On September 23, 2006, an extraordinary event took place in the world shipbuilding: in the city of Marinette, Wisconsin (USA), from the stocks of the Marinette Marine Shipyard of the Gibbs & Cox corporation, the world's first ship of a new class was launched - a coastal combat ship with the symbolic name "Freedom", designed to embody the idea of the superiority of the US Navy in the shallow and coastal regions of the World Ocean in the 21st century.
Coastal combat ship LCS-1 "Freedom" after launching on September 23, 2006.
The program for the construction of ships of this class is one of the priority directions of the development of the US Navy, the purpose of which is to bring more than 50 coastal zone warships into the fleet. Their distinctive features should be high speed and maneuverability, promising weapon systems made on a modular basis, and their main tasks should be the fight against the "asymmetric threat" for the American nuclear missile ocean fleet in coastal waters, which is seen in the face of low-noise diesel submarines, mine formations and high-speed combat boats of the enemy.
The birth of a new concept
The emergence of a new class of ships in the US Navy is not accidental. Since the early 1990s, the geopolitical picture of the world began to change dramatically: new states appeared and old ones disappeared, but most importantly, the Soviet Union collapsed, as a result of which the global confrontation between the two superpowers ended, and the world became “unipolar”. At the same time, the military doctrines of the leading Western states, which had previously seen the USSR as "the most probable enemy", began to change. The Pentagon was no exception, where they quickly realized that the most widespread at the end of the 20th century were the so-called local conflicts arising in various regions of the world. Thus, the reorientation of the fleet to new tasks began, which became operations in the coastal zone, including support for the landing of an assault force, as well as zonal anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense at sea. In addition, in the context of conquering dominance in the coastal zone, anti-submarine and mine defense of ships and formations was also defined.
This new concept of using the fleet in alleged conflicts, combined with the rapid development of modern military technologies, predetermined the revision of the US Navy's combat strength. In the new century, it was planned to build a new generation of warships. Initially, promising DD-21 destroyers were conceived, and ultimately they were supposed to be DD (X) destroyers, CG (X) cruisers and coastal superiority warships, or Littoral Combat Ships. We will talk about them further.
Design image of a coastal zone warship developed by a group of companies led by "Lockheed Martin"
Here it is worth making a small digression and recalling that the ships of the coastal zone (Littoral Combatants) abroad have always included the classes of small and medium displacement ships operating mainly off the coast: corvettes, strike and patrol boats, mine-sweeping ships, coast guard ships. And the word Littoral itself has a direct translation, meaning "coastal". Now, in the US Navy, the term Littoral Combat Ship (abbreviated as LCS) is defined precisely as a new class (possibly temporarily). And in many Russian-language sources this word began to be used without translation, as a result of which the unofficial term "littoral warships" appeared.The fundamental difference between this class of ships was that they were intended for operations primarily off the enemy's coast.
So, already in 1991 (simultaneously with the collapse of the USSR), the United States began to develop operational and technical requirements for surface combat ships that would meet the tasks of the fleet in the new millennium. Since January 1995, within the framework of the Surface Combatant-21 program, a cost-effectiveness analysis of many variants of warships of different classes, as well as their combinations in the composition of ship formations, has been carried out. As a result, a recommendation was made that the most expedient is the creation of a family of universal surface ships, created according to a single program.
The concept of a new surface ship, designated DD-21, has been worked out since December 2000, when a US $ 238 million contract was signed with the development companies to develop a draft design of a new generation destroyer for a preliminary demonstration and assessment of its main characteristics. The design was carried out on a competitive basis between two groups, one of which was led by General Dynamics Bath Iron Works in conjunction with Lockheed Martin Corporation, and the second by Northrop Grumman's Ingalls Shipbuilding in conjunction with Raytheon Systems. In November 2001, the DD-21 program was revised, after which it was further developed under the name DD (X). Now, in addition to the destroyer, it was also planned to create a zone air defense / missile defense cruiser under the designation CG (X), as well as a multifunctional ship for conquering dominance in the coastal zone under the designation LCS. It was assumed that in the near future, these ships will form the backbone of the US Navy strike forces, along with the destroyers of the URO of the Spruance and Arleigh Burke types, as well as the URO cruisers of the Ticonderoga class, while the frigates will be withdrawn from the fleet. type "Oliver H. Perry" and minesweepers of the "Avenger" type.
Design image of a coastal zone warship developed by a group of companies led by General Dynamics
In 2002, Chief of Staff of the US Navy Verne Clark presented to Congress the Sea Power-21 strategy of the naval forces, and, as an integral part of it, the operational concept of the Sea Shield, in accordance with which preliminary studies of the coastal zone ship were carried out. The Sea Shield concept was designed to provide a favorable operational environment for the strike forces of the fleet and the invasion forces, that is, their anti-aircraft, anti-missile, anti-submarine and anti-mine defense in the sea zone immediately adjacent to enemy territory. According to Verne Clarke, the coastal zone warships were supposed to occupy that niche of naval operations, where the use of oceanic zone ships is either too risky or too expensive. Since, despite the fact that modern naval combat systems can effectively operate on the high seas, the threats posed by diesel submarines, missile boats and enemy mine weapons can complicate or even disrupt military operations in the coastal zone. From that moment on, the LCS program received a "green light".
Based on the foregoing, we can make an unambiguous conclusion that the coastal zone warships will have to become an organic addition to the main strike forces, operating in coastal and shallow sea areas against low-noise non-nuclear submarines of the enemy, his surface ships of medium and small displacement, identifying and destroying mine positions, as well as coastal defense facilities. Thus, the fleet will achieve complete superiority in the coastal zone. As the commander of the US Navy Gordon England noted: “our task is to create a small, fast, maneuverable and fairly inexpensive ship in the DD (X) family of warships, which would have the ability to quickly re-equip, depending on the specific combat mission, up to providing launches cruise missiles and actions of special operations forces”.Among other things, the new ship was conceived as one of the key elements of the FORCEnet system - a military computer network that ensures the exchange of tactical and reconnaissance information between individual combat units (ships, submarines, naval aviation, ground forces, etc.), which would promptly supplied the command with all the necessary data.
