In July 1976, in order to expand the production front of third-generation multipurpose submarines, the military leadership decided to develop a new, cheaper nuclear submarine based on the Gorky 945 project, the main difference from the prototype was to use steel instead of titanium alloys in hull constructions. Therefore, the development of the submarine, which received the number 971 (code "Shchuka-B"), was carried out as before by TTZ, bypassing the preliminary design.
A feature of the new nuclear submarine, the development of which was entrusted to the Malakhit SKV (Leningrad), was a significant reduction in noise, which is approximately 5 times less compared to the most advanced Soviet torpedo boats of the second generation. It was supposed to reach this level through the implementation of the early developments of the SLE designers in the field of increasing the stealth of boats (an ultra-low-noise nuclear submarine was developed in the SLE in the 1970s), as well as research by specialists from the Central Research Institute. Krylov.
The efforts of the submarine developers were crowned with success: the new nuclear-powered submarine in terms of stealth for the first time in the history of submarine shipbuilding of the USSR surpassed the best analogue of American production - the third-generation multipurpose nuclear submarine of the Los Angeles type.
The project 971 submarine was equipped with powerful strike weapons, which significantly surpassed (in terms of missile and torpedo ammunition, caliber and number of torpedo tubes) the potentials of Soviet and foreign submarines of a similar purpose. The new submarine, like the ship of the 945th project, was intended to combat enemy ship groups and submarines. The boat can take part in special operations, mine laying and reconnaissance.
1977-13-09 approved the technical project "Schuki-B". However, in the future, it was subjected to revision, caused by the need to increase the technological level of the SAC to the level of American submarines (the United States in this area again took the lead). The submarines of the Los Angeles type (third generation) were equipped with the AN / BQQ-5 hydroacoustic complex, which has digital information processing, which provides a more accurate selection of the useful signal against the background of interference. Another new "input", which necessitated the introduction of changes, was the requirement of the military to install the strategic missile launchers "Granat" on the submarine.
During the revision (completed in 1980), the submarine received a new digital sonar system with improved characteristics, as well as a weapons control system that allows the use of Granat cruise missiles.
In the design of the 971th project nuclear submarine, innovative solutions were implemented, such as the comprehensive automation of the technical and combat means of the submarine, the concentration of control of the ship, weapons and weapons in a single center - the GKP (main command post), the use of a pop-up rescue chamber (it was successfully tested on submarines project 705).
The submarine of the 971 project is a double-hull submarine. The robust body is made of high-strength steel (yield strength 100 kgf / mm2). The main equipment, wheelhouses and combat posts, the main command post are located in zonal depreciated blocks, which are frame spatial structures with decks. The ship's acoustic field is significantly reduced by amortization, which makes it possible to protect equipment and crew from dynamic overloads that occur during underwater explosions. Also, the block layout made it possible to streamline the process of building a submarine: the installation of equipment was moved from the conditions of the compartment (rather cramped) to the workshop, to the zonal block accessible from various sides. After the installation is completed, the zonal unit is “rolled” into the submarine's hull and connected to pipelines and main cables of ship systems.
On nuclear submarines, a developed system of two-stage depreciation was used, which significantly reduced structure-borne noise. The mechanisms are installed on amortized foundations. All zonal blocks are isolated from the submarine hull by rubber-cord pneumatic shock absorbers, which form the second cascade of vibration isolation.
Thanks to the introduction of comprehensive automation, the submarine's crew was reduced to 73 people (of which 31 were officers). This is almost half the size of the crew of the Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine (141 people). On the new ship, in comparison with the nuclear submarines of Project 671RTM, the habitability conditions have been improved.
The power plant of the submarine includes a 190-megawatt water-water reactor OK-650B on thermal neutrons, which has four steam generators (for the 1st and 4th circuits on a pair of circulation pumps, for the 3rd circuit - three pumps) and a single-shaft block steam steam turbine unit having extensive redundancy of mechanization. On the shaft, the power was 50 thousand hp.
