At the end of December last year, the U.S. Navy intelligence released a report “Russian Navy. Historical transformation". Frankly speaking, the study turned out to be so-so - on the C grade. The document, compiled by a leading expert, George Fedoroff, looks more like a term paper student in the second year of study at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, rather than an in-depth analysis of the intelligence agency. On the other hand, this small-volume essay on the Russian Navy has everything: from Varangian campaigns to the Greeks to today.
We will not delve into history, especially since we will not find any discoveries for the sophisticated reader of NVO. But it’s worth mentioning today’s day in the mirror of this report. It is alleged that the Russian Navy "represents a serious challenge to the United States."
FEAR BEFORE "CALIBROM"
A deep impression on the overseas expert, as you might guess, of Russian origin, was made by the attacks of the Caspian ships flotilla Caliber-NK cruise missiles for the purposes of the Islamic State terrorist organization banned in Russia. The study devoted more space to them than to other Russian naval weapons.
Small artillery ships (MAK) of the 21630 "Buyan" project and small missile ships (MRK) of the 21631 "Buyan-M" in the section on new surface ships of the Russian fleet are even placed in front of frigates and corvettes. Two schemes are very intelligible.
The first one shows the damage radii by “calibers” launched from the waters of the Caspian, Black, Baltic and Barents seas. With an 1000 flight range of miles, i.e., about 1852 km (note that a number of authoritative sources say that the maximum range of these cruise missiles is 2000 and even 2500 km), the entire Europe, except for Spain and Portugal, can hit them, most of the states of Central Asia, as well as some countries of the Middle East.
The second diagram shows how “victims” of “caliber” will be Japan, Korea and Alaska. Obviously, the report was compiled before the diesel-electric submarine Rostov-on-Don of the 06363 project attacked the objects of the IG 8 of December 2015 of the year from under the water with Caliber-PL missiles. Otherwise, the third scheme would have to be placed in this work, in which almost half of the territory of the United States would be shown, which could be the object of potential strikes by “caliber” of Russian submarines.
SUCCESS ON BACKGROUND PROBLEMS
Indeed, last year was a triumph for the Russian naval weapons and above all cruise missiles of the Caliber family. However, their undoubted success did not reduce the urgency of the problems experienced by the Russian Navy. This is especially true of non-stopping reductions in the naval composition of the ship. The loss of retired combat units, alas, is not compensated by the number of newly commissioned.
It should be noted that following the results of the shipbuilding year, almost no bravura reports were heard from either the high-ranking representatives of the Ministry of Defense, nor the command of the Navy, or the shipbuilding industry. Specific figures were made only in the report of Sergei Shoigu at the extended meeting of the board of the Ministry of Defense 11 December 2015. As the head of the Russian Defense Ministry stated, “the supply of two multi-purpose submarines and eight surface ships allowed us to maintain the pace of increasing the combat potential of the Navy and raise the share of modern ships to 39%.” At the same time, he noted that the fleet had received less two surface ships.
We have already talked about the chronic dishonesty of officials of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation who are responsible for providing indicators of the state and development of the Navy to the highest military-political leadership of the country. Here and in this case obvious disinformation is visible. Or, in the National Center for Defense Management, where all data about deliveries of military equipment and weapons to the Armed Forces of the country in real time, computer crashes go to?
But back to the figures voiced by the Minister of Defense. With submarines there is clarity. We are talking about two diesel-electric submarines "Stary Oskol" and "Krasnodar" project 06363, which became part of the Navy last year. Apparently, this time the Ministry of Defense abandoned the practice of including submarines and surface ships that had been repaired and modernized into the number of "new recruits". In 2014, due to this purely Russian know-how of the Russian Navy, the Ekaterinburg project 667BDRM, the Ladny and Pytlivny escort ships of the 1135 / 1135М project and the large landing ship Caesar Kunikov of the 775 / II project, which were built, were added to the Russian Navy. in 70 – 80-ies of the last century and only underwent repairs. But at the expense of such “accounting”, it was possible to “inflate” the number of ships entering the Navy by four units. What, you see, a lot. And you could reach up to seven units. For some reason they forgot about the nuclear submarine Obninsk of the project 671РТМК and Tomsk of the project 949А, diesel submarine Vyborg of the project 877, returned from repair in 2014 year. By the way, last year Tomsk became the winner of the Russian Navy championship in training and combat launches of anti-ship cruise missiles, and Obninsk conducted a successful military service.
