The dream of a Russian aircraft carrier, which is not destined to come true


Against the background of a very sharp exchange of views between the American edition of Forbes and the Deputy Chief of the Russian Navy, Igor Kasatonov, about the ability of the Russian industry to build a full-fledged aircraft carrier at the moment, a rather heated discussion erupted on the Web.


Long-term disputes about technical and personnel readiness of the defense industry complex to solve such a large-scale task, warmed up, including, recently published image a certain aircraft-carrying ship with the loud name "Varan" developed by the Nevsky Design Bureau. It makes sense to analyze the question more consciously in order to finally put an end to the truly endless verbal battles.

What is needed to create and operate an aircraft carrier


All aircraft-carrying cruisers built in the USSR were built at the Black Sea shipyard in Nikolaev (Ukraine). In Russia, not a single enterprise (not counting PJSC "Sevmash" with its "Vikramaditya") has any experience in the construction of such ships. Theoretically suitable in size (1) The boathouse has everything on the same Sevmash (No. 2, former shop 55), but for the construction of the aircraft carrier it needs serious adaptation: reconstruction of the launching complex and the boathouse gate, which will require time and serious financial investments. And most importantly, it will disrupt the smooth running of the construction of the nuclear submarine groupings - "Boreyev" and "Ash" (in the future - "Husky").

No less problematic is the use of two other possible shipyards - the Baltic Shipyard and the building shipyard Zvezda, which, in addition to the lack of experience, are already loaded with civil orders (at Baltzavod the slipways are tightly occupied by nuclear icebreakers). As a result, it turns out that there is currently no fully suitable shipyard in Russia, which forces either to build a new giant boathouse from scratch (with huge financial and time costs), or to dodge with the existing ones, which will also be fraught with a whole range of difficult to predict problems.


Boathouse # 2 (former workshop # 55 in the background). Photo: Press service of "Sevmash"


Another critical aspect is the lack of a ship's power plant. If the domestic industry finally managed to make completely its own power units for frigates of project 22350, then with large-capacity ships everything is different. In the open press, information has not yet been found at least about the beginning of work in this direction. But the engines of an aircraft carrier must have sufficient power so that the ship can reach a speed of at least 30-32 knots, ensuring the possibility of aircraft takeoff. And it seems that an obvious way out suggests itself - to use a nuclear power plant (GEM), similar to those used on nuclear icebreakers. However, according to Valentin Belonenko, chief designer of KGNTs, a nuclear power plant is about 4-5 times heavier than a non-nuclear power plant, which ultimately significantly reduces the internal volume and space for the payload. Consequently, either it is necessary to increase the displacement, or to come to terms with the limitation of the number of the air group. One way or another, the situation with the power plant, although not hopeless, is extremely difficult. Its solution is not obvious.

The new aircraft carrier also needs a new air wing: at least it is a carrier-based fighter, a tanker, and an AWACS aircraft. None of this is in sight yet. The layout of the NKPB demonstrates the "overcooked" Su-57, which, in fact, is not really even in the Aerospace Forces. Needless to say, the design, refinement and construction of these fighters in the required quantity should be carried out in parallel with the design, development and construction of an aircraft carrier, since one without the other loses its meaning, and also requires uninterrupted funding at all stages to ensure the synchronism of the process. On the basis of which platforms to build deck tankers and AWACS aircraft, the military now has no idea.

In addition to the air wing, an escort is of course needed - escort ships. With the current shortage of rank 1 ships and extremely vague prospects for their construction (the frigate of project 22350 does not count, since in fact it is a rank 2 ship), it is completely unclear how it is planned to ensure the protection of an aircraft carrier, which in any case will hardly be armed above the level of self-defense air defense systems (such as "Broadsword" / "Pantsir-M"). With all the advantages of these complexes, they are not able to provide guaranteed protection against group or massive attacks from the air. Likewise, an aircraft carrier will not be able to defend itself against the entire spectrum of underwater threats, even taking into account the possible placement of an under-keel GAS on it. Therefore, by the time the aircraft carrier is put into operation, a permanent ship group of 3-4 promising destroyers / cruisers should be formed, which, at best, exist now only on paper.

And again finance ...


