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State Armaments Program for 2018-2027

Far Sea Zone is a term that Russian sailors have practically forgotten in recent years. The single trips of the Peter the Great heavy nuclear missile cruiser to the shores of Cuba and Venezuela or the visit of our missile carrier Moscow to the Republic of South Africa, in general, did not much matter. The fleet is reliably tied to its shores. The areas of responsibility: Barents, Baltic, Japanese, Black and only partly the Mediterranean Sea. The reason for this was the systemic crisis that the country experienced in the 1990s and the beginning of the zero years: the Soviet fleet was slowly but surely dying at the berths. The new Russian fleet existed at arms exhibitions in the form of mock-ups.

In Sochi, the president spoke of the need for the advanced development of the fleet. In 2017, he signed a decree approving the "Fundamentals of state policy in the field of naval activities for the period until 2030." The document requires Russia to take second place in power among the navies of the world. And this cannot be done without the construction of ships for the far sea zone, aircraft carriers, supply ships.

In the previous State Arms Program for 20112020, about 4.7 trillion rubles were allocated for the development of the fleet, and 2.6 trillion rubles for the Ground Forces and Airborne Forces. According to Russian experts, the main threats to Russia and the main national tasks facing the country lie on the continent. Therefore, the emphasis is naturally placed on the priority development of the Ground Forces and the Airborne Forces.

In Sochi, the president spoke of the need for the advanced development of the fleet. In 2017, he signed a decree approving the "Fundamentals of state policy in the field of naval activities for the period until 2030." The document requires Russia to take second place in power among the navies of the world. And this cannot be done without the construction of ships for the far sea zone, aircraft carriers, supply ships.

"Karakurt" are very good, but strategically they do not solve the problem of a permanent presence in remote regions of the world. They have too little autonomy of swimming - 15 days. The military honestly acknowledges that they began to build them as an alternative to the delay in the construction of frigates of project 11356, for which it is necessary to replace Ukrainian gas turbine units with domestic counterparts.

As for aircraft carriers, it is also not easy with them. FSUE Krylovsky State Scientific Center (a leading institute in the field of ship design) and Nevskoye Design Bureau (main designer of large "platforms") have at least several projects: light, medium, and heavy. They can be both with conventional power plants, and with nuclear ones.

It is clear that for operations in the far sea zone it is more profitable to have a heavy nuclear ship. At the Krylovsky Center it is an aircraft carrier of project 23650 "Storm", the Nevsky Design Bureau advertises project 11430 "Manatee". In addition to the power plant, they are related by the fact that these are ships of cyclopic sizes with a displacement of 70 to 90 thousand tons and a length of more than 300 meters. Up to 60 to 90 aircraft, including unmanned ones, can be based on them. But these are projects so far. The cost of developing and building only one aircraft carrier is estimated by experts at 300-400 billion rubles. The amount is gigantic, given that Russia needed not one, but at least several such ships.

An aircraft carrier alone in the sea is not a warrior. He needs a support group. For Admiral Kuznetsov, this is a heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser of Project 1144 Orlan of the Peter the Great type . In Soviet times, Russia had four such ships. Currently, only two remain. And even then, "Admiral Nakhimov" is in Severodvinsk waiting for modernization. Storm and Manatee need an escort.

Russia had such a project. This is the atomic destroyer of project 23560 Leader. The ship, like promising aircraft carriers, exists only in the layout: chopped lines of the hull, superstructures, all weapons removed inside using the "stealth" technology. The autonomy of the Leader family of destroyers will be limited only by the physical capabilities of the crews. It is planned to place a whole arsenal of the most promising weapons on the ship: Zircon hypersonic missiles, Prometheus S-500 anti-aircraft missile system, the latest artillery and torpedo weapons. At the same time, as experts say, the power of the ships nuclear power plant will be comparable to that installed on the most modern American destroyer Zumwalt. This will allow, as in the case of the American, in the future to install weapons on the ship that work on new physical principles: laser or electromagnetic guns.

But aircraft carriers and nuclear destroyers are more likely to be in the field of military-technical fiction.

The State Arms Program for 20182027 seemed to have eliminated excessive inclination towards spending on the Navy, and the construction of the most expensive large surface ships was transferred to the future. The largest surface ships under construction will remain frigates.

Russia's shipbuilding industry copes well with the construction of non-nuclear submarines; things are more or less satisfactory regarding the construction of strategic submarine missile carriers and multipurpose nuclear submarines. But the construction of the main classes of surface ships is in constant crisis. And this is ships of relatively small displacement - class corvette - frigate. It was difficult to think about what funds will be required and how long it will take to build the monster-shaped Leader destroyers or the giant Storm aircraft carrier. A palliative solution was found in the form of building small platforms equipped with Caliber missiles.

Ruslan PUKHOV, member of the Public Council under the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST), noted in a July 05, 2018 interview with the weekly Zvezda and the Army Standard magazine that the new State Arms Program for 20182027 seems to have "eliminated excessive inclination towards spending on the Navy, and the construction of the most expensive large surface ships has been prudently transferred to the future. The largest surface ships under construction will remain frigates.... Its scary to think about what funds will be required and how long it will take to build the monster-shaped Leader destroyers or the giant Storm aircraft carrier.... The funds released as a result of the rejection of naval gigantomania and projection must be invested in control systems, reconnaissance and communications, drones and new armored platforms."





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Page last modified: 12-12-2019 19:05:09 ZULU