Battleship of the XXI century
Despite the many problems and limitations, the installation of armor on modern ships is possible. As already mentioned, there is a weight "underload" (in the absence of free volumes), which can be used to enhance passive protection.
First you need to decide what specifically needs to be protected by armor. During the years of the Second World War, the reservation scheme pursued a very specific goal - to preserve the buoyancy of the ship when it was hit by shells. Therefore, the shell zone was booked in the area of the waterline (just above and below the level of the overhead line). In addition, it is necessary to prevent the detonation of ammunition, loss of the ability to move, fire and manage it. Therefore, the GK guns, their cellars in the building, the GEM, and the control posts were carefully booked. These are the critical zones that ensure the ship’s combat capability, i.e. ability to fight: to shoot, move and not to sink.
In the case of a modern ship, everything is much more complicated. The use of the same criteria for assessing combat capability leads to bloating of volumes that are evaluated as critical.
To conduct aimed fire, the Second World War ship was sufficient to keep the gun itself and its ammunition cellars intact - it could conduct aimed fire, even when the command post was broken, the ship was immobilized, the control tower of the centralized fire control was shot down. Modern weapons less autonomous. They need target designation (either external or own), power supply and communications. This requires the ship to keep its electronics and energy for the ability to fight. Guns can be charged and aimed manually, but rockets require electricity and radar for firing. So, you need to book the hardware of the radar station and the power station in the case, as well as cable routes. But such devices as communication antennas and radar canvases cannot be booked at all.
In this situation, even if the volume of the ZUR cellar is booked, but the enemy RCC will fall into the unarmored part of the building, where, unfortunately, communications equipment or radar CU or electric generators will be located, the ship’s air defense will fail completely. This picture is fully consistent with the criteria for assessing the reliability of technical systems for its weakest element. The unreliability of the system determines its worst component. The artillery ship such components only two - guns with ammunition and GEM. And both of these elements are compact and easily protected by armor. A modern ship has many such components: radars, power stations, cable tracks, missile launchers, etc. And the failure of any of these components leads to the collapse of the entire system.
You can try to assess the stability of certain combat systems of the ship, using the method of assessing the reliability (see footnote at the end of the article). For example, take air defense long-range artillery ships of the era of WWII and modern destroyers and cruisers. Reliability will be understood as the ability of the system to continue to work in case of failure (defeat) of its components. The main difficulty here is to determine the reliability of each of the components. In order to somehow solve this problem, let us take two methods of such a calculation. The first is the equal reliability of all components (let it be 0,8). The second - reliability is proportional to their area, reduced to the total lateral area of the projection of the ship.
As we see, taking into account the relative area in the side projection of the ship, and under equal conditions, the reliability of the system decreases for all modern ships. No wonder. To disarm long-range air defense of the Cleveland cruiser, you need to either destroy all 6 AU 127-mm, or 2 KDP, or power engineering (electricity supply to KDP and AU drives). Destruction of one KDP or several AUs does not lead to complete system failure. In modern RKR type "Glory" for the complete failure of the system you need to hit either the bulk C-300F launcher with missiles, or the illumination-guidance radar, or destroy the power plant. The destroyer “Arly Burke” has higher reliability, primarily due to the separation of the ammunition set by two independent UVPUs and the similar separation of the illumination-guidance radar.
This is a very rough analysis of just one ship armament system, with many assumptions. Moreover, the armored ships are given a serious handicap. For example, all components of the reduced system of a ship of the time of WWII are armored, while in modern ships the antennas are not fundamentally protected (the probability of their defeat is higher). The role of electricity in the combat capability of WWII ships is incommensurable less, because even with the power off, it is possible to continue the fire with manual projectile feed and coarse guidance by means of optics, without centralized control from the control tower. Cellars ammunition artillery ships below the waterline, modern rocket cellars are located just below the upper deck of the hull. And so on.
In fact, the very concept of “warship” acquired a completely different meaning than in the years of the Second World War. If earlier a warship was a platform for a variety of relatively independent (self-contained) weapon components, then a modern ship is a harmonious combat organism with a single nervous system. The destruction of a ship of the times of the Second World War was local in nature - where damage is, there is failure. Everything else that does not fall into the affected area, can work and continue to fight. If a couple of ants die in an anthill - for an anthill it is the little things in life. In a modern ship, hitting the stern will almost inevitably affect what is being done on the bow. This is no longer an anthill, this is the human body, which, having lost an arm or a leg, will not die, but it will no longer be able to fight. These are the objective consequences of cultivation. weapons. It may seem that this is not a development, but a degradation. However, the armored ancestors could only shoot from guns within sight. And modern ships are universal and able to destroy targets hundreds of kilometers away. Such a qualitative leap is accompanied by certain losses, including the complication of armaments and, as a consequence, a decrease in reliability, an increase in vulnerability, and an increased sensitivity to failures.
Therefore, the role of booking in a modern ship is obviously lower than that of their artillery ancestors. If we revive the reservation, then with somewhat different goals - to prevent the immediate death of the ship when directly hit the most explosive systems, such as ammunition cellars and launchers. Such a reservation only slightly improves the combat capability of the ship, but can significantly increase its survivability. This is a chance not to fly into the air instantly, but to try to organize a struggle to save the ship. Finally, this is just a time that can allow the crew to evacuate.