PLA "Bars" pr.971 in the sea
A pair of AC turbine generators was installed. DC consumers are powered by two groups of storage batteries and two reversible converters.
The submarine is equipped with a seven-bladed propeller with a reduced rotational speed and improved sonar characteristics.
In the event of a failure of the main power plant for its subsequent commissioning, there are auxiliary propulsion means and emergency energy sources - two thrusters and propeller DC motors each with a capacity of 410 hp. The auxiliaries provide a speed of 5 knots and are used for maneuvering in limited water areas.
On board the submarine there are two DG-300 diesel generators with a capacity of 750 horsepower with reversible converters, a fuel supply for ten days of operation. The generators were designed to generate alternating current - power general ship consumers and direct current - to power propulsion motors.
SJSC MGK-540 "Skat-3", which has a digital data processing system with a powerful sonar and noise direction finding system. The hydroacoustic complex consists of a developed bow antenna, two onboard long-range antennas and a towed extended antenna located in a container mounted on a vertical tail.
PLA "Vepr" (K-157) pr.971 in Motovsky Bay, June 27, 1998
The maximum target detection range using the new complex has increased 3 times compared to the sonar systems installed on second generation submarines. The time for determining the target movement parameter has also significantly decreased.
In addition to the hydroacoustic complex, Project 971 nuclear submarines are equipped with a highly efficient system for detecting submarines and surface vessels by wake trails (the submarine has equipment that allows recording such a trail several hours after the enemy submarine has passed).
The submarine is equipped with the Symphony-U (navigation) and Molniya-MC (radio communication complex) complexes, which have a towed antenna and the Tsunami space communication system.
The torpedo-missile system consists of 4 torpedo tubes of 533 mm caliber and 4 devices of 650 mm caliber (the total ammunition load is 40 units of weapons, including 28 533 mm). It is adapted to fire "Granat" missile launchers, underwater missile-torpedoes ("Wind", "Shkval" and "Waterfall") and missiles, self-transporting mines and torpedoes. In addition, the submarine is capable of laying conventional mines. Fire control when using Granat cruise missiles is carried out by special hardware. complex.
In the 1990s, the UGST (universal deep-sea homing torpedo), developed at the Scientific Research Institute of Marine Heat Engineering and the State Research and Production Enterprise Region, entered service with the nuclear submarine. It replaced the TEST-71M electric anti-submarine torpedoes and the 53-65K high-speed anti-ship torpedoes. The purpose of the new torpedo was to defeat enemy surface ships and submarines. A significant fuel reserve and a powerful thermal power plant provide the torpedo with a wide range of travel depths and the possibility of hitting high-speed targets at long distances. A low-noise water jet and an axial piston engine (unitary fuel is used) make it possible for a universal deep-sea homing torpedo to reach speeds of over 50 knots. The propulsion unit, which does not have a gearbox, is directly connected to the engine, which, together with other measures, should significantly increase the secrecy of using the torpedo.
At UGST, two-plane rudders are used, which extend beyond the contours after the torpedo exits the torpedo tube. The combined acoustic homing equipment has modes for locating underwater targets and searching for surface ships along the wake of the ship. There is a wired telecontrol system (torpedo coil 25,000 meters long). A complex of onboard processors ensures reliable control of torpedo systems during the search and destruction of targets. The original solution is the presence of the "Tablet" algorithm in the guidance system. The "tablet" simulates a tactical picture at the moment of firing on board torpedoes, which is superimposed on the digital picture of the water area (depths, fairways, bottom relief). After the shot, the data is updated from the carrier. Modern algorithms give torpedoes the properties of a system with artificial intelligence, which makes it possible to simultaneously use several torpedoes against several or one target during active countermeasures by the enemy or in a complex target environment.