Coastal combat ship design
As you know, at present there are many "hot spots" in the world, where in coastal areas the threat of an attack from the enemy with the involvement of minimal forces and means is very high. One of the events that prompted an early revision of the concept of using the fleet in coastal waters was the incident with the US Navy destroyer DDG-67 "Cole", which on October 12, 2000 was attacked on the roadstead of the port of Aden (Yemen). The submarine loaded with explosives left an impressive hole in the side of an expensive modern warship and permanently incapacitated it. As a result, the restoration required 14 months of repairs, which cost $ 250 million.
LCS-1 "Freedom" in full swing for RIMPAC exercise
After the approval of the LCS program, its priority budget financing was announced, and by September 2002, a tactical and technical task was formulated. After the tender, six contracts were concluded worth $ 500 thousand each, and only 3 months were given to carry out the pre-draft design! By the due date, February 6, 2003, six different conceptual designs were presented to the US Navy command: two skeg-type hovercraft, two deep-V single-hulls, one outrigger trimaran and one semi-submerged catamaran with a small waterline area. Ultimately, after comprehensive evaluations, three consortia were selected by the client in July 2003 and contracted for the preliminary design. The following year, contractors submitted the following draft designs:
• Single-hull displacement type ship with deep V-type hull lines and water cannons as the main propellers. The development was carried out by a consortium led by Lockheed Martin, which also included Bollinger Shipyards, Gibbs & Cox, Marinette Marine. The project was first unveiled in April 2004 during the Washington, DC Aerospace and Naval Exhibition.
A distinctive feature of the ship was the shape of the semi-displacement type hull, or "sea blade". Previously, this design was used in the design of small high-speed civilian ships, and now it is used on larger ones. In particular, the high-speed ferry MDV-3000 "Jupiter", built by the Italian company "Finkantieri", whose specialists also participated in the design of the LCS, has a similar hull shape.
• Trimaran with wave piersing outriggers and outlines of the main building, and also with water jets as main propellers. The main development was carried out by the Bath Iron Works Division of General Dynamics, as well as by Austal USA, BAE Systems, Boeing, CAE Marine Systems, Maritime Applied Physics Corp..
Here, the rich experience in the construction of civil trimaran by Austal was taken into account and the previously developed solutions were used to the maximum. The prototypes were the English experienced trimaran "Triton" and the Australian civilian "Benchijigua Express", which showed high seaworthiness, handling and stability during operation.
• Double-hull hovercraft of skeg type made of composite materials. The main contractor is Raytheon, as well as John J. Mullen Associates, Atlantic Marine, Goodrich EPP, Umoe Mandal.
LCS-2 "Independence" view from the nose. The 57-mm gun mount, integrated mast and antenna posts are clearly visible
The project was developed on the basis of the Norwegian small patrol ship "Skjold".The Russian small missile ships "Bora" and "Samum" of project 1239, designed in the USSR and put into operation in the new Russia, have a similar hull design.
Of the three projects listed above, the last one was ultimately rejected on May 27, 2004, despite a number of original decisions. Further work was carried out by consortia led by Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics.
Despite the fact that the developers applied a different approach to the design of a promising coastal zone ship, according to the terms of reference, their main characteristics were similar: a displacement of no more than 3000 tons, a draft of approximately 3 meters, a full speed of up to 50 knots with a sea state of up to 3 points, a range sailing up to 4500 miles at a speed of 20 knots, autonomy of about 20 days The main originally specified feature of the new ships was their modular construction principle, which meant, depending on the tasks set, to install combat complexes and auxiliary systems for various purposes on the LCS. The use of the principle of "open architecture" was especially stipulated, which would allow in the future relatively quickly, without carrying out a large amount of work, to introduce new technical means on ships and use the most modern technologies. As a result, homogeneous formations of such ships would become a powerful and versatile force, distinguished by high combat potential and maneuverability, as well as secretive actions. Thus, the developers needed to create a ship that would most fully meet the following requirements of the US Navy:
NLOS vertical launch rocket tests. In the future, it is planned to equip them with LCS ships.
• act both autonomously and in cooperation with the forces and means of the armed forces of the allied states;
• to solve the assigned tasks in the conditions of intensive electronic countermeasures of the enemy;
• ensure the operation of manned or unmanned aerial vehicles (with the possibility of integrating helicopters of the MH-60 / SN-60 family), remotely controlled surface and underwater vehicles;
• stay in the designated patrol area for a long period of time, both as part of a detachment of warships and in autonomous navigation;
• have a system of automatic control of combat and other damage;
• have the lowest levels of physical fields (Stealth technology) to reduce the ship's signature in various ranges;
• have the most efficient economic speed when patrolling and during long-distance ocean crossings;
• have a relatively shallow draft, allowing them to operate in shallow coastal waters;
• have high combat survivability and the maximum possible degree of crew protection;
• have the ability to perform short-term maneuvers at maximum speed (for example, in the process of taking off or pursuing enemy submarines or fast boats);
• be able to detect targets over the horizon and destroy them before entering the affected area of their own onboard assets;
• have interoperability with modern and advanced control and communications systems of the Navy and other types of armed forces, including allied and friendly countries;
• be able to receive fuel and cargo on the move at sea;
• have duplication of all major ship systems and weapon systems;
And, finally, have an acceptable purchase price and reduced operating costs.
Previously, in the tactical and technical assignment issued by the command of the US Navy to the developers, it was envisaged to ensure the possibility of installing interchangeable modules on the ship to solve the following priority tasks:
• antiboat defense of single ships and vessels, detachments of warships and convoys of ships;
• performing the functions of coast guard (border guard) ships;
• reconnaissance and surveillance;
• anti-submarine defense in the coastal areas of the seas and oceans;
• mine action;
• support for the actions of special operations forces;
• operational material and technical support during the transfer of troops, equipment and cargo.
LCS-2 Independence at the dock. The underwater part of the main body and outriggers is clearly visible
The creation of a ship with such capabilities took place for the first time. The main feature of such a scheme was that the ship was a platform, and each separately taken replaceable target module had to accommodate the entire weapon system (detection equipment, equipment, operator positions, weapons). At the same time, the methods of communication of the combat module with general ship systems and data exchange channels were standardized. This would allow in the future to carry out the modernization of the ship's weapons without affecting the platform itself.
