Ship for tests

One of the drawbacks of the Russian fleet at times referred to as unusual system of replenishment ships, according to which, the lead ship of each series is a test platform for testing and refinement of new weapons systems and electronics. Even after successful trials and mass introduction of new systems on ships of the Navy, the last work on their improvement and modernization, in the end, the ships of type 1 differ significantly from each other the composition of equipment, making it difficult to supply, repair and maintenance.

Striking example of this approach — languishing nuclear-powered missile cruiser, etc. 1144 "eagle". Despite the modest series, all four cruisers in fact belong to three different projects, and the head TARKR "Kirov" and last TARKR "Peter the Great" are so different from each other that one might read about a very different ships:

The bow of the TARKR "Kirov" — the first ship built for the project "Orlan"

— On the cruiser "Kirov" to start the anti-missile "Blizzard" use a dedicated bow PU. Other cruisers armed PLUR "Waterfall", is launched through torpedo tubes.
— Artillery "Kirov" — Two 100 mm installation on other ships fitted brand new AK-130.
— Head "Kirov" was different from the other 3 series cruisers design launchers S-300F, because the smallest size of the first version of anti-aircraft missiles.
— On the "Peter the Great" is one of the anti-aircraft complexes substituted at the C-300FM, installed a new control station: total ammunition decreased to 94 missiles, but the opportunity to engage targets at a range of 200 km.
— Anti-aircraft defense systems: for the first 3 ships equipped with two air defense system "Osa-M", to "Peter the Great" — a multi-channel complex "Dagger" (16 topside launchers, 128 missiles).
— Changed flak: in the first 2-cruisers were four AK-630 Battery, for "Admiral Nakhimov" and "Peter the Great" — 6 complexes "Dirk".
— For self-defense against torpedoes on the cruisers first sets RBU-6000, to "Nakhimov" and "Peter", they changed to the RBU-12000 "Boa".
— Starting in the second case, on TARKRah installed brand new CICS "lumberjack-44", an old complex of electronic warfare "Gursuf" is replaced by "Cantata-M", a set gallakticheskoy connection "Tsunami-BM" — on "Crystal-BC". In the third case the ships were equipped with improved three-axis radar "Fregat-MA" with the FAR, as navigational radar "Vaygach-U." In addition, to strengthen the air defense capabilities, "Peter the Great", on his foremast on the right and the left have been installed radar detection of low-flying targets "Tackle."

The bow of the TARKR "Admiral Nakhimov", the third ship of "Orlan"

A truly unique is the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, the guided-missile cruiser "Moskva" — the only one of the 3 existing cruisers Project 1164 "Atalante", filled antiship missile system S-1000 "Volcano". The main gauge 2-other cruisers — the "Varyag" and "Marshal Ustinov" remains P-500 "Basalt". If all of a sudden one day be completed missile cruiser "Ukraine" (the fourth ship pr.1164), already in the past 20 years quietly rusting in outfitting the wall in Odessa, then hard to imagine what new and unusual system will be on its decks ( In general, this has not been the case for many competent modernization).

More fascinating history of the evolution of huge anti-ship Project 1155 (code "Delete"), of which miraculously born BOD "Admiral Chabanenko" (1155.1 etc.) — with supersonic anti-ship missiles "Mosquito", 130 mm caliber artillery, SPAR "Dirk" and antisubmarine raketotorpedami "Waterfall-NK". Instead of sonar system "polynomial" to "Chabanenko" arranged a more perfect SJC "Star 2".
With all of this, "Admiral Chabanenko" did not have to be reincarnated as a unique ship, to improve the draft 1155.1 was to be built at least 4 new BOD, but struck up "dashing 90" and "shepherd" was left in splendid isolation. At the current time, "Admiral Chabanenko" is serving to protect the homeland together with their "big brothers", etc. BOD 1155, profitably different from their own articles and more than a massive gun.

Russian modernized Japanese telly and eventually got the vacuum cleaner

Circumstances prevailing situation was somewhat: in-1's, the constant lag intensive industries from shipbuilding industry, in the end, when the hull of the new ship is rocking on the water, most of the weapons and electronics was not yet ready. For saturation of the volume of the body had to install the previous generation, which over time, occasionally replaced by the promised new.

The second reason — the lack of precise doctrine of the Navy, where every time the redeployment in the Admiralty and shipping industry is one hundred percent of the value of the Navy changed. Ships laid, dismantled on the stocks and remortgage. Nuclear destroyer after 10 years of "modernization" on the boards of designers turned into a terrible nuclear cruiser "Orlan" …

And the third reason — the lack of tradition "test laboratories ships." Here are assumed to be filled with water stands the test of ballistic missile submarines, and the availability of real test vehicles, which can be installed no matter what system is promising. "The test ship" can go to sea and make painstaking "run" of the system in real sea criteria.

Secured and strong Russian Alliance did not feel any discomfort from these metamorphoses — every time allocated enough funds to maintain and upgrade all fit this large polytypic fleet.