The very concept of the "combat capability" of the ship has changed a lot. The modern battle is so transient and impetuous that even a brief breakdown of a ship can affect the outcome of the battle. If in battles of artillery epoch the application of significant injuries to the enemy could take hours, today it is seconds. If during the years of the Second World War a ship’s exit from a battle was almost equal to sending it to the bottom, then today a ship’s elimination from active combat can only be turning off its radar. Or, if the battle with an external control center - the interception of the aircraft (helicopter) DRLO.
Nevertheless, we will try to assess what a booking could get from a modern warship.
Lyrical digression on target designation
Evaluating the reliability of systems, I want to move away for a while from the topic of booking and raise the accompanying question of target designation for rocket weapons. As shown above, one of the weakest points of a modern ship is its radar and other antennas, whose structural protection is absolutely impossible. In this regard, and also given the successful development of active homing systems, it is sometimes proposed to completely abandon our own general-purpose radar with the transition to obtaining preliminary data on targets from external sources. For example, from a ship's helicopter ARLO or UAVs.
SAM or PKR with active seeker do not need continuous illumination of targets and they need only approximate data on the area and direction of movement of the objects being destroyed. This allows you to go to an external CU.
The reliability of the external control center as a component of the system (for example, the same air defense system) is very difficult to assess. The vulnerability of the sources of the external control center is very high - helicopters are brought together by long-range enemy air defense systems, they are opposed to EW tools. In addition, UAVs, helicopters and other sources of data on targets are dependent on the weather, they need speed and steady communication with the recipient of information. However, the author is not able to accurately determine the reliability of such systems. Conditionally accept such reliability as "no worse" than that of other elements of the system. How will the reliability of such a system change with the abandonment of its own central control center? Let us show by the example of the air defense system Arley Burk.
As you can see, the rejection of the radar-lighting guidance increases the reliability of the system. However, the exclusion from the system of its own means of detecting targets inhibits the growth of system reliability. Without the SPY-1 radar, reliability has increased by only 4%, while duplication of external central and center radars increases reliability by 25%. This suggests that a complete abandonment of its own radar is impossible.
In addition, some radar facilities of modern ships have a number of unique characteristics that are completely undesirable to lose. In Russia, there are unique radio systems of active and passive targeting for anti-ship missiles, with a horizon-wide detection range of enemy ships. This is the RLC "Titanit" and "Monolith". The detection range of the surface ship reaches their 200 and more kilometers, despite the fact that the complex antennas are not even placed on the tops of the masts, but on the roofs of the felling. Abandoning them is simply a crime, because the enemy has no such means. Possessing a similar RLC ship or coastal missile system is completely autonomous and does not depend on any external sources of information.
Possible booking schemes
Let's try to equip with armor relatively modern rocket cruiser "Glory". To do this, compare it with ships of similar size.
From the table it is clear that the RRC “Glory” can be fully loaded with an additional 1700 tons of load, which will be about 15,5% of the resulting displacement in 11 000 tons. It fully corresponds to the parameters of the cruisers of the Second World War period. And TARKR “Peter the Great” can withstand the reinforcement of armor from 4500 tons of load, which will be 15,9% of the standard displacement.
Consider possible reservation schemes.
Having booked only the most fire and explosive zones of the ship and its GEM, the armor protection thickness was reduced by almost 2 times compared to the Cleveland LCR, which was also considered not the most powerful and successful at the time of the Second World War. And this is despite the fact that the most explosive places of an artillery ship (a cellar of shells and charges) are located below the waterline and are generally not at risk of damage. In rocket ships, volumes containing tons of gunpowder are located immediately below the deck and high above the waterline.
Another scheme is possible with the protection of only the most dangerous zones with a priority of thickness. About the main belt and the power plant will have in this case to forget. We concentrate all the armor around the cellars of C-300F, RCC, 130-mm projectiles and GKP. In this case, the thickness of the armor grows to 100 mm, but the area covered with armor in the area of the side projection of the ship drops to ridiculous 12,6%. RCC should be very unlucky so that she got exactly in these places.
In both booking options, the Ak-630 artillery installations and their cellars, power stations with generators, storage of ammunition and helicopter fuel, steering gear, all hardware electronics and cable routes remain completely defenseless. All this was simply absent at Cleveland, so the designers did not even think about protecting them. Getting into any unreserved area for Cleveland did not promise fatal consequences. The rupture of a couple of kilograms of armor-piercing explosives (or even a high-explosive) projectile outside the critical zones could not threaten the ship as a whole. “Cleveland” could endure more than a dozen of such hits during the long hours of battle.
With modern ships everything is different. RCC containing dozens and even hundreds of times more explosives, hitting unregistered volumes, will cause so severe injuries that the ship almost immediately loses its combat capability, even if the critical armored zones remain intact. Just one hit CRP OTN with warhead weight 250-300 kg leads to the complete destruction of the interior of the ship within 10-15 radius from the site of the explosion. This is greater than the width of the case. And, most importantly, the armored ships of the Second World War era in these unprotected areas did not have systems that directly affect the ability to conduct combat. A modern cruiser has its hardware, power stations, cable tracks, radio electronics, and communications equipment. And all this is not covered by armor! If we try to stretch the booking area and on their volumes, then the thickness of such protection will fall to completely ridiculous 20-30 mm.
However, the proposed scheme is quite viable. The armor protects the most dangerous zones of the ship from splinters and fires, close breaks. But will 100-mm steel barrier protect against direct hit and penetration of a modern ASM of the corresponding class (RTD or TN)?
The ending should ...
(*) More information about the calculation of reliability can be found here: https://ru.wikipedia.org/