BDK or UDC: Which landing ships are needed more by the Russian Navy

It is reported that at the Yantar shipyard in the Kaliningrad region, the outlines of the hulls of two new large landing ships of Project 11771 began to take shape. long-suffering large landing craft "Ivan Gren". The Russian Navy should receive them by 2019. But does the modern fleet need ships of this class, or is their time long gone?

To call the lead ship of the 11711 series long-suffering was no exaggeration. The Russian amphibious fleet consists of old Polish and Soviet-built large landing ships, projects 775 and 1171, respectively. The need to replace them, as they say, has long been overripe. Almost all small and medium landing ships have been withdrawn from the Russian Navy due to wear and tear. On the basis of the quite successful project 1171 "Tapir", the Nevsky Design Bureau developed a new large landing craft "Ivan Gren".


Unfortunately, this project has become a real long-term construction. Initially, it was planned to create a landing ship capable of navigating rivers and internal canals. Then they began to convert it into a ship of the far sea zone, significantly increasing the displacement. Affected by chronic underfunding, because of which the construction site was frozen for a long time. The customer's technical requirements were constantly updated, forcing to make all the new changes to the project. As a result, the “Ivan Gren” laid down in 2004 entered the fleet only in 2018. At the same time, the second ship of the "Pyotr Morgunov" series was commissioned, laid down in 2015 on the basis of the lead's experience.

The total displacement of both large landing ships is 6600 tons, which makes them the largest surface warships built in the modern Russian Federation so far. At a time, each of them can transfer up to 13 main battle tanks, up to 36 armored personnel carriers or armored personnel carriers, up to 30 trucks, or up to 300 marines. It is believed that the conditions for the personnel are much better than that of the previous project, which experienced people called "cattle". The deck can accommodate 2 transport and combat helicopters of the Ka-29 type or 1 reconnaissance and attack helicopter of the Ka-52K type. The ships are armed with several artillery mounts and heavy machine guns. They are also technically adapted to the function of setting minefields, which is a useful bonus.

In 2019, it was decided, within the framework of project 11771, to build 2 more modernized ships compared to the lead ship. The total displacement of the Vladimir Andreev and Vasily Trushin has been increased to 8000 tons, the maximum speed will remain the same - 18 knots. Each of them will be able to take on board up to 40 units of armored vehicles or 400 marines. The air wing will also grow to 5 helicopters. The delivery of the BDK is expected in 2024, both of them, which is remarkable, will go to the Pacific Fleet, closer to the Kuril Islands.

Thus, despite a lot of problems, the 11771 project can be considered quite successful. But what will be their real role? Landing from a large landing craft involves disembarking either directly ashore, or by means of a special engineering pontoon through the open bow doors of the ship. Light amphibious armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles can themselves go down into the sea and independently reach the coast. The problem is that this method of landing on unequipped coastlines has long been outdated.

BDK, approaching at low speed to the coast, is an easy target not only for anti-ship complexes, but also for conventional cannon artillery and even mortars. An actively defending enemy is able to turn the amphibious assault into a real "bloodbath". Opening and suppressing all gun emplacements on the coast in advance is a very non-trivial task. It is highly desirable to have reconnaissance and strike aircraft, which will need to be brought with you in order to conduct radar reconnaissance, provide data for target designation to ship-based and air-based missiles, and suppress positions with aerial bombardment.

Alas, the BDK concept itself is now considered outdated. What is the trend today?


During the Vietnam War, the Americans were faced with the urgent need to ensure rapid landing and operational control of the landing process from a distance safe from the coastal artillery fire of Vietnamese patriots. As a result, the concept of a universal amphibious assault ship was developed, which, being at a distance of 25-30 kilometers from the coast, was able to land an expeditionary battalion of the Marine Corps from technique, support it with helicopters and carry out general coordination as a command ship.

The first American UDC was the Tarawa type, followed by the Wasp series, which is now being gradually replaced by the America type. Similar ships are being built in France, Turkey, Australia, Spain, South Korea, China and Japan. The first Russian UDCs were supposed to be the French Mistrals, built according to the standards of the Russian Ministry of Defense, but because of the US sanctions they never got to us, eventually ending up in Egypt. To replace them, a project 23900 was developed, and in 2020 two domestic universal amphibious assault ships were laid down at the Zaliv plant in Kerch. Mitrofan Moskalenko has been designated as the future flagships of the Black Sea Fleet, and Ivan Rogov will go to the Pacific Fleet, where, possibly, it will also replace the aging cruiser Varyag as a leader.

This can undoubtedly be considered a major breakthrough for the Russian navy. However, it is somehow difficult to imagine the flagships leading the real amphibious assault on the actively defended hostile coast. Their loss will become an irreparable loss for the Russian Navy. To send the large landing ships without proper preparation is to deliberately use them up. Without air wing cover for carrier-based aircraft, such an operation would turn into a real gamble.