The real hitch came with the collapse of the Soviet Union — funding has been reduced to a critical value, and the new ships are built very rarely, so use them as a "test sites" — are in a rush to fill up the current fleet.
In modern Russia, all often the question is asked not to squander the ship at the cost of half a billion dollars for a "break-in" promising systems. It is no secret that most of the weapons, planned to install a new frigate pr 22350 "Admiral Gorshkov" has not passed any testing on the ships of the Navy, is not excluded because numerous "childhood diseases" and "inconsistencies" of complex and expensive equipment that reclaims making large configurations, the following ships in the series. That is very expensive. With all this himself head "Admiral Gorshkov" risks remain for a long time "experimental craft".

Fear creator are not in vain, did not escape the fate of "testing ground" head corvette "Guarding" — the first two units are built on a series of 20380, the third corvette "Courageous" (released on driving tests October 10, 2012) is already under construction the modified project 20381, with the installation of the latest version of the missile complex X-35U "Uranium-U" and vertical launchers SAM
"redoubt." You'll laugh, but the second ship of the series is based on the further modified project 20385: number of cells SAM "Redoubt" increased to 16 instead of RCC "Uranium-U" will be cruise missiles "Movement"!

It's just great to have the ability of Russian corvettes repeatedly grow, but are left with two questions: 1. Why are these changes can not be introduced into the initial design? 2. Corvettes of the "Guarding" — the most advanced to date type of warships of the Russian Navy, and only one of the new projects are put into service. Specifically, these ships will in the not to distant future to protect sea borders of our country, and these experiences with their design completely useless. Maybe to start is to work out at least of the ships?

Here's what I can drastically upgrade?

How are things going with them?

In zabugornyh fleets, everything looks a little different. Since 2003, Her Majesty's Royal Navy received 6 very similar "fighting dragons" — air defense destroyers of the "Daring". But more serious is the case in the U.S. Navy — ships laying in large series, the Americans have no room for error. If suddenly "pop up" some critical flaw will rebuild anew 10s destroyers.

USS Oldendorf (DD-972) — the destroyer of "Spryuens"

In general, everything is also very conditional: for example, the destroyers of the "Spryuens" weird at first had in store for strength and stability, about a quarter of the volume of the body was reserved for the installation of promising weapon systems. Large empty ship first entertained many foreign experts — big and did not know how to do! In this mode was built half a series of 30 destroyers, ship decks evenly "acquires" the new systems — missiles, "Harpoon" anti-aircraft guns, "Phalanx", etc., when in the middle 80s suddenly had a "breakthrough" — U.S. Navy adopted the latest type of universal launcher Mk.41 VLS and cruise missile "Tomahawk". Specifically, under the gun, and volumes have been reserved at the bow of the ship — Modular construction is permitted with minimal changes to the CIP to install launcher cell 61 in which froze in anticipation of carnivorous body "Tomahawk" (jumping ahead a little, I would say that this situation South American engineers figured out in advance — in the midst of building "Spryuensov» Mk.41 already passed comprehensive tests to "test boat").

USS Bunker Hill (CG-52) — guided missile cruiser of "Ticonderoga"

Then, from the "Spryuensov" increased missile cruiser "Ticonderoga" and destroyers of the "Arleigh Burke". "Ticonderoga" and "Spryuensy" so close to the construction that a certain angle can be simply confused. Modern "Arleigh Burke" in spite of the changed beyond recognition view, internally, too, almost all are like "Spryuensam." On the other hand, read here about some profound modernization wrong — configuration in the design of the Aegis cruisers, so significant that "Spryuens", "Ticonderoga" and "Arleigh Burke" three different projects with very standardized equipment.

Where is the blurry line between competent evolution and construction of the ships in the "inconsistency"? Surely, the answer may give special ships laboratory; test trial, currently applied in all the navies of the world.

A boat that does not fit in the ocean

October 29, 2010 at 05:30 MSK was produced successful launch of a ballistic missile "Bulava" from a submarine "Dmitry Donskoy", located in the waters of a snow-white sea. Warheads delivered to the area Kura test site in Kamchatka …
For sure you do not just have to read a similar description of events. SLBM test launches "Mace" shall be made by languid underwater missile cruiser strategic focus of the TC-208 "Dmitry Donskoy" — the last remaining in service, submarines of Project 941 "Akula".

At the current time submarine disarmed, one of its 20 silos inserted a special launcher cup designed for easy "Bulava" (37 tons instead of standard R-39 weighing 90 tons). In 2008, "Dmitry Donskoy" reincarnated as a functional starter shield, the engineers have the opportunity to conduct test launches of the criteria in the real distance from the shore, from the above-water or submerged.

Specifically on the fate of this ship, "Mace" and the crew of "cruiser test" showed a lot of effort to ensure the successful launches of new Russian missiles miracle. From the perspective of the modernization of the Russian Navy last "Sharks" in the test panel looks totally appropriate — vseravno TK-208 could not use their standard weapons — a big old rocket R-39 is removed from service. And agree, it would be surprising to build strategic missile submarine of the 4th generation "Northwind", having the "crude" missile "Bulava". Only numerous test launches from the side of the test board "Dmitry Donskoy" have allowed to bring whimsical flare to the desired state of reliability.

