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The aircraft carrier "Admiral Kuznetsov" will have to "turn"

The aircraft carrier "Admiral Kuznetsov" will have to "turn"

July 25 2018
Tags: Russia, Ships, Fleet, Navy, Modernization, Armament

To unload the old equipment from the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, we will have to "turn" the ship, said the general director of the ship repair center "Zvezdochka" Sergei Marichev.

He noted that the work on the power plant of the ship is not simple, they are connected with the dismantling, unloading and loading of "large-sized, heavy and complex equipment", for which the employees of the shipyard will have to "turn" the regiment, Tass reports.

"And" razvorotit "will have to science. The work will be carried out afloat. To unload the old equipment, it will be necessary to install a large enough load-carrying capacity on the take-off deck - this is an additional load on the hull structures, in which technological cut-outs will be made, "Marichev explained.

He added that the repairmen have to make the necessary engineering calculations, including, probably, it will be necessary to further strengthen the hull structures in the voltage zones.

Repair and modernization of "Admiral Kuznetsov" will cost 1 billion dollars. The aircraft carrying cruiser will return to the Navy in 2021.

How to improve the only Russian aircraft carrier

The only aircraft-carrying cruiser of the Russian Navy Admiral Kuznetsov needs total modernization. Finally, the The media reported signing a long-awaited contract for repairs with the modernization of the aircraft carrier and the beginning of its implementation by the ship repair center "Zvezdochka" (more precisely, the branch of the Central Shipyard - 35 shipyard, Murmansk). To date, there is everything necessary to update and extend the service life of the system-forming ship of the Russian Navy. Approved [tactical-] technical task (TTZ) for repair and modernization of TAVKR; a preliminary technical project was developed; the deadlines for the completion of work and the transfer of the ship to the fleet (2020 and 2021); finally, the necessary funds are planned.

60 billion rubles, which is planned to spend - serious money. At the official rate, it is about 1 billion US dollars, at purchasing power parity - almost three times as much. For 60 billion, it is now possible to build three CKR pr. 11356 or two frigates pr. 22350. This is an amount commensurate with the cost of upgrading the heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser Admiral Nakhimov (including inflation of about 75 billion rubles), despite the fact that Nakhimov is being built anew.

Based on the available information, let's try to understand what these funds can be spent on. We will decompose the real and hypothetical components of the ROC with the conventional name "Modernization of TAVKR Ave 11435" in order of decreasing importance for the combat effectiveness of the updated aircraft carrier.

Aircraft of sight and guidance

The weakest link in TAVKR armament is the absence of a radar tracking and guidance aircraft (RLDN, the more familiar abbreviation is DRLO). There is an opinion that for the take-off of aircraft of this purpose a catapult is needed, but this is not so. The Yak-44, developed in the USSR, was a plane of catapult-trampline take-off and was intended not only for 11437 (Ulyanovsk), but also for 11435 / 11436 (Kuznetsov / Varyag). In September 1990 model Yak-44 even visited the board of TAVKR av. 11435. However, for known reasons, the development of the machine was stopped shortly after the protection of the sketch design and the construction of the first flight model.

Theoretically, the work on Yak-44 could be resumed. However, to complete the development of the aircraft it will take at least five years, and its seriality will be limited to several machines (only for Kuznetsov). This is due to the fact that the basis of the design of the Yakovlev aircraft laid technical solutions 30-year-old. For the aircraft carrier of the new project, a fundamentally new machine will be required, which makes the probability of putting Yak-44 on the wing as such extremely unlikely.

In the circumstances, Kuznetsov will have to be satisfied with Ka-31 helicopters - they are suitable for detecting low-flying air targets (fighter-bombers - at a range of up to 350 km, cruise missiles - presumably up to 280 km). Su-33 can also be used for the same purpose - to detect ship groupings in the mode of long-range air patrol (patrol time at the border is two hours without suspension fuel tanks, which are not currently used). Even with the outdated H001 airborne radar, the patrol Su-33 is able to detect the enemy aircraft carrier at a distance of at least 600 km from the carrier vehicle, which is already commensurate with the capabilities of the American AUG.

Main caliber

The main weapon of the aircraft carrier is the strike component of his air group. In our case, Su-33 fighter-bombers and MiG-29K (UB). Most of the time the air group exists (and is financed) separately from the carrier, being a part of air bases of naval aviation of the Navy. In other words, there is no certainty that in 60 billion rubles, planned for the repair of Kuznetsov, includes funds for the modernization of aircraft (LA). At the same time, there is no doubt that a three-year "simple" air group should not go to waste.

