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Project 66 TKR Heavy cruiser

Shortly after the end of the Great Patriotic War, at the direction of JV Stalin, the People's Commissar of the Navy, Admiral of the Navy N. G. Kuznetsov, submitted for approval the government draft of a ten-year plan for military shipbuilding for 1946-1955. Based on the experience of the just-ended combat operations at sea, four large and small aircraft carriers were to be built for the creation of carrier-based aircraft , including heavy destroyers and light cruisers, along with destroyers and patrol ships, in order to increase their combat stability.

The draft plan was repeatedly adjusted, from which large and then small aircraft carriers were first excluded. As a result, in the plan approved by the resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU (B) and the Council of Ministers of the USSR of November 27, 1945, there were no aircraft carriers. Admiral of the Navy N. G. Kuznetsov could not exert real influence on the fate of this plan, since in early 1947 he was removed from the post of the commander-in-chief of the Navy and was appointed head of the naval educational institutions department and then sent to the Far East where he was serving In various positions until 1951.

According to the approved plan for military shipbuilding, four heavy and thirty light cruisers were to be built, and three more heavy and seven light cruisers were to be built in 1953-1955. In the current military-strategic situation, the cruisers became the basis of the surface forces of the Soviet Navy, especially since the linear ships in it were hopelessly outdated, and although it was planned to lay two ships of this class in 1955, it was obvious that it was hardly possible to build them for a number of reasons.

As is well known, the Soviet fleet ended the war, having only six modern light cruisers (built in 1938-194), 26 and 26 bis projects with artillery of 180 mm caliber and armoring of the side to 50 and 70 mm respectively. To replenish the cruising forces, five cruisers of the Chapaev type (with 152 mm artillery and reinforced to 100 mm onboard armor protection) out of the seven laid down in 1939-1941 under the project 68 were completed at an accelerated pace according to the draft 68K, corrected taking into account the experience of the war.

At that time, the draft of the second series of these ships was being developed - 68 bis, more fully satisfied the increased requirements of the Navy, which led to an increase in their main dimensions and displacement. However, the probable enemy (the US Navy) possessed a large number of cruisers (in 1945 - 75 units), including heavy ones, with 203 mm guns and 127-203-mm airborne armor, as well as so-called "large cruisers" of the "Alaska" class with 305-mm artillery and 229-mm armored belt. A few Soviet cruisers - both in the line and planned for construction - with 152-180 mm cannons and 50-100 mm armored protection, could not effectively resist them.

N.Kuznetsov believed that the task of ensuring the combat stability of Soviet surface ships can be solved by including heavy cruisers with 9-inch (229-mm) artillery into them. "Such cruisers could successfully beat all the ships of their class and would be relatively small and inexpensive," he believed. (* Kuznetsov NG The day before, the course to victory.) Moscow: Military Publishing, 1991. P. 243.)

Since 1946, in the TsKB-17 of the Ministry of Shipbuilding Industry (MSW) (where the cruisers of the projects 26, 26bis, 68 and 69 were designed before the war), and in the Central Scientific Research Institute of Naval Shipbuilding of the Navy, the design studies of new ships of this class on Operational- Tactical assignments were approved by NG Kuznetsov: a light cruiser (Project 65) with artillery of 152 mm caliber and variants of a heavy cruiser (Project 82) with 220- and 305-mm guns. As the potential adversaries, the best cruisers of the United States Navy at that time - the Cleveland-type and the heavyweight Baltimore type-were considered.

The light cruisers were tasked with guarding the main forces of the squadron (battleships and aircraft carriers) at sea and in battle from attacks of torpedo boats, torpedo boats, bombers and torpedo bombers, support and retreat of their destroyers, carrying out patrol duty at the squadron. Heavy cruisers were assigned to destroy cruisers with 203-mm artillery, to fight cruisers of the Alaska type and to squeeze out larger enemy ships.

As a result of the investigation of the tactical properties of light cruisers carried out at the Naval Academy, the idea arose to create a new type of cruiser with a high firepower and high speed (up to 36-38 knots !!) with limited displacement due to light armor protection. A predecessor project of such a ship with the LKR-22 index, designating a "light" cruiser with 220 mm artillery of high caliber, was developed by TsKB-17 on the OTZ, approved by the naval commander-in-chief Admiral I. Yumashev in 1947.

