Boreas and Husky. About the future of our submarine fleet

Boreas and Husky. About the future of our submarine fleet
Boreas and Husky. About the future of our submarine fleet

The latest news about the shipbuilding programs of the future allows us to better predict the composition and size of our submarine fleet than we could have done in the cycle “The Russian Navy. A sad look into the future."

As we said earlier, today the fleet includes 26 non-strategic nuclear submarines, including:

1. SSGN - 9 units, including 1 unit. type "Ash" and 8 units. type "Antey" project 949A.

2. MAPL - 17 units, including 11 units. type "Pike-B" project 971 of various modifications, 2 units. type "Pike" of project 671RTM (K) (the third boat of this type, "Daniil Moskovsky", is in storage, possibly decommissioned), 2 units. type "Condor" project 945A and 2 units. type "Barracuda" project 945.

In addition, the Russian Navy has a fairly impressive non-nuclear submarine fleet, consisting of 22 diesel-electric submarines, including 15 units. type "Halibut" project 877, 6 units. project 636.3 "Varshavyanka", 1 unit. type "Lada" project 677.

Thus, today the Russian Federation has the second strongest non-strategic submarine fleet in the world, which includes 48 nuclear and non-nuclear submarines. This is a very serious figure … if you do not take into account the age of our boats.

Of the eight Project 949A Antey SSGNs, no more than four will remain in service by 2030, provided that the existing modernization programs are fully implemented, since only four of the existing eight are planned to be upgraded. The remaining four ships will be 38-43 years old by 2030 and it is more than likely that they will be removed from the fleet as the four modernized ships return to service. Of the 17 MAPLs by 2030, it will remain well in the ranks if 6 - four boats undergo modernization (unless, of course, it was cut out of the new GPV) and will receive the designation 971M and two more boats, one of which is undergoing at least a medium repair now, and the second, which should receive it in the near future ("Boar" and "Cheetah", respectively). Of the 22 diesel-electric submarines, by 2030, there will remain 7 - 6 recently built for the Black Sea Fleet "Varshavyanka" of project 636.3 and one (limited combat-ready, if combat-ready at all) submarine of the "Lada" type.

Of course, there will be replenishment. It should be expected that by 2030, 6 SSGNs of the Yasen and Yasen-M type, two diesel-electric submarines of the 677 Lada project, which are laid down and re-laid down since 2005-2006, and 6 Varshavyanoks of the project 636.3 for Pacific Fleet. Thus, by 2030:

1. The number of SSGNs will increase from 9 to 11 units.

2. The number of MAPLs will be reduced from 17 to 6 units.

3. The number of diesel-electric submarines will be reduced from 22 to 15 units.

In total, the non-strategic submarine fleet of the Russian Federation will be reduced by exactly one and a half times - from 48 to 32 submarines.

And what about our "sworn friends"? Let's leave the European NATO fleets "outside the brackets" so as not to multiply entities beyond the necessary, and look at the US submarine fleet.

Today, the US Navy has 64 non-strategic nuclear submarines (there are no diesel-electric submarines in the US Navy), including:

1. SSGN - 4 units. type "Ohio", converted for firing KR "Tomahawk";

2. MAPL - 61 units, including 15 units. type "Virginia", 3 units. type "Seawulf", and 32 units. like "Los Angeles".


At the same time, the shipbuilding programs of the United States in terms of submarines are as simple as a perpendicular - currently there are six Virginia nuclear submarines under construction, including two boats of this type, laid down in 2018. The Americans are going to continue laying two boats a year, so that by 2030, even if the average construction period of a nuclear submarine is 3 years (today it is more likely 2-3 years), it is quite capable of increasing the number of Virginias in its fleet to 39 boats. As a matter of fact, today, in addition to 6 submarines under construction, 7 nuclear submarines of Block IV modification have been ordered (but not yet laid down) and the construction of 10 nuclear submarines of the next modification Block V has been announced. ships will grow to 88 units. Most likely, it will remain at the current level, because simultaneously with the entry into service of the newest "Virginias", the old ships of the "Ohio" and "Los Angeles" type will be withdrawn from the fleet.

Thus, based on the shipbuilding programs announced today, which also include information about the modernization of the fleet, as a result of a one and a half-fold decrease in number, the submarine fleet of the Russian Navy will be correlated with the American one as 1 to 2 (32 boats versus 64).