The first swallow
Test ship of the coastal zone FSF-1 Sea Fighter has a catamaran-type hull with a large take-off and landing deck
However, even a year before the start of the conceptual design of the LCS, the Pentagon decided to build an experimental vessel, on which it would be possible to test the real concept of high-speed maneuverable warships of an unconventional scheme and with a modular construction principle.
As a result, the US Navy Research Directorate initiated the design and construction of an experimental coastal zone ship LSC (X) (Littoral Surface Craft - Experimental), named "Sea Fighter" and designation FSF-1 (Fast Sea Frame). The catamaran hull with a small waterline area was made of aluminum alloy and had a shallow draft. The double-hull design ensured high speed and seaworthiness, and four water cannons were installed as propellers. But the main thing is that the ship was originally designed according to the modular principle, which was one of the main conditions for the implementation of this project. This made it possible to work out the principle of quickly changing modules for various purposes, depending on the task at hand. It was mandatory to provide for the take-off and landing of shipborne helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles, and the use of small boats, including remotely controlled ones. For this, the British company BMT Nigel Gee Ltd., which designed the ship, provided for an extensive take-off and landing area and a large useful volume of interior spaces with a through cargo deck, like on Ro-Ro vessels. The appearance of "Sea Fighter" turned out to be unusual - a wide spacious deck, reverse side slopes, a small superstructure, shifted to the port side.
FSF-1 Sea Fighter feed. The ramp for launching and lifting surface and underwater vehicles is clearly visible
The ship was built at the Nichols Brother's Boat Builders shipyard in Freeland, Washington. The order was placed on February 15, 2003, the keel was laid on June 5, 2003, launched on February 5, 2005, and on May 31 of the same year it was accepted into the US Navy. "Sea Fighter" has a total displacement of 950 tons, the greatest length is 79.9 m (at the waterline 73 m), a width of 21.9 m, a draft of 3.5 m. The main power plant is a combined diesel-gas turbine (two diesel engines MTU 16V595 TE90 and two GE LM2500 gas turbines). Diesels are used at economic speed and turbines are used to achieve full speed. Four rotary Rolls-Royce 125SII water cannons allow the ship to reach speeds of up to 50 knots (59 knots were reached during the tests), the cruising range is 4,400 miles at a speed of just over 20 knots, the crew is 26 people. The upper deck is equipped with two separate platforms that provide takeoff and landing of helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles at speeds up to full. For launching and boarding boats or underwater vehicles up to 11 meters long, a stern device with a retractable ramp located in the center plane serves.Under the upper deck is a compartment for 12 removable combat modules located side by side. They go upstairs with a special lift located immediately behind the superstructure. The use of weapons systems is provided mainly from helicopters and UAVs, but it is also possible to place modules with anti-ship missiles directly on the upper deck.
The main tactical and technical characteristics of the experimental ship FSF-1 "Sea Fighter" of the US Navy
The tests of the Sea Fighter and its further operation immediately yielded positive results: the potential capabilities of the ships of this scheme were studied, the modular principle of the formation of onboard weapons was worked out, which allows, depending on the type of module, to solve tasks that were previously only possible for specialized ships. The obtained data were actively used by developers participating in the LCS creation program.
In addition, the command of the US Navy and the US Coast Guard concluded that the ships of the "Sea Fighter" class have a significant advantage when used as ships to ensure security and law and order in their internal waters, as well as to protect national interests in the maritime economic zone.
Prototypes and analogues
Swedish corvette K32 "Helsingborg" type "Visby" built with extensive use of technology "Stealth"
Of course, the "progenitor" of the LCS ships without much exaggeration can be considered the Swedish corvette YS2000 "Visby", the design and construction of which has been carried out by the "Kockums" company since the mid-1990s. This ship became revolutionary in many technical and layout decisions:
• It had an unusual architecture of flat panels with large angles of inclination with the use of radio-absorbing construction materials (composite plastic), which was dictated by the condition to reduce the visibility in the radar and IR spectra of radiation by several orders of magnitude;
• The weapon was carried out completely hidden flush inside the superstructures and the hull, which again was dictated by the condition of reducing the visibility, and even the tower of the gun mount located outside had an "inconspicuous" design of radio-absorbing material with a retractable barrel. Mooring equipment and antenna posts are located in the same way - what usually increases the RCS;
• Powerful guided water cannons were used as propellers, which gave the ship high speed and maneuverability, and also made it possible to operate safely in the coastal shallow areas of the sea.
The introduction of the "Stealth" technology on this ship is closely related to the specifics of its application. The corvette should operate in the coastal zone, where the presence of skerries, small islands and the broken coastline itself will serve as natural obstacles to the enemy's radar, making it difficult to detect.
The "deep V" hull contours give the "Visby" corvette good seaworthiness due to the lower hydrodynamic resistance. But another feature is the presence of a controllable transom plate, which reduces drag at high speeds by adjusting the trim aft. The superstructure, located in the middle part, is a single unit with the hull. Behind it there is a helipad, which occupies more than a third of the ship's length, but there is no hangar, although space is reserved for a light helicopter or helicopter-type UAV under the upper deck. The ship's displacement is 640 tons, the main dimensions are 73 x 10.4 x 2.4 meters, the diesel-gas turbine unit with a capacity of 18600 kW allows reaching a speed of 35 knots, and a cruising range of 2300 miles.
The main tasks of the Visby-class corvettes were mine and anti-submarine defense of territorial waters, so their armament, in addition to the 57-mm artillery system SAK 57 L / 70, includes two 127-mm anti-submarine rocket launchers,four torpedo tubes for 400-mm anti-submarine torpedoes and remotely controlled underwater vehicles “Double Eagle” for searching and destroying mines. To illuminate the surface and underwater environment, the ship is equipped with the Sea Giraffe radar and the Hydra hydroacoustic complex with the under-keel, towed and lowered GAS antennas.
In January 2001, the lead ship K31 "Visby" became part of the Swedish Navy, and 4 more corvettes of the same type were subsequently built in 2001-2007 (the order for the sixth was canceled due to the increased cost). At the same time, the fifth corps was originally created in the shock version and was armed with two quad launchers for the RBS-15M anti-ship missiles (instead of mine vehicles) and vertical launch installations for 16 RBS-23 BAMSE missiles (in the place of the helicopter hangar).
