DEAD BRANCHES: WILL BE GREEN IF A TREE AGAIN?After reviewing long series of projects the reader is already well placed to judge myself about some of the doctrines of the Soviet fleet development-related class cruisers. In brief these can be summarized in couple of words: universality and self-sufficiency. It is not surprising that in seeking to achieve these cornerstones in the end, there appeared a giant among modern missile ships – type “Kirov”. Another branch of “self-sufficient” combat units of the fleet of the Soviet Union became the cruiser-helicopter carrier “Moskva” and “Leningrad”, also very versatile ships. But they turned out to be only an intermediate on the way to the emergence of these monsters hybridization of aircraft carriers.


We have explained how after the demonstration aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing (GDP), the Yak-36 the leadership of the country and the Navy was desired as soon as possible to see them on the decks of cruisers. Because to cram a new technique to exhausted the possibility of further improvement of the project 1123 was not possible for the Soviet “yastrebkov” in 1968 ordered a new project, the designation of 1143 and the “bird” name, “Merlin.” The impatience resulted in extremely tight deadlines. To develop complete documentation for vehicle radically new in the Soviet Navy the type was allocated only 2 years, and for the construction and commissioning of three. Designers immediately rolled up his sleeves and started to work. At the first stage, we have 9 projects, including the initiative, one of which was a real aircraft carrier for 50 aircraft and helicopters, including the Yak-36, but the MiG-23. It is clear that this initiative logically led to the emergence of catapults for launching heavy vessels, the desirability of a nuclear power plant and in the end – it then seemed monstrous increase in displacement and up to 45 – 50 thousand tons with a corresponding value. And, most importantly, even the uninitiated in the details of the status of Soviet military industry at that time, it was clear that such a leap in new technologies will not be able to do in the allotted time. Methods no shock here would not help. Last decided the fate of the dreamers: engineers suggested a return to the terms of reference allotted to them.
And it also included not so humble settings. A new ship had to carry not only the 22 “Yak” or helicopter, but also anti-ship missiles. Initially it was assumed to be limited to relatively modest “Monolith” (P-120), but when the development of the project was coming to an end, the designers have offered to replace it on a more powerful modification of “Basalt,” the anti-ship missile, intended for arms of nuclear submarines, who was also at that time in the stage of implementation. However, the main “highlight” of the project, the aircraft’s GDP was also far from mass production. Only in 1972 Yak-З6М (later its designation was changed to Yak-38) has made a full-fledged operational flying almost simultaneously with the launching of the lead ship 1143-year project, named “Kiev”, and 1123 and, in honor of the leader of the great Patriotic war. It should be noted that the closest competitor of “yaka” – a British airplane GDP “Harrier” prior to adopting of the ships have made more than 1,000 flights. Soviet aircraft had a number of significant drawbacks, first of all, a very small range and flight duration because of the huge fuel consumption vertical takeoff and landing. Not too impressive and flight characteristics; to fight with any modern fighter aircraft “Yak” were not good. But these issues has not been set. The main purpose was presented to the NATO AWACS aircraft, this “beam in the eye” for the Soviet Navy. Huge malomanevrenny AWACS would be perfectly suited as targets, as well as anti-submarine and transport aircraft and helicopters. Thus “Kiev” to some, albeit to a very limited extent equalized the chances of the opposing fleets, playing the role of an aircraft carrier. Externally, the cruiser and looked like an aircraft carrier, with its angled deck and is offset to the port side superstructure. However, the takeoff was carried out almost always in the variant, GDP – “the point”. At the same time could have started only three aircraft, because of the need very rigid flight discipline: while some “yaki” took off, the other due to its short range we were preparing for landing. And on the deck, the plane could not steer independently; to “divert” him from the landing, required a tow truck. So, in the presence of 22 full-time apparatus (20 Yak-38 and 2 Ka-25) in the hangar and two ski lifts, while in the air could really only be 3-4 cars.