Last year, in addition to the “Old Oskol” and “Krasnodar”, the multi-purpose submarines “Gepard” of the 971 project and the Pskov project of the 945A and the diesel-electric submarine Vladikavkaz of the 877 project could be counted as the “new”. However, the know-how of the model 2014, still refused. Such a manipulation looks painfully odious.
But if there is clarity with submarines, then there is no clarity with surface ships. Solid fog, rather, fantasy. The fact is that last year the Russian Navy actually received only two surface combat ships. These are the Green Dol and Serpukhov small rocket ships of the Buyan-M project 21631. They are brothers of those who in October and November launched massive strikes with “caliber” on the positions of terrorists in Syria. On December 12 in Sevastopol, the St. Andrew's flag was raised on them, and on the same day they took up combat duty.
The need for these IRAs is great. And not only in the Caspian and the Black Sea. They are also successfully able to operate in the southern Baltic and the Gulf of Finland. But the pace of their construction is uneven and insufficient. In the 2013 year, the Navy transferred two IRAs of this project (“Grad Sviyazhsk” and “Uglich”), in 2014, only one unit arrived (“Great Ustyug”), in 2015 there was a replenishment in the face of the already called “Green Dola” and "Serpukhov". In the construction are four IRAs of this type, intended for the Black Sea Fleet. This year, the launch of the Vyshny Volochka is expected, in the 2017-m - of the Orekhova-Zuev and Ingushetia, in the 2018-m - of the "Grayvoron". According to previous plans, the series was planned from 12 units. Now it has been reduced to nine.
At the end of December last year, the MRK "Uragan" and "Typhoon" were laid - the lead and first serial ships of the 22800 "Karakurt" project, which should have higher seaworthy qualities in comparison with the "Buyan-M" so that they could be used in the northern seas and the Pacific. The leaders of the construction plant of these ships claim that they will be handed over to the customer at the end of 2017 of the year and during the year of 2018. I would like to hope so, all the more so that this enterprise is one of the most advanced and technically equipped in the industry. But on his stocks, warships had never been built before. And although the Karakurt project has been somewhat simplified compared to the original plan (for example, instead of the yet untested Pantsir-M PLA, well-developed ZAK AK-630М will be installed), practice shows that at least three will be needed for the construction and testing of the lead ship. - four years, that is, it will enter the Navy no earlier than 2019 – 2020.
Pour into a basin of water ...
Meanwhile, instead of increasing the pace of construction of well-established and well-established in the production of "Buyanov-M", the so-called patrol ships (PC) of the 22160 project are being laid and built. We have already written more than once that the Russian Navy needs them like an umbrella fish, since they actually duplicate the functions of border guard ships.
In order to "push through" the PC project 22160, resort to a variety of tricks. Like, these are the ships of tomorrow. They say they have a modular container, that is, a replaceable weapon system. It should be noted that overseas fashion for modular weapons in shipbuilding is fading away. The Americans did not manage to create combat-ready replaceable modules for their littoral warships (LBK) of the Freedom and Independence type. Last December, the Pentagon cut their construction program from 52 to 40 units. It happened not without the influence of the impression that Russian “Buyans-M” with “Calibers” made on the military-political leadership of the United States. The LBK under construction and under construction, which were reclassified into frigates, will be re-equipped with anti-ship missiles with a firing range of up to 185 km. On the modules already almost do not stutter. With the 33 Corps, they will launch a series of modifications, which will in fact become a new project with enhanced strike weapons.
We have the same modularity, which came to Russia with a delay of a good ten years, is still in the trend. At the Innovation Day of the Ministry of Defense in Kubinka near Moscow at the beginning of October last year, one could see the PC model of the 22160 project, to which not only the anti-ship CUK URAN, but also the autonomous deep-water apparatus of the 16811 Consul project were attached. But it is unlikely that anyone would think of the absurd idea of equipping this unique and without exaggeration with a precision mini-submarine, capable of diving to a depth of more than 6000 m, a patrolman, albeit modular.