In the future, the company "Kockums" continued work on the ship of the ocean zone "Visby Plus", which was supposed to be created on the same principle as "Visby", but with a large displacement and enhanced armament. First of all, this project was focused on potential foreign customers, but, ultimately, it was never implemented.
The main tactical and technical characteristics of the corvette K31 "Visby" of the Swedish Navy
2 х 127-mm RBU "Alecto"
4 х 400-vv TA (torpedoes Tp45)
apparatus "Double Eagle"
Corvette P557 "Glenten" of the "Flyvefisken" type of the Danish Navy. Ships of this type had a modular weapon system.
However, the Swedish corvette "Visby", although it is the actual prototype of the American LCS, differs from it in the absence of modular design. But if you look at the approach to the ships of the coastal zone in Denmark, you can see that the Americans are not the first and the principle of modular replacement of weapons has already been embodied in metal and quite successfully. Back in 1989, the Danish Navy entered the P550 "Flyvefisken" corvette, developed under the Standard Flex 300 program. in the stern) to load combat modules, depending on the task being performed. Each cell for the installation of weapon systems accommodates a container with a size of 3.5 × 3 × 2.5 m. Modules are represented by the following types:
• 76, 2-mm universal gun mount OTO Melara Super Rapid;
• two 4-container launchers of anti-ship missiles "Harpoon" (later anti-ship missiles were placed in non-retractable launchers behind the chimney);
• Installation of vertical launch Mk56 VLS for 12 Sea Sparrow anti-aircraft missiles;
• crane for sweeping equipment and control station;
• towed GAS with a device for launching and lifting aboard.
In addition, the ship can be equipped with removable torpedo tubes for anti-submarine torpedoes, mine rails or remotely controlled devices for search and destruction of mines "Double Eagle". A mobile coastal crane is used for loading and unloading the modules, and the whole operation takes about 0.5–1 hours and some more time to connect and check all systems of the complex (48 hours declared). Thus, depending on the installed modules, the ship can be quickly transformed into a missile, patrol, anti-submarine ship, minesweeper-finder or mine layer. In total, 14 ships were built according to this project from 1989 to 1996.
The auxiliary ship of the "Absalon" class of the Danish Navy was built taking into account the concept of modular weapons "Standard Flex"
Subsequently, the Danish Navy ordered new series of ships with a larger displacement, corresponding to the Standard Flex concept: auxiliary ones of the Absalon type with a displacement of 6,600 tons and the patrol ones of the Knud Rasmussen type with a displacement of 1,720 tons, which entered service in 2004 and 2008, respectively.Both of these ships have cells for standard removable containers with various weapon systems, installed depending on the tasks being performed.
In other countries, ships are also being built to guard and patrol the coastal zone, but no one is in a hurry to introduce a modular design. The fact is that despite the very rationality of the idea, its economic feasibility is rather controversial, since the costs of creating and producing high-tech modules and their maintenance are quite high. As a result, designers are trying to create the most versatile ships with acceptable characteristics, initially allowing them to perform a wide range of tasks without any cardinal "reconfigurations". As a rule, their main function is patrolling and protection of territorial waters and economic zones, environmental protection, search and rescue at sea. Such ships do not have powerful strike weapons, but if necessary, they can be equipped with them, for which the volumes of the premises are specially reserved. Other differences between such ships and American LCS are significantly lower displacement, moderate full speed (usually less than 30 knots) while maintaining a long cruising range and a classic displacement hull. Here, again, we see a different approach: the Americans need ships that quickly reach the place of the task at large distances from their own territory, and other countries need ships that can stay for a long time in the patrolling area of their borders and no further than a 500-mile zone.
Chilean patrol ship PZM81 "Piloto Pardo"
Among the novelties of foreign ships of the coastal zone, an example is the Chilean patrol ship "Piloto Pardo" of the PZM project, entered into the Chilean Navy in June 2008. Its full displacement is 1728 tons, main dimensions are 80.6 x 13 x 3.8 meters, full speed is more than 20 knots, cruising range at economic speed is 6000 miles. The armament consists of a bow 40-mm artillery mount and two 12, 7-mm machine guns. In addition, the ship carries a Dauphin N2 helicopter and two assault boats. The ship's tasks include protecting the territorial waters of Chile, search and rescue operations, monitoring the aquatic environment, and training personnel for the Navy. In August 2009, the second ship of this type, the Comandante Policarpo Toro, entered service, and it is planned to build four units in total.
Vietnamese patrol ship HQ-381 built according to the Russian project PS-500
If we look at the other side of the ocean, we can cite as an example the patrol ship of the PS-500 project, developed in the Russian Northern Design Bureau for the Vietnamese Navy. It has a displacement of 610 tons and the main dimensions are 62, 2 x 11 x 2, 32 meters. The hull lines are made according to the "deep V" type, which was used for the first time in the practice of Russian shipbuilding for ships of this class and displacement, and made it possible to obtain high seaworthiness. As the main propellers, water cannons are used, reporting a speed of 32.5 knots and imparting high maneuverability (low roll on the circulation, turn on the "stop", lagging), the cruising range is 2500 miles. The ship was built section by section at Severnaya Verf in St. Petersburg, and the sections were assembled in Vietnam. On June 24, 1998, the lead ship was launched at the Ba-Son shipyard in Ho Chi Minh City, and in October 2001 it was delivered to the Vietnamese fleet. PS-500 is designed to protect territorial waters and economic zones, to protect civil ships and communications in coastal areas from enemy warships, submarines and boats.
Russian border patrol ship "Rubin" project 22460
In Russia itself, the construction of the latest patrol ships is also underway, but they are traditionally intended not for the fleet, but for the naval units of the FSB Border Service. So, in May 2010, a solemn raising of the flag took place on the ship of project 22460, named "Rubin", the development of which was carried out in the Northern PKB (now it is already serving in the Black Sea). In the same year, two more ships were laid down at the Almaz shipyard: Brilliant and Zhemchug.The ships of this project have a displacement of 630 tons, a length of 62.5 meters, a full speed of up to 30 knots, and a cruising range of 3500 miles. The steel hull allows you to work in young and broken ice up to 20 cm thick. The armament consists of a 30-mm six-barreled AK-630 gun mount and two 12, 7-mm machine guns, but if necessary (mobilization) it can be quickly supplemented by the Uran anti-ship missile system and self-defense anti-aircraft missile systems. In addition, the ship has a helipad and provides temporary basing of the Ka-226 helicopter. The main purpose of the ship: protection of the state border, natural resources of inland sea waters and the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf, the fight against piracy, rescue operations and environmental control of the sea. It is planned to build 25 buildings by 2020.