The second ship received the name “Minsk” and almost completely repeated the head “Kiev”. But the third and fourth aircraft carriers were built on a significantly modified projects, increasingly moving away from head units. The draft of the third cruiser designated as 11433. And the name he got quite nemokamai, although quite unconventional for our fleet. It is no surprise that in the period of almost unrestrained aggrandizement of Leonid Brezhnev’s largest at the time a Navy ship was named in honor of Novorossiysk, where at Low land, the shore, recaptured by our troops from occupying the city of the Germans, the war was attended by the future General Secretary. Interestingly, apparently the cruiser had changed at first glance, not so much, primarily due to the almost complete replacement of electronics and, consequently, its antenna devices. (Projects 1143 and 11433 could well serve as pictures for the most attentive from the “find one hundred differences”. From a distance, to distinguish between them was quite difficult). However, inside the ship has undergone significant alterations in the process included almost 1000 rooms! In the end, stocks asiatopia increased by 50%, and the group was able to include 30 cars, and all of them would place in the hangar. (In reality, the Board has taken the same 22 staff). In this case the planes and helicopters could have a solid weight up to 15 t, so the first time remained a real range of options to receive promising new technology. Not without punctures: acetoarsenite latest air defense system “Dagger” and “Dirk”, which was planned to replace 30-mm guns and SURE “OSA-M”, as usual, was late. In the end, the artillery returned to the proven guns “AK-630M”, but that’s about anti-aircraft missiles near the action at all forgotten, and the powerful ship remained with the flawed system of air defense short-range.
Finally all the ideas managed to make only in the following unit, also received a separate designation of project 11434. For “Baku” (the name of another leader of the Second world) is not only installed all of the latest air defense system, but “refreshed” the artillery, posting two 100-mm automatic guns, and at the same time strengthened and impact missiles. Now the cruiser was carrying twelve containers of “Basalts”. Not forgotten, and anti-submarine weapons, which was the newest complex “Boa-1”, first installed aboard our ship. This system allowed not only to hit the submarines of the enemy, but to deal with threatening the cruiser with torpedoes. “Baku” could be based on up to 36 aircraft and helicopters, including the latest promising Yak-41 (in the end never arrived to the ship). Again, significant changes have been made to avionics. For the first time in the Navy appeared radar flat phased array antennas on the sides of the massive superstructure, as the Americans have “long beach”. In the end, “Baku” was easy to distinguish from its predecessors at first glance.
In General, the last representative of the Soviet aircraft carriers looked very impressive, and the impressiveness quite matched by its “filling”. Unfortunately, the end of its construction coincided with the infamous “restructuring” of the entire country. Building the ship for almost 9 years and became a great tombstone on the grave of the once mighty fleet, second in the world. He became a monument to the very idea of the universal aircraft-carrying cruisers: US ships are not required by reason of a fundamental other doctrines and objectives, the same applies to other NATO countries, which they at the same time was absolutely can not afford, and the new economic giants of the third world, China and India, have not yet reached a proper level of development of military equipment. The latter is very interested in the “Admiral Gorshkov” (independence of Azerbaijan after the collapse of the USSR, the name of the capital of the neighboring state on Board the Russian ship looked very ambiguous), and in 1994 began negotiations to sell the best ship in the Navy. Then began a sad story, a testimony of the incompetence of both sides. They traded 6 years later, after signing the supply contract, a couple of years has taken the debate about the main thing – the price of the order. India wanted a full-fledged aircraft carrier with a “real” MiG-29K. Russia also didn’t want to leave on the former cruiser of the most modern samples of missiles. The negotiations ended successfully (although it took almost the full 10 years), unlike the necessary for the conversion and delivery of the ship works. They then pick up the pace, then stopped. In 2008, the fate of “Vikramaditya” (the name got to be “Indian”) was the subject of talks between President Dmitry Medvedev with the Indian government. As time went on, the dollar depreciated, the appetites of the military-industrial complex grew. The cost of the order increased with very considerable 1.5 billion “green” to a quite dizzying two billion. Currently, the transfer carrier is planned for the end of 2012, however it is not known whether this delay is last in the 18-year-old sad the marathon. Anyway, the class aircraft carriers have completed their existence.