The bottom line is that the Russian Navy needs more UDC than the two voiced ships. Airborne support of the amphibious assault by carrier-based aircraft is also highly desirable. Large landing ships in a real combat operation will go only in the second echelon, when the coast has already been properly "ironed out" and cleaned out. The rest of the time, the BDK is destined for the role of a "cab" for the delivery of military equipment, for example, within the framework of the "Syrian Express" or similar campaigns. In other words, they are needed, but just as "workhorses".
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  • Photos used: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
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  1. S WITH Offline S WITH
    S WITH (N S) 13 January 2022 15: 52
    judging by this picture, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation has already decided what the RF needs - one universal hull is needed from which you can make several ships, different in purpose

    1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
      Marzhecki (Sergei) 13 January 2022 16: 21
      Varan is an initiative development of the Nevsky Design Bureau. Not a MO order.
      And so, yes, unification simplifies a lot.
      1. S WITH Offline S WITH
        S WITH (N S) 13 January 2022 16: 29
        I think this will not be the case, the su75 is unified with the su57, they will also do a lot on the Armata platform, they even say they want to adapt the corps of the future multipurpose nuclear submarine for basing ICBMs. or vice versa)) it is possible to shorten Borey and make a multipurpose nuclear submarine out of it
  2. Panikovsky Offline Panikovsky
    Panikovsky (Mikhail Samuelevich Panikovsky) 13 January 2022 15: 56
    Uv. author, this is understandable without your alarma. Two shipyards are being built in Kerch, other shipyards are busy with other orders. UDC is a steamer of at least 25 thousand tons with a displacement. So we are building what we can, what the production capacity allows. On Yantar it is a bdk.
  3. Bulanov Offline Bulanov
    Bulanov (Vladimir) 13 January 2022 15: 59
    The Russian army is always strong on the ground.
    1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
      Marzhecki (Sergei) 13 January 2022 19: 39
      So here we are talking about the fleet smile
  4. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
    Marzhecki (Sergei) 13 January 2022 16: 19
    Quote: Panikovsky
    Uv. author, this is understandable without your alarma. Two shipyards are being built in Kerch, other shipyards are busy with other orders. UDC is a steamer of at least 25 thousand tons with a displacement. So we are building what we can, what the production capacity allows. On Yantar it is a bdk.

    Mr. Panikovsky, where is the alarm at all? What kind of panic?
    And who understands whether you started to speak for everyone or only for yourself? Here, not all readers are interested in the fleet and understand.
  5. Sapsan136 Offline Sapsan136
    Sapsan136 (Alexander) 14 January 2022 19: 32
    It is possible to process the enemy’s coast, before landing, with air bombs of a large-caliber volumetric explosion, then it will simply not be necessary to identify all the enemy’s firing points, because EVERYTHING will be destroyed in the area affected by the ammunition.
    1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
      Marzhecki (Sergei) 15 January 2022 06: 32
      Yes, you can not bother at all and bomb nuclear. Then the landing will not be needed. soldier
      1. Sapsan136 Offline Sapsan136
        Sapsan136 (Alexander) 15 January 2022 07: 43
        It is possible, but the use of nuclear weapons leads to radioactive contamination of the area and the territory on which a nuclear strike was carried out, at least for a long time, cannot be used. Volumetric detonating ammunition destroys all life, but does not infect the area. They may be relevant when capturing enemy territory, or, for example, to destroy the Japanese occupying forces in the Kuriles. There is no civilian population on most of the islands, and even where it is, it is doubtful that the Japanese they were on ceremony with him and someone could have survived after the Japanese occupation ... These warriors have repeatedly shown their (civilization and humane treatment of prisoners and civilians) both during the Russian-Japanese and during the Second World War
        1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
          Marzhecki (Sergei) 15 January 2022 10: 48
          I was just joking about nuclear weapons. soldier
          And so, yes, we must keep in mind the possibility of de-occupation of the Kuriles. It is for KTOF that 1 UDC and 2 new BDKs will go.
  6. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 14 January 2022 22: 25
    The stump is clear, everything is needed. (And a death star, if only there was one)
    The question is, if money, power and experience ...

    Usually they do not write about the cost, but sometimes they let it slip.
    A day of quiet life of the 1st nuclear submarine costs about a million, I read it.
    1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
      Marzhecki (Sergei) 15 January 2022 06: 31
      Whoever does not want to feed his own army will feed someone else's. There is no third. bully
      1. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
        Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 15 January 2022 17: 23
        Residents Usmanov, Abramovich and others have long been successfully feeding foreign armies with Russian money.

        And the export of capital is again breaking records, and apparently allowed.