Project 22120 Russian frontier patrol ship of ice class "Purga"
Another new ship that was received by the Russian border guards in 2010 was the Project 22120 ice-class multipurpose coast guard ship, called the Purga. It is designed to perform service on Sakhalin and is capable of breaking ice more than half a meter thick. The displacement is 1023 tons, the main dimensions are 70, 6 x 10, 4 x 3, 37 meters, the speed is over 25 knots, the cruising range is 6000 miles. The armament consists of a lightweight 30-mm six-barreled gun mount AK-306 and machine guns, but if necessary, it can be significantly strengthened. The ship provides temporary basing of the Ka-226 helicopter, and in addition, there is a special high-speed boat on board, stored in a multifunctional hangar and launched through the stern slip.
New Zealand patrol ship P148 "Otago", "Protector" class
On the other side of the world - in New Zealand - multipurpose long-range patrol ships are also being built. In 2010, the Royal Navy of this country entered two ships of the "Protector" class, named "Otago" and "Wellington". The displacement of these ships is 1900 tons, the main dimensions are 85 x 14 x 3.6 meters, the full speed is 22 knots, and the cruising range is 6000 miles. Armament includes a 25 mm DS25 gun mount and two 12, 7 mm machine guns. The ships are provided with the permanent basing of the SH-2G "Seasprite" helicopter, and in addition they carry three assault boats of the RHIB type (two 7, 74-meter and one 11-meter). Main tasks: patrolling the economic zone, protecting territorial waters, rescuing at sea, acting in the interests of the customs service, the department of nature protection, the Ministry of Fisheries and the police.
The main tactical and technical characteristics of the new ships of the coastal zone
2 x 12.7 mm machine guns
Construction of the first coastal warship
Construction of the first coastal combat ship LCS-1 "Freedom" at the shipyard in Marinette
Meanwhile, in February 2004, the decision of the US Navy command to build the LCS was finally approved. The need for the fleet was estimated at 55 units. On May 27, the Navy announced that two design teams led by General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin had received contracts worth $ 78.8 million and $ 46.5 million, respectively, to complete design work, after which they had to start building experimental ships, the so-called zero series (Flight 0). For Lockheed Martin, these were prototype ships, designated LCS-1 and LCS-3, and for General Dynamics, LCS-2 and LCS-4. At the same time, it was announced that, together with the construction costs, the value of the contracts could increase to 536 million and 423 million.dollars, respectively, and only for the construction of nine LCS during 2005-2009. it was planned to spend about $ 4 billion.
Lockheed Martin was to commission the first LCS-1 in 2007, and General Dynamics its LCS-2 in 2008. After the construction of the first 15 ships of the zero series and testing, the US Navy command had to choose one of the prototypes for subsequent serial construction (series 1 or Flight 1), after which the contract for the remaining 40 ships was supposed to be issued to the winning consortium. At the same time, it was stipulated that successful design solutions from the "losing" ship would also be implemented on the "winning" serial LCS.
So, on June 2, 2005, at the Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin, the lead coastal zone warship LCS-1, named "Freedom", was ceremonially laid down. On September 23, 2006, it was launched with even greater celebrations, and on November 8, 2008, after extensive testing on Lake Michigan, it was transferred to the fleet and began to be based in San Diego, California.
The LCS-1 "Freedom" has a displacement of 2839 tons and is a single-hull displacement ship 115.3 m long, 17.5 m wide and 3.7 m draft with deep V hull lines. A large superstructure is located in the middle part and occupies almost half the length of the hull, and in width - from side to side. Most of it is occupied by an extensive hangar, as well as two cells for replaceable combat modules. The hull is of steel construction and the superstructure is of aluminum alloy. According to "Stealth" technology, all external walls of the superstructure are made of flat panels with large angles of inclination.
Launching LCS-1 Freedom on September 23, 2006
In the stern, there is an impressive take-off and landing platform (in fact, the flight deck is 1.5 times larger than that of modern destroyers and cruisers), which makes it possible to operate not only SH-60 / MH-60 "Sea Hawk" helicopters and UAVs MQ- 8 "Fire Scout", but also the largest US Navy helicopter CH-53 / MH-53 "Sea Stallion". Almost the entire aft part of the hull is a large cargo compartment with a system of guides and electric motors, which are designed to move target modules and various controlled and manned vehicles inside the premises and to install them in working cells inside the superstructure when transforming the ship for a specific task. For loading and unloading of modules there are large hatches in the deck, side and transom lateral ports with a launch ramp and a device for loading and launching surface and underwater vehicles.
For movement, four Rolls-Royce water cannons are used - two internal stationary, and two external - rotary ones, with the help of which the ship can develop full speed up to 45 knots and has high maneuverability (at full speed the ship describes full circulation with a diameter of 530 m). The power plant consists of two Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines with a capacity of 36 MW, two Colt-Pielstick 16PA6B STC economical diesel engines and four Isotta Fraschini V1708 diesel generators of 800 kW each. The cruising range of the 18-knot economic course is 3550 miles.
Since the main feature of the ship is a quick configuration change due to target modules with combat systems, the built-in armament is represented only by the bow 57-mm artillery mount Mk110 (880 rounds of ammunition) and the RAM Mk31 self-defense air defense system (21-charge launcher on the hangar roof), as well as four 12.7 mm machine guns on the superstructure.
The ship is equipped with the COMBATSS-21 combat information and control system, which integrates detection and weapon systems (including target modules). According to the TTZ, the system fully meets the standards of the open architecture C2, which allows automated data exchange with any type of US Navy and Coast Guard ships, as well as with special operations forces. Most of the COMBATSS-21 software is built on the well-established Aegis, SSDS and SQQ-89 software codes.Air and surface targets are detected using a TRS-3D three-coordinate radar station (German company EADS) and an optoelectronic station with an infrared channel, and illumination of the underwater situation is carried out using a multifunctional hydroacoustic station with a towed antenna and a mine detection system. For jamming in the IR and radar ranges, there is an SKWS installation manufactured by Terma A / S (Denmark), as well as an electronic warfare station for radio and electronic reconnaissance.