Many previously died another devoid of fresh shoots of the branch on the tree of history of cruisers. We are talking about specialized ships of fleet management. Dimensions of units-class cruisers, their extensive facilities, advanced communication equipment, combined with the powerful weapon of self-defense has repeatedly attracted the attention of the admirals, who willingly used them as command ships. With decreasing values of the military units of this class the use is not only meaningless, but, on the contrary, became more attractive. In all countries – the happy owners of any modern cruisers explored options for adapting their “domain” in specialized vehicles management. However, high cost, and fairly limited now, goals once the largest naval powers: England, France, Italy quickly took them out of the number of applicants on the possession of members of the new subclass. But the two superpowers from such upgrades are not refused by revealing it in accordance with its traditions and possibilities.
In the Soviet Union as “victims” chose defeated Khrushchev suffering 68-bis. In the late 1960-ies it was decided to re to the ships controls two units, “Zhdanov” and “Admiral Senyavin”. The scope of work and the project provided a serious, but on the second of them by accident and sloppiness, he became even more serious. Initially the project 68У was supposed to take lofty turret of the main fire, replacing it with the new extensive premises to “staff”. However, at the Vladivostok Dalzavod, which were subjected to the modernization of the “Senyavin”, swung and took both a turret. Confusion has puzzled not only executors, but also customers. And so the Navy were voices that such specialized “managers” are too big a luxury for our Navy, then just who was on the way to the climax of the 1980-ies. Voices, which would have had the sense to listen: our fleet is chosen on the world stage, not more than would be “normal” artillery cruiser, capable of supporting a landing somewhere “in brotherly African country.” But not to put the tower back; such manipulation would put the final idiots not only workers but also managers of the fleet. Instead, he chose to hush up the incident, pretending that everything happened in accordance with the pre-conceived a cunning plan. The project 68У urgently revised in two variants – 68У-1, fully comply with the original (so was rebuilt “Zhdanov”), and 68У-2, with the removal of the two aft towers (victim factory “initiative” became “Admiral Senyavin”), oddly enough, this forced improvisation was not so meaningless. On the formed in the feed place not only raised even more voluminous “box”, but also equipped with a runway and hangar for helicopter Ka-25.
259. Cruiser control “Northampton” (USA, 1953)
Built the firm “Beltham Steele” in Quincy. The standard displacement of 13,000 tons, complete 16500 tons, length of maximum 206,26 m, width of 21.46 m, draft 7,32 m. the thickness chetyrehbalnoy turbine plant of 120,000 horsepower, a speed of 32.5 KTS. Armament: four automatic 127/54 guns, eight 76/70 mm automatic anti-aircraft guns, and twelve 20-mm guns, 1 – 2 helicopters. Rebuilt the changed project. Excluded from the lists in 1977.
260. Control the cruiser “Admiral Senyavin” (the USSR, the project 68-U2, 1973)
Built at the Baltic shipyard (No. 189) in Leningrad. Displacement standard 14350 t, full 17890 t, the maximum length of 201.00 m, beam of 22.00 m and draft of 7.20 m. the thickness chetyrehbalnoy steam turbine 126000 HP, a speed of 32.5 KTS. Reservations: belt 100 mm, deck 50 mm, turrets, 175 mm, barbettes, 130 mm, combat tower 130 mm. Armament: twin missile launcher anti-aircraft missiles “OSA-M”, six 152-mm orodni, twelve 100-mm antiaircraft guns, sixteen 37-mm and sixteen 30-mm machine guns, Ka-25. Rebuilt at Dalzavod ship management in 1966 – 1972. In 1989, disarmed and in 1992 sold for the metal in India.
261. The aircraft carrier cruiser “Baku” (Project 11434) (USSR, 1978)
It was built at the Nikolaev shipyard No. 444. Displacement standard 33440 t, full 44490 t, length of maximum 273,08 m, width of 52.9 m, draft of 9.42 m. Capacity chetyrehbalnoy steam turbine 180000 HP, speed of 30.5 KTS. Armament: twelve PU anti-ship cruise missiles “Basalt”, four anti-aircraft system “Dagger”, two two-gun automatic 100-mm gun mount AK-100, eight six-barreled 30 mm AK-630, two rocket mortars RBU-12000, 36 aircraft or helicopters (Yak-38, Ka-27, Ka-252). Renamed “Admiral Gorshkov”, in 1996, put on long-term storage. Purchased by India as your carrier, is still on the improvement.


