Project 1171 Tapir / Alligator class
The Project 1171 Tapir Large Landing Ship (Bol'shoy Desatnyy Korabl' BDK) is a beachable, general-purpose LST-type design with bow and stern ramps for unloading vehicles. The qualitative and quantitative growth of the USSR Navy allowed it to enter the expanses of the World Ocean in the 1960s. Among other tasks in strategic doctrines, the task of providing military assistance to allied and friendly states appeared. This required special funds. And last but not least - special ships for the delivery of various goods.
So, in 1959, a task appeared to develop an ocean-going large landing ship of Project 1171 Tapir with performance data comparable to those of modern Western landing ships. Almost simultaneously, the Ministry of the Navy ordered a project 1173 dry cargo ship with a bow ramp.
A tapir is an animal resembling the pig, but a tapir is not a pig. A tapir is a large, plant-eating mammal most closely related to rhinoceroses or horses, despite bearing a resemblance to pigs and anteaters. Think of a pig-sized critter with a snout like a short trunk and three toes on each foot–that’s a tapir. Tapirs today live only in Central and South America and southeastern Asia. The Baird's Tapir is the largest indigenous land animals in Central America and are most active at night. Plain tapirs are found in South America, east of the Andes. They live in dense thickets of tropical forests. They prefer to stay near water bodies, as they willingly swim and dive, and even escape from danger in the water.
Tapirs are hoofed mammals related to horses, but they’re much more primitive in many of their features. It is believed that modern tapirs have not changed much from their primitive form. Tapirs are closely related to equids and rhinos, but represent a unique taxonomic group because they have retained many prehistoric anatomical traits, such as a prehensile trunk and splayed, hoofed toes. Such features allow them to navigate high altitude terrain and access leaves and fruits that would otherwise be out of reach. As they move across the landscape, tapirs then disperse these seeds, leading to their popular moniker as "gardeners of the forest".
Project 1171 Tapir has a very modern look, compared to WW2 LSTs in that her superstructure appears almost streamlined. A large three-story bridge rises above the low cargo deck. Ships have an appearance similar to a bulk carrier. The superstructure is only at the stern, there is also a sealed folding port, which in the lowered position serves to load equipment from the pier when mooring astern. The port is also used for receiving and unloading watercraft into the dock chamber. The ship has cranes for loading cargo, located on the deck.
BDK are designed for landing amphibious assault forces with military equipment on an unequipped coast with a small bottom slope (and floating equipment - on the water) and for the transfer of troops and cargo by sea. The project 1171 BDK is a multi-deck Ro-Ro ship with a tween deck (90 m long and 9 m wide) running along the entire length of the ship, with a developed superstructure that houses the ship's control rooms, crew cabins, etc. In its upper part there is a navigation bridge, and on the roof there is a mast with antenna posts of various radio-technical weapons systems placed on it. The superstructure of the ship is located only at the stern, where there is a sealed folding port, which in the lowered position serves to load equipment from the pier (when mooring astern).
The compartment for armored vehicles is located in the bow, there is also a landing ramp (closed by sliding gates). Loading of equipment can be carried out under its own power through the bow or stern landing gear. In the first and fourth tween decks there are cockpits for landing troops. The ship has cranes for loading cargo onto the upper deck or into the tween deck through hatches in the upper deck.
The 1171 class ship can accommodate 20 battle tanks or 45 armored personnel carriers (or infantry fighting vehicles), or 52 trucks (ZIL-131 type). The number of troops (depending on the modification of the ship) is 313 or 440 people. The BDK can carry up to 1000 tons of payloads. On the bow of the BDK there is a landing ramp in the form of sliding bow and stern gates.
The Tapir-class ship is armed with one 57-mm caliber universal twin ship artillery mount (AU), two Grad-M multiple launch rocket launchers (MLRS) and two or three Strela-3 man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) ". The main power plant (GEM) of the BDK includes two 58A diesel engines with a total capacity of up to 18,000 hp. c, powered by two propellers. The power plant is located echelonally in two onboard compartments. The ship is equipped with a navigation radar station (RLS) "Don" and radio communications.
Desantovmestimost, depending on the version: 30 medium tanks and 313 paratroopers or 47 units of armored vehicles and 313 paratroopers or 52 trucks and 440 paratroopers or 1 ths. Tons of cargo. The crew - 69 people (5 officers).
Produced in at least four different types beginning in 1966, there are numerous variations in detail between units.
The development of project 1171 was the large landing ship 11711 Ivan Gren, which has been under construction since 2004 for the Russian Navy, at an "impressive pace" but has not yet been built. The Project 1171 hull also served as the prototype for the larger Project 1174 ocean-going landing craft (code "Rhino").
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