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The Russian Navy is turning into a "coastal defense fleet"

Russia is losing prospects as a global maritime power. At least, such conclusions can be drawn on the basis of official statements of the Ministry of Defense regarding the priorities of the development of the Navy for the next ten years. In the development of surface ships, the emphasis was laid on the construction of ships of the so-called near sea zone (BMZ). How will the Russian navy look like in the end?

29 November, the press service of the Russian military department reported on the statement of Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov made at a meeting with the leadership of the Navy and representatives of USC, dedicated to the implementation of the state defense order-2017. The statement says that the construction of ships of the near-sea zone (BMZ) with high-precision cruise missiles, as well as strategic (SSBNS) and multi-purpose submarines will be the key point of the naval part of the state armament program (GVP) at 2018-2027.

It is in this order: BMZ ships, then SSBNs and multipurpose submarines. Thus, combat surface ships not only of the ocean, but even of the far sea zone remained, if not brackets, then on the sidelines of the new GPV. "The main provisions that we have formed have been approved," the Deputy Minister summed up.

What is happening looks almost like a conspiracy against the ocean prospects of the Russian navy.

Ten years for history is not a god-knows what term, but for a single person - a huge (especially for a military retiree or veteran of the OPK). If the former military pilots and aircraft builders, tankmen and tank builders, infantrymen and many others waited for the holiday on their street, the elderly military men and shipwrights state officials (with and without shoulder straps) were deprived of such an opportunity. Moreover, they delayed (if not forever) the revival and multiplication of Russia's naval power in comparison with the naval potential of the USSR. Of course, not by the number of pennants, but by the shock power, efficiency and variety of tasks to be solved.

Until recently, nothing foretold troubles. 20 July, 2017, the President approved the "Fundamentals of the state policy of the Russian Federation in the field of naval activities for the period up to 2030", which states that "only the presence of a strong navy will provide Russia a leading position in a multipolar world in the 21st century" that Russia will not allow "the exclusive superiority [over its navy] of US naval forces and other leading maritime powers", "will strive to secure it in the second place in the world in terms of combat capabilities," and repeatedly mentioned the need for activities lnosti fleet "in the remote areas of the oceans."

30 July 2017 for the first time in our newest history was held the grandiose main naval parade in St. Petersburg and Kronstadt and parades in Severomorsk, Vladivostok, Sevastopol and Baltiysk, which reminded the citizens of Russia that we have not just a fleet but an ocean fleet , which can be proud of. 6 October, at a conference call with the leadership of the Armed Forces, Sergei Shoigu recalled that "one of the priorities of Russian military policy is to strengthen the power of the Navy," 9 October at a meeting of the Maritime Board Dmitry Rogozin said inadmissibility of losing Russia's position in the World Ocean, 27 October again Shoigu (at the collegium of the Ministry of Defense): "The fleet solved the task of [the naval presence of Russia in all strategically important regions of the World Ocean] before. But in the conditions of an unstable military-political situation, it has acquired special significance. " Along with the recent raid of the shipborne aircraft carrier group led by Kuznetsov to the shores of Syria, which was unusually widely covered in the media, and virtually continuous demonstration of the flag by ships of the I-II rank around the world. All this produced a sense of naval boom and forward movement.

And suddenly - the "near sea zone".

To combat ships of the near sea zone (roughly 500 nautical miles from the coast), currently under construction for the Russian Navy and armed cruise missiles, include: large diesel-electric submarines (XPS, XPS) 677 and 636.3, multi-purpose corvettes, etc. 20380 and 20385, small missile ships (MRK) pr. 22800 and 21631. Complex missile weapons (KRO) in a modular design can potentially take aboard and patrol ships (PC), etc. 22160 Ave. - a new subclass that largely duplicates the PSCR of the Coastguard of the Frontier Service of the FSB, invented by the Navy's commander-in-chief, solved with great effort. The ridiculous avenue 20386 does not even want to be mentioned because of its redistribution, interim, nedovoruzhennosti and shamefully ugly appearance. The whole hope that "Daring" will become the only highly experienced "ugly duckling" in our fleet. In general, whatever it says in the promotional materials, all of the projects listed are tied to the shore.

