“OVERTAKE, NOT CATCHING”

Composed at the end of the Second world war on Stalin’s personal order long-term plan of development of the Navy (see “modelist-Konstruktor” No. 6 in 2002) were struck by its size. It is now clear that at that time in our country, which is emerging from a difficult period of its history, was hardly the strength to carry out such an ambitious plan in full. But, most importantly, the point of this expensive program was a bit, because the main rival in the struggle for world domination, the United States already had a huge fleet to catch up, which quantitatively is not possible. The most far-sighted political and military leaders of our country understood that it is necessary to find a principally new solution that would compete with America on the oceans.

 

Thus was born the slogan “to Overtake, not catching up”, similar in meaning to the now fashionable “asymmetric response”. He was limited primarily to all-round development of the submarine fleet. However, it should be remembered that even a thousand German “u-bots” to gain dominance of the sea still could not. Had a powerful escort carrier connection was not handle neither Hitler nor the Japanese submarines. And the Soviet Union could hardly expect in a possible war at sea in a more favorable outcome.
 
In search of methods of struggle with the overwhelming superiority of the surface forces of a potential enemy in the eyes of our designers have turned to missile weapons. The greatest interest is the German operated cruise missiles company “Henschel”. The sad fate of the Italian battleship “Roma” heavy damage to the British “Warspite” and several cruisers as a result of getting one or two glide bombs dropped from aircraft, led to the idea to use the same means for the armament of warships.
 
By the time some of the groundwork is already there. On the basis of “gendelevskih” guided missile HS-276 in the USSR in the late 40-ies was developed and anti-ship missile, “Pike”, by the arrangement and the control system repeats the German prototype, but had instead an extremely dangerous liquid more reliable turbojet engine. The original rocket was designed to launch from aircraft and coastal launchers. Fleet weapons I liked, because in theory allowed to solve the main problem of “asymmetric response”: one hit incapacitate an aircraft carrier or a battleship, firing out of range of the heavy artillery of the enemy. The missile received a new, not too graceful CSS name, shortened from “Naval projectile “Pike”. The guidance system was immediately converted from optical to active radar, which was considered in those days the most promising and modern.
 
Had to find a new “wonder weapons” appropriate media. The task was to, on the one hand, the missile was not very big (only these ships could be numerous), on the other hand, that he might act in the ocean away from the bases and, of course, to carry a few three-ton “pike.” The only appropriate object meet such contradictory requirements, was the destroyer of the project 56.
 
To accomplish the purpose of the work unfolded in two directions. The destroyer “Daring”, is already incorporated in the Nikolaev plant named after 61 Communards, decided to rebuild the project 56ЭМ as a lead pilot of a carrier of cruise missiles. At the same time, the designers quickly developed the blueprints for the serial project 56M.
 
 
314. Destroyer “Elusive” (project 56M), USSR, 1958
 
It was built at factory No. 190 in Leningrad. Displacement 2767 tons standard, full 3315 T. maximum Length 126,1 m, width 12.7 m, draught 4.3 m. Capacity twin-shaft turbine plant 72 000 HP, speed of 39 knots. Armament: mounting for anti-ship missiles KSS, four four-barrel 57-mm gun, two twin 533-mm torpedo tubes, two rocket mortars RBU-2500. Only built four units: “Daring”, “Elusive”, “the Expendables” and “Visionary”. In 1971-1972, the three ship rebuilt according to the project 56У. All excluded from the lists of the fleet in 1987-1991.
 
315. The big rocket ship “Elusive” ( project 56У ), USSR, 1958/1972 G.
 
Former destroyer project 56M, renovated in Sevastopol in 1971-1972. Displacement standard 2940 t, t 3347 full Length the greatest 126,1 m, width 12.7 m, draught 4.3 m. Capacity twin-shaft turbine plant 72 000 HP, speed 35 knots. Armament: four settings for anti-ship missiles P-15M, coupled to two 76-mm universal automatic guns, four four-barrel 57-mm gun, two twin 533-mm torpedo tubes, two rocket mortars RBU-2500. Total project 56У upgraded three units: “Elusive”, “Insightful” and “Daring”.
 