LCS-1 Freedom at full speed. Launchers for launching decoys Nulka are installed in the cells for combat modules.
And now about why the coastal zone warship was actually created - about replaceable target modules. In total, the ship can take up to 20 so-called "modular combat platforms". By itself, the "automatic configuration" of replacing modules by this time had already been worked out on the experimental ship "Sea Fighter" and, by analogy with the computer term plug-and-play, it got the sound - plug-and-fight (literally - "plug and fight").
Today modules are presented in three types:
• MIW - to combat mines, • ASW - anti-submarine, • SUW - to combat surface targets.
Each module is planned to be developed in several versions with a different composition of weapons. Target modules can be combined into containers of standard size, loaded onto the ship on special pallets. The devices of the weapons systems in the modules are connected to the BIUS, thus entering the general information network, as a result of which the ship turns into a minesweeper-finder of mines, an anti-submarine or strike ship. Most of the modules are helicopter complexes. It is assumed that changing the configuration of the ship for each new type of combat mission will take a few days (ideally, 24 hours).
The MIW module includes: AN / WLD-1 remote-controlled mine-detecting devices, AN / AQS-20A mine detecting system, AIMDS aviation laser mine detection system, and various types of mine sweepers towed by the MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter. In addition, the RAMICS (Rapid Airborne Mine Clearance System) aviation system, which has been under development since 1995, is expected to be used to search for and destroy mines in shallow water areas. It includes a laser detection system and a 20-mm cannon that fires supercavitational projectiles equipped with active materials, which, penetrating into the mine charge, cause the explosive to detonate. The cannon can be fired from a height of up to 300 m, while the shells penetrate the water to a depth of 20–30 m.
Water-jet propellers of the LCS-1 "Freedom" spacecraft. In the center there are stationary and controlled water cannons on the sides
The ASW module includes a rapidly deployable acoustic system ADS (Advanced Deployable System), consisting of a network of passive hydrophones, a towed multifunctional hydroacoustic station RTAS (Remote Towed Active Source), as well as semi-submersible remotely controlled vehicles and uninhabited anti-submarine boats ASW USV developed by GD Robotics ". The latter can operate autonomously for 24 hours and receive a payload weighing 2250 kg, including a navigation system, a sonar, a lowered GAS, a towed ultralight GAS ULITE and small-sized anti-submarine torpedoes. The module also includes an aviation system based on an MH-60R helicopter equipped with Mk54 torpedoes and an AN / AQS-22 low-frequency GAS.
The SUW module has not yet been brought to a working condition, but it is known that it will include fighting compartments with 30-mm Mk46 automatic cannons (rate of fire 200 rds / min) with stabilization and fire adjustment systems, as well as NLOS-LS missile launchers (Non Line-of-Sight Launch System), jointly developed by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon under the Future Combat Systems program. The 15-round NLOS-LS container launcher has a mass of 1428 kg. It is intended for the vertical launch of the PAM (Precision Attack Missile) high-precision missiles currently under development, weighing approximately 45 kg.Each missile is equipped with a combined homing system, which includes a GPS receiver, passive infrared and active laser seeker. The range of destruction of single targets reaches 40 km (in the future, it is planned to increase to 60 km). Also under development is the LAM (Loitering Attack Munition) rocket patrolling over the target with a launch range of up to 200 km, which is designed to engage coastal and surface targets. It is stated that more than 100 missiles can be placed on the ship in the shock version. In the meantime, the fight against surface and ground targets is assigned to the aviation complex with MH-60R helicopters armed with automatic cannons, NAR and Hellfire guided missiles.
In addition to all this, the ship can be used as a fast military transport. In this case, it is capable of transporting (by TTZ): up to 750 tons of various military cargo; up to 970 airborne troops in full gear (in temporarily equipped living quarters); or up to 150 units of combat and auxiliary equipment (including 12 airborne and landing armored personnel carriers and up to 20 infantry fighting vehicles). Loading and unloading is carried out directly to the berth through a side ramp with a ramp.
Second coastal warship
Construction of the second battleship of the coastal zone LCS-2 Independence at the shipyard in the city of Mobile
The second ship - LCS-2, dubbed "Independence", was laid down on January 19, 2006 at the Austal USA Shipyards in Mobile, Alabama. Launching took place on April 30, 2008, and on October 18, 2009, the ship completed sea trials and factory tests in the Gulf of Mexico. The ceremonial entry into the fleet took place on January 16, 2010.
The LCS-2 "Independence" is a 2784-ton outrigger trimaran made entirely of aluminum alloys. It has a length of 127.4 m, a width of 31.6 m and a draft of 3.96 m. The main hull with "wave-cutting" contours is a single structure with a superstructure, which, unlike LCS-1, has a shorter length but increased width. Most of the superstructure is occupied by a spacious hangar for helicopters and UAVs and cells for replaceable target modules. It provides the basing of two SH-60 / MH-60 helicopters or one CH-53 / MH-53, as well as MQ-8 "Fire Scout" unmanned aerial vehicles. Just like the LCS-1, the LCS-2 has an extensive take-off deck, and below it there is a compartment for accommodating replaceable target modules, but due to the design feature (the trimaran is much wider), they also have a large usable area. The superstructure of the ship according to the stealth technology is made of flat panels with large angles of inclination. The outer sides of the outriggers and the main body also have a reverse slope.
The scheme of a ship with outriggers itself has been known for a long time, but earlier such warships were not built - only experimental prototypes were created. The fact is that multihull ships always cost more than traditional single-hull ships of approximately equal displacement. Moreover, this applies both to the costs of construction and further operation. In addition, the advantages obtained with a multihull scheme (large usable volume, high power-to-weight ratio and speed) are also side by side with serious disadvantages: for example, the ship's vulnerability is much higher, since if one outrigger is damaged, it will not be able to perform a combat mission at all, and for docking and repair of such ships requires special conditions. Why did the designers of General Dynamics decide to take this path? The reason is that the Australian company Austal, a member of the consortium, has long and very successfully produced light aluminum catamarans and trimarans for civil needs, primarily private yachts and cruise ships with high seaworthiness, equipped with powerful water-jet propellers, capable of speeds up to 50 knots and having a shallow draft. It was these characteristics that just matched the tactical and technical requirements for the new coastal zone warship.