The submarines of 636.3 Ave (improved 877) and 677 (without an air-independent power plant, which is not yet available) have an autonomy of 45 days, but an extremely short range underwater - 400 and 650 miles, respectively, at a speed of only 3 node. The range of navigation with full underwater travel (about 20 knots) was not disclosed, however, according to some sources, the first series of 877 had a complete battery discharge time of 17 at a maximum speed of 17 miles (7500 miles!), And since then has changed. Since in the combat situation the use of an RDU (device for operating a diesel under water) providing a cruising range up to 7 miles on 636.3 nodes (XNUMX) is not possible (sharply reduced stealthiness), boats have nothing else to do but deploy (alone or in the veil) in the immediate vicinity of their bases (in the BMZ) and perform tasks in the specified area or on the line, being at low speed, anchored or on the ground.

In contrast to the submarine (at the depth of storms there is no),

small surface ships (NK BMZ) have a very limited seaworthiness in the use of weapons, navigability (ability to maintain a given speed) and habitability (providing comfortable conditions for the life of the personnel).

No innovative contours of the hull, brought to perfection in the hydrodynamic basins of the Krylov Scientific Center, no ultra-modern pitching stabilizers will allow small craftsmen to feel confident and solve problems in the far sea and ocean areas. They will be thrown on the waves like chips, disarmed and defenseless, and combat posts, cabins and cabins will turn into torture chambers for personnel. Even to such trusted prerogans as BKP pr. 1155, which with the ocean on the "you", sometimes it is necessary to wait out the bad weather in a safe place (as it was recently with "Vice Admiral Kulakov" in the North Sea) in order to avoid unnecessary problems.

Small NK BMZ, no doubt, can work in remote waters (those "remote regions of the World Ocean"), but do not confuse "far water" and "distant sea zone" (called in the West green-water and ending at about 1500 miles from the coastline). Corvettes, MRKs and PCs, accompanied by supply vessels, are capable of making long-distance transitions, snuggling up to the shore and waiting for unfavorable hydrometeorological conditions (in other words, a storm), and then to carry out combat service in BMZ at a great distance from the permanent station. This is confirmed by "Boeing" and "Smart", which are currently at a distance of the order of 4000 and 5500 miles from Baltiysk. However, for the normal functioning of the fleet forces in remote areas of the ocean, if not naval bases, then at least the logistics centers (PMP) with the appropriate infrastructure are needed, which will be able to repair the materiel, replenish supplies and rest personnel. And we have so far only one such PIERC - in the warring Syria.

There are big doubts that for 10 of the coming years it will be possible to organize some kind of PMTO (at least one or two) somewhere else besides Tartous. Immediate (in the eyes of the astonished world) the erection of a full military air base Khmeimim produces a very strong impression, but the construction of the Navy (PMTO) is quite another matter. In addition to the rather complicated diplomatic side of the issue, mini SRHs (shipyards) will be needed instead of the currently used not so much new floating masters (which we also have very few), paddle boats, cranes, berths (or reconstruction of berths), fuel depots, possibly dredging and etc. The basing of ships designed according to the modular principle (22160), raises the problems of creating a PMTO in a square, because it requires large warehouses for storing modules, workshops for servicing them, additional premises s shore and shipboard technicians. Otherwise, new-fashioned multifunctional PCs will turn into highly specialized unarmed combat units.

In the absence of naval bases or armored vehicles abroad, BMZ ships with high-precision cruise missiles, the construction of which is laid in the GP 2018-2027, is intended to become the basis of the coastal defense fleet. In this fleet, all of our navy is in danger of developing, if its construction will be led by people with a land worldview. Another hypostasis of the BMZ ships will be nuclear and non-nuclear deterrence in the reach zone of the 3M14 CRD "Caliber" (2500 and 1500 km respectively). To do this, it is not necessary to leave the boundaries of the Baltic, Black, Barents and Japan seas (just like the X-RAX submarine SSNN, there is no need to move far away from Gadzhiyevo or Vilyuchinsk). The new "mosquito fleet" of Russia, without leaving the house, will keep the whole of Europe, the entire Middle East, Japan, South Korea under the guns of medium-range missiles with SLVs, and if something goes wrong, then Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong. From the previously unprecedented opportunities given by the Navy to its current builders, it would take a spirit, but instead of it tears would come to my eyes.