At the same time, at the suggestion of TsKB-17, supported by the leadership of SMEs, in the pre-sketch project 65, in addition to the version developed for the OTZ Navy (with 152 mm guns), a version with 180 mm artillery was executed.

The project LRK-22 did not meet with support. When considering the request of the Navy services to expedite the development of the project, Stalin received the confirmation from I.Yumashev that the cruisers of the project were much better than the ships of the project 26, insisted on the following decision: "Accept for the light cruisers the main caliber 152 mm, in every way To speed up the completion of the 68K cruiser, to cease the development of a new Project 65, to release design forces for the completion of the technical project of 68 bis and the development of a draft design 82."

As a result of consideration of the draft cruiser draft at the insistence of JV Stalin, they took the 305-mm artillery of the main caliber and increased the speed of full travel from 32 to 35 knots. Despite the reduction in the thickness of vertical armor, with the implementation of these technical solutions, the ship's full displacement was more than 43,000 tons. The 35-knot full speed was not justified by any tactical calculations and seemed clearly redundant.

However, the project, which was personally controlled by JV Stalin, had a "special, difficultly explainable predilection for heavy cruisers" (the government approved Kuznetsov NG in the middle of 1949, And two years later the laying of the head ship "Stalingrad" followed, and then the second and third. Despite the high technical readiness of these cruisers, in 1953, after the death of the Generalissimo, they were dismantled. The middle part of the main ship's hull was used as an experimental compartment for testing missile weapons.

Six such cruisers were built for the US Navy during the war years to solve similar problems. These were ships like "Alaska". Of the six units of the series, only two were completed before the end of the war, and those, since inadvertently since 1945, were in conservation. Alaska, which was not comparable to Stalingrad in terms of the power of constructive protection and high-speed qualities, was nevertheless a very expensive ship, at an almost equivalent cost to the battleship of the Alabama type (US$74,066,000 and US$76,886,000, respectively).

In the summer of 1951, N. Kuznetsov, newly appointed to the post of naval minister, ordered the continuation of work on the design of a heavy cruiser with 9-inch artillery. The design of the pre-design project of the Project 66 cruiser with 220-mm artillery was approved by Nikolai Gerasimovich, TsKB-17 completed in early 1952. The draft design for the tactical and technical assignment, approved by the government in April 1952, was submitted for consideration at the end of the same year. The development of the project was led by the 40-year-old chief designer NA Kiselev, who in 1950 ensured the successful completion and delivery of all five cruisers of the 68K project to the fleet, for which he was awarded the Stalin Prize.

The main observant of the Navy, under Project 66, was Captain 1st Rank E. A. Karpukhin, his deputy - Captain-Lieutenant AA Borisov. Observation in their specialties was conducted by AF Filimonov, PG Grishchenko, AI Pukhov and others.

AA Borisov in 1953 happened to attend a meeting with N. G. Kuznetsov, who told about the birth of the idea of creating a cruiser with 220-mm artillery. At the next call to the Kremlin (in 1951), JV Stalin told Nikolai Gerasimovich about the following: "We are now building heavy cruisers with 305 mm artillery and 152 mm light artillery." A considerable part of the American cruisers had a caliber of 203 mm. We must force our dear heavy cruisers to chase them! We need to urgently create medium cruisers with artillery of 220 mm In a year and a half we must approve the design of such a cruiser and deploy their construction. "

Stalin's instructions were strictly enforced. Soon they prepared the OTZ, the design of the ship began and the development of weapons for him. Work was accelerated. These events are somewhat different in the memoirs of N. G. Kuznetsov: "When the issues of the construction of the fleet and rockets were not discussed after the war, we, the sailors, insisted on building a cruiser with no more than 9-inch guns ... Stalin hesitated for a long time before accepting the proposal of the sailors, but, in the end, he accepted it."

Since January 1945, the Marine Artillery Central Design Bureau has been designing a 220-mm trehural artillery tower designed primarily for the project 82 cruiser. In 1954, a prototype 220-mm gun was manufactured.