A double superiority in the forces of a potential enemy is bad in itself, but worse is that a simple numerical comparison does not take into account the disposition of our boats. At least eight domestic diesel-electric submarines should be left in closed maritime theaters, that is, in the Baltic and Black Seas, where they will be blocked by the superior forces of the European NATO fleets, even if it is possible to withdraw several Varshavyankas into the Mediterranean Sea, then in this case the Americans will have enough deploy at least 3-4 Los Angeles (or rather even less) to confront them. Taking into account the above, the numerical ratio of the submarine forces of the Pacific and Northern fleets in comparison with the American ones will already be 2.5 to 1.

But the main problem of our submarine fleet is not even the number, but the qualitative lag behind the American one.

By 2030, the US Navy is going to build 24 4th generation nuclear submarines, which will replace the submarines of the previous, 3rd generation in the fleet: Los Angeles and, possibly, Ohio. Today the Americans have only 18 boats of the 4th generation out of 64 nuclear submarines (3 Seawulfs and 15 Virginias), or just over 28%. But by 2030, there will be 42 of them (3 Sivulfs and 39 Virginias), that is, the share of 4th generation atomarins, provided that the total number of SSGNs and MAPLs remains at the current level, will increase from 28% to 65%.

What do we have? Alas, out of 14 submarines, which, according to today's data, should replenish the Russian Navy by 2030, only five Yasen-M submarines belong to the 4th generation, because the Kazan submarine (as, by the way, "Severodvinsk") is, rather, "generation 3+", since in order to reduce the cost of construction they largely used the backlog and equipment of the Shchuka-B submarine (and this is even if we leave aside a number of evidences indicating that and "Ash-M" does not fully meet the requirements of the 4th generation). The rest - six diesel "Varshavyanka" and two "Lada", sadly, according to their capabilities still belong to the previous generation. Thus, the problem is not even that our submarines will be twice as small, the problem is that of our 32 nuclear submarines and diesel-electric submarines, only about 22% will be modern submarines of the 3rd - 4th generation.

In absolute terms, it looks like this - in the case, God forbid, of course, Armageddon, our 7 SSGN conditionally 4th generation "Ash" and 4th generation "Ash-M" will somehow have to resist 3 "Sea Wolves" and 39 Virginias. In a ratio of one to six. Despite the fact that, generally speaking, for submarine missile carriers - carriers of cruise missiles, the main task, nevertheless, is the destruction of enemy surface groupings - yes, the same AUG, and not anti-submarine warfare. Of course, Yasen and Yasen-M are capable of fighting enemy submarines, but if we use them exclusively for these tasks, then for 10 US AUG we have exactly 4 SSGNs - modernized Project 949A Anteyevs.

In other words, by 2030, the United States will have the opportunity to "stuff" the seas adjacent to our territorial waters in the north and the Far East with dozens (!) Of the most modern atomicins of the 4th generation, and, unfortunately, we have practically nothing to answer to this. As follows from the above, the American submarine fleet by 2030 will outnumber ours by several times, and even more in quality. Without a doubt, the situation could be drastically improved by the unified state system for lighting the surface and underwater situation (UNSGS), which was going to be created a long time ago, but alas, it was never created, and obviously will not be created by 2030. And what else? The few corvettes and frigates that will enter service by 2030 will not change anything in the alignment of forces. Naval aviation? If (we repeat - if!) The plans to modernize the Il-38 anti-submarine aircraft to the Il-38N are fulfilled, the Russian Navy will have at its disposal 28 very good patrol and anti-submarine aircraft, which can also "work" as radio-technical reconnaissance aircraft. But their number may be enough for one fleet, but certainly not for four!


Thus, if everything is left as it is, then by 2030 we will lose the ability to control the underwater situation even in the seas washing our territorial waters, which is unacceptable even from the point of view of ensuring the combat stability of the naval component of strategic nuclear forces, strategic missile submarine cruisers. carrying intercontinental ballistic missiles (SSBMs). This is obviously unacceptable for us, but … But what are we doing to rectify the situation?

It is possible, of course, to deploy the construction of the Yasen-M type SSGN or its improved version, responding to at least one SSGN for two Virginias - in its own waters, with the support of any surface and air component, this, perhaps, could ensure safety areas of SSBN deployment. But this does not happen - instead of announcing the construction of at least 15-20 atomarines (even before 2000 … the twentieth year), we limit the number of Ash trees to seven units and proceed to design “unparalleled in the world” (whoever doubted!) MAPL "Husky", and initially we are talking about the fact that we will start their construction immediately after the delivery of 7 "Ash" and "Ash-M".