Not bypassed the "calibration" of the Russian Navy and the 22160 project. They talked about it before, but now they directly rank the PC as the carrier of long-range cruise missiles. The Interpolitech-2015 exhibition, which took place in the second half of October, showed the patrol model with Calibers placed in two standard 40-foot containers — starting modules. Each has four rockets, that is, the total is the same as there are on Buyan-M and Karakurtakh, but with a displacement twice as large as the MRK.
Last year, the Black Sea Fleet’s combat squadron was replenished with two 06363 submarines. Photos from the official website of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
The Club-K complex is the export designation of the same “Calibrov”, designed to be placed on civilian ships, railway platforms and car trailers. Its main feature is stealth, since it is almost impossible to distinguish a container with missiles from that in which, say, a potato is transported. Of course, this system is capable of receiving ships and military vessels. Thus, at the International Naval Show last year in St. Petersburg, a model of an Arctic-class patrol vessel with a displacement of 6800 t was presented, which, if necessary, can be equipped with a Caliber-K complex in three 40-foot containers, two of which are four missiles, and in the third - the module management.
The total displacement of the PC project 22160 – 1700 t, which is clearly not enough to accommodate containerized "Gauges" and other weapons, including a helicopter. For some reason, there is no control module on it.
It is doubtful the very possibility of the normal firing of "Gauges" by these patrol ships. Starting modules are located directly at the aft cut of the PC. The length of the “Calibers”, depending on the modification, is from 6,2 to 8,22 m, and the start is vertical, that is, before launching, the rocket needs to be placed “pop”. On a narrow feed with a small draft, even with a slight agitation, the product will inevitably sway from side to side.
And if the rocket is still able to launch? Spend a simple experience. Buy in the "Children's World" toy boat. Pour into a bath or just in a basin of water and run the model there. Take a pencil and lightly strike them from top to bottom from the left or right side of the stern section of the toy. She danced like Vanka-vstanka. That will also shoot the "Gauges" of the PC project 22160, even in calm. Is it worth the risk? Moreover, the "Buyany-M" is cheaper.
Where did the other six surface ships come from in the report of the Minister of Defense? Could it be that the middle reconnaissance ship (communications vessel) Yuri Ivanov of the 18280 project, on which the naval flag was raised on Navy Day, that is, 26 of July last year, was added to their list? But no, he was accepted into the Navy 30 in December 2014 of the year, that is, does not fit into the offset of the past year.
It seems that the number of ships, that is, combat units, included auxiliary vessels: the oceanographic research vessel "Yantar" of the 22010 project, whose sailing off the American coast in August-September of last year caused a nervous reaction in Washington, the sea transport of weapons "Akademik Kovalyov" of the 20180TV project (20181) and the rescue ship "Igor Belousov" project 21130. But still it's five, not eight. The sixth is still possible to attract a large sea dry-cargo transport “Yauza” of the icebreaking class, last year completing a seven-year (!) Repair and modernization project 550М. It is intended to supply military garrisons and naval bases in the Arctic, but due to the lack of, or rather, the fleet’s lack of transport vessels, it took the Novorossiysk – Tartus Syrian Express Line to provide parts of HVMim in the SAR.
Last year, the fleet received about 30 anti-sabotage, amphibious, rescue and diving boats, as well as tugboats, floating cranes and floats. But they all do not belong to the category “ship”.
With two ships undelivered navy also appears the problem. As Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Yury Borisov said to journalists after the ceremony of laying the MRC of the Karakurt type, “unfortunately, the schedules for this year for Admiral Grigorovich and Admiral Essen are a little off, they are being transferred to 2016 year”. Why it happened, we don’t bother to judge, but, obviously, the customer had reasons to postpone acceptance, although the lead frigate of the 11356Р / M project was planned to be handed over to the fleet as early as 2014. December 30 last year, "Admiral Grigorovich", having successfully shot out in the North with "calibers" and the Stil-1 air defense system, completed state tests, but still did not qualify for 2015 of the year, as he had yet to revise the mechanisms and units at the construction plant in Kaliningrad.
