I must say right away that this is not an attempt to figure out the next seething on the topic of helicopter carriers that are already boring to everyone. This is about the Zaliv plant. In fact, we know little about what came to us along with the Crimea. And believe me, in addition to the parking areas for the fleet, beaches and vineyards, there is still a lot of interesting and useful things. So many. And it's worth talking about.
When I came across the statement of the Minister of Industrial Policy of Crimea Andrey Vasyuta, I was, I confess, surprised.
The Zaliv plant is a unique enterprise. There is no shipyard in the Russian Federation with such a shipyard and such a dry dock as at the Zaliv plant. years ago, when orders were made, there was such a shipyard as the Kerch plant "Zaliv".
Naturally, I was surprised not by the presence of the Minister of Industrial Policy in Crimea, no. And what I read in his interview. After rummaging further, I drew conclusions, which I decided to share.
I'll start with the factory.
The Zaliv plant has existed in the city of Kerch since 1938. True, during the war he changed his residence permit to Tyumen and Perm, but after that he returned back to Kerch. The restoration was carried out, after which the plant was engaged in the production of tankers of the type "Crimea" and "Panamax", military frigates and oil platforms. During the period from 1945 to 1980, the plant built and handed over to the customer 814 ships and ships.
In the 70-80s of the last century, "Zaliv" reached the peak of its form with the release of the first large-capacity supertanker "Crimea", which was followed by a whole series of project 1511 giants: "Kryvbas", "Kuban", "Caucasus", "Soviet oil", "Kuban". The displacement of the tankers was 180 thousand tons. They are still the largest ships built in the USSR. Well, in Russia, respectively.
Ships and vessels were built and smaller. Including "Sevmorput", a unique and the world's first lighter-carrying icebreaker with a nuclear power plant.
Warships were also built.
Project 1135 "Petrel", the most famous of which is the patrol ship "Selfless", which became famous for "pushing" the cruiser "Yorktown" from our 12-mile zone in February 1988. 7 ships were built.
Project 11351, a modification of the same patrol boats for the border guard. 8 ships were built. The most famous, perhaps, mutated into the frigate "Hetman Sagaidachny", the beauty and glory of the Ukrainian fleet.
And then the Soviet past ended and a harsh independence began. And since 1993 "Zaliv" has been exclusively engaged in the production of hulls for Dutch firms.
In 2000, the plant was bought by Ukrainian businessman David Zhvania. And the "Zaliv" began to rapidly grow smaller. And then the shares went under the hammer to banks and groups.
A slight improvement took place in 2006, when most of the assets were bought by a truly Ukrainian businessman, Konstantin Zhevago, from the AvtoKrAZ holding. The shipyard began to get out of debt and even in 2011 completed the construction of the Polarcus Adira by the order of the Norwegian company Ulstein.
And then a well-known event happened … And the AvtoKrAZ Holding lost its plant. The "Gulf" floated away … Both geographically and economically.
The official website of the plant speaks of a raider seizure of the plant by a certain Zaliv Shipyard LLC (Moscow) with the support of the so-called Crimean Self-Defense and the suspension of all activities. Well, perhaps there was a raider seizure, but, according to the SBU, it was not led by an emissary from Moscow guarded by the "green men", but the chief engineer of the plant, Yuri Bogomyagkov, and the workers of the plant.
What is the Zaliv plant? And how right was Vasyuta when he said that the residents of Zavod could build the Mistral or something like that?
It turns out that the minister is right.
The plant has a huge dry dock (360 x 60 x 13.2 m), which is served by two gantry cranes with a lifting capacity of 320 t each and five gantry cranes with a lifting capacity of 80 t each.
Crane equipment allows to form hulls of ships from large sections and blocks weighing up to 600 tons.
The dry dock can be divided into two parts, which allows parallel repair and construction of several ships at the same time.
Another technological complex has two horizontal slipways 400 m long with the following cranes: two - 80 t each, three - 32 t each and four - 16 t each. Both lines have a common launching device - a transverse slip, which provides launching of vessels weighing up to 2500 t …
If in general, then the base is available. True, according to Vasyuta, the plant has pretty much degraded over the past 20 years and needs significant modernization.
"The first of the problems that we faced is a great wear and tear of fixed assets and, as a result, the need for a significant modernization of these enterprises. It is no secret that all 23 years of being a part of Ukraine is practically a process of degradation of these enterprises, a gradual decrease orders, a gradual decline in competence."
And there is a problem of staff outflow, which in an amicable way should be returned back to the plant.
And this can be done under a very simple condition: orders. At the moment, the shipyard in Kerch is working on two rescue ships of the A-163 project and two universal sea tankers.
If everything is exactly as Vasyuta said, and the figures do not seem to give rise to doubt, then the problem that we have discussed more than once here on the site, concerning the construction of large-tonnage ships, is not so acute.
Yes, "Zaliv" is difficult to compare with such monsters of shipbuilding as "Ocean", "Chernomorskiy Zavod" and Nikolaev Shipyard named after 61 Kommunar. After all, it was there that the ships were built at one time, which are still serving in the Russian Navy. "Admiral Kuznetsov", "Moscow", and many of our other warships.
However, if we proceed from the principle "use what is at hand and do not look for something else for yourself", then, if we put in time and money, in Kerch we will be able to get a shipbuilding base for our country, if inferior to the Nikolaev plants, then only in terms of past victories and success.
But, unlike the Nikolaev shipbuilders, their Kerch colleagues have a perspective. And this perspective must be developed in every possible way and used with maximum efficiency. And then there will be no headaches over who and where will build a new Russian (say) aircraft carrier, helicopter carrier or BOD.
One point is important: a Russian ship should be built only in Russia and by our specialists. This is the only way to be 100% insured against the repetition of dubious "mistral" epics.