What does this mean?

One out of two. Or MAPL "Yasen-M" today is no longer at the forefront of technological progress (this would not be surprising, given that the original project "Ash" was created in the last century) and has exhausted the possibilities of modernization, which is why it cannot compete with the newest "Blocks" Virginia. Of course, in this case, its further replication is irrational. Or "Ash-M" is absolutely modern and suits our military everyone, except for the price of the product. The fact is that since the time when the main conditions and the price of the contract for the Yasen-M series were announced (from which it followed that the cost of one such ship was approximately 39-41 billion rubles), a lot of time had passed and crisis of 2014. Taking into account inflation, one should expect that the cost of one Yasenya-M in current prices today exceeds 70-75 billion rubles.


Be that as it may, the decision to create a new, 5th generation boat was made. Readers of the VO, not indifferent to the state of the Russian Navy, took this news with cautious optimism - the news, of course, is joyful, but who knows what will come of it in reality? It is not the good intentions of our Government that the road - a twelve-lane autobahn has long been paved where the climate is hot, and the servants are agile, but slightly horned …

Well, here's the recent news. One is good, the Husky-class submarines were included in the state armament program until 2027. The bad news is that the development work that was carried out on this topic was not accepted by the Ministry of Defense, stopped and will be resumed only after 2020.

What is the reason for such an unexpected reversal? Indeed, in fact, the work was stopped at the stage of pre-sketch design, that is, at the earliest stage of the formation of the appearance of the future ship. Postponing the development and construction of "Husky" for "sometime later" in the current situation and not having extremely good reason for this is not that stupid - it is criminal. So what's the deal?

Only one thing comes to mind. You can draw on paper (or in an appropriate computer program) anything you want, paper (hard disk) will endure everything. But no matter how wonderful the project of the boat was created, it will not work without the timely readiness of its main components and assemblies. Let us explain with an example - in our country was created a project of frigate 22350. It provided for the deployment of the newest air defense system "Polyment-Redut". The designers designing the ship did everything necessary for its installation: provided for its location, organically fitting the launchers, radars, air defense missile systems into the architecture of the frigate, reserved weights for the complex, etc. etc. To them, to the designers-shipbuilders, there were no and no questions - they created a project of a rather formidable warship. But the fleet never received these ships - 12 years have passed since the laying of the lead frigate "Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov", but due to the unavailability of the "Polyment-Redut" it still cannot pass state tests.

So, the only valid reason why work on the Husky could be stopped is due precisely to the fact that the development of some key technologies that were supposed to be used on it were disrupted, while it is not known when the results will be obtained on them.

So, for example, in the comments of one article on the VO, the opinion was expressed that the presence of a propeller (and not a jet engine) on the Yasen and Yasen-M submarines is a consequence of the fact that we cannot yet create electric motors for nuclear submarines of sufficient power. in order to provide them with a silent 20-knot stroke. Accordingly, we are forced to use a turbine for such speeds, but in this case the water cannon will not have the advantage over the propeller. The author of this article is incompetent in this matter, but let us assume that this is a fact. Let us also assume that the development of such engines in the Russian Federation is in full swing, and in 2016, when the development of the Husky began, it was expected that the latest submarines would receive a water cannon. And so, let's say that work on electric motors stalled and do not give an acceptable result. What should the Husky designers do? Design a boat with a water cannon, despite the fact that in the end the newest ship may be left without a propulsion system? Or, initially, to put in the project is not the best design solution?

In other words, with a strong desire, it is still possible to come up with a logical reason for the suspension of the creation of the Husky. But then what? Of course, it was said that the head Husky would be commissioned by the end of 2027. It is difficult to say for whom such a statement is intended - we plan to build serial Borei-A for 6-7 years, MAPLs are much more complex technical the object and even in the most beautiful and all-splendid case, the lead boat of the new project will be built in about 7 years. This means that in order to enter it into the fleet in 2027, it must be laid down in 2020 - we are “in the early 20s »We are going to resume work on pre-sketch design! This means that even in the best case, before 2023-2025. It is not necessary to wait for the laying of the head Husky, and in this case its entry into the fleet should be expected already in the early 2030s.

But what is the fleet to do? There are no "Ash" because the series is limited to seven units, "Husky" is not, because there are problems with the design … And who will fight the "Virginias", what happened?