Both internally raznoprofilnyh “Manager” got the latest detection equipment and communication antennas which had to erect a third mast behind the second smokestack. It should be noted that despite the additional beheading weapons option 68У-2, cruiser control retained sufficient artillery power in order not only “to lead”, but, if necessary, to maintain a landing or to fight with the surface ships – quite in the tradition of the universality of our ships of that era.
The other way, in accordance with their traditions, went to the main “probable enemy”. During the 2nd World war the Americans had accumulated a very solid experience of the largest marine operations of all kinds. When landing they are used as vessels of control units for the different classes, from starships to large transports. In the end, island or coast, are nowhere to escape, therefore, and command posts of the fleet particularly there was nowhere to hurry. Another thing, the actions of the high-speed operation in the open sea. It required a “headquarters” with good speed. As “source material” chose quite benign case of one of the unfinished heavy cruisers “Oregon city”, “Northampton”. Its construction stopped on the day the final victory over Japan, when to launch was only a few days. The choice of the “victim” is the heavy cruiser seemed to be quite reasonable compared to the less “Cleveland”, suffering from overload and the standard artillery variant, a solid body could take much more of the new equipment, people and supplies.
Moreover, the work involved almost complete getting rid of the heavy towers of the main caliber and lighter weight, but numerous of 127-millimetrovogo and 40-mm “bosforo”. Instead of the expected six to install two new automatic pyatidyuymovym, however, this weapon has remained on the drawing paper, and had to be restricted to the same number odnorodnyh MK.42, automatic and had a very decent performance. Of course, six guns, even the newest, at the huge former cruiser looked pretty lonely, but the idea of a command ship and was not in powerful weapons. Americans have preferred that it was purely a specialized unit, which ought never to engage in battle with enemy surface and from the air it was to protect the escort. However, pyatidyuymovki was supported by a brand new 76-mm twin automatic guns, and several light 20-mm guns — “the last argument” against enemy aircraft in the event of complete failure of power. Complementary arms of another naval recruit – a helicopter, then a very exotic form of “air components”.
Perhaps for the first time in the history of military shipbuilding the main issue is the mass of the load, its volume. Extensive facilities required for the office and service of its employees and for the equipment and for a decent “high persons” accommodation. After all, it was assumed that management personnel and “staff” will be at least five hundred people representing the Navy and marine corps, and air force, and army. Provided such “halls” as the flagship office, the flagship office of planning, flagship operating office, conference hall for military commanders and others. No less demanding was and electronics: for placement of antennas long-distance communication had to erect a special light mast in the nose in addition to a massive fore – and main masts with the traditional “grids” and “umbrellas” radar. “Northampton” was the first ship with a serious system for automatic identification purposes, the data for which caught a huge “bowl” unique radar SPS-W, mounted on a relatively short (long could not bear so great a weight) of the mainmast. No less impressive look and antenna system, long-range detection of air targets SPS-2 on the fore-mast. This is the most powerful (and largest) in the world naval radar was not even intended for installation on cruisers: team “Northampton” was the only exception.
It is not surprising that the cruiser control admirals came to mind, and they demanded to “continue the Banquet”. However, the appetite gradually heated up: they wanted not just the big “box of electronics”, and the universal ship with powerful weapons. Interesting story of Admiral George Anderson and his staff failed ship. In the early 1960-ies, when he was commander of the 6th fleet of the United States, Anderson thought it would be nice to deploy your headquarters is not in the usual ship’s close quarters, and in specially equipped premises in a converted ship. Lip the Admiral was not a fool: as a “material” he chose the most modern cruiser “des Moines”, which was suggested to remove the turret, about the same as in the Soviet 68У. However, the idea just disfigure very good artillery ship relished not for everyone. Therefore, even when Anderson became commander, he had to push his idea through a hurricane of criticism. And here the Americans have shown creativity in your spirit: if you can’t spend a small upgrade, it is necessary to insist on large. Thus was born the project of the ship with powerful missile weapons. (We mentioned it earlier in the article about the rocket “alterations”). Already on the drawing the old “des Moines” was not found. From the powerful artillery could only bow tower; all the space behind it underwent total reconstruction. For almost hundreds of meters from side to side adorned with two storey superstructure, on which were piled an additional two-story “mansion” for staff and servicing of equipment. Even higher stretched a huge tower, almost the same as for “long beach” filled with electronics, the walls of which were a flat radar antenna new type. Precious “brain” was covered by a very reliable missile “umbrella” of the four launchers has not yet been developed “Typhoon”, two of which (bow and stern) had increased the firing range. Not forgotten and underwater opponent: bow setup could be firing and anti-submarine missile-torpedoes “ASRock”, and the detection of submarines, was placed on the modern GPS SOS 26. Missile armament was supplemented by torpedo: a pair of stationary apparatus in the feed was intended for new dalnoboy protivolodochnyi “fish” (also not yet entered service), and a pair of helicopters to produce standard small homing torpedoes directly above the submarine. Of course, the super cruiser was supposed to place the most modern equipment, including the system tactical display NTDS, which was based on just four computers – a real luxury for the time.