316. Destroyer “Courageous” (project 57-bis), USSR, 1961
 
It was built at the plant named after 61 Communards in Nikolaev. The standard displacement of 3500 tons, T. 4192 full Length the greatest 138,9 m, width of 14.84 m, draft 4,47 m. Capacity twin-shaft steam turbine 85 000 HP, speed 34,5 knot. Armament: two installations for anti-ship missiles KSS, four four-barrel 57-mm gun, two three-pipe 533-mm torpedo tubes, two rocket mortars RBU-2500, one helicopter Ka-15. Built just eight units: “Angry”, “Gray-Maxi”, “Hard”, “Burning”, “Proud”, “Courageous”, “Sharp” and “Bold”. In 1968-1973 rebuilt in the BOD project 57A.

 
The engineers managed to achieve good results. The emergence of the former eight heavy destroyer “foreign bodies” — aircraft shells XS, as well as launchers for them has led only to a relatively small restructuring of the superstructure and interior spaces of the body. Full displacement rose by only 85 tonnes of artillery weapons has undergone dramatic changes. One of the 130 mm turrets, the stern, the ship was lost: her place was taken by massive lattice design — launcher SM-59. Sparky from the bow of the main fire also decided to give up, not to periotest destroyer and not keep it to guns, nominally able to involve him in an artillery duel with the “cannon” enemy. This battle could have ended tragically for missile: even a splinter caught in the very “Pike” or repository for fuel, could cause a fire or explosion, is almost guaranteed to send a 3000-ton ship to the bottom. But all Quad anti-aircraft machine left, with additional installation in the nose provided cover the front sector (experience of world war I, the most dangerous against attack aviation) twelve guns. Besides, the serial destroyers of project 56M decided to replace the 45-graph paper more powerful and long-range 57-mm guns.
 
The former destroyer and got rid of their “titular” weapons. Both platetronic torpedo tubes gave way to a pair of twin-tube, located at the Board in the middle of the body. Now they were intended mainly for anti-submarine torpedoes.
 
Unfortunately, the highlight of the project, the complex XD, had too many flaws. Indeed, three-ton missile could carry 700 kilograms of explosives to the enemy at a distance of 80 km, however, on the way there were too many “buts”. First of all, that the active radar seeker can acquire a target, “Pike” was required to withdraw in the grip area, which, of course, should have known the approximate location of the target. And no special means other than radar, capable of detecting surface objects only at the distance of direct visibility at the time was not available. The problem could be solved with a helicopter, but the Ka-15 is too small, did not have proper controls and range, and the absence of the hangar were forced often to leave it on the shore, rather than take on a long hike. The homing system XS was too exposed to active and passive interference. Preparing for launch took about 20 minutes and was a dangerous operation. Required to fill the fuel tanks of several hundred liters of fuel and submit inflammable projectile rails stable launcher. At the same time in the control of the shooting “Kiparis-56M” was introduced initial data for Autonomous flight. Then the unit is unfolded in the right direction and made the start. Hard to imagine an opponent who is willing to endure this procedure consistently seven or eight times — so much aircraft shells carrying “bad news” and other units of the series.
 
317. Large anti-submarine ship
 
317. Large anti-submarine ship “Hot” (project 57A), the Soviet Union, 1961/1969 G.
 
Rebuilt in the years 1967-1969 from the destroyers of the project 57-bis. The standard displacement of 3500 tons, a complete of 4500 t Length overall a 140.6 m, a width of 14.84 m, draft 4,65 m. Capacity twin-shaft steam turbine 85 000 HP, speed 32 knots. Weapons: SAM “Wave”, two four-barrel 57-mm gun, four coaxial 30-mm machine gun, two platetronic 533-mm torpedo tube, three rocket mortars RBU-6000, one helicopter Ka-25. Just upgraded eight units, all excluded from the lists of the fleet in the years 1987-1993.