Even an inexperienced person in shipbuilding becomes clear that the creation of an aircraft carrier is a truly grandiose and non-trivial task, which can only be solved by a state that is completely self-sufficient in industrial and scientific-intellectual terms. A very limited club of such states is a vivid proof of this thesis. But in addition to "technology and brains", the construction of such a ship (and even more so several ships) requires the concentration of colossal financial resources, the volume of which can easily reach the 1 trillion rubles mark. Such a high figure is due to the need not only to solve the above-described problems, but also to the need to build a basing infrastructure, train flight personnel, create the necessary supply of materiel, etc. Taking into account the current funding of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (it is worth recalling the reduction of the defense budget in 2021 by 5%), the implementation of the program for the construction of such ships can be carried out only with the complete closure of all other construction programs of the fleet. In other words, in the current economic In reality, the construction of aircraft carriers looks impossible, and given the unsolved urgent problems of the fleet, it is also meaningless.

Despite the author's categorical conclusions, it should be noted that an aircraft carrier is an essential and necessary tool. Even in the absence of a coherent concept for the use of such a ship in Russia, its presence multiplies the capabilities of the fleet. But you still need to be realistic and adhere to the fundamental principle "from simple to complex": to learn to build destroyers, then cruisers, and only after solving these problems, if the state has a sufficient economic base, proceed to such ambitious projects as the construction of aircraft carriers.

(1) When assessing the size, the author proceeds from the construction of an aircraft carrier with a displacement equal to or greater than the existing TAVKR "Admiral Kuznetsov". The construction of ships of smaller displacement is not considered due to the serious restrictions on such ships on the use of carrier-based aircraft.
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  1. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 25 January 2021 17: 21
    -1
    The day before yesterday there was an article here: "The new Russian aircraft carrier will revolutionize the ship business."

    One day has already passed, and the revolution of the new Russian aircraft carrier has already been canceled ...

    Antiperemia.
    1. Kristallovich Offline Kristallovich
      Kristallovich (Ruslan) 25 January 2021 17: 29
      +2
      One day has already passed, and the revolution of the new Russian aircraft carrier has already been canceled ...

      Open that material and read again.
      1. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
        Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 25 January 2021 17: 33
        0
        Do everything yourself.

        New Russian aircraft carrier will revolutionize shipbuilding

        против

        The dream of a Russian aircraft carrier, which is not destined to come true

        Straight Hollywood terminators ...
        1. Kristallovich Offline Kristallovich
          Kristallovich (Ruslan) 25 January 2021 17: 34
          -1
          "New Russian aircraft carrier will revolutionize shipbuilding" against "The dream of a Russian aircraft carrier, which is not destined to come true"

          Military Watch against our own author.
    2. lahudra Offline lahudra
      lahudra (Nikolay Kondrashkin) 25 January 2021 21: 16
      +1
      This is because Russia is against revolutions, even scientific and technical ones. We will go the other way, as the respected author said, from simple to complex. Perhaps you need to start with a boat for the palace near Gelendzhik, otherwise all sorts of things are spinning there.
  2. 123 Online 123
    123 (123) 25 January 2021 18: 32
    0
    As a result, it turns out that at the moment there is no completely suitable shipyard in Russia

    As a result, it turns out that suitable shipyards are packed with orders.

    The absence of a power plant, AWACS planes and tankers is also rather a far-fetched argument. It would be rather strange if we had them in the absence of an aircraft carrier. Who in their right mind would do such things without being able to apply them? These tasks must be addressed in a complex manner. If you decide to build an aircraft carrier, these works are being carried out in parallel.

    In addition to the air wing, an escort is of course needed - escort ships. With the current shortage of rank 1 ships and extremely vague prospects for their construction (the frigate of project 22350 does not count, since it is actually a rank 2 ship)

    Does this fundamentally change the case? Can only rank 1 ships be escorted? Of course, I understand that there are some restrictions on seaworthiness, but this hardly makes the use of frigates impossible. BOD project 1155 after modernization are also considered frigates, and their displacement is larger. I see no obstacles to their use. In addition, there are ships of rank 1. By the time the aircraft carrier is completed, at least the Admiral Nakhimov will be on the move, there will always be 2-3 more ships at hand. After all, not dozens of destroyers and cruisers in an escort are required.