In General, American managers were not only collected to settle with all the amenities, but also to protect their leadership. However the price was excessive even for the richest nation in the world – a full 200 million dollars seemed a fantastic price for all the “amenities”. In addition, many promising samples of weapons intended for the “miracle” was unsuccessful. This applies to the “Typhoon”, and lightweight to a new 203-mm automatic gun, which the growth of appetite of customers and designers was intended to replace the remaining tower. (This option from the “des Moines” was only the case). Masterpiece of Anderson fell victim to the Minister of defence Robert McNamara, who is often called “walking computer”; the money he could count perfectly. Also was finally rejected plans for the restructuring of the unfinished cruiser “Hawaii” and the battleship “Kentucky.”
And the “Northampton” whose equipment is rapidly aging, there was a new appointment. The cruiser fleet management received a promotion in rank, becoming a floating command leadership of the entire country in extraordinary circumstances. It was believed that even in the case of threat of destruction Washington of Soviet nuclear missiles, the President will have time to migrate to it in a helicopter. When the President was standing on the shore, “Northampton” was to cruise in the distance range of helicopters from the Atlantic coast of the United States and serve as the main point of communication and data transmission. For this purpose, in 1964, the massive antenna of the SPS-2 was replaced by an even more impressive “plate” of the long-distance tropospheric communication. Had to “take a bite” of weapons, which in the end was reduced to a pair of 127-millimetrovogo. The idea meanwhile caught on, and the cruiser got his “understudy” in the face of the former light aircraft carrier “Wright”. However, approaching a time when any part of the ocean, including coastal waters of the United States, it became unsafe from nuclear submarines, it is able to compete in speed with speed once the ships of the fleet management and country. And the subsequent miniaturization of electronics has finally put an end to specialized floating headquarters. Their role began to play a much more generic ships as this would once Anderson.
Thus ended the relatively short history of “exotic” cruising subclasses. There is only the question: what are the prospects for further development-class cruisers, and whether they do? If we are talking about such options as command ships and aircraft “hybrids”, that is unlikely. Recent trends suggest renouncing first, as too costly and without much use versatile. British “invincible”, the Italian “Garibaldi” and the like carriers, helicopters and airplanes of GDP cannot be attributed to the class of cruisers. Unlike our 1143-x, they represent a pure “floating airfields”, albeit relatively small in comparison with the American giants. The aircraft carrier has become the latest “aircraft carrier” (only formally) our fleet, “Admiral Kuznetsov”.
But this does not mean that the class finally ended its existence. On the contrary, paradoxically, a kind of cruiser – versatile ships, able to perform various tasks in a single voyage, and the formations are becoming increasingly common. The reason is the increasing size of “destroyers” and “frigates”, which are almost equal in displacement with missile cruisers of the first and second generation. It is not surprising that many of them are often classified as cruiser: that’s pretty fair, even if not formally recorded. So what is the future of cruisers is undoubtedly there. And that’s not counting the occasional “promising projects” that are often perceived as pure fantasy. A good example is a design refinement of American designers, who proposed to unite the four add-ins-the”pyramid” missile destroyers of the last generation with their weapons, by setting them in a single enclosure filled with a light foamy material. A “cruiser” would carry four 127-graph paper and the same number of sets PU anti-aircraft missiles and other “Goodies”, and, most importantly, could withstand a few hits anti-ship missiles without dying and without losing combat capability. Of course, now this project is only skeptical smile, but it is not clear whether it will seem to our descendants is a reasonable and familiar.

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