The basis of the sea power of the country are the warships of the main classes. There is no canonical (conventional) interpretation of this term in nature, but it would be logical to classify nuclear and non-nuclear submarines (with the exception of special purpose submarines), aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers (including BODs), frigates (including TFRs), large corvettes (say, from 2000 tons full) and seagoing landing ships (universal, helicopter ships-docks, BDK) - that is all that allows to project force to remote regions of the world in varying degrees. All the other self-propelled floating engineering structures of the Navy belong to the warships of the protection of the water area (OVR) - the very notorious BMZ (IRAs, small anti-submarine ships - IGC, missile boats, minesweepers), small landing craft and boats, special purpose vehicles (reconnaissance, command complex, etc.), sea and raid support vessels.

To date, the average age of combat ships of the main classes of the Russian Navy has already overcome the psychological barrier in 25 years (the "normal" service life of the ship) and reached 25,3 a year.

At the same time, the share of ships of new projects under the age of 10 years inclusive is only 17% (17 / 103), if it is counted "on the heads", which is not entirely correct, since the aircraft carrier and the corvette have equal weight in this approach. When recalculating in terms of total displacement, the share decreases to 11%, which sharply dissonances with 53% of the modern weapons of the Navy, voiced by Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov at the Defense Ministry's board 7 November (apparently everything was counted - Grachata, Raptors, raiding tugboats, and it is "on the head"). An attempt to evaluate the same indicators at the time of the completion of the GP 2018-2027 gives the following picture (subject to the preservation of the Soviet legacy and the minimum program for the transfer to the fleet of five SSNR Ave 955A, six APKR pr. 885M, four DEPL pr. 677.1, 636.3, four 22350 frigates, four 11356 XRF ships, one 20386 corvette, two 20385 Ave., five 20380 Ave and two 11711 Ave.): the average age at the end of 2027 is 27,6 years, the proportion of new ships (by displacement) - 22%.

Thus, the implementation of the program for the construction of the coastal defense fleet will lead to further aging of the main naval composition (although it should be the other way around) and a negligible increase in the share of new combat units. Well, if right after the end of another dark period in the history of the Russian fleet, it will be possible to lay down new aircraft carriers and destroyers - then by the middle of the 2030 we will be able to begin updating the ocean component of the Navy. And before that time to solve the tasks of combat service in the distant waters and demonstrate the flag will have basically the same 8 BCP pr 1155 and the three RRC pr. 1164, the average age of which by the end of 2035 year will approach the beyond the "non-navy" 48 years. Despite the fact that these outstanding creations of the domestic court industry with an elegant predatory silhouette will look more and more anachronistic every year, there is no other way out. Representing the great sea power in the World Ocean should be large ships, respecting one's appearance. 22160, "Karakurts" and "Buyanov" will not help here.

One might think that bias towards BMZ is caused by financial difficulties experienced by the country and its Armed Forces. However, almost every day we hear that the economic situation in Russia has stabilized, the national currency has also not been in crisis, the GDP has started to grow, as well as the collection of taxes, the price of oil exceeds the state budget, and the defense spending has diminished , but not at all, and only at the expense of those types and types of the Armed Forces, which have already been largely saturated with new models of weapons and military equipment (SV, VKS, Strategic Missile Forces, Airborne Forces). Therefore, if the difficulties really occur (which is not a fact), they are most likely caused by a redistribution of funds to please some momentary whims of the Ministry of Defense.

It is very disappointing that for a quarter of a century since the collapse of the USSR and the formation of the Russian Federation, we have not been able to begin updating the surface forces of the ocean component of the Navy. Even more offensive is that for 16 years since the laying of "Stereguschey" (21.12.2001), perceived by the society as the beginning of the revival of the Russian fleet, no surface ships of the 1st rank (oceanic zone) were laid. Finally, with bitterness and heaviness on the heart, we must state that the time that was enough for the Emperor Alexander III and his followers, admirals von Tirpitz and Gorshkov, to bring the military fleets of their states to the second place in the world (by 1904 we are in the worst case shared it with France), the modern Russian court industry and its captains were not enough even to approach the starting line. One of the shameful results of our sluggishness is soon (after the transfer of the PLA Navy to 2028 two new aircraft carriers, at least four large destroyers, Ave. 055 and not only) will lose the second position in the report card on the ranks of the leading maritime powers, which at the beginning of 2017 we shared with China with a difference of some 1,3% (according to the total total displacement of the ships of the main classes).

At the same time, I want to believe that the well-known Russian proverb "slowly harnesses, but quickly rides" will prove to be prophetic in relation to Russian shipbuilding and the construction of the oceanic Navy after 2027.

A source: LOOK

Author: Alexander Shishkin, Shipbuilding Engineer

Tags: Russia, Ships, Navy, Fleet, Analytics