    Taking into account the current funding of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (it is worth remembering the reduction of the defense budget in 2021 by 5%)

    The reduction in the defense budget is mainly due to the progress of the modernization program. As you complete it, less finance is required.

    In other words, in the current economic realities, the construction of aircraft carriers looks impossible, and given the unsolved problems of the fleet, it is also meaningless.

    The justification for this conclusion looks far-fetched and has no real justification.

    But you still need to be realistic and adhere to the fundamental principle "from simple to complex": to learn to build destroyers, then cruisers, and only after solving these problems, if the state has a sufficient economic base, proceed to such ambitious projects as the construction of aircraft carriers.

    How does the bookmark of 2 UDC correspond to this principle? Wasn't it worth the wait for the destroyers to appear?

    But in addition to "technology and brains" for the construction of such a ship (and even more so several ships), a concentration of colossal financial resources is required, the volume of which can easily reach 1 trillion rubles. Such a high figure is due to the need not only to solve the above-described problems, but also to the need to build a basing infrastructure, train flight personnel, create the necessary supply of materiel, etc.

    The cost of construction, let's say it is 2-3 UDC, let's say 150 billion.

    On July 16, at the Kerch shipyard Zaliv, the laying of two Project 23900 universal amphibious assault ships (UDC) will take place (analogues of the French Mistrals). And although such ships have not been built in Russia before, there is no doubt that the head UDC will be included in the combat strength of the Navy until 2026. Project cost - about 100 billion rubles.

    https://uz.sputniknews.ru/columnists/20200715/14546373.html

    Infrastructure is still needed, the same "Nakhimov" should not hang out at sea without a berth like its counterparts in the USSR. The costs of basing and training flight personnel also look somewhat overestimated. At the moment there are 2 air regiments. Undoubtedly, a serious increase in the number of aircraft and flight personnel will be required, but I very much doubt that all this in a complex will pull at a trillion, this is at the rate, if I am not mistaken, 13 billion kopecks.
    For some reason, it seems to me that you first made a conclusion, and then looked for arguments confirming it hi
    1. Artemy Gromov Offline Artemy Gromov
      Artemy Gromov (Artemy Gromov) 25 January 2021 21: 14
      +4
      As an author, I will give a few short remarks to the previous eloquent commentator.

      1. About the power plant and carrier-based aircraft. We have "Kuznetsov", which would still benefit from specialized carrier-based aircraft. We are building 40000-ton helicopter carriers, into which in a couple of years it will be necessary to load power units, and preferably not those that are on the 5000-ton frigates of project 22350.
      2. About the escort. Yes, according to all canons, there should be ships of the 1st rank in guard, this is not discussed. Already at rank 2, there are serious restrictions on the use of weapons when increasing the score. It seems that the Navy understands this: only "first ranks" went to Syria with "Kuznetsov". BOD 1155, even taking into account the modernization, by the time of the hypothetical construction of the aircraft carrier will either be decommissioned or will be in the queue for decommissioning. It is possible to “scrape together” the guard from the remnants of the existing cruising group by diluting it with frigates, but someone else must, in the event of possible aggression, defend the native shores, cover the deployment of NSNF while the domestic AUG plows the ocean.
      3. The reduction in the defense budget is due to an overall reduction in budget spending. Do not invent your own, other, reasons. At the same time, I would like to note that all the most expensive military procurement programs - Su-57, S-70, S-500, new armored platforms, and promising strategic developments are still ahead. I am already silent about the fleet with the need to finance the development and construction of "first rank", helicopter carriers and nuclear submarine groupings.
      4. The UDC bookmark at the moment looks very rash, I wrote a separate article on this with a similar problem.
      5. The cost of building an aircraft carrier without an air group is estimated by most authoritative experts at 400 billion rubles at current prices. Comparison on price with helicopter carriers is, to put it mildly, inappropriate. Add to this figure R&D, an increase in the estimated cost during the construction process (which on the same Nakhimov was more than 100% in 7 years), the development and construction of an air group of 50-60 aircraft and other mentioned (and not mentioned, less obvious) costs and you will get the figure indicated in the article.