 
The designers were well aware that in combat the ability to re-start, most likely, will not be, so during the elaboration of the initial project 56ЭМ was supposed to place on the former destroyers two launchers. However, to squeeze them into ready-made housing failed. Alternatively, in the course of construction of the first missile 56-x began designing a new specialized ship with two complexes XS.
 
To save time in the new project 57 retained the basic proportions, the location of the compartments, mechanisms and military positions taken at the rebuilt predecessors. Moreover, the case represented, in essence, an enlarged copy of the 56. Still remained and artillery weapons, but an increased width to accommodate the three-pipe torpedo tubes instead of twin-tube. The main weapon installation to start XD now had twice the number. “Angry” could theoretically release a couple shells at intervals of just five seconds. The potential power of new missile destroyers led to the identification of their own class “large missile ships”, although just “big” they were, in full accordance with the doctrine of the “little killers floating fortresses”.
 
Try to assess the real prospects of our “asymmetric response” at the time. For acceptance test pilot “Daring” was released only one “Sun” that hit the trawler from a distance of 18 miles. Subsequent training and combat shooting proved that XS in direct contact with easily sink the destroyer and completely disable the cruiser. Although all the shooting was carried out at stationary targets (which were Patriotic warships, destined to destruction in the years of total reduction of the surface fleet), there is no doubt that if in their place were cruisers and destroyers of the enemy, they would not have been able to avoid severe damage or death. It is possible that after the first battle success in those years emerged the notorious “missile gap” and the rapid increase in the number of cruise missiles in the navies of all sea powers.
 
But it is the lack of combat experience decided the fate of the first Soviet guided missile destroyers. Complex CSS recognized outdated and untenable. Ships, intended as an important component of the erosion of American dominance on the sea, became the object of weird upgrades. In 60-e years the priorities have changed dramatically. A major challenge for surface combat ships was anti-submarine warfare. Media “pike” decided to rebuild in the anti-submarine ships, by type very similar to the standard destroyers of the Western powers. So, ironically, the Americans still had no to overtake, to catch up, and allowing them to go far ahead.
 
The modernization which has taken place in all eight units of the project 57-bis, has become one of the most significant in the Soviet Navy for the duration of his existence. The cost of conversion of each of the big rocket ship was about half its initial price. From the original weapons, there are only two 57-mm installation ZIF-75 with its system of control “Ft-B”. Significantly increased anti-submarine weapons, which amounted to ten torpedo tubes (kind of a record for destroyers). Reactive mortars were replaced by more modern, which had twice the range. Looked impressive and air defense anti — aircraft missile complex “Wave”, a close analogue of the American “Tartarus”, and 30-mm AK-230 with a radar fire control. Quite modern was the electronic and hydroacoustic equipment. In General, our fleet got a good combat unit, who served until the end of the 80s. However, despite the success, the cost of upgrading seemed the leadership of the Navy excessive, and from such a large-scale work on the ships of other projects in the future refused.
 
However, a thorough reconstruction of the “Daring” other missile “56-e” still not escaped. Three of them have undergone significant modernization project 56У, in which place “Pike” took two neat tower with 76-mm AK-276, and on each side of the aft superstructure there are four container with anti-ship cruise missiles of a new generation of P-15M “Termite”. They had roughly the same range and weight as XS, but had a good noise immunity, possibility of application of replaceable seeker (active radar or passive infrared) makes it difficult to deal with them. Folding wings allowed to place them in the containers, which ensured the compactness and ease of maintenance. So the initial idea got a brand new filling in the basic outline determined the development of this weapon for many years.
 
In General, the first leap in the direction of missile “ship-killers” was not useless. Despite all the shortcomings XS, the Soviet Union has long been a leader in the development of anti-ship missiles, creating (and creating still is) a definite threat to the surface fleet of the enemy possible.
 
V. KOFMAN

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