The main competitor of «Mistral»

The main competitor of
«Sea ships be» — Peter spoke ruler and went across Europe to learn the skill of the ship. Russian sailors painstaking manner copied technology, knowledge and traditions of the Dutch fleet, and 100 years later they have famously walked in unknown latitudes, opening a new continent of Antarctica (751-day voyage around the globe Bellingshausen and Lazarev, 1819-1821 year).

Peter was the first realistic and healthy besprintsipialnym pragmatist. Shipbuilders needs foreign technology? We get them at any cost. Necessary knowledge? Will train. Of everyone to teach Russian Mongols wits Peter chose for himself the most best teachers — the Dutch. Segodnyaschy country «red lights» reversed a century was one of the stately maritime powers. Cape Peninsula Ceylon, the exclusive right to trade with Japan — that’s a small list of the achievements of the Dutch navigators. They were noted in the other side of the world — the first title in New York was New Amsterdam. Such aces navigation was not shameful to teach marine science. By the way, the word «fleet» (niderl. vloot) also came to us from Holland, along with the very fleet.

In the twentieth century history of foreign procurement for the Russian Navy had many successful moments. He was famous for centuries cruiser «Varyag», built in the shipyards of Philadelphia (in general, based on the technical features of belief, «Varyag» was released not particularly successful). The famous «blue cruiser» Black Sea Fleet «Tashkent» was built in Livorno — Italians tried their best, fastest silhouette and speed 43 knots made «Tashkent» prewar model shipbuilding (despite the Italian project on favorite was established Russian weapons).

Before majestically Russian war in the Soviet Navy suddenly appeared … golladtsy! Submarines «C», which fought Shchedrin and Marinesco, built in Russian Union project Dutch-German firm «IvS».
But seemed to shroud of fog Baltic «pocket battleship» «Petropavlovsk» — the last German «Lutzow». Ship, and remained unfinished, participated in the defense of Leningrad and became good textbook for Russian shipbuilders at designing cruisers in the 50s.

Objection can surely make the most stubborn skeptics and opponents of the use of specific technologies zabugornyh that it is common worldwide practice, often giving excellent results. As for modern naval subjects, then, for example, housing a series of nuclear icebreakers «Taimyr» built in Finland — a recognized global favorite in the construction of large ships. Obviously, all the reactors and the icebreaker sverhtehnologichny interior were made in the USSR.


On the background of the ongoing hysteria over procurement «Mistral» for the Russian Navy, remained completely unnoticed issue of probable variants of this international transaction. Dreams of profound modernization huge amphibious ships such as «Ivan Rogov» or purchase nuclear aircraft carrier «Nimitz» leave the conscience of tireless visionaries. We’ll have a conversation about completely close to the reality of events. Indeed, whether the nominee purchase UDC «Mistral» — buying another zabugornogo ship of the same class and the same criteria? This nomination was, moreover, the choice was very wide.

Take part in an international tender for the construction of ships, helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy, except the French, were invited (who would have to think) Dutch submitted UDC «John de Witt» and the Spanish company «Navantia» with its helicopter landing «Juan Carlos I». Also, for the formalities in the drawing of the tender accepted the role of «Admiralty Shipyards» Kaliningrad «Amber» and the Far East «Star» — how annoying it may sound, Russian enterprises from the outset had no chance because of the absence of their own projects.

The first of the real contenders for victory retired Dutchman. After seeing «John de Witt» on Offshore International Salon in St. Petersburg, Russian delegation arrived in ecstasy, but, despite the positive reviews, Dutch UDC failed to meet many requirements, and its displacement was less than a quarter of displacement «Mistral».
Frankly, the winner was known in advance — «Mistral» coming in with a special visit to St. Petersburg in November 2009. In January last year the last doubts vanished — tender to build four helicopter docks won France. Yet, it would be interesting to look at another option — Spanish «ship power projection» (light carrier) «Juan Carlos I». In 2007, while participating in a similar competition for the construction of UDC for the Royal Australian Navy, «Juan Carlos I» broke «Mistral» as vest — Australians almost immediately elected Spanish project, laying on it’s own two helicopter dock. Why such diametrically feedback evaluation? Trying to understand …

Don Juan

Spanish ship power projection (landing helicopter dock, light aircraft carrier — it somehow), with joyful naming, as if taken from the Argentine television series, is a large ship full displacement 27 tons, designed to provide transportation and landing on the coast of naval infantry, humanitarian aid and medical evacuations.