PLA "Wolf" (K-461) and "Bars" (K-480) of the 24th division of the Northern Fleet in Gadzhievo
The length of the universal deep-sea homing torpedo is 7200 mm, the weight is 2200 kg, the explosive weight is 200 kg, the speed is -50 knots, the depth is 500 meters, the firing range is 50 thousand meters.
Also, the improvement of the missile torpedoes that are part of the armament of Project 971 nuclear submarines continues. Today, the missile torpedoes are equipped with a second stage, which is an APR-3M submarine missile (weight 450 kg, caliber 355 mm, warhead weight 76 kg), which has a sonar homing system, with a capture radius of 2 thousand m. The use of the guidance law with an adaptive lead angle made it possible to shift the center of the missile group to the middle of underwater targets. The torpedo uses an adjustable turbo-water jet engine powered by a high-calorie mixed fuel, which provides the APR-3M with a significant rendezvous speed with a goal that makes it difficult to use hydroacoustic countermeasures by the enemy. The underwater speed is from 18 to 30 meters per second, the maximum depth of target destruction is 800 meters, the probability of hitting a target is 0.9 (with a mean square error of target designation from 300 to 500 meters).
At the same time, on the basis of agreements between the USSR and the United States, signed in 1989, weapons systems with nuclear equipment - the Shkval and Waterfall missile torpedoes, as well as Granat-type cruise missiles - were excluded from the armament of multipurpose nuclear submarines.
Submarine "Shchuka-B" is the first type of multipurpose nuclear submarine, the serial construction of which was initially organized not in Leningrad or Severodvinsk, but in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, which testified to the increased level of development of this branch in the Far East. The head nuclear-powered ship of the 971st project - K-284 - was laid down in 1980 on the banks of the Amur and on 30.12.1984 entered service. Already in the process of testing this vessel, it was demonstrated that a higher level of acoustic secrecy was achieved. In the K-284, the noise level was 4-4.5 times (by 12-15 dB) lower than the noise level of the "quietest" Soviet submarine of the previous generation - 671RTM. This made the USSR a leader in this most important indicator of submarines.
Characteristics of the project 971 nuclear submarine:
Maximum length - 110.3 m;
Maximum width - 13.6 m;
Average draft - 9, 7 m;
Normal displacement - 8140 m3;
Full displacement - 12770 m3;
Working immersion depth - 520 m;
Maximum immersion depth - 600 m;
Full underwater speed - 33.0 knots;
Surface speed - 11.6 knots;
Autonomy - 100 days;
Crew - 73 people.
During serial construction, continuous improvement of the submarine's design was carried out, acoustic testing was carried out. This made it possible to strengthen the achieved position in the field of secrecy, eliminating the superiority of the United States.
New nuclear submarines according to NATO classification received the designation Akula (which caused confusion, since the letter "A" began the name of another submarine of the USSR - Alfa 705 project). After the first "Sharks" ships appeared, which in the West were called Improved Akula (among them, probably, were submarines built in Severodvinsk, as well as the last ships of "Komsomol" construction). The new submarines, in comparison with their predecessors, had better stealth than those of the improved SSN-688-I (Los Angeles-class) submarines of the US Navy.
SSGN pr.949-A and PLA pr.971 in the base
Initially, the boats of the 971 project carried only tactical numbers. But on 10.10.1990, the order of the commander-in-chief of the navy, Chernavin, was issued to assign the name "Panther" to the submarine K-317. In the future, other nuclear-powered ships of the project received names. K-480 - the first "Severodvinsk" boat - received the name "Bars", which soon became a household name for all submarines of the 971st project. The first Bars commander is Captain Second Rank Efremenko. At the request of Tatarstan in December 1997, the submarine "Bars" was renamed "Ak-Bars".
The Vepr cruising nuclear submarine built in Severodvinsk was commissioned in 1996. Retaining the previous contours, the submarine had new internal "stuffing" and the design of a solid hull. In the area of noise reduction, another major leap forward was also made. In the West, this submarine ship (as well as subsequent ships of Project 971) was named Akula-2.