The situation could be somewhat improved by the supply of non-nuclear submarines, but the problem is that apart from the Varshavyanka of project 636.3, which, whatever one may say, are far from equal to the newest American nuclear submarines, we have no submarines, and, again, we don’t is foreseen. The Lada project turned out to be unsuccessful, and, as can be understood from the media, not by the design of the boat itself, but because its newest systems did not reach the specified characteristics (hello Polyment-Redut!). Accordingly, it can be assumed that until the issues with electric motors, lithium-ion batteries or VNEU, hydroacoustic complex, etc. are resolved. etc. continuation of the series will not take place. And this is still very far away - for example, the head of the USC, Alexei Rakhmanov, said in 2017 that "the construction of the first Russian non-nuclear submarine of the fifth generation could begin in five years." Needless to say, the words “may” and “in five years” in our reality are absolutely equivalent to the expression “When the cancer whistles on the mountain”?

In other words, there is a persistent feeling that the domestic submarine shipbuilding has reached a dead end and it will take god knows how many years to get out of it. The arrival of the 5th generation multipurpose submarines is postponed indefinitely, and our submarine defense lines, which are still bursting at the seams, will be finally exposed a decade later.

What had to be done to avoid all this? The answer is very simple. Due to the fact that the design of the 5th generation multipurpose atomarina is an extremely complex and laborious process, and the continuation of the serial construction of the Yasen-M submarines is apparently too expensive, it was necessary, in parallel with the work on the Husky, to create a simplified and a lightweight version of "Ash-M" (let's call it "Ash-MU", where the letter "U" means "Simplification"). It seems, for example, that the dismantling of 32 anti-ship missile launchers would have the most positive effect on the price of the Ash-M, and possibly on its other indicators.

The author of this article understands what wave of criticism the last sentence can cause - alas, today's realities are such that a huge number of people cannot perceive a ship as a combat ship at all if it does not have Caliber anti-ship missiles installed on it. But the installation of "Calibers" on any scow, up to a non-self-propelled barge, makes this barge in the eyes of these people the ruler of the seas, capable of passing all 10 US AUGs from the surface of the World Ocean with one left hand. And then a new "toy" appeared - the hypersonic "Dagger". In the comments, there was already a proposal to install the "Daggers" on … the anti-sabotage boat "Grachonok".


But the fact is that anti-ship missiles are absolutely unnecessary to fight enemy submarines, and it is necessary to fight them, destroy and squeeze Virginia out of the deployment areas of our SSBNs - this is the most important task of the fleet. The preservation of strategic nuclear potential is the alpha and omega, the absolute priority of the Russian Navy, and all other tasks (including countering the AUG) must and can be solved only after an acceptable level of security for our SSBNs is ensured. Therefore, nuclear-powered torpedo submarines (more precisely, not purely torpedo ones, since no one interferes with the use of cruise missiles if necessary, taking them instead of part of the torpedo ammunition load) will always have a "job" in the Russian Navy.

Yes, of course, a torpedo nuclear submarine is not as versatile as a boat carrying cruise missile launchers. But you need to understand that by using part of the submarine forces to protect the waters of our coastal seas, we automatically sacrifice part of their functionality, since, as we have already said, the strike capabilities of cruise missiles cannot be used in anti-submarine warfare. And having in our hands a project of such a boat, largely unified with the Yasenem-M, we could now solve all the issues - continue building nuclear submarines that ensure the fulfillment of the key mission of the fleet, but not overwhelm the defense budget. And "in no hurry" to design "Husky", allowing himself a delay of a year or three where it is really necessary, in order to eventually launch the 5th generation nuclear submarine into production.

Alas, none of this happened with us, and we are heading into the era of total underwater domination of the United States Navy - including in our coastal waters. Well, we have to live with it. Since this is happening, it is useless to moan and wring your hands - you need to take this fact for granted, and build your plans based on the actual state of affairs (the ostrich pose has not saved anyone in this world, including the ostrich itself). And here our further actions can be seen very well: if we cannot ensure the safety of our SSBNs in the deployment areas, then we need to curtail their construction program until we can do this. The eight modern SSBNs "Borey" and "Borey-A" available in service and in construction are more than enough to prevent our fleet from forgetting what SSBNs are, to preserve their bases, infrastructure, and so on. Until that glorious time when we can recreate a submarine force strong enough to revive the naval component of the Strategic Nuclear Force in all the splendor of its formidable power.