      PS. Before talking about the high, please note that we are somehow implementing programs for the construction of RTOs and corvettes. "Buyans" were put on the move only thanks to Chinese diesels. We miraculously hand over "Karakurt" 1 unit per year. 20380/20385 the industry for 17 years has not brought to mind, a large list of critical comments on the part of air defense is still available. The country needs to concentrate resources on primary things, problems even in the near sea zone in bulk. Going into rosy dreams of an aircraft carrier is now at least just silly.
      1. 123 Online 123
        123 (123) 25 January 2021 23: 00
        +1
        We have "Kuznetsov", which would still benefit from specialized carrier-based aircraft.

        Of course yes But if there are no plans to build new aircraft carriers, no one will do this. The event is expensive and it is extremely unreasonable to start development for the sake of building 2-4 aircraft. And it won't be needed any more, "Kuznetsov" is not rubber. If there will be no new aircraft carriers, there will be no planes either.

        We are building 40000-ton helicopter carriers, into which in a couple of years it will be necessary to load power units, and preferably not those that are on the 5000-ton frigates of project 22350.

        Do you think it will come as a surprise and no one else knows about it? They will build and slap themselves on the forehead - and we have completely forgotten about the engines. request

        BOD 1155, even taking into account the modernization, by the time of the hypothetical construction of the aircraft carrier will either be decommissioned or will be in the queue for decommissioning.

        And of course they won't build anything to replace them?

        The reduction in the defense budget is due to an overall reduction in budget spending. Do not invent your own, other, reasons.

        It looks like I'm not the only dreamer, they also dug themselves in MO winked

        The share of spending on national defense, which includes spending on the maintenance and support of the Russian Armed Forces, activities of the nuclear weapons complex, mobilization and non-military training, mobilization training of the economy, etc., tends to decrease after 2018, Deputy Defense Minister Tatyana noted. Shevtsov. “If in 2018 this percentage was 3,2%, then in 2019 - 2,9%, and in 2020 - 2,9%. But in fact, this is a planned reduction, and it is not at all connected with the military-political or economic situation, it is connected with the process of rearmament of the army "

        https://www.rbc.ru/economics/07/08/2020/5f2ad3ca9a79475d7e3da85c

        The UDC bookmark at the moment looks very rash, I wrote a separate article about this with a similar problem.

        The Navy needs them. They brought everything to Syria almost on rafts and on hitchhiking.

        Before talking about the high, please note that we are somehow implementing programs for the construction of RTOs and corvettes. "Buyans" were put on the move only thanks to Chinese diesels.

        Why so? Until you solve one problem, you can't take on other projects? Can't you deal with them in parallel? Yes, there is a problem with the engines, but it is being solved, as far as I remember Karkurts with Russian engines will be built by PJSC “Zvezda” and the Kingisepsky KMZ (I don’t remember how the arbitration ended), the turn of the Buyans will also come.

        20380/20385 the industry for 17 years has not brought to mind, a large list of critical comments on the part of air defense is still available.

        There are problems and there are quite a few of them, but the ones listed by you for frigates and RTOs have nothing to do with aircraft carriers. Everybody has enough problems in the fleet. Look at what the Americans have built. 3 "Zumvalta", about a dozen "littoral", problems above the roof. We got to the point that the frigates are going to be built according to the European project. But for some reason the aircraft carrier did not allow them to build, by the way, not everything is great there either. Why didn't they postpone its construction until later? When will there be no problems with the escort?

        The country needs to concentrate resources on primary things, problems even in the near sea zone in bulk. Going into rosy dreams of an aircraft carrier is now at least just silly.

        The country needs to work for the future and develop. The goals should be ambitious. Without a dream, there will be no reality, or rather it will be, but you will not like it.
        1. Alexander K_2 Offline Alexander K_2
          Alexander K_2 (Alexander K) 26 January 2021 20: 29
          0
          You described everything correctly, everything SHOULD, forgot only a few points: where Russia SHOULD take money for everything, personnel, who is the one who will build and design everything SHOULD, and where and on what to pay for these?
          1. 123 Online 123
            123 (123) 26 January 2021 21: 27
            -1
            Money in accounts, staff in design bureaus, build in shipyards. You can find the rest of the information you are interested in on the Internet hi
            1. Alexander K_2 Offline Alexander K_2
              Alexander K_2 (Alexander K) 26 January 2021 22: 11
              0
              then everything is all right Russian Navy
      2. Alexzn Online Alexzn
        Alexzn (Alexander) 26 January 2021 09: 37
        +2
        Thank you for your laconic, well-reasoned assessment on the prospects for aircraft carriers in Russia.
        1. 123 Online 123
          123 (123) 26 January 2021 22: 13
          +1
          Thank you for your laconic, well-reasoned assessment on the prospects for aircraft carriers in Russia.