According to the chief designer of the project, Chernyshev (who died in July 1997), Bars retains significant modernization capabilities. For example, the reserve that Malachite has makes it possible to increase the search potential of the submarine by about 3 times.
According to US naval intelligence, the sturdy hull of the modernized Barca has a 4-meter insert. The additional tonnage made it possible to equip the submarine with "active" vibration reduction systems of the power plant, almost completely eliminating the effect of vibration on the ship's hull. According to experts, the upgraded project 971 submarine in terms of stealth characteristics is close to the level of the US Navy SSN-21 multipurpose nuclear submarine of the fourth generation. In terms of diving depth, speed characteristics and weapons, these submarines are approximately equivalent. Thus, the improved project 971 nuclear submarine can be considered as a submarine close to the level of the fourth generation.
Project 971 submarines manufactured in Komsomolsk-on-Amur:
K-284 "Shark" - bookmark - 1980; launching - 06.10.82; commissioning - 12/30/84.
K-263 "Dolphin" - bookmark - 1981; launching - 07/15/84; commissioning - December 1985
K-322 "Sperm whale" - bookmark - 1982; launching - 1985; commissioning - 1986
K-391 "Kit" - bookmark - 1982; launching - 1985; commissioning - 1987 (in 1997 the boat was renamed into K-391 "Bratsk" submarine).
K-331 "Narwhal" - bookmark - 1983; launching - 1986; commissioning - 1989
K-419 "Walrus" - bookmark - 1984; launching - 1989; commissioning - 1992 (In January 1998, by order of the Main Command of the Navy, K-419 was renamed K-419 "Kuzbass").
K-295 "Dragon" - bookmark - 1985; launching - 07/15/94; commissioning - 1996 (on May 1, 1998, the Guards Andreev flag of the K-133 nuclear submarine was handed over to the Dragon submarine, and the K-56 Guards Andreev flag was handed over to the K-152 Nerpa nuclear submarine under construction. renamed into the cruising nuclear submarine K-295 "Samara").
K-152 "Nerpa" - bookmark - 1986; launching - 1998; commissioning - 2002
Project 971 submarines manufactured in Severodvinsk:
K-480 "Bars" - bookmark - 1986; launching - 1988; commissioning - December 1989
K-317 "Panther" - bookmark - November 1986; launching - May 1990; commissioning - 12/30/90.
K-461 "Wolf" - bookmark - 1986; launching - 06/11/91; commissioning - 12/27/92.
K-328 "Leopard" - bookmark - November 1988; launching - 06.10.92; commissioning - 01/15/93. (In 1997, the cruising nuclear submarine Leopard was handed the Order of the Red Banner of Battle. Some publications say that on April 29, 1991, she inherited the Red Banner Naval Flag from the Project 627A nuclear submarine K-181).
K-154 "Tiger" - bookmark - 1989; launching - 07/10/93; commissioning - 05.12.94.
K-157 "Vepr" - bookmark - 1991; launching - 12/10/94; commissioning - 01/08/96.
K-335 "Cheetah" - bookmark - 1992; launching - 1999; commissioning - 2000 (since 1997 - Guards KAPL).
K-337 "Cougar" - bookmark - 1993; launching - 2000; commissioning - 2001
K-333 "Lynx" - bookmark - 1993; removed from construction due to lack of funding in 1997
The Bars in the Northern Fleet have been consolidated into a division based in Yagelnaya Bay. In particular, the atomic submarine "Wolf" in December 1995 - February 1996 (the crew of the atomic submarine "Panther" under the command of the captain of the first rank Spravtsev was on board, the senior on board was the deputy commander of the division, captain of the first rank Korolev), while in the Mediterranean sea in combat service, carried out long-range anti-submarine support of the heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser "Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov". At the same time, they performed long-term tracking of several NATO submarines, including the American Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine.