LCS-2 "Independence" acceptance ceremony for the US Navy on January 16, 2010.
During the construction of the LCS-2, the 127-meter high-speed civilian trimaran Benchijigua Express, developed by Austal, was chosen as a prototype, which during operation showed its high seaworthiness, combining the advantages of single-hull and multi-hull vessels. At the same time, the company carried out a thorough computer simulation and a large number of field tests to create optimal hull contours for such a hydrodynamic scheme. In addition, water-jet propellers, their control systems, as well as a power plant, and many other general ship systems and mechanisms have already been developed for the civilian prototype vessel. All this significantly reduced the time and financial costs in the development and construction of the ship.
The LCS-2 is equipped with four Wartsila water cannons, two of which are external controlled and two internal are fixed. The main power plant consists of two LM2500 gas turbine units, two MTU 20V8000 diesel engines and four diesel generators. The full speed is 47 knots, but on tests the ship reached fifty. At an economic 20-knot speed, the ship is capable of traveling 4,300 miles.
In terms of the composition of the built-in armament, "Independence" is almost identical to the LCS-1: a bow 57-mm artillery mount Mk110, a SeaRAM self-defense air defense system and four 12, 7-mm machine gun mounts. Likewise, the design of the cargo compartment for the target modules located below the flight deck is also identical. It is also equipped with a system for moving containers inside and two ramps (onboard and transom) for launching surface and underwater vehicles. Unlike the LCS-1, the LCS-2 has not two, but three cells for installing plug-in combat modules: one in the nose between the gun mount and the bridge and two in the superstructure next to the chimney.
LCS-2 "Independence" circuit
The ship is equipped with an open architecture ICMS combat information management system developed by Northrop Grumman. To illuminate the surface situation and issue target designation, a Sea Giraffe radar station, an AN / KAX-2 optoelectronic station with daytime and infrared channels, and a Bridgemaster-E navigation radar were installed. Means of jamming and launching false targets are represented by the ES-3601 electronic warfare station, three Super RBOC installations and two "Nulka" installations. To illuminate the underwater situation, the keel mine detection system and the SSTD torpedo detection system are designed.
Depending on the installed target modules (such as MIW, ASW or SUW), the LCS-2 can perform the functions of a minesweeper, mine finder, anti-submarine, strike or patrol ship. In addition, it can also serve for the operational transfer of military cargo, military equipment and personnel of airborne units with full ammunition.
As you can see, both ships - LCS-1 and LCS-2, despite their completely different design, according to TTZ have very similar characteristics and combat capabilities. Due to the fact that most of the target modules are intended for installation on helicopters and helicopter-type UAVs, the American warships of the coastal zone have actually turned into promising naval and aviation complexes.
Main tactical and technical characteristics of coastal zone warships (LCS) of the US Navy
57-mm gun mount Mk110 on the bow of the LCS-1 "Freedom"
While the ships LCS-1 and LCS-2 were being completed - one afloat, the other on the slipway, it became clear that the "relatively inexpensive" ships were not at all such. Once again, as in the case with many other military programs of the Pentagon, the sale price of coastal combat ships began to grow uncontrollably. As a result, on January 12, 2007, US Navy Secretary Donald Winter ordered to suspend for 90 days all work on the construction of the second Freedom-class ship - LCS-3, since its cost from the estimated 220 million dollars increased to 331-410 million (exceeding almost 86%!), although the program initially estimated the unit cost at $ 90 million. As a result, on April 12, 2007, contracts for the construction of LCS-3, and on November 1, for the LCS-4 were canceled.
In the process of building the first ship of the coastal zone, one more circumstance became clear: despite its wide capabilities, initially the project did not fully consider the option of using it directly in the interests of special operations forces. Back in early 2006, the country's deputy defense minister, Gordon England, assigned the chiefs of staff committee just such a task - to conduct research and substantiate options for integrating the Special Operations Forces with ships of this class. The very idea of delivering reconnaissance and sabotage groups of the Navy's KSO to the designated area by the ship seemed quite rational to the fleet specialists. After all, attracting large surface ships for these purposes is not always advisable, and the use of submarines, although it provides secrecy, is often limited by the depths of coastal waters, and transport aviation - by the availability of accessible airfields. At the same time, in order to take into account the requirements of the Navy's CSR experts, it will be necessary to make adjustments to the design of the ships, due to the specifics of the tasks performed by the SSO. This is a decompression chamber for diving operations, and possibly a sluice chamber for entering the water of combat swimmers, including those with underwater delivery vehicles such as SDV (SEAL Delivery Vehicle). Also, not all combat patrol boats from the divisions of special-purpose boats, which provide direct delivery to the place of the mission, can be transported by LCS ships due to their large size (over 11 m). In addition, the US Navy's Special Operations Forces use their own specific command and control channels. And although it is possible to connect special equipment to the ship's network and switch with ship systems, the ship must have pre-provided places for installing special antenna devices.
Coastal combat ship LCS-1 "Freedom" at sea. Turrets with 30-mm Mk46 automatic cannons are installed in the cells for combat modules.
In addition to intelligence support in the interests of the MTR, the US Navy Special Operations Command is also considering the LCS ships in terms of medical care: receiving the wounded evacuated from the battlefield, arranging mobile operating rooms that special forces units have, supplying them with medicines and all the necessary means. All of the above claims were accepted by the development companies, which undertook to take them into account when building the next buildings.
However, this did not end there - during the tests of both LCS ships, a lot of shortcomings and various omissions were revealed. So, in the process of acceptance tests of the LCS-1 "Freedom", the commission recorded 2,600 technical deficiencies, of which 21 were recognized as serious and subject to immediate elimination, but before the ship was handed over to the fleet, only nine of them were eliminated. However, all this was considered acceptable, since the ships are lead and their shortcomings must be eliminated according to the results of operation.Therefore, on February 15, 2010, Freedom (two years ahead of schedule) set out on its first independent long voyage to the Caribbean and even took part in the first military operation, preventing an attempt to transport a large consignment of drugs in the Colombian coastal area. With the second ship, LCS-2 "Independence", a similar situation occurred, but, as in the first case, it was decided to eliminate all the shortcomings later, and he himself was accepted by the commission.
