When writing the previous cycle of articlesdevoted to the state of affairs in our Navy (in particular, its surface component), I faced criticism from part of the audience of the concept of the development of the Russian Navy, adopted by the High Naval Command and being implemented by it at the moment.
From their point of view, the High Naval Command completely mistakenly accepted and implemented in the previous period a plan to build a large number of small pennants (in particular, small missile ships of the 3rd rank), equipped with weapons of unprecedented strength - the Kalibr-NK cruise missiles, but at the same time, as they believe, possessing low seaworthiness and completely defenseless against enemy ships and aircraft. Moreover, in their opinion, the command of the fleet, and this seemed not enough, and now it has taken on the construction of completely unnecessary from the point of view of sofa experts multipurpose URO corvettes of the 2nd rank of the far sea zone of project 20386, which they called "useless, expensive and useless troughs" ( or "buckets", then they had a confusion in their assessments). From the point of view of some readers, the old corvettes of projects 20380/20385 of the near sea zone would be enough for us. There is no need, in their opinion, to spend people's money so mediocrely when a promising experimental corvette costs almost 2 times more than the old one (29 billion rubles against 18 billion rubles). With the construction of a series of MRK (small rocket ships) of 30 projects 21631 Buyan-M and 22800 Karakurt, they agreed that it was just a banal and stupid budget cut.
I want to note that even on thematic narrow-profile forums discussing the state of affairs of our Navy, already from the Moreman specialists I had the opportunity to hearthat the High Command of the Fleet hacked the Super-Karakurt project (this is a reinforced version of the Karakurt MRK of project 22800), and it would be very useful for OVR (water area protection) from enemy submarines when deploying our nuclear submarines from the basing areas. Those. here, even from the specialized specialists, I see a lack of understanding of the essence of the problems that the High Command of the Fleet solves, performing the tasks set by the Supreme leadership of the country. This text is intended to close this issue and shed light on the actions of the Kremlin that are illogical and incorrect from the point of view of individual comrades.
Criticism of the project 20386
In principle, I myself, in the preamble to text, dedicated to the new corvette of project 20386, did not hide the fact that its construction caused an ambiguous reaction from narrow-profile military experts, most of whom reacted to the project skeptically... And there were good reasons for that, in their opinion.
Firstly, the price of the project is a whole 29 billion rubles, while the old time-tested corvettes of the project 20380 cost almost 2 times cheaper (17-18 billion rubles). Those. instead of one new corvette, it was possible to build two old ones and thereby close all problems in the near sea zone, for which ships of this class were responsible. Let me remind you that the ICR of the 2nd rank BMZ (patrol ship of the near sea zone), which became the prototype for the creation of a new class of ships of the "corvette" type of project 20380, in addition to escort and military-police tasks, also solved the tasks of PLO (anti-submarine defense), i.e. e. the fight against enemy submarines in the areas where our nuclear submarines are deployed when they are deployed to patrol areas. And taking into account the aging of the fleet of MPK (small anti-submarine ships) of the 3rd rank of projects 1124 and 1124M, which are responsible for OVR (protection of the water area), which is available in the Navy, there will soon be no one to perform these tasks.
And this is the honest truth - these workhorses of the Albatross project honestly have served since Soviet times, but everything comes to an end. The Albatross project has exhausted itself, it cannot be upgraded due to the lack of modernization displacement reserves, but must only be disposed of as the resource is depleted and replaced. But the trouble is that there is nothing to change them. And it is necessary to change 22 ships, which are currently in service in three fleets (Northern Fleet, Pacific Fleet and Black Sea Fleet). And here the corvettes of project 20380 would come in very handy, which, according to military experts, is being rolled up to please the new project 20386, which, in their opinion, is, if not a crime, then a mistake.
But the mistake of our experts is that they operate with outdated data - according to my data, as of the current moment, no one refuses project 20380. Three buildings are under construction at different stages of completion. Another 10 buildings have been contracted for construction at two plants (the Severnaya Verf Shipyard and the Amur Shipyard) by the RF Ministry of Defense. And this is not counting one under construction and 6 contracted hulls of a more powerful armament and displacement project 20385. If we add up, we get the 20 ships of the near sea zone necessary for the fleet. But no, our experts are haunted by the pilot project 20386, which is generally designed to solve completely different problems in the distant sea and oceanic zones.