The upcoming fate submarine "Dmitry Donskoy" unknown to: keep a very large boat fleet in service does not make sense — "Northwind" as though what modern zabugorny SSBNs, at the least three times submerged displacement, has the same number of ballistic missiles. On the other hand, the "extra" submarine may forever be a shield for the testing of new Russian submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

South American "Orlan"

Came into operation in March 1945, the seaplane "Norton Sound" a few months silly surf the Pacific — all the hot sea battle ended by the time the ship was doing routine work to ensure patrol missions 'Katalin' fall, he came to China, where he was service in the occupation forces in the Land of the Rising Sun, and China. A year later, "Norton Sound" graduated own inglorious cruise and returned to the U.S., where the fate prepared for him a generous gift. In contrast to their own sistershipov, "Norton Sound" turned into a ship-lab and then for sure no one meant it rapidly outdated piece of plate will last for a long 40 years, performing the most delicate and important task.

Perfectly visible fabric of phased array antennas. The aft — launcher Mk.26

After the first reconstruction of the "Norton Sound" turned into the first submarine of the U.S. Navy — with its deck were constant anti-aircraft missile test launches «Lark» and meteorological rockets «Aerobee» for the study of the upper layers of the atmosphere and Earth's radiation belts in the near space. The program ended
in 1950 extravaganza starting five-ton rocket "Viking" delivered a container with scientific equipment to a height of 170 km.

1950. Start a suborbital rocket "Viking"

And then began the paranormal: no coincidence the title chapter, I compared the "Norton Sound" with the Russian "Orlan" — for 40 years on the ship found the full range of naval armaments and electronic systems. Specifically on the "Norton Sound" tests were conducted anti-aircraft missiles "Terrier", "Tartarus", "Sea Sparrow" universal beam launcher Mk.26, light naval artillery system caliber 127 mm Mk.45 … In tests of everyday tools, " Norton Sound "in 1958 had three times pulnut rockets into space" Argus "with nuclear warheads: Worldwide sweetens cyclopean views of fiery balls at an altitude of 750 km … Again reconstruction …" Norton Sound "received CICS" Typhoon "and promising radar … A year later received total: CICS "Typhoon" was worthless "vundervafli" … To hell with CICS, again reconstruction … "Norton Sound" testing gyroscopes and electronic warfare systems, the results are positive … reconstruction … In 1971, on the "Norton Sound" is set the first layout of the "Aegis "There radar with phased array. The story ended in 1981, when woozy from that of the "modernization" of the two modules ship installed vertical launcher Mk.41 VLS.

Photo 1975 AN/SPY-1 Radars are not yet established, but the nose is visible 127 mm naval gun Mk.45

USS Norton Sound was decommissioned at the end of 1986 and scrapped. A pity. The ship would leave a good Maritime Museum Cool War.

In the Land of the Rising Sun a lot of money?

Subsequently, all the ships in the development of test went residents of the country of the rising sun. Prior to massively build warships, land of the rising sun has built a mock-move promising destroyers of the "Murasame" in 1:1 scale. Simply put, the inhabitants of the country of the rising sun have built a real ship, which, being deprived of weapons can only do research and experimental tasks for the benefit of the technical center of the Naval Self-Defense Forces Land of the Rising Sun.

Asuka Auxiliary Ship Experimental (ASE-6102)

On the one hand, a similar approach inspires reverence for Japanese shipbuilders. That is the true quality and attention to detail! The model of the destroyer conducted all-encompassing tests of samples of marine instruments, marine systems and technologies. On the "Asuka" overarching assessment conducted stealth technology and hull forms to reduce the thermal signature of a Canadian mounted exhaust gas cooling system. On the ship set a unique power plant to reduce the acoustic noise propellers driven by electric motors — no need to longish in the shafts and support bearings.

Of "high-tech systems" in an unusual destroyer has an automatic system damage control: all the rooms are equipped with sensors of the ship from which information about damage, outbreak of fire, water ingress and other defects enters the central command post. The system allows operators to evaluate the development of the emergency situation and the time to take adequate measures. Also, "Asuka" armed CICS OYQ-7, which is the Japanese equivalent of "Aegis".

Good layout to the true value?

On the other hand, no one has ever thought of building special experimental ship — very inefficient and wasteful. Usually in the "test bench" make their own end-of-life and have become unsuitable ships and vessels. All the more surprising is that living in the XXII century ultramodern Japan could not test all of the desired system by computer simulation. As a nice illustration — widebody aircraft "Boeing — 787" was one hundred percent designed and tested on a computer. Although, of course, the inhabitants of the country of the rising sun is more visible — perhaps in truth the computer can not find the EPR ship in real criteria or the noise of ship propulsion. In the end, ASE-6102 «Asuka» is a complete copy of modern destroyer guided missiles of the "Murasame" (the ability to "test ship" even superior to combat destroyers thanks to CICS "Aegis"), in the bow of the "Asuka" reserved space to install the CIP Mk.48 to start the 32 anti-aircraft missiles ESSM.

During natural disasters, the ship sometimes drawn to the search-and-rescue operations, and when the sky the sun shines brightly, Asuka is often open to visitors curious about the Japanese and guests of the country.

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