MiGs are new cars, and there is really nothing to modernize there. Another thing - the world's best deck fighter Su-33, equipped with the recent SVP-24-33 system "Hephaestus", which allows you to work on the shore free-fall bombs no worse than precision weapons. In 2015, it was announced the upcoming modernization of the Su-33 fleet, in which Ufa resumed production of modified turbojet engines AL-31F (3 series) with an additional special regime used for take-off with full combat load. For complete happiness, two further improvements are needed: 1) the replacement of the Sword weapon control system with a more modern one, allowing the use of new air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles (RVV-BD, RVV-SD, X -31AD, etc.); 2) provision of the possibility of using suspended fuel tanks to improve the Su-33 LTX as RLDN and tanker aircraft.

And again: after repairs with modernization, Kuznetsov should finally stop going into the sea under naked (as was observed during all eight of its combat services).

The air group of TAVKR should be staffed by the state, which, presumably, should be the following: one 1 × 12 squadron of Su-33, two three-link (2 × 12) squadrons of MiG-29K (UB), four Ka-31 RLADH helicopters, six helicopters Ka-27PL, Ka-27PS, Ka-29 or Ka-52. Total 46 machines, of which 32 are located in the hangar and 14 - on the starting and technical positions on the flight deck.

Aviation Management System

In the run-up to the modernization of Kuznetsov, interesting details concerning the operability of some of its weapons systems became known. In particular, it turned out that the aviation control system in the near zone "Resistor-K4" is capable of landing only in the daytime and in good weather. Therefore, at the request of the customer, the "Resistor" was upgraded. First of all - to ensure automatic approach to landing at night and in difficult weather conditions.

Round-the-clock and all-weather (within the limits of the given seaworthiness) use of aviation together with reduction of loading on pilots will increase combat capabilities of TAVKR at least twice.


Due to a break in the cables of the airfighters of the TAVKR, the Navy of the Russian Navy has lost three aircraft. In two cases, the cars rolled out of the deck and fell overboard, in the third the entangled cables caused the fuel that was waiting for the boarding. Fortunately, the pilots survived, but we can no longer afford to lose madly expensive cars and risk the priceless lives of elite pilots because of a piece of twisted metal wire. The manufacturer of the finishers - the St. Petersburg Proletarian Plant - should do everything possible to multiply increase the reliability of their products and test them with a special predilection on one of our "Threads".

Aircraft ammunition

It is necessary to clarify what was said in the section on the "main caliber" - the main weapon of the aircraft carrier is the attack aircraft in the system with aircraft weapons of destruction (TSA). Without such an air group, Kuznetsova becomes a flying group such as "Russian Knights" or "Swifts". Taking into account the fact that after upgrading with modernization, TAVKR will become a full-fledged multi-purpose aircraft carrier with mixed AG (Su-33 plus MiG-29K), providing conditions for storing and supplying the appropriate amount of TSA with the proper ratio becomes especially important.

Before the campaign 2016-2017 years. to the shores of Syria 35 SRZ has done a tremendous job of re-equipping the cellars of the cruiser's aircraft ammunition. However, this work was, in fact, of an emergency nature and had as its ultimate goal the experimental exploitation of weapons in the course of military operations with the involvement of less than half of the staff number of attack aircraft. Now the designers and production workers face the difficult task of equipping TAVKR with maximum. So that his air group had the opportunity to conduct intensive military operations for at least a week without replenishment of stocks with the voltage of 1,5 per day (based on the experience of the US Navy in Vietnam).


Thoughts about the need to increase the hangar "Kuznetsova" come for three reasons.

1) hangar holds only 70% of the staff air group, while the aircraft carrier is based beyond the Arctic Circle and is intended, among other things, for operations in the Arctic; 2), the area of ​​the hangar of the 11435 project is almost half that of Nimitsa, which is generally not surprising. However, the relative values ​​also do not cause delight - the hangar of our aircraft carrier occupies 57% of the length and 74% of the width of the ship at the waterline, the American - 66% and 82%; 3) according to popular opinion, the anti-ship missile system "Granit" launchers placed in the forward part of TAVKR are superfluous (useless), and due to their dismantling it would be possible to increase the hangar.

The increase in the width of the hangar is hard to realize and will not yield tangible dividends. To accommodate at least four MiG-29K (UB), you need to extend the hangar to 20 meters. Behind the aft bulkhead is, most likely, the towed GAS of the "Polynom" complex, which it is unreasonable to refuse, due to the deficit of security ships. When trying to extend the hangar in the nose due to the dismantling of the "Granit" PU, it is necessary to squeeze the rooms released for it into smaller areas of a different configuration. In general, such a large-scale rearrangement does not fit into the framework of the planned rapid modernization in order to return the ship as soon as possible.