Typical technical solutions, which are the basis of Project 66, were:

  • the utmost aspiration of designers in meeting the requirements of HTZ to the maximum possible reduction of the main dimensions and displacement of the ship;
  • use of extremely powerful 220
  • mm guns with a barrel length of 65 calibers as the main weapon;
  • placement of all artillery, both main and universal calibers, linearly elevated, in the diametral plane;
  • reliable booking of all vital parts of the ship;
  • ensuring a very high full speed;
  • the presence of advanced radar weapons;
  • orientation to the maximum unification of weapons, equipment and mechanisms with other domestic projects of ships.

The fulfillment of the basic requirements of the OTZ for reservation, constructive underwater protection, speed and unsinkability at a given standard displacement of 24,800 tons, as confirmed by the sketch design, proved to be quite possible.

In accordance with the conclusion of the sketch project issued to the Main Naval Administration of the Navy and approved by NG Kuznetsov in March 1953, it was subject to correction with a change in the calculated thicknesses of booking the upper and main (middle) decks according to the shooting data at the experimental compartment test range, The developer of the mass of the towers of the main caliber against the specified, as well as other comments and suggestions of the customer. This work CDB-17 completed in August 1953.

On December 23 of the same year, the Naval Headquarters issued the task of the Naval Academy to comprehensively assess the main tactical and technical elements of the project 66 cruiser that the Academy staff accomplished by March 1, 1954, by conducting a research tactical game. As opponents in the artillery duel, the newest American heavy cruisers of the De Moine type, which were commissioned in 1948-1949 and differed from ships of the Baltimore type with automated 203 mm artillery units (which doubled their firepower), were considered in the artillery duel. As well as improved armor protection.

It would seem that the superiority of the domestic cruiser in the range, striking the artillery of the main caliber and the speed of the move made it possible to count on the undoubted destruction of the enemy ship without the risk of serious damage. However, everything turned out to be much more complicated.

First, the range of 200-260 cables could not be used in view of the impossibility of observing even with the help of artillery radar stations of the "Zalp" type bursts from the fall of 220-mm shells, and therefore to correct fire. Secondly, at distances of 150-200 cable, the probability of getting into the enemy's ship became extremely small, so that even the expense of the entire ammunition (1080 shots) did not give hope for the destruction of the Des Moines cruiser.

Names of ships and projects

Alaska project 82
"Des Moines" Project 66
Full displacement, t 34,253 43,600 21,840 30,750
Main dimensions:
maximum length, m 246.6 273.6 218.0 252.5
width, m 27.7 12.1 23.3 31.6
greatest draft, m 9.7 9.7 9.0 9.0
Full speed, knots 31.0 35 5 34.5 32.5
side, mm 203-229 200-230 152-203 155
decks, mm 108 - 127 140-170 102-203 135 - 170
A) the main caliber
caliber, mm / barrel length in calibers 305/50 305/61 203/55 220/65
number of turrets 3 3 3 3
number of barrels 9 9 9 9
weight of armor-piercing projectile, kg 517 467 152 176
initial speed, m / s 762 900 762 985
range of shooting, cable 185 270 150 260
rate of fire, shots / min 2-3 2-3 7-10 3-5
B) the universal caliber
caliber, L / barrel length in calibers 127/38 130/58 127/38 130/54
number of towers 6th 6th 6th 4
number of barrels 12 12 12 8
C) antiaircraft caliber
- caliber, mm 40 and 20 45 and 25 76 and 20 45 and 25
number of sets 14 and 34 6 and 10 12 and 12 6 and 6
number of barrels 56 and 34 24 and 40 24 and 12 24 and 24

In this regard, the conclusion of the Naval Academy on the adjusted draft project 66 was unambiguously negative. Particularly, there was a clear discrepancy between the large displacement, the dimensions and the strike power of the ship, the insufficient ammunition, the rate of fire and accuracy of the artillery of the main caliber (its firepower was proposed to be increased by switching to 305 mm guns), the unjustifiably high speed of full travel (by reducing it to 32 knots It was recommended to reduce the dimensions of the ship and strengthen its protection) and, finally, the improve the weakness of air defense weapons. As a result, the development of the project 66 was terminated.

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