In previous articles, I talked about the state of affairs in our Navy, in particular about the problems that arose in our construction of heavy and light frigates of projects 22350 and 11356R, respectively. They should have become the basis of our surface fleet, replacing the aging and retiring Soviet-built ship fleet for decommissioning (by 2030 we risked being left without BNKs of the 1st and 2nd rank altogether).
Problems with heavy frigates were caused by the difficulties that arose during the fine-tuning of the lead ship of this series "Admiral Gorshkov" and its acceptance by the fleet (this dragged on for almost 8 years), which led to the resuscitation of the export version of the light frigate, which we once riveted a fair amount (6 pcs) for the Indian Navy, but the Ukrainian side has already set up the bandwagon for us, refused to supply power plants for them. We found a way out here too. Which one? More on this below.
When in 2014 it became clear that Ukrainian turbines, and, accordingly, new frigates of projects 11356 and 22350, would not be received by the fleet in the near future, it was decided to build 19 small missile ships of project 22800 "Karakurt", which, due to their higher seaworthiness characteristics, should were to strengthen the fleet of missile ships "Buyan-M" (those who distinguished themselves by strikes "Calibrov-NK" in Syria). Although everyone understood that these were coastal zone ships and they were not able to fully replace the frigates. But we also could not afford to idle our shipbuilding capacities, calmly observing the aging of the fleet of the Russian Navy. Therefore, project 22800 was urgently launched, which became a major success for domestic shipbuilders.
The Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau (developer) and the Leningrad Shipyard Pella (a private plant that won a production tender) have proven that a warship can be created quickly and inexpensively. Only three years passed from the decision to start construction to the launch of the ship for testing. In our recent history, a warship has never been built so quickly. The ship is notable for the fact that during its creation, no accompanying R&D was carried out. The customers set the task - to use only serial equipment mastered by the industry. They used what has letters, or developed according to the completed ROCs of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, that is, already existing samples that only needed to be accepted by the military. Therefore, in such a short time, everything worked out. One of the highlights of the project is almost complete import substitution. All serious equipment is domestic.
Another highlight of the project was the involvement of private owners for its implementation. The program for the construction of the modernized missile ships "Karakurt" was prepared under the former Deputy Defense Minister of the Russian Federation Yuri Borisov (now he is the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation). The peculiarity of the program is that it was completely dismantled by private shipbuilders who stole orders right from under the nose of the state United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC). The first contract of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation for seven ships was won by the Leningrad "Pella", the second for six RTOs went to the Zelenodolsk plant named after Gorky, who also attracted the Kerch shipyard "Zaliv" for this. And on August 22, 2018, within the framework of the Army-2018 forum's business program, contracts were signed for the construction of six more Karakurts already in the Far East for the needs of the Pacific Fleet (four at the Amur Shipyard and two at the Eastern Shipyard).
However, the trouble came from where they did not expect. Petersburg engine-building plant "Zvezda", whose diesel engine М507 and generator DGAS-315о are used to equip ships for the close coast guard of the Russian Navy, officially notified its recipients about the impossibility of their delivery this year. The disruption was caused by the fact that the Zvezda plant had a large volume of orders for the supply of marine engines, diesel generators and gearboxes for the Russian Navy. Zvezda was not ready for their influx, either technically or financially. The conveyor simply could not cope with the military orders that had fallen on them. As a result, the deadlines for the delivery of "Karakurt" were shifted to 2019-21. Project 20385 corvettes also suffered from this, the deadlines for which also moved to the right.
Even options were considered to replace the Karakurt ship power plant with the M70FRU-R gas turbine engine from UEC-Saturn and the CHD622V20 diesel engine produced by Henan Diesel Engine Industry Limited (PRC). Both options were discarded. From the GTE due to the lack of full-fledged (dozens of engines per year) serial production, as well as due to the fact that the frigates of Project 11356 should be the first to receive these engines. And the Chinese diesel engines were abandoned due to their poor quality (4 cases of failure on operating ships of the Russian Navy and the Border Service of the FSB of the Russian Federation) and the inability to withstand the performance characteristics of the ship - they were not able to provide a given speed, which dropped by half. As a result, they returned to diesel engines from Zvezda. Proven quality. Diesel engines of the M507 series are a development of more than half a century ago, they still have unique specific indicators, albeit with very difficult operation. True, you will have to wait with them (now the long-range fleet is in priority, and the ships of the coastal zone can wait).
Pros and cons of the new power plant
But there is never a silver lining. As a result of the podlyany thrown at us by the Ukrainian side, we faced the need to promptly launch the production of such products at the domestic production base. On the other hand, what else could you expect from non-brothers? We had to think before, when we created our own weapon of retaliation with a localization of 87%, leaving the production of the heart of the ship - its power plant - to our neighbors on the globe, which Mazepa, Bandera and Petliura have not forgiven us yet. Just think about what happened, by refusing to supply us with their power plants, they actually slowed down the development of our Navy for 10 years. This is how long it will take us to replace the missing components with our own production. 7 years have already passed, there were no frigates, and still no. And they were supposed to become the backbone of our surface fleet. The backbone, around which our Naval forces could form.
