This ship is a foreign body in the Russian Navy
First amphibious assault ship (UDC) of the «Mistral» was launched in Saint-Nazaire. Ceremony scale covered by Russian media, especially television, was attended by French and Russian senior officials, including Chief of the Navy, Admiral Viktor Chirkov. Both sides have stated more than once that the ships will have a massive weapons, which will allow to solve a wide range of tasks, including the deployment and landing Marines, providing fleet management operational groups in different areas of the oceans and serve as a floating hospital, anti-functions. But on closer examination turn out to be a bluff situation UDC.
Emphasizes that weapons «Mistral» is Russian production with the highest offensive and defensive potential. Composition was determined and presented to the public, so that already have the opportunity to assess his actual fighting ability. Since it’s first amphibious assault ship, the main indicator is the number of troops airlifted and planted. That’s all right — 450 Marines, 40-70 armored vehicles. Fully decent ability, but only on paper.
Slightly easier landing landing
Based on board transport and combat helicopters Ka-29 have a capacity of up to 4 tons and can take up to 16 fighter. This means that no armored air method can not throw, at best lightweight ton. Everything else will have to deliver on the coast landing craft, in other words boats. But the UDC does not allow a landing specifically with its own board on unequipped coast.
Helicopter landing in the operational depth of the enemy’s approach is intended to avoid the area of enemy reserves. In the air group is meant to have eight Ka-29, it immediately gives you the opportunity to transfer to 2-reinforced platoon of marines with the necessary equipment and weapons for independent action in the rear of the enemy. Repeated crashes will be associated with bolshennymi losses and may become unenforceable. 2-reinforced platoon obviously not enough to prevent the approach of enemy reserves and have a significant impact on the fight for the landing. In other words become deeds decisive assault, disembark from boats.
Then the question arises: why not use those already in the Russian Navy landing craft bolshennymi or return type of project 1174 «Ivan Rogov»? Attack on unequipped coast they will be able to perform more excellent than the French UDC, as not only use boats, and planted troops and equipment on board specifically through the ramp.
Further. The only thing that could have a significant impact on the battlefield «Mistral» — this fire support eight regular Ka-52 «Alligator». But helicopters are crucial just outside the reach of shore-based aircraft, and in such areas landing impossible. After landing operations without air supremacy is not provided. And there, to fly so far frontline bombers and attack aircraft, landing with air to ensure an attack from the sea can be performed by military transport aircraft in a large scale.
So that substantial efficiency gains amphibious operations against the slightest harsh opponent UDC will not give. Their value increases, where the enemy is unable to provide strong resistance and wing UDC operates relatively freely. But the Russian borders placed very developed country militarily and units thereof, namely NATO, and therefore the ability to express themselves in all their glory at the Russian «Mistral» will not. A drop puzzles Marines at remote theaters before our fleet are not worth hardly stand.
In general, the direct («neocolonial») intended UDC not needed. Competence of those officials who refer to landing acts causing huge doubts.
Ship without means of self-defense
The ability to «Mistral» defend also questionable. Based on open sources, torpedo protection is not intended to be general. Not counting submarines, anti-ship missiles are not safe in small and maximally low altitudes. A means of defense presented only 4-systems — with 2 anti-aircraft artillery systems (ORD) AK-630 and 2 anti-aircraft missile systems (SAMs) 3M47 «flexible», located at the board in the sponsons.
AK-630 — is a six-barreled 30-mm automatic gun, housed in an uninhabited tower, which is controlled according to the purpose firing radar. Complex adopted by the Navy of the USSR in the late 60s, and is widely used at the moment. His ability to destroy air targets, especially cruise missiles, are very limited. Noise immunity is low, so it hit the targets with modern means of electronic warfare is very difficult.
3M47 «Bending» — a six — eight containers MANPADS «Igla», placed on a stable slewing with opto-electronic system of detection and tracking of air targets. For self-defense ship has the ability to liquidation value of aerial objects on a collision course. Count on shooting in pursuit is not necessary, because probably hit the «Mistral».
Firing range «Needles», especially in the forward hemisphere goals determined not so much energy rocket as its seizure distance homing operating in the infrared spectrum. According to open press in polygon criteria of net atmosphere at this distance does not exceed 3 km by tactical aircraft such as «Ghost,» and the possibility of his defeat — 0,4-0,44. Accordingly, the seizure of a cruise missile, even flawless criteria even more problematic, not to mention the defeat. Well, in the case of a light haze or fog (weather conditions prevail such a huge part of the year in our coastal seas, particularly in the Pacific) self UDC efficiency tends to zero.
In other words, regular air defenses can not secure even a single attack. With all of this in Russia there is a very modern standards that can reflect an air attack. For example, the ships of the same project in 1174 have SAM «Osa-M» ZAC four AK-630, one AK-726 ORD same MANPADS «Igla». With such armament they do not threaten the single air strikes.
It is unclear why defense «Mistral» is so weak. Maybe our modern and very effective means of defense are incompatible with French combat information control system (CICS) «Zenit-9.» Then why the Russian Federation should this CICS, and along with himself «Mistral»?
Special equipment causes tenderness of this ship missile systems long-range «Onyx» and «Movement». Ship with a grand total of 18 course units, defenseless against attacks from the air and from the water, has a massive impact weapon as a missile cruiser.
Against whom and how it will be used «big stick»? To act in a large surface connections he can not force a slow-moving and a weak defense. Unfounded as payment for independent acts in the interests of order, as part of a volley limited (not including anti-ship missiles on the «Mistral» located wing, landing, landing craft, etc., and the ship is not made of rubber), it does not overcome the defense of modern fleets . Besides the main means of destruction of large groups of naval aviation is likely.
Inexplicably complex equipment UDC «Movement», which aims to strikes on ground targets in operational and strategic depth. The crossing took snake and hedgehog.
In the history of naval shipbuilding to an unparalleled degree of meaninglessness case. Such impression that the founders and ideologists procurement «Mistral» does not even have a rough idea what they’re necessary for our fleet. To somehow justify the billions of waste, they decided to equip a weapon for all occasions, without the operational and tactical studies.
With all this ideologues could justify the deal to have the prospect of the Navy light aircraft carriers, which have a place in our Armed Forces. Unlike the «Mistral».
First vice-president of the Academy of Geopolitical problems, Doctor of Military Sciences