          I'm glad you liked it. good As they say, what they fought for, they ran into it. If you noticed, the content of the question was not intended to consider details and details. In any case, I did not notice the attempts of the questioner to delve into them. Just a dictum in style, you have nothing, you cannot do anything. I just saved the beads. If you would like to see the details, you are welcome hi I am ready to consider the arguments for and against.
  3. Sapsan136 Offline Sapsan136
    Sapsan136 (Sapsan136) 26 January 2021 13: 48
    +1
    A lot has been written on this topic, including about power plants and not only on this site. It makes no sense to build a huge aircraft carrier of the Russian Federation now, also because the passage of aircraft carriers into the Black Sea is prohibited by international agreements, but it is possible to build a new aircraft-carrying cruiser over time. On Soviet-built ships, there was a place for launchers of huge long-range anti-ship missiles. Instead of them, it is quite possible to place UVP under the Shtil air defense system, or Redoubt.
    A) As a power plant, you can use it as a nuclear one, which is not so big, the Yankees over there in the middle of the last century built cruisers with a nuclear power plant (
    1) US cruiser with a nuclear power plant, Long Beach, in service since 1961, with a total displacement of 16602 tons and this is with very decent weapons for its time.
    2) US cruiser with a nuclear power plant, Bainbridge, in service since 1962, total displacement of 7982 tons) Of course, technology has stepped forward since then and reactors and missiles have become much more compact.
    B) In addition to the nuclear version of the power plant, it is proposed to install M90FR turbines, DDA-12000 diesel engines, their combinations, or new diesel engines, which are now being brought to mind.
    1. Alexander K_2 Offline Alexander K_2
      Alexander K_2 (Alexander K) 26 January 2021 20: 22
      -1
      Read the article!
  4. Miffer Offline Miffer
    Miffer (Sam Miffers) 26 January 2021 17: 29
    +1
    When I was ten years old, my friends and I decided to make a helicopter. Then one brought a couple of boards, the other brought in some piece of iron. On this "construction" of the helicopter was completed.
    In a similar way, Russia is now going to build an aircraft carrier.
  5. Alexander K_2 Offline Alexander K_2
    Alexander K_2 (Alexander K) 26 January 2021 20: 21
    -1
    The author of the article is Ukrainian, American, residing in the EU !!! All the same, Mosfilm cartoons will inflict irreparable defeat on the enemy armed forces!
  6. stepet Offline stepet
    stepet 27 January 2021 11: 46
    -6
    The dream of a Russian aircraft carrier, which is not destined to come true

    Russia cannot even build a normal submarine.
    What aircraft carriers can we talk about?
    And she doesn't need them, these aircraft carriers.
  7. Igor Berg Offline Igor Berg
    Igor Berg (Igor Berg) 5 February 2021 00: 50
    0
    Against the background of a very sharp exchange of views between the American edition of Forbes and the Deputy Chief of the Russian Navy Igor Kasatonov about

    Kasatonov disagrees with Forbes about his place on the list of billionaire millionaires?
  8. Robot Bobot Offline Robot Bobot
    Robot Bobot (Robot Bobot Free Thinking Machine) 27 February 2021 20: 01
    0
    Gentlemen! And Tsar Nikolai-2 the Bloody and General Secretary Joseph Dzhugashvili the Brilliant built all sorts of dreadnoughts, battleships and cruisers in front of the 1st and 2nd world wars. So, they all went to scrap metal !!! And the REAL protection of the coasts of the USSR was provided by small, but nimble, well-armed steamers and diesel boats of coastal action.
    So let's take into account the experience of our ancestors and spit on all sorts of giants - they will still drown them in the very first minutes of the war!