At the same time, in this matter, the price is not at all a defining characteristic. It is clear that the lead model of the series is much more expensive than the serial one (even our enemies in their wonderful series of 4th generation destroyers of the Arleigh Burke type, which have undergone 4 modifications, the lead destroyer in the sub-series costs half a billion dollars more than the serial one - 2,2 billion. dollars against 1,7 billion). And everything depends on the filling of the product, it is clear that the new filling a priori cannot be cheaper than the old one, since it is based on a new technological base. How can you compare incomparable things - white and fluffy, when the ship is initially planned to solve completely different tasks and is intended to become a testing ground for running in and testing new weapons and technological solutions. If we always and in everything listened to our respected experts, we would still sail.
The second reason that kept our experts awake was the armament of the project. Let's listen to their arguments:
Despite a significant increase in displacement (from projects 20380 and 20385), the new "innovative" project 20386 has lost the "Caliber" complex (normally installed on the project 20385). The use of "Caliber" is possible only with the planned "container-modular" launcher, temporarily installed instead of the helicopter (!) And with a reduction in ammunition by half from the 20385 project. "Zarya" and replacing it with an older one and with worse performance characteristics of GAS MG-335M). Given the importance of anti-submarine missions, incl. to ensure the deployment of NSNF, such a weakening of the armament of the "promising" corvette of project 20386 has no reasonable explanations (especially given its significantly increased displacement and cost).
I will immediately explain for the uninitiated what the term NSNF means - these are naval forces of nuclear deterrence, here we are specifically talking about our strategic nuclear submarines (SSBNs and SSBNs), whose deployment from bases should cover the IPC (small anti-submarine ships) of the 3rd rank and the ICR of the 2nd rank BMZ (patrolmen of the near sea zone), which should replace them.
Now specifically on the claims. Yes, indeed, the displacement of project 20386 increased by almost 1000 tons (3400 tons versus 2250/2430 tons on projects 20380/20385, respectively). But regarding the composition of the armament, I have somewhat different data. As of January 2020, Almaz Central Design Bureau provided updated performance characteristics of products. Fixed one of the main drawbacks of the project - weak shock weapons. Now, instead of the 3S24 Uranium anti-ship missile system, the ship is nominally equipped with two vertical launch units UVP 3S14, mounted on the bow of the ship and designed for the entire family of sea-based missiles in our arsenal - from the cruise “Caliber-NK” to the supersonic anti-ship “Onyx”, and in the future and hypersonic "Zircons". At the same time, the "Redut" air defense missile systems also remain on the nose. For this, the ship had to be lengthened by another couple of meters (109 meters versus 106,3 meters on project 20385), and in order to avoid trim on the bow and loss of seaworthiness, they added both from the bow and from the stern at the same time. The removable containerized missile module for operational and tactical purposes ("Caliber-NK" for 4 missiles) has not gone anywhere either, which further enhances the ship's striking power. At the same time, no one refuses the helicopter. The helicopter is planned to be stored in a below-deck hangar equipped with a vertical helicopter lift, which allows freeing the upper deck for lifting and moving modular containers.
Regarding the used GAS, according to my information, there are two configuration options. The first one - 1 x SJC "Minotavr-ISPN-M" with a subkeeping antenna based on MGK-335EM-03 + 1 x SAC "Vignette-EM". The second - 1 x GAS "Zarya-M" + 1 x GAS "Vignette-EM". At the same time, a flexible extended towed antenna of an integrated underwater surveillance system with a launching device mounted on an integrated frame (GAS "Vignette") is part of the temporarily installed modular equipment, which allows, if necessary, to enhance the ship's PLO capabilities. For project 20386, both configuration options are possible.
I, of course, am not a hydroacoustician and not a PLO specialist, like our respected experts, but here is what the manufacturer himself writes about the capabilities of the system:
As expected, the patrol ship of the far sea zone will be equipped with the most modern and sensitive hydroacoustic systems developed by JSC Concern Okeanpribor. The corvettes will be armed with 3 hydroacoustic systems for various purposes at once: low-frequency active-passive GAS "Vignette-EM" for detecting noise-emitting sources (submarine, surface ship) in the first and second distant zones of acoustic illumination (35-140 km), GAK MGK- 335EM-03 for detecting underwater targets in the near zone of acoustic illumination (3-5 km, also 5-12 km) with the establishment of hydroacoustic and telecode communication in order to identify or warn the crew of the detected object, GAS "Pallada" to detect underwater swimmers-saboteurs in close proximity to the ship (up to 0,5 km).
