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Project 11711 Ivan Gren

Project 11711 Ivan Gren ships ["George the Victorious"] have a total displacement of about 6 thousand tons and are the largest surface ships built in recent times. The Ivan Gren landing ship is the first large landing ship built in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The previous project of the large amphibious assault ship 1171 (cipher "Tapir") is 4.3 thousand tons, and the most numerous ships of this class in the Russian Navy (project 775) - 4.4 thousand tons.

It is possible to deliver to the destination a reinforced company of marines with standard equipment and disembark it on the pontoons brought with them. Provisional details of Project 11711 released in a 2003 Russian arms catalogue indicate that the design will be able to transport up to 13 main battle tanks or 60 armored personnel carriers. Accommodation aboard will provide for a deck area amidships allowing for the transportation of ISO-standard containers.

The ships full-time crew is one hundred sailors. The indicated number of assault troops (300 people) does not correspond to either a company (as for the Type 072-III project) or a battalion of more than 400 people (Project 1171). It can transport 13 battle tanks weighing up to 60 tons or 36 armored personnel carriers. It is noteworthy that there is an indoor hangar and a platform for helicopter equipment. The ship can take two helicopters at once - transport and combat Ka-29 or search and rescue Ka-27.

The Project 11711 designation [which should have been Project 1171.1 by common Russian practice], suggested a derivative of Project 1171, the (very old) Tapir (NATO: Alligator) class LST. In fact it is a new design. The displacement of the BDK (large landing ship) - 6 thousand tons. "Ivan Gren" is the largest landing ship in the Russian Navy. It differs from its brothers even externally, in its dimensions. Length - 120 meters, width - 16.5, draft - 3.6 meters. Displacement exceeds 5 thousand tons, while the BDK is capable of speeds up to 18 knots and is designed for a cruising range of 3.5 thousand miles. In autonomous navigation, the ship can be up to 30 days.

In particular, as the general director of the Neva design bureau (Saint Petersburg) Alexander Viglin has stated, the uniqueness the new ocean-going Large Landing Ship (Bol'shoy Desatnyy Korabl' BDK) is that it is capable of transporting up to 40 units of military technics of various kinds, and making a sea landing to coast can be carried out with the help of a special bridge-pontoon. "The need of Navy fleet of the Russian Federation for such ships equipped with the most perfect domestic technics, fully-automated, is very great ", Viglin told ITAR-TASS.

In the United States, the idea of landing people and equipment on an unequipped coast directly from large landing ships was already considered an anachronism by this time. A large ship is a large target. To push a large landing ship directly to the enemy shore meant to deliberately expose it to attack. Therefore, the US Navy was actively engaged in developing the doctrine of "over-horizon landing" and "vertical coverage." According to her, the landing ship remained out of sight from the enemy shore, and high-speed craft and helicopters based on the "paratrooper" were engaged in disembarking people and equipment. Specifically, under this doctrine, universal landing ships with a total displacement of more than 40,000 tons were built in the United States, capable of carrying not only several dozen helicopters and vertical take-off and landing aircraft, but also 12 landing boats with the possibility of replacing a dozen landing boats with a three air cushion vehicles.

For the sake of speeding up the design, it was decided to use for the new BDK measurements and contours of the well-proven BDK project 1171 (built in 1964-1975). This limited the displacement of the future new BDK to 5,000 tons. In general, the Nevsky Design Bureau turned out to be a classic Soviet BDK. However, there were differences: two (bow and stern) superstructures instead of one, a helicopter hangar, a pair of Ka-29 helicopters, as well as improved living conditions for the crew and landing.

These ships were to operate in the coastal and near sea zones (at a distance of up to 500 miles). In addition, their use in the river-sea regime was envisaged. To this end, the original design enabled the ship to pass locks and bridges of large rivers. Obviously, the fleet made such low demands on the project for financial reasons. In addition, there was a tendency to reduce Russia's foreign policy influence. Therefore, the construction of ships of the ocean zone was considered in the Navy not relevant. Over time, the fleet command revised its requirements.

It was decided to increase the displacement of landing ships of the Ivan Gren type to 5000 tons and more. This allowed them to be reclassified to the BDK. New in the project was a non-contact way of landing. It provides for a landing on a pontoon bride, introduced from the landing ship to the shore. This novel mode of landing had not been publicly demonstrated by the end of 2019. The use of a pontoon bridge rather than the ramp traditionally used by amphbious assault ships of this type provides a novel solution to the design dilemma that had dogged amphibouis assault since World War II - a shallow draft vessel that can approach a beach has poor seakeeping characteristics, and the deeper draft [not to mention bow bulb] needed for good seakeeping precluded getting close to the shore. What fraction of shores of interest are accessible by Ivan Gren's pontoon bridge remains a matter of conjecture.

During the six-year stage of work on the project, the requirements for the BDK changed repeatedly. In particular, the initial armament was reduced. Because of this, the ship lost the ability to strike on the shore. It is believed that this was done out of economy. But foreign analogues have similar weapons, although they are less limited in means.

The ship has a helipad, which provides take-off and landing of helicopters weighing up to 12 tons. The layout of the interior of the BDK was changed in order to optimize the movement of goods. In addition, the living conditions of the project were improved (cockpits for crew and landing, gym). During the construction, new materials and technologies were used to reduce the radar visibility of the ship. However, according to Western publications, this did not have the same effect as on NATO landing ships.

Project 11711 provides two methods for loading landing equipment on board. The main one - under its own power along the ramps and the auxiliary one - using a crane (16 t) through the cargo hatch. The hatch also provides ventilation for the cargo hold. This makes it possible to warm up the engines of armored vehicles in advance of disembarkation safely for the health of crews. Two boat cranes are designed to lift the boats aboard the landing ship. Landing would be carried out by means of a nose landing device (ramp) - directly to the shore or into the water. If it is impossible for the BDK to get close to land, a non-contact landing method is used. At the same time, a chain of pontoons is released from the cargo hold and connects the BDK to the shore.

The process and result of the creation of this project is an example of an ill-conceived approach to the construction of the fleet. There was a simple replenishment of obsolete ships with slightly modernized analogs. Obviously, the need to act in the Ocean zone requires a qualitative increase in the combat capabilities of the fleet. Half measures in the form of a large landing ship Ivan Gren or a mosquito fleet with Caliber missiles are a waste of money. A promising direction, for example, could be the construction of universal landing ships of the Surf project.

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Page last modified: 25-12-2019 18:54:39 ZULU