The main competitor of

Unlike other similar class UDC, «Juan Carlos» was originally designed with sraschetom basing on aircraft with short takeoff and vertical. Total — 19 stormtroopers AV-8 Harrier II or promising VTOL F-35B. But, only some 17 Spanish Navy «Harrier» and the actual composition of the air group will be slightly different: 11 «vertikalok», and 12 military transport helicopters Augusta AB.212 and anti-submarine helicopters SH-60 «Seahawk». On the flight deck, «Juan Carlos» There are 6 points for the number of multi-purpose helicopters, the deck can take languid transport helicopters CH-47 «Chinook» and tiltrotor V-22 «Osprey». In the bow of the flight deck is one of the noticeable features of the Spanish UDC — bow ramp installed vile angle of 12 °, designed to facilitate the take-off of aircraft with combat load. To ensure the work has two air group vertoletopodemnika and underdeck hangar for aircraft storage. Fuel supplies are 800 tons of aviation kerosene.

As though what amphibious assault ship «Juan Carlos» is equipped aft docking camera dimensions 69 x 16.8 meters and able to accommodate four landing barges LCM-1E (total displacement of 100 tons) or one hovercraft LCAC (landing craft air cushion , the total displacement of 185 tons, speed up to 70 knots) + floating armored personnel carriers.
Owing to the high level of automation of a large ship crew consists of only 243 people, further UDC can carry 1,200 people, including 900 Marines with full equipment, 100 staff officers and two people weave airline personnel. Inside the ship there are two transport armored deck to accommodate a total area of ​​6000 square meters. meters capable of receiving 46 main battle tanks «Leopard 2». In addition, the UDC provides transport 2150 tons of diesel fuel, 40 tons of lubricants and 480 tons of water.
Special abilities UDC contain flagship command center for 100 operators, a modern hospital and symbolic self-defense system: two 20 mm «Oerlikon» + reserved space for 2-12-barrel automatic anti-aircraft guns «yardsticks».

Finally came versatile combat system capable of solving a wide range of tasks in at least some point of the oceans. By capacious definition professionals NATO ships are in a separate class of «force projection and command vessel» (ship power projection and control).

The only question is — so far not formulated clear concept of introduction of similar ships. In large amphibious operations, similar to the invasion of Iraq, the role of UDC with its 46 tanks ischezaemo small: in 1991, the Yankees needed to deliver to the Persian Gulf in 2000 tanks «Abrams» plus another 1000 brought them international coalition allies. Deck Wing «light helicopter-carrier», consisting of 20-30 «vertikalok» and helicopters, in the 10s again lags in abilities from traditional nuclear aircraft carrier air wing, for example, on the UDC no planes distant radar equipment. With all this, he does not strike aircraft carrier is a defining force in the local conflict — during «Operation Desert Storm», 6 AUG completed only 17% of total sorties, the rest of land-based aircraft did — more than a thousand strike aircraft!

From the perspective of the sea battle, the prospects of landing helicopter dock even more incomprehensible — low speed (the speed of 18-20 knots) ship, stripped harsh defensive weapons and reservation is only for delivery of expeditionary forces in the desired area of ​​the oceans, with all this, the ship itself does not go in the combat zone, remaining Sotk km from the coast — unloading troops is in the air, or with the introduction of its own landing craft.

There is also another evaluation amphibious assault ship docks — to suppress unrest somewhere in the capital of Côte d’Ivoire is quite enough paratroopers battalion supported by the heavy armor and excellent organized air cover. On the other hand, there is a reasonable question — what a great way to build a ship, if delivery Battalion soldier in Côte d’Ivoire can be used everyday transport aircraft? Military still half a century reverse realized that replaced in order to land on unprepared saves naked, covered with spines, quite capture the capital’s airport and reincarnate it into a comfortable support base, unparalleled in comfort with the amphibious assault ship decks too tight. In this mode, took the Prague Spring, 1968 (according to one version, instant capture of the international airport, a Russian special forces, arrived in Prague under the guise of a sports team with bolshennymi dark bags). With the capture of Bagram airport Afghan war began, as did the South American Rangers in Somalia, 1993

But back to the ships. In any case, class amphibious assault helicopter docks continues to grow in almost all countries of the world: USA, France, Spain, the Netherlands, South. Korea and now, soon, they will receive the Russian Navy. Maybe creator knowingly exaggerating — versatile helicopter can be useful in dealing with emergencies and participation in missions to deliver humanitarian aid and military equipment to its geopolitical partners. A large warship probably will become an element of Russian diplomacy.