As you can see, everything with the exception of GAS "Pallada" is present on project 20386, the keel hydroacoustic station is stationary - for work in BMZ, and the corvette towed GAS "Vignette-EM" will be equipped as needed - for work (in DMZ and OZ) on long trips ... So the experts' claims on the part of weapons were in vain.
Awkward power plant that does not meet the tasks facing the ship
The following claims were already against the power plant:
In view of the new type of the main power plant of the corvette 20386 (gas turbine with partial electric motion), not only technical de-uniformity with other ships of the near zone, but their joint use for their intended purpose is also significantly complicated. At the same time, partial electromotion gives little, because the power of the electric motors on the project 20386 is small for an effective search run (about 18 knots), and the inevitable transition to turbines dramatically increases noise, operating costs and reduces the cruising range.
For those who are not in the know, I will remind the ship's power plant is a combined gas turbine unit with partial electric propulsion as part of two M90FR gas turbine engines with a capacity of 27500 hp. (made by NPO "ODK-Saturn") and two electric motors ADR-1600V with a capacity of 2200 hp. (manufactured by JSC Power Machines), which transmit torque to two shafts and two variable pitch propellers (CPP) through the 6РП gear unit and the inter-gear transmission (manufactured by PJSC Zvezda).
For some reason, our experts did not note the fact that variable pitch propellers (CPP) were installed on project 20386, while fixed pitch propellers (CPP) were installed on projects 20380/20385. Knowledgeable people will understand what this gives the ship. And what choice did the designers have? The dimensions and displacement of the ship increased, the mass also increased, and the old Kolomna diesel engines, standing on the previous projects 20380/20385, could no longer cope with the increased requirements to maintain the required speed of the ship, the experts proposed to force them. But for the project 20385, the Kolomna diesel engine was already forced. Its capabilities have been exhausted on this, the Kolomans then had to create a new, more powerful diesel engine. This also takes time. The developers chose a different path - they put on the ship a Rybinsk-made gas turbine M90FR, which UEC-Saturn had developed for heavy frigates of Project 22350 (especially for the newly built Mercury of Project 20386, all Project 22350 “admirals” were shifted to the right, except for Admiral Golovko ", Which received its GTEs from Rybinsky Prospect in the first place - in December 2020). What's a bad decision? And why not try it out on a prototype before putting it into production?
Do not forget that the project 20386, according to the TK, was designed to work in the distant sea and oceanic zones, and it was this circumstance that did not allow the use for these purposes of the diesel-diesel unit DDA-12000 of Kolomna Prospect, standing on previous projects, with all its advantages ... For those who have forgotten, I will remind you that all the advantages of a diesel power plant were crossed out by its only drawback - the unreliability of the power plant, which, for all its efficiency, low weight and low noise (and as a consequence of stealth in the hydroacoustic range) still did not allow the ship to be used in the far sea zone.
For your information:: On both projects - and 20380, and 20385, there were two diesel units DDA-12000 produced by JSC "Kolomna Machine Building Plant". For the 20380 project, 4 diesel engines 10D49 with a capacity of 5200 hp were used for this. (two for each unit), which transmitted torque to two shafts with fixed-pitch propellers through the reverse-reduction gears of the RRD 12000 produced by PJSC "Zvezda" (St. Petersburg). In 20385, 4 diesel engines 16D49 with a capacity of 6000 hp were used for this. from the same manufacturer.
Both Kolomna diesel engines - the 10D49 and its uprated counterpart 16D49, are excellent, time-tested economical cars, but very sensitive to operating conditions, and therefore are frequent customers of repair plants, from which they cannot sail far. A fresh example of this is the service and combat activity of the lead ship of the project 20380 corvette "Guarding", on which both of its medium-speed diesel engines 10D49 of the main power plant broke down twice during this time.
Therefore, I believe that all claims to the power plant are far-fetched, stemming from a misunderstanding of why this ship was created. And it was created to replace the obsolete light frigates of project 11356R as a universal multipurpose multipurpose ship URO of the 2nd rank for work in the distant sea and oceanic zones. And its experts are judged on the basis of the tasks assigned to the ASW ships of the near sea zone (and the experts themselves, in particular Maxim Klimov, anti-submarine warriors, hence the blinkeredness on ASW problems).
I have to put an end to this, I have analyzed the main complaints about the project 20386, conclusions and debriefing, who is to blame for this situation, I will make in the next article. Not saying goodbye.