We are sorely lacking ships of the 1st and 2nd rank, we have nothing to support our ambitions, not only in the World Ocean, but even in the nearest seas surrounding the Russian Federation along the perimeter. For comparison, our main enemy only has 4 Arlee Burke-class URO destroyers of the 67th generation, 7 more are under construction and 10 more are planned. These are ships with a displacement of 7-9 thousand tons, carrying guided missile weapons (from 56 to 96 of the same Tomahawk missiles with a range of up to 2,5 thousand km, capable of carrying nuclear charges). And these are just destroyers of the 4th generation, while I am not saying anything about their 22 missile cruisers of the Ticonderoga type, carrying 122 missiles each, and about 11 aircraft carrier strike groups, where, in addition to the aircraft carriers themselves , includes another ten or one and a half escort and escort ships (the same URO cruisers, URO destroyers, frigates, corvettes and nuclear submarines). The forces are clearly not equal. And the power plant, before it enters the series, must work tens of thousands of engine hours at the stand, not counting the mandatory sea trials. We do not have such installations. And the Ukrainians do. Proven by years of work at sea ("Zorya-Mashproekt" has been running its products since 1978, and so far we have been driving only empty!). It's time to regret that in 2014 we did not take Nikolayev for ourselves, with its Black Sea shipyard, which built missile and aircraft-carrying cruisers in Soviet times (the unique "Thread" also remained there - a runway for testing carrier-based aircraft, about You already know everything about Zoryu-Mashproekt).
Therefore, in order not to get into such a situation and continue not to depend on the supply of engines for new ships being built for the Russian fleet, the command of the Russian Navy developed and adopted the "Concept for the creation and use of gas turbine engines and surface ship units." As a result, the responsibility for the production and supply of gas turbine engines was assigned to the Rybinsk UEC-Saturn. Yes, as a matter of fact, and the choice was not great. PJSC "UEC-Saturn" (formerly OJSC "Rybinsk Motors") is an engine building company (part of AO UEC under the roof of the state corporation Rostec), the main specialization of which is the development and production of gas turbine engines for aviation, ships, marine and coastal industrial facilities, as well as for power generating and gas pumping installations. Who else if not them?
And the Rybinsk engine builders did not disappoint (which even Putin did not fail to mention!). They rolled over their heads and in the shortest possible time created the MA4 power plant based on four M2FRU gas turbine engines of their own production, configured according to the 2 + 70 scheme, which have no Ukrainian analogues (with a capacity of 14 thousand hp), and, thanks to the use of cobalt-based alloys, brought it The efficiency is up to 36%, against 32% for the Ukrainian analogue. They achieved similar efficiency indicators on a more powerful M90FR gas turbine engine of their own production (for the Nikolaev analogue of DT59, this indicator is even lower - only 30%). And this despite the fact that installations of this type, in general, do not give an efficiency more than 40%, here there is a war for every percentage. And this is a definite plus.
Among the minuses, it can be noted that in the original Ukrainian project, the M7N1 unit consisted of two gas turbine units (GTU) - one with a capacity of 8 hp. for an economical course, and the second, "afterburner", with a capacity of 450 hp. for full stroke. Thus, given that two such units were installed on the ship, on two "economical»Turbines, the frigate developed a power of 16 hp, and the total power was 900 hp. Now it is planned to install two gas turbine units on the ships, each of which has two M60FRU gas turbine engines (a total of 900 gas turbine engines according to the 70 + 4 scheme with a capacity of 2 hp each). Thus, the economical run will be carried out with the turbine power of 2 hp, and full speed at 14 hp. Sounds good? The maximum speed of the frigates did not drop much, but the speed of the economical course increased. It would seem that the problem has been solved? However, how to look. After all, this decreases the range of autonomous navigation, due to the higher fuel consumption due to the increase in the power of the gas turbine. In this situation, it would be good to make it to Syria. So here the stick turned out to be two-edged. We won in economical speed, lost in cruising range due to excessive consumption of fuel. Therefore, one should not be surprised that the home port of the already built frigates is Sevastopol, and not Baltiysk (otherwise a tanker will have to be chased after each of them).
But this does not diminish the tasks facing the Rybinsk engine builders. According to the "Concept for the creation and use of gas turbine engines and surface ship units", adopted by the command of the Russian Navy, it is planned to equip missile cruisers of project 1164, large anti-submarine ships of project 1155, frigates of project 22350 and 22350M, patrol ships (light frigates) of project 11356, corvettes project 20386, small missile ships of project 22800, missile boats of project 1241, as well as air-cushion landing ships of projects 12322 (code "Zubr") and project 12061 (code "Murena").
This concludes a brief overview of the problems of the fleet. So, thanks to our problems with Ukraine, the Indian, Algerian and Egyptian fleets are growing in power. Ukraine here, too, does not graze the hind, having bought from the United States two decommissioned 30-year-old Island class patrol boats without weapons on the occasion, paying for them as if they were new ($ 9 million with delivery and training of crews). For that kind of money, the Yankees promised to give the aborigines some spare parts (which is understandable, the ships still remember Reagan and Madame Thatcher, they cannot be repaired!). In their fight against the hated aggressor, the very thing will be! Note that if we sell the latest ships, the Americans sell exclusively floating scrap metal, inferior in profit only to their ancestors, who bought the island of Manhattan for beads, buttons and some other garbage from the aborigines. And recently, from their generosity, they threw 84 rubber boats to their wards. And I'm not kidding here! Already now I see how the non-brothers, lined up like a pig, will join them to storm Sevastopol or board the missile cruiser Moskva. But let's not talk about sad things.