Thursday, 27 June 2019

Russian fleet get nuclear submarines

Borey-A Project 955A - Knyaz Vladimir

Floating: will the Russian fleet get nuclear submarines | Articles | News

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According to TASS, during the Army 2019 forum, which opened in Kubinka near Moscow, it is planned to sign a contract to build four more nuclear submarines for the Russian Navy as part of the state armaments program for 2018–2027. Among the ordered submarines will be two "strategists" - the Borey-A Project 955A submarine-carrying submarines - and two Yelsen-M project 885M multi-purpose submarine cruisers with cruise missiles. Their construction should begin in the coming years, however, the delivery of these ships to the fleet is expected after 2027. Izvestia understood the consequences of this contract.

Fifteen buildings

It was just such a number of new nuclear submarines, excluding special purpose submarines, that the fleet was to receive in the framework of the previous IGS of 2011–2020, including eight Boreev and seven Ash trees. Some of them were laid back in the 2000s, and the head corps of projects 955 and 885, respectively K-535 “Yuri Dolgoruky” and K-560 “Severodvinsk”, did in the 1990s - they were not worked for a long time and were actually started in the middle - second half of 2000- s. Subsequently, the building intensified. Today, at the end of June 2019, the fleet includes three Borey Project 955 missile carriers, another representative of an already upgraded version of the Borey-A is undergoing tests and this year has to be handed over to the fleet, the four remaining contracted »Should be launched in the near future - one in 2019, two in 2020 and one in 2021 - and be part of the fleet in 2020-2022.

“Ash trees”, which are more saturated with complex equipment and did not have priority financing unlike “strategists”, go slower - while the headquarters Severodvinsk, the K-561 transfer of Kazan undergoing tests, is expected to be in the fleet, it is expected next this year, the third Yasen (and the second Yasen-M), K-573 Novosibirsk, should be launched, which will also be commissioned in 2020, and the remaining four ships should be launched 2020–2022 and join the fleet in 2021–2023.

In total, of the 15 expected new SSBNs and SSGNTs, the fleet will receive until the end of 2020, if the already adjusted plans are not disrupted again, at best eight submarines, including five Boreas and three Ash trees. The rest will “switch over” to the new HPO, while suspicions are being expressed that the deadline for putting the boats into service may be extended until 2023 in the case of the Boreas and until 2024-2025 with the Ash trees.

Four more

Ordering four more boats of existing projects is quite understandable. Judging by the rate of construction of serial submarines, the industry is not yet ready for the transition to the construction of a new project, known as the Husky, which envisages the construction of a strategic boat, carrier of cruise missiles, and a multi-purpose submarine with mainly torpedo weapons using unified general ship systems and aggregates , and also other equipment and case elements.

It can be assumed that four submarines contracted in 2019 will be laid in 2021–2022, which, given the characteristic construction dates, even with their acceleration taking into account the development of serial units, means putting them into operation, with an optimistic forecast, in 2028–2029, and when pessimistic - in the years 2030-2032. In fact, this means that under the GW 2018–2027 the fleet will not receive a single atomic submarine - those that will be commissioned in the coming years have been ordered as part of the previous program, and those that are planned to be laid will be completed after the new one.

Taking into account the rate of decommissioning of operating submarines built in 1970–1990s and completely insufficient amounts of modernization (in the part of multi-purpose boats first), this means that by the end of the next decade the fleet will most likely have up to 14 missile submarines strategic targets (ten “Boreyev” and four SSBNs of the 667BDRM project, whose service life is periodically extended) and about the same number of multipurpose nuclear submarines, including nine “Ash trees” and 5–6 (in total) units of the upgraded project boats 971 and 949A.

If the number of “strategists” can be considered normal, and even reducing it to 10 submarines will not entail major problems, taking into account the existing mass production of ground-based missile systems then a half dozen multipurpose nuclear submarines for the Russian Navy mean a catastrophe. It will be expressed in the inability to adequately perform any of the tasks facing the grouping of these submarines, whether it is covering their own "strategists", detecting and tracking aliens or fighting surface ships of a potential enemy.

Solution options

Taking into account the decree signed in July 2017 by Vladimir Putin approving the fundamentals of the state policy of the Russian Federation in the field of naval activities for the period up to 2030, which was already called by many “the decree on a large fleet”, which states that the significant strength of other states is unacceptable over the Navy RF, the above-described state of affairs is not normal. Some adjustments may follow in the part of the completion of boats under construction - in any case, I would like to hope that they will be introduced into the fleet, without increasing the already emerging delay. At the same time, the state of the domestic shipbuilding industry does not allow us to hope that the Navy will receive the first boats of the new generation (the Husky project mentioned above) by the end of 2030.

It should be noted that one of the requirements for this project is to accelerate the pace of boat construction - up to 4–5 years for multipurpose nuclear submarines, and its economy as a whole should provide 16–20 multipurpose boats for 10 years - from laying the head up to delivery last.

Previously it was assumed that the head “Husky” would be laid in 2020–2021, however, given the insufficient pace of improvement in the domestic shipbuilding industry, this is hardly possible before 2025, with the launch of the head boat at best in 2030.

Under these conditions, the only solution to keep the number of fleets of multi-purpose submarines at the minimum necessary level is to return to the previously announced plans for the mass modernization of nuclear submarines of previous projects . If the fleet receives four modernized SSGNs of the Project 949A, re-equipped for universal launchers using the cruise missiles of the Onyx and Caliber complexes, six multi-purpose submarines of the Project 971 and four of the 945 / 945A low-noise missiles, advanced equipment and torpedo armament, then in combination with the construction of nine “Ash trees” this will allow the fleet to have 23 multipurpose submarines unified for the most part of the armament and equipment used.

In addition to a larger number of boats in themselves, this will also mean maintaining the base of operation and combat use of submarines, including in terms of training. Otherwise, if a sharp failure in the number of boats in the fleet is allowed, by the time the industry can increase their numbers, it may well be that there is no one to serve on them.

The Russian Navy will receive nuclear submarines "Prince Vladimir" and "Kazan" in 2019

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