In the distant future, the Russian navy will have to receive promising nuclear submarines of the Husky project. Work on this project started not so long ago, but by now they have managed to give a certain result. Recently, there were new official messages about the progress of the project, some of its features, as well as the current plans of the customer and the contractor. As it turned out, the design is proceeding in accordance with the previously announced schedule and has already passed one of the most important stages.
A few days ago, on December 14, RIA Novosti published some statements by the official representative of the St. Petersburg Maritime Bureau of Mechanical Engineering "Malakhit". The head of the robotics sector of the SPMBM Oleg Vlasov spoke about the current work, some achievements and plans in the context of the promising project of the Husky nuclear submarine. According to him, by now the Malakhit bureau has completed preliminary work and prepared a preliminary design. The latter was planned to be presented to the high command of the navy.
On December 20, the same news agency published new statements by O. Vlasov. This time, the representative of the SPMBM "Malachite" revealed some of the features of the future submarine. He pointed out that the design organization has determined what technical capabilities can be implemented during the development and construction of new ships. On the basis of this, the appearance of the future submarine was formed, and some characteristics were also determined. According to O. Vlasov, "Husky" will be able to serve for 52 years.
Possible appearance of the Husky nuclear submarine with an additional missile compartment
On Wednesday night, it became known that on December 20, the commander-in-chief of the navy, Admiral Vladimir Korolev, would have to visit the SPMBM "Malakhit" and get acquainted with the preliminary design of the promising nuclear submarine "Husky". Such news and the events that followed it attracted public attention. However, it immediately became clear that any technical details of the project, revealing certain features of the future submarine, would not yet be made public.
The bulk of information about promising Husky-class nuclear submarines has not yet been disclosed and is unlikely to become public knowledge in the near future. As in the case of any new project in the field of weapons or military equipment, access to the main data on the submarines of the future is open only to a narrow circle of participants in research and development work, as well as to representatives of the customer represented by the command of the Navy and representatives of various departments of the military department.
Nevertheless, in the recent past, officials have repeatedly touched on the topic of promising nuclear submarines and pointed out their particular features. In addition, an approximate schedule of work was announced, according to the results of which the Navy will receive promising submarines with weapons of various types and new capabilities.
In mid-November, a ceremony was held in Severodvinsk for the withdrawal of the new submarine "Prince Vladimir" from the boathouse. Speaking at this event, the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, Admiral V. Korolyov, raised the topic of the development of the submarine fleet in the distant future. According to him, research work within the program with the Husky code will be completed next year. After completing this stage of work, the navy will decide on the further fate of the project.
If the command makes a positive decision, SPMBM "Malakhit" and related organizations will begin to develop a technical design and begin preparations for the future construction of a lead ship of a new type. Earlier, Vice-Admiral Viktor Bursuk, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, said that the development of a multipurpose nuclear submarine was included in the new State Armaments Program for the period from 2018 to 2025. Thus, there is an opportunity to start developing a full-fledged project "Husky" as early as next year.
The lead ship of the Husky class, according to V. Bursuk, will be laid down closer to the middle of the next decade - in 2023-24. The construction of such a submarine, associated with known difficulties, will take several years. Construction, testing and improvements will continue throughout the second half of the twenties. At the turn of the next decade, the industry will be able to hand over the new nuclear submarine to the customer. After that, a full-fledged serial construction of new submarines can start.
The project of a nuclear submarine with the code "Husky", attributed to the conditional fifth generation, is being developed with a focus on the medium and long term. As a result, as far as is known, it proposes the use of a number of original ideas that have not previously been used in the domestic military shipbuilding. In addition, a significant number of new devices and devices will be present on board the submarine, which are also not yet part of the equipment of serial ships.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the Husky project is the proposal to build unified submarines for various purposes. On the basis of the same hull, modified accordingly and equipped with certain units, it is proposed to build multipurpose nuclear submarines and missile submarines capable of fighting enemy ship groups. In this case, most of the hull elements, nuclear power plant, general ship systems, etc. will be the same for two submarines. The differences will be in the composition of weapons and related equipment. Also, it may be necessary to refine the sturdy hull to install the necessary weapons.
According to various estimates, in terms of their size and displacement, the new Husky nuclear submarine may be close to the existing Yasen project ships. This will make it possible to equip them with the required weapons of one kind or another. However, one cannot exclude the possibility that the multipurpose submarine and the missile cruiser will differ noticeably from each other not only in the internal equipment. The presence of a large ammunition load of missiles of one type or another can lead to a corresponding increase in the size of the hull.
Earlier, the need to use new devices and solutions to reduce the noise of the ship in a submerged position was mentioned. Vice-Admiral V. Bursuk said that according to this parameter, the new Husky submarine should double the existing submarines of the Pike and Yasen projects. How exactly such tasks will be solved is not specified. At the same time, in recent projects, significant progress has been made in this area, and promising nuclear submarines have every chance of being less noisy than their predecessors.
