the Falklands war and the KNo-31 helicopters unfairly forgotten in our fleet. So moving smoothly to the mixed air group of the ship, I want to immediately limit my wild imagination to four permanently-based helicopters and 6-8 drones for reconnaissance purposes. Yes, the DRLO KA-31 helicopters are machines of the last century, but when building such ships, one should not leave them blind. If in the reality of the 20 century’s end, if the Fort had long-range 5В55 missiles with a maximum range of 75 kilometers, the helicopter should not have been removed beyond these limits so as not to become prey of deck aircraft, now it can cover more long-range 48H6EX2 rocket with a range of 200 kilometers. Naturally, even 2-4 modern AEW helicopters will not be able to provide round-the-clock surveillance and reconnaissance at sea crossings and in the area of combat missions, they should be replaced by drones. And helicopters should be used in combat mode or in the event of a threat exposed by other reconnaissance methods. When performing tasks of raiding, fighting piracy, escorting a detachment of ships and others, it is possible to replace the pair of KA-31 with any others from the arsenal of naval aviation (impact KA-52K; transport-combat KA-29 or anti-submarine KA-27PL).
Now about defense. We will operate within the framework of the already existing nomenclature of weapons, not repeating the experience of Kirov-type cruisers, of which only the fourth ship of the series received all the weapons planned for the project. The long-range air defense zone is the Fort-M in the amount of two units with a common ammunition in 120 48Н6Х2 missiles; near air defense zone - “Dagger” in the amount of two units with a common ammunition in 200 9М331 missiles. On the new ship, you just need to get rid of the revolver launchers of both complexes. And finally, the Pantsir-M ZRPK consists of four batteries (8 modules) with a total ammunition load of 256М9 and 335 missiles in 64000. The modules on the superstructure should be placed in such a way that at least two batteries can work from any direction. This circumstance acquires special significance in case of complete abandonment of other models of cannon artillery on the ship.
The presence of the modern anti-submarine defense anti-aircraft defense anti-submarine antennas in combination with the PLUR “Waterfall” and RBU-12000 “Boa” on the ship is enough to provide defense against the attacks of submarines, with time there will be other hunters on them. A place in the stern, which takes on the Glory and Orlans towed automated sonar system, is very useful for the mixed aircraft group of the ship.
This should be a large and heavy ship with a displacement within 25.000 tons of armor and new technologies, approximate dimensions in 240 meters of length, 30 meters of width and draft to 10 meters. Ice-class hull contours, thrusters, controls, and pitching comfort should provide the cruiser with a sustained maximum speed at the 32-33 knot when cruising to the 24-25 knots. Such excessive speed characteristics should ensure the unconditional fulfillment of the task of searching, detecting and accompanying the carrier-based strike group of a potential enemy in any weather and climatic conditions of the world’s ocean.
The purpose and tasks of the combat use of the ship leave no alternative to the use of a nuclear power plant on it. Without limiting the flight of design ideas of design organizations and customer requirements, the author would like to elaborate more on his vision of a set of problems and technical solutions. So, probably, to many, the 30 meters of ship width, which requires the stayer speed characteristics, seem overvalued. But what tasks are supposed to be solved for this account? The use of a double bottom over the entire significant width of the ship, the provision of the “ice class” of the outer skin of the outer hull near the waterline and the presence of a constructive anti-torpedo protection of the “battleship” type are designed to provide accommodation and reliable protection of the three reactors. In this case, it is supposed to spread two reactor reactors, which, naturally, are located in the aft part of the hull, and a backup combat reactor, located from the first two to the first third of the hull length. The two reactor reactors will run on three propellers. The central main (and possibly larger diameter) is traditionally located in the keel plane and is driven through the shaft line by an ordinary turbo-tooth unit of forward movement only. The two side screws are driven by azipod electric propeller speakers, and they also carry out ship control along the course while moving. In the bow to arrange hump thrusters for maneuvering in the home and in difficult ice conditions. Such a scheme of propulsion involves the abandonment of the traditional steering, which will give some power savings and a speed increment. In addition, the effectiveness of rudder control on small moves and in ice is sharply reduced, and the location of the steering columns on the opposite sides also gives the ship greater combat stability when a torpedo hits one of them. Electric propulsion thrusters, systems calm roll and “azipodov” provided steam turbine generators, significantly reduce and simplify the design of steam pipelines, increase its reliability, will allow more flexible selection of operating modes of nuclear reactors. And the ability to transfer electricity to all of these consumers from a backup combat reactor and, conversely, will generally increase the reliability of the ship as a single organism. Three reactors also do not seem to be a luxury with the complete abandonment of various backup diesel and gas turbine generators, which do not require storage and refueling at sea with fossil fuels, which is important in terms of improving fire and explosion safety. Of course, the availability and storage of stocks of fuel and lubricants will be required for the combat work of the mixed air group of the ship and the possibility of refueling helicopters of the detachment’s ships during joint long-distance hikes. All this is possible to localize in the aft part of the times, and does not require an extended nomenclature - two.
The presence and placement on the cruiser of the main rocket armament in the vertical-launch installations and the basing of the mixed air group certainly implies large open free areas of the upper deck and aft tip, as well as significant amounts of underdeck and overboard space (and if possible, I apologize, and reserve space). It is precisely for the convenience of the location and the creation of maximum conditions for the realization of the combat capabilities of the armament that displacement reserves and hull dimensions may be needed. Considering that time and scientific and technical progress do not stand still, and the construction of such a ship, especially the series in 4-8 units will take more than one “five-year period”, and they will have a service life of forty years, requires laying a modular design and the possibility wide and deep modernization. After all, where, how on these ships to place in the future elements of the mobile naval missile defense components?
One should not neglect the fact that the use of missile and air defense weapons, in particular, in or around the storm, requires stabilization of antenna posts, combat modules of the SCRA, making certain corrections and eliminating errors resulting from rolling. And the more stable and stable the main platform for deploying weapons systems, the higher the probability of hitting targets, and the lower the ammunition consumption.
The order of combat use of such a ship may be as follows. In peacetime, escorting American aircraft carriers in those areas of the world’s ocean where Slava-type missile cruisers cannot do this, but Russia has a need to demonstrate its flag or fulfill allied obligations. It could be Yugoslavia with Libya, now it is the Persian Gulf or Venezuela with Cuba, in the future Argentina and Vietnam may become. The presence of such a ship will be cheaper than the future or the modern Russian aircraft carrier, and the performance of the combat mission by unmanned Calibers may be even more efficient than manned aircraft of the carrier group. Yes, "Peter the Great" can demonstrate the flag in the North Sea off the coast of Britain, and in the USA Florida, but it does not have a "Caliber" and does not have that threat to force to build an air defense-missile defense on both coasts of America and on all the British Isles. The ice class of the ship will allow it to be quickly relocated from the Northern Fleet to the Pacific Fleet and, conversely, along the Northern Sea Route at any time of the year, both independently and accompanied by modern Russian icebreakers, which will eliminate the preconditions of the next Tsushima and quickly increase the power of the ship’s strike forces.