The problem is that we do not have so many nuclear weapons - those (roughly) 1,500 strategic nuclear warheads that we, in accordance with international agreements, have the right to keep deployed, are not enough for the total destruction of the United States alone. Yes, I understand that now there will be many replicas "one special warhead in Yellowstone - and goodbye America", but the truth is that the USSR had 46,000 of these same special warheads, not counting tactical ammunition. And even if we assume that the destruction of the United States and NATO with this arsenal was guaranteed with a triple reserve, then in this case our current 1500-1600 first strike warheads look at least modest.

And this means that we simply cannot afford to lose these same warheads - on the day when Armageddon breaks out, they must fall on the enemy, and not stay forever in the cold depths of the northern seas. At the same time, the death of even one SSBN, provided that each of its missiles carries only 4 warheads, will lead to the loss of 64 warheads, which will be a fairly noticeable 4% of the total number of deployed SNF warheads. And if the SSBN goes on the last campaign, having 10 special warheads per missile?


Again, in the comments on VO, you constantly come across this point of view: "Why do our SSBNs deploy somewhere there, if they are able to work from the berths on the territory of the same USA?" This is a fair observation, but you need to understand - the use of SSBNs as a floating battery standing at the pier absolutely makes no sense to the very idea of a submarine with ICBMs on board.

The fact is that it really doesn't matter where the SSBN is located if we strike first. Only in this case, we do not need submarines at all - ordinary mine installations will cope with this no worse, while they are significantly, several times (if not orders of magnitude) cheaper. SSBNs make sense only for a retaliatory nuclear missile strike, their essence lies in the fact that if suddenly the enemy attacked us with all his nuclear power, then the short flight time of his ballistic missiles (about 30-40 minutes) can lead to the fact that the country's leadership simply will not have time to give the necessary orders in time, and ground-based missiles will burn up in a nuclear flame. And for this very occasion, SSBNs exist - during the aggravation of the international situation, they go to sea, where their location should not be determined by the enemy. The covert deployment of SSBNs allows the attacked country to retain some of its nuclear capabilities for a retaliatory strike.

If SSBNs are left at the piers in the bases, which will, of course, be the primary target of attack (and most likely TNW will be destroyed before strategic "goodies" from another continent reach), then there is no point in building a garden. If we have time to answer before a nuclear hell falls on us, then SSBNs are not needed and we can get by with ground-based ICBMs, and if we do not have time, then SSBNs will be destroyed in the naval bases without harming the enemy, and, therefore, again, they are not needed. …

In other words, SSBNs are effective only when their covert deployment at sea is ensured, and for this it is necessary to be able to "squeeze" enemy multipurpose atomarines out of the deployment areas. With the forces at our disposal, we cannot and will not be able to guarantee the covert deployment of our SSBNs in the foreseeable future, which means that it is pointless to lay new boats of this class in addition to the eight Boreis that are currently serving and being built.

But nevertheless, this is exactly what we are going to do! Although, let's face it, for the combat stability of our strategic nuclear forces it would be much more useful not to build new Boreis, but to lay at least the same Ash-M (for the funds allocated for the new Borei), which would ensure the safety of the existing and existing in boat building.

Okay, Russia, as always, has its own way. We decided to build SSBNs, the actions of which we cannot ensure, so be it. But … it seems obvious that in this case our submariners will have to operate in the most difficult conditions. They will have to hide in the waters teeming with the most modern atomarines of the enemy, and no, even the most minimal technical advantage will be superfluous for them. That is, if we are going to send our SSBNs into the mouth of a mighty enemy, we must build the best we can, because only in this way can we count on some acceptable percentage of the survival of our SSBNs before they use their main weapon …

Such boats were designed: after the "Boreyev", which is a kind of hybrid of the third and fourth generation atomarins, and several improved "Boreyev-A", we were preparing to build the "Borei-B". The author of this article is not a professional submariner, but he has heard that it is Borei B that is closest to the top, the limit of the technologies at our disposal today. If by 2030 someone will have a chance to survive among the Virginias, and still strike when the order comes, then this Borei-B is the best thing that we could build for our submariners.

The project is ready … so what? But nothing. Literally nothing. The Borea B project, you see, does not meet the cost / effectiveness criteria and therefore will not go into production. We will build much less perfect Borei-A.

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