Combat stability and high stealth give the Bars the ability to overcome anti-submarine lines, which are equipped with stationary systems of long-range hydroacoustic observation and have anti-submarine forces counteraction. "Leopards" can work in the zone of enemy domination, inflicting sensitive torpedo and missile strikes against him. The armament of submarines makes it possible to combat surface ships and submarines, as well as to hit ground targets with high accuracy using cruise missiles.
Each project 971 boat in the event of an armed conflict can create a threat, as well as pin down a significant enemy grouping, preventing attacks on Russian territory.
According to scientists from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, cited in the brochure "The Future of Russia's Strategic Nuclear Forces: Discussion and Arguments" (1995, Dolgoprudny), even in the case of the most favorable hydrological conditions, which are typical for the Barents Sea in winter, the nuclear submarines of the project 971 can be detected by American submarines of the Los Angeles type with the AN / BQQ-5 hydroacoustic complex at a distance of up to 10 thousand meters. In case of less favorable conditions in this area, it is practically impossible to detect the Bars GAS.
The emergence of submarines with such high combat qualities changed the situation and forced the American Navy to reckon with the possibility of significant opposition from the Russian fleet, even if the US offensive forces were completely superior. "Bars" can attack not only the strike groups of the American naval forces, but also their rear, including supply and basing points, coastal control centers, no matter how far they are located. Secretive, and therefore inaccessible to the enemy, Project 971 nuclear submarines turn a potential war in the vast ocean into a kind of offensive through a minefield, where any attempt to move forward threatens with invisible, but real danger.
It is pertinent to cite the characteristics of the Project971 submarines given by N. Polmar, a prominent US naval analyst, during the hearings in the committee on nat. House of Representatives of the United States of America: "The appearance of Akula-class submarines and other Russian nuclear-powered submarines of the third generation demonstrated that the shipbuilders of the USSR closed the noise gap faster than expected." In 1994, it became known that this gap was completely closed.
According to representatives of the US Navy, at operational speeds of about 5-7 knots, the noise of the Improved Akula-class boats, which was recorded by sonar reconnaissance means, was lower than the noise of the most advanced nuclear-powered submarines of the US Navy, such as Improved Los Angeles. According to Admiral Jeremy Boorda, chief of operations for the US Navy, US ships were unable to accompany the Akula at a speed of less than 9 knots (contact with the new Russian submarine took place in the spring of 1995 off the east coast of the United States). The advanced nuclear submarine Akula-2, according to the admiral, meets the requirements for fourth generation boats in terms of low noise characteristics.
The emergence of new super-stealthy submarines in the Russian fleet after the end of the Cold War has caused serious concern in the United States. This issue was raised in Congress in 1991. Several proposals were put forward for discussion by the US legislators, which were aimed at correcting the current situation in favor of the United States of America. In particular, in accordance with them, it was assumed:
- to demand from Russia to make public its long-term programs in the field of submarine construction;
- to establish for the United States and the Russian Federation agreed limits on the number of multipurpose nuclear submarines;
- to assist Russia in re-equipping shipyards that build nuclear submarines for the production of non-military products.
The non-governmental international environmental organization Greenpeace joined the campaign against Russian submarine building, which actively advocated the prohibition of submarines with nuclear power plants (of course, this concerned, first of all, Russian submarines, which, in the opinion of the Greens, represent the greatest environmental hazard). "Greenpeace" in order to "exclude a nuclear catastrophe" recommended the governments of Western states to put the provision of fin. assistance to Russia, depending on the solution of this issue.
However, the rate of replenishment of the navy with new multipurpose submarines by the mid-1990s sharply decreased, which removed the urgency of the problem for the United States, although the efforts of the "greens" (as you know, many of which are closely associated with NATO intelligence services) directed against the Russian navy have not stopped even today.
Currently, Project 971 multipurpose nuclear submarines are part of the Pacific (Rybachy) and Northern (Yagelnaya Bay) fleets. They are actively used for military service.