All we can, but do not do anything

While the ability to «Mistral» theory and its implementation are a prerequisite for fighting angry disputes in Russian society, naval professionals are most interested in cutting-edge «filling» of the French ship. Sound a bit unpatriotic, but nothing like the Russian shipbuilding industry have not been built.

The main competitor of

«Mistral» — is not just a large landing ship, is almost completely automatic «all-electric vessel» with a crew of 180 people. Besides massive helicopter weapons available to our sailors will be a modern infirmary area of ​​750 square meters. meters c growth opportunity in a modular fashion, by other areas of the ship. If necessary, there may be provided by the work of 100 people in 12 operating nurses! Not every city can boast of Russian so healing institution.
«Mistral» — a real flagship with an awesome command center amphitheater area of ​​900 square meters. meters; powerful server that combines 160 computer terminals; 6 ADSL networks and satellite communications. «Mistral» can control not only the naval compound, and act as a team throughout the Fri-arms operations.

New French UDC asks small logistical support, this is a big step forward at the level of the crew, command and enlisted troops. Ability to allow the ship absolutely embody the potential for 5,000 hours of continuous service, ie 210 days a year. Curiously, proponents of nuclear power plants on ships and «krugosvetok» ever thought about such qualities as endurance crew, facilities and equipment? «Mistral» meets all these requirements, and its travel range (11000 miles on 15 nodes) provides transatlantic Murmansk — Rio de Janeiro — Murmansk without replenishing supplies of fuel.

There are bad moments. Real «gotcha» — transport deck «Mistral» does not correspond to Russian requirements, it is for mass not exceeding 32 tonnes for each military unit. This means that the «Mistral», instead of the claimed 30, will be able to take on board at least 5 Russian main battle tanks: three on the ground in front of the camera and the docking on two assault boats moored inside the dock.

Obviously, Russian «Mistral» will have a slightly different design than its French cousin: samoletopodemnikov swap dimensions in connection with basing on the ship «Kamov machines» with pine screws scheme should be increased height hangar lost «natural ventilation» transport deck — of the openings in the sides of the ship are unacceptable in the northern latitudes, transport deck itself may be able to take MBT planned ice reinforcement body, although the presence of bulbous bow greatly complicates this puzzle. According to the company DCNS, Russian «Mistral» receive anti-aircraft gun mounts AK-630 30-mm in the front of the starboard side and the rear of the ship to port. SAM installation 3M47 «Bending» be placed in front of the starboard and back — on the left. DCNS will prepare a place for the weapons, while themselves fighting systems will be installed on the ship is in Russia.

It’s all hard

With all the pros «Mistral», the ship before nedavneshnego time had not a good export story. Indeed, an objective comparison, the French DRC loses almost all the larger Spanish helicopter-dock «Juan Carlos I»: less than one second wing, there is no ability to base aircraft with short takeoff, on board can accommodate only 450 marines against 900 «Juan Carlos» … The «Juan Carlos I» is even cheaper: 460 million euros against 600 million euros «Mistral». Why Our homeland has given preference to the French project?


One more possible explanations: «Mistral» — is a package of agreements, in which the execution of some responsibilities drags perform other. In the end, our homeland gets legitimate access to receive a wide range of the best of Western technology. One of the real-life examples relating to this transaction — cooperation with the French company «Thales» — one of the world leaders on the development of military electronics, combat information and control systems and radar …
French endorsed the decision to transfer the Russian Federation together with the ship CICS latest generation SENIT-9 (specifically this moment in doubt most skeptics as annoyed it did not sound, personal company for the funds ready to implement at least some secret council, even across the NATO) . Together with CICS «Russian French» will present a three-dimensional radar Thales MRR-3D-NG for a review of the traffic situation. In addition, the French did not oppose the transfer of technologies built mast I-MAST, which causes a real enthusiasm among Russian «eletronschikov.»

Execution of contracts for «Mistral» pulled in a new round of cooperation — 11 July 2012 at the Farnborough Airshow JSC «Russian Aircraft Corporation» MiG «and the group« Thales »signed a contract for the supply of 24 units of helmet-mounted targeting systems and display equipment for Thales TopSight decked MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB planned to the adoption of naval aviation Russia.
These are dire consequences sonorous deal …


Oleg created Kaptsov

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