Basic information about the armament of future domestic submarines has not yet been announced, but there are already a number of assumptions. There are reports of weapons of a multipurpose modification of the base nuclear submarine, the main task of which is to search for and destroy enemy submarines. According to a number of media reports, this version of the Husky submarine will be able to carry missiles and torpedoes of various models, including those planned for adoption in the future. Apparently, one of the means of destruction of certain targets can be the Kalibr missile system with cruise missiles for various purposes.
At the same time, another missile system is of particular interest, which will probably be used on the second modification of the Husky. This version of the nuclear submarine is designed to attack surface targets in the fight against naval, including aircraft carrier, enemy groups. According to some reports, the 3K22 Zircon complex with the 3M22 missile will be used in this role. The main feature of the latter is the ability to fly at speeds 5-8 times the speed of sound.
The hypersonic flight speed significantly increases the real combat potential of the missile. She gets the opportunity to approach the target in the shortest possible time, and intercepting such a missile turns out to be an extremely difficult task. The aircraft carrier strike groups of the potential enemy control the space with a radius of several hundred kilometers, and their air defense is capable of dealing with incoming threats of all kinds. A hypersonic missile can pass through the defense zone as quickly as possible, leaving the enemy no time for a correct reaction.
It is possible that it is precisely for the use of the Zircon missiles that the submarine will need an additional compartment, which will increase its overall dimensions and displacement. Together with such a design element, the "anti-aircraft" submarine will receive new combat capabilities. There is reason to believe that, in terms of its combat effectiveness, one Husky submarine with hypersonic ship missiles will be equal to several torpedo or missile ships of previous models.
As the first representative of a new generation of submarines, the Husky-class ships will have to carry a variety of hydroacoustic and electronic equipment with improved performance. Designers should use compact and highly efficient devices capable of ensuring correct observation of the surrounding space, including the detection and tracking of a significant number of targets. The main means of observation, obviously, will be a hydroacoustic complex with a large nasal antenna.
The military and designers have repeatedly mentioned the intention to equip the Husky nuclear submarine with robotic means. So, according to recent statements by Oleg Vlasov, remotely controlled systems of various classes will be present on board the submarine. Such devices will work both in water and in air. At the same time, the exact composition of the complex of robotic means, their appearance and the range of tasks to be solved have not yet been specified.
From the announced information, it follows that new type submarines will receive additional surveillance equipment in the form of unmanned underwater systems and unmanned aerial vehicles. With the help of such equipment, they will be able to increase their information awareness in various situations. The presence of additional sources of information about the situation can give noticeable advantages over the enemy. In particular, the Husky nuclear submarine, using its own reconnaissance aircraft, will be able to find enemy ship formations faster and easier, and in addition, such a system will simplify the collection of data and subsequent preparation for missile firing.
According to recent news, SPMBM "Malachite" has already formed the general appearance of a promising nuclear submarine and completed work on the preliminary design. Now the finished documentation must be examined by the customer, represented by the command of the navy. If the Navy approves the existing proposal, then the development of technical documentation will begin in the near future. This process, obviously, will start next year - immediately after the start of the new State Armaments Program, which provides for the costs of creating the submarine of the future.
It will take several years to develop a full-fledged project, and by the mid-twenties, the laying of the lead ship of the Husky class will take place at one of the shipbuilding enterprises. What modification this submarine will refer to is not yet known. According to the announced plans, the submarine will be handed over to the customer before the beginning of the thirties. Perhaps by this time the construction of other ships of the series will have time to start. How exactly the construction of unified nuclear submarines of two types will be organized will become known later.
The number of Husky submarines required by the fleet has not yet been announced. It can be roughly represented, taking into account the current quantitative and qualitative composition of the submarine forces. One way or another, the Navy can order a significant number of new nuclear submarines, comparable to the number of Yasenei planned for construction. These ships will enter the fleet in the late twenties, and their construction is likely to last until the late thirties or early forties. By this time, a significant part of the submarines currently in service will become obsolete morally and physically, as a result of which they will be decommissioned.
The Husky project has already passed the first stage, during which the general appearance of a promising submarine was formed. After the approval of the preliminary design, the designers of SPMBM "Malachite" and related enterprises will continue to work, thanks to which the shipbuilding industry will be able to start assembling structures in the future. All such works are carried out in our time, using modern technologies and experience. At the same time, the project is being created with a great reserve for the future. According to the developers, the Husky submarines will have to serve for half a century. This means that the lead ship, having entered service in the late twenties, will only be decommissioned by the eighties.
The creation of new equipment with uniquely long service life is a particularly challenging task for shipbuilding. Nevertheless, the successful solution of such a task will give the Russian navy new opportunities and increase its potential. As a result, over the course of several decades, naval sailors will be able to operate equipment with high performance and broad combat capabilities, which will have the most positive effect on the country's defense capability.