In March and May 2009, contracts for the construction of the LCS-3 and for the LCS-4 were renewed. The first was named "Fort Worth", and the second "Coronado" in honor of the cities of the same name in the states of Texas and California. At the same time, on March 4, 2010, Austal USA and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works canceled their LCS partnership agreement, which allowed Austal USA to act as the main contractor, and General Dynamics continued its participation as subcontractor. On April 6, 2009, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced the financing of three coastal combat ships in 2010 and confirmed the intention to acquire a total of 55 ships of this class. And then, after the publication of the military budget for the 2010 fiscal year, it turned out that the total purchase cost of the lead ships "Freedom" and "Independence" was equal to 637 million and 704 million dollars, respectively! Truly, originally conceived as inexpensive ships, the LCC reached the cost of the Spruance-class destroyers built at the end of the last century.
SAM self-defense SeaRAM installed on the ship LCS-2 "Independence"
Nevertheless, on December 28, 2010, the US Congress approved the Navy's proposal to conclude contracts for the purchase of 20 coastal LCS warships with two contractor companies at once - the previously planned selection of only one project to launch into the series did not take place. According to the plan of the command of the US Navy, this will allow maintaining competition and promptly supplying the fleet with the required number of modern warships. The program for the purchase of ships from both contractors, totaling about $ 5 billion, provides funding for each company to build one ship annually in 2010 and 2011, which will be increased to two ships per year from 2012 to 2015.
On July 11, 2009, the second Freedom-class ship, Fort Worth, was laid down at the Marinette Marine shipyard, and on December 4, 2010, she was launched at 80 percent technical readiness. It is planned to hand it over to the customer in 2012. Approximately by the same date, it is planned to commission the Coronado, the second ship of the Independence class.
In addition to ships intended for the US Navy, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics are actively promoting for export redesigned projects of their coastal warships under the designation LCSI (Littoral Combat Ship International) and MMC (Multi-Mission Combatant). Their fundamental difference is the full-fledged built-in armament consisting of 76 or 57-mm gun mounts, Vulcan / Phalanx short-range anti-aircraft artillery systems, self-defense air defense systems, as well as unified vertical launch systems Mk41, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and anti-submarine torpedoes. A radar station SPY-1F and a multifunctional combat control system of the "Aegis" type are provided. And although, as in the base version, a compartment for supposedly replaceable target modules is provided in the stern of the LCSI and MMC, in fact, these projects are classic modern multipurpose frigates with an "unreconfigurable" weapon composition.
The project of the multipurpose corvette-trimaran MRC proposed by Austal
It is known that Lockheed Martin offered its LCSI ship to Israel and even in December 2005 entered into an agreement with that country on a two-year research program. A project was developed, adapted to Israeli weapons and electronics systems. Ultimately, however, the Israelis abandoned the ship due to its high cost.
In addition, Austal, using its LCS-2 experience, also offers for export a 78, 5-meter multi-role corvette MRC (Multi-role Corvette), made according to the same scheme - a trimaran with outriggers.
Analyzing the program for the creation of American LCS ships, certain conclusions can be drawn.
The US Navy continues the systematic renewal of its fleet within the framework of the adopted strategy "Sea Power of the 21st Century", carrying out the construction of promising ships, including a completely new class - coastal combat ships.This will make it possible to more rationally use the formations of ships in the oceanic zone and not to involve them in performing unusual tasks, as well as to achieve superiority in forces and equipment off the coast of the enemy (including in shallow areas), neutralizing the most probable threats from his combat boats, underwater boats, mines, sabotage groups and coastal defense assets.
Coastal combat ship LCS-1 Freedom. Nearby, on the quay, an uninhabited mine-action underwater vehicle and a remotely controlled rigid-inflatable boat are demonstrated
The modular design principle will allow LCS ships to carry out a wide variety of operations in the coastal zone, replacing minesweepers, frigates, and support ships. At the same time, their high speed and long cruising range, as well as the presence of combat helicopter systems, by an order of magnitude exceed the operational efficiency, which is planned as part of homogeneous ship groups (two or three) with a focus on solving a complex of various tasks. Also, the LCS ships will be used in the interests of the MTR and as transports for the rapid transfer of military cargo or combat units.
In addition, by building LCS warships and new-generation DDG-1000 destroyers, the United States continues to implement the concept of global network-centric armed forces (Total Force Battle Network), which provides for the unification of all combat units in a theater of operations (on a global, regional or local scale) a unified intelligence and information field. Control of such forces distributed in space should be carried out from local centers, which will simultaneously receive from them all information about the enemy in real time. At the same time, all data and related necessary information will be available for each combat unit integrated into the network. The new principle of the organization of the armed forces will allow, in the shortest possible time, to centrally concentrate combat efforts at any point in the theater of operations in accordance with current tasks.
Aft ship LCS-2 Independence. The impressive flight deck is clearly visible
In addition to the United States, in no other country ships such as LCS are not built or developed, apart from the creation of general draft designs. A certain exception was the German shipbuilding concern Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems, which in 2006 proposed its CSL (Combat Ship for the Littorals) warship project similar to the American one. It used the already proven technologies of modular construction of MEKO frigates and some technical solutions of the Swedish "stealth" corvettes of the "Visby" type. However, so far this ship remains only an export project for potential customers.
In the rest of the states, building modern coastal ships, they are guided, first of all, by universal patrol ships of the classical single-hull scheme with a long cruising range and a displacement of 600 to 1800 tons, designed for operations in their economic zones. They are usually designed for long-term patrols while protecting their maritime borders, fighting piracy and terrorism, rescue operations and other related tasks. The modular principle of building weapons systems, as well as a radical change in architecture for the sake of the "Stealth" technology, is also not widely used anywhere, with rare exceptions. Preference is given to light artillery and machine-gun weapons, ship helicopters and assault boats, since full-fledged combat operations are assigned to specialized coastal ships - corvettes with anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons, shock and artillery boats, mine-sweeping ships, as well as shore-based aviation.
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