With a higher reliability and resistance to combat damage characteristic of a springboard, the catapult has a number of advantages with respect to aircraft. Namely: 1) a large take-off mass; 2) non-ramp takeoff and, as a consequence, an increase in the range and or combat load; 3) higher speed after decoupling from the deck, allowing immediately to start maneuvering and performing a combat mission.

Unfortunately, the installation of a catapult is not just a task that can not be accomplished in the period of three years of modernization of TAVKR. This task is impossible at this stage in principle. In the USSR, it was possible to build and test a steam catapult for Ulyanovsk on the Crimean Nitka. However, it does not make sense to recreate it because of the obsolescence of the product and the need for a radical rearrangement of the aircraft's under-deck space. As for the electromagnetic catapult, the development of which is already underway, the completion of the work is not expected in the near future. But the most important thing is that it requires an atomic power plant of high power.


As far as we know, serious problems with the boilers were with Kuznetsov only during his very first military service in the Mediterranean at 1995-1996. However, the fact that for 27 years TAVKR went to the far water only eight times (on average, one output in 3,3 year), speaks of the insufficient reliability of its boiler plant. A reliable power plant is necessary for the aircraft carrier, including for constant readiness to develop full combat speed for the purpose of facilitating take-off from a springboard, and to increase the operational voltage of a single Russian TAVKR at least up to two BS in three years.

Surprisingly for our realities, four kettles (out of eight) were made for Kuznetsov well in advance. I would like to hope that the newly manufactured boilers are no longer KVG-4 in its original form, but their modified version or new units such as KVG-6M (with super modern automation that would minimize the notorious human factor) and that the four remaining boilers will be brought to an appropriate level during the repair process.

Impact rocket complex

If the criticism of the deployment of anti-ship missile systems (SCRC) on the first four domestic TAVKR is quite appropriate (they occupied the entire nose part of the upper deck, devaluating the aviation carrying function of cruisers to a large extent), then Kuznetsova is criticized more by inertia than by justice. 12 PU SCRC Granit removed under the deck, do not interfere with take-off from the springboard and take not too much volume.

Not that this was a big secret, but, in addition to the partial working capacity of the aviation management complex, it became known in 2017 for certain about the inability of Kuznetsov's Granite. This follows from the voiced "the need to restore the system of impact weapons." It seems that such a need is expedient only if the existing SCRC is replaced with the Kalibr-NK missile weapon in the ratio of at least 1: 4 (as on 11442M).

Refusal of the strike missile system can be useful only for placing an additional cellar of aviation ammunition in its place, and here it is necessary to decide what is better - some quantity of TSA or 48 Caliber ammunition.

Information for consideration: in the case of the deployment of the ship strike group in the Kuznetsov and Nakhimov detachments (not counting other guard ships) in order to inflict a massive missile strike along the shore, the ammunition of the long-range cruise missiles 3M14, taking into account the ammunition of the tank, increases by 60% and reaches 128 units.


If the Kuznetsov anti-aircraft gun were the same, it would still have produced the proper impression. Hardly anyone will argue that the 192 missiles of the Dagger "Dagger", 256 missiles ZRAC "Dirk", 22 × 6 trunks and 66 000 30-mm shells "Cortica" and AK-630M can reflect not one or two attacks of the RCC enemy.

The intention to rearm TAVKR on "Politement-Redut" and "Pantsir-M" is best described by the formula "life forced". The fact is that new ships guarding the ocean zone will appear in the Navy soon, so in 2021-2025. Only two cruisers armed with the Fort (-M) air defense system - Admiral Nakhimov and Marshal Ustinov (unless Ustinov is sent south for the time of repairs to Moscow, will be able to provide the zone air defense of the shipborne aircraft carrier group (CAG) of the Northern Fleet) ") And two or four frigates pr. 22350, the seaworthiness of which leaves much to be desired. BCP pr. 1155 are able to take care only of their own self-defense, and the destroyer OVR Admiral Ushakov has little hope.

In the current situation, new anti-aircraft systems will be at Kuznetsov's time. "Pantsir-M" missile systems and 9M100 missiles of the "Polymet-Redut" missile system will cover its near and near zones, and the 9M96 and 9M96 XRAMs of the same "Redut" will provide zone air defense of all CAGs in the middle and far zones.

At the same time, Admiral Kuznetsov will become the world's only aircraft carrier with long-range air defense systems, and taking into account Caliber-NK (if the stars are located in its favor) will be even more classified than a repair aircraft before being classified as a heavy aircraft carrying cruiser.

Alexander Shishkin,

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