Vice-Admiral Viktor Bursuk, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy for Armaments, in turn said that admission to the Northern Fleet of the Admiral Gorshkov frigate, the 22350 lead project, is being transferred to 2016 year due to the “large amount of ship armament testing”. 1 February of this year, this frigate will celebrate the 10 anniversary from the date of the bookmark. It has already passed a significant amount of tests in the Baltic and in the ranges of the Northern Fleet, including carried out successful launches of the Caliber family of missiles. What kind of weapons says Victor Bursuk? The Package-NK anti-submarine and anti-torpedo defense complex has been tested on 20380 corvettes. The remaining 130-mm artillery A-192 “Armat” artillery, MILAN defense of the “Palash” near zone and the “Redut-Polymer” air defense system. Which of these systems inhibits the surrender of "Admiral Gorshkov", do not undertake to judge. We only note that the “Redoubt” air defense missile system installed on the corvettes of the 20380 project still does not work in accordance with the stated tactical and technical characteristics. Meanwhile, a source from the military-industrial complex told RIA Newsthat "the transfer to the Navy of the lead frigate of the 22350 project" Admiral Gorshkov "is shifting to the right, at the end of 2016 of the year."
In addition to frigates, the large landing ship (BDK) "Ivan Gren" of the 11711 project and the minesweeper "Alexander Obukhov" of the 12700 "Alexandrite" project are in the list of ships that were not delivered last year. Both of them - the head in his series. I remember that the Ministry of Defense wanted to get the “Perfect” 2015 project corvette before the end of 20380, too, but this did not happen. This ship will also celebrate this year's 10 anniversary from the day it was bookmarked. But such dates are somehow not encouraging. Russian frigates and corvettes are built much longer than ships of similar classes in the Myanmar shipyards, where they most recently began to master the art of military shipbuilding.
The ship of logistics support “Elbrus” - the head of the 23120 project - did not have time for delivery last year. It was laid in November in 2012. Such vessels, created on the basis of suppliers who serve offshore oil and gas platforms, are usually built in one and a half, from two years of strength. It took us more than four years. And there is no result yet. In addition, on the eve of the New Year there was a small fire on Elbrus.
Let us summarize the arithmetic with which the officials of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation failed. The Russian fleet in the 2015 year received from the industry two new submarines, two surface combat ships, three auxiliary vessels, about 30 boats, tugboats, floating cranes and float ships. Three frigates, a corvette, a BDK, a minesweeper and an auxiliary vessel — six combat ships and vessels in total — were lost. In the light of these figures, commenting on the minister’s words about the share of modern ships in the Navy "up to 39%" is even somehow embarrassing. Of course, this is also fiction. It seems that Sergei Kujugetovich Shoigu should be thoroughly cleaned by the staff of his staff, who cannot count to 10, which the first-grade students do.
QUIET HARBOR OF THE "FLYING DUTCHS"
But in the first place, the Navy and the Ministry of Defense, that is, the customers, suffer from underdelivery. In theory, the main supplier of warships and submarines for the fleet should be the United Shipbuilding Corporation, which includes 80% of the enterprises in the industry. It belongs to the state on 100%, and 75% of orders it carries out falls on military products. In the incomplete nine years of its existence, seven executives have changed at USC. Among them were a general, a former high-ranking government official, advanced managers, a financier, and even one professional shipbuilder. And the result - the cat wept. "Admiralty Shipyards" and Sevmash both built submarines without the participation of USC, and continue to build them, already entering the holding. But the surface shipbuilding is in deep knockout.
It is not by chance that the Ministry of Defense and the FSB prefer to order ships and boats not from the USC, but from companies that do not belong to this association. They do work faster and better. Only because of the lack of production capacity they build ships, boats and vessels, as a rule, of a small displacement.
Obviously, the reasons, to put it mildly, the unsatisfactory activities of USC are rooted not in careless managers, although it is often present, but in the holding itself, the mechanism of which does not work for the final result - real combat units, but for cash execution of state defense orders, that is, for monetary development means.
Therefore, this cozy harbor of the “flying Dutch” needs serious reconstruction, and perhaps even “dismemberment” into several large companies that must compete with each other, as is the case, for example, in the Chinese shipbuilding industry. Otherwise, we are still doomed to inflated numbers and double-entry bookkeeping in military shipbuilding.