The project of the fifth generation nuclear submarine "Husky" is one of the most ambitious military programs that Russia has presented.
Recently, information about a promising Russian aircraft carrier has become less. And this is not surprising. In the face of constant economic difficulties, such a ship looks too expensive "toy". It is much cheaper to build nuclear submarines (nuclear submarines). Perhaps that is why the press is increasingly talking about the project of a Russian submarine with the designation "Husky". Interest in this submarine is also great because it can become the first submarine of the fifth generation in history.
Here, however, it is necessary to clarify. What are the generations of nuclear submarines? Unlike fifth-generation fighters, which are already flying with might and main, there are no fifth-generation boats yet. And the most recent is the fourth generation. Such nuclear submarines are distinguished mainly by even greater low noise. This is achieved by placing propellers in ring nozzles or using water jet propulsion systems. In addition, engineers have widely used new types of sound-absorbing coatings and a number of other measures that drastically reduce the chances of detecting such boats. In general, it is the noise of the submarine that is put at the forefront. The boat will live as long as it can remain undetected. Escaping pursuit, of course, is possible, but this (taking into account the development of anti-submarine weapons) is quite difficult.
The legendary American Seawolf became the first submarine of the fourth generation in history. It was commissioned in 1997. True, due to the high price, only three such nuclear submarines were built. The fate of "Virginia" was different: they want to build about 30 such multipurpose submarines of the fourth generation.
In this sense, Russia has lagged somewhat behind the United States. The first Russian boat of the fourth generation entered service with the Navy only by the end of the 2000s. We are talking about the strategic missile carrier K-535 "Yuri Dolgoruky" - the lead ship of the project 955 "Borey". Still later, the first Russian multipurpose nuclear submarine of the fourth generation of project 885 Yasen was commissioned. Now the Navy has only one such submarine, and a total of eight are planned.
"Husky" makes eyes
In general, it is Project 885 that is needed to understand what the Russian submarine of the future will be like. In the "ideological" sense, it is likely to become the legal successor of "Ash". The Husky nuclear submarine will probably look like this submarine.
One of the first specific mentions of the new boat dates back to 2013. It was then that the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy (now ex-Commander-in-Chief) Viktor Chirkov announced that the serial production of 5th generation submarines would begin in Russia after 2030.
First, experts will finally determine the appearance of the future submarine. In March 2016, the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) announced that they were already working hard on this issue. "At present, work is underway to shape the appearance of a new nuclear submarine, the Navy is developing a TTZ to carry out the preliminary design of the ship," said a source representing the USC. The corporation also hinted that the new submarine will be smaller in size than the current submarines (including "Ash"). This will likely be achieved through even greater automation and crew reduction. It is assumed that the formation of the appearance and the creation of a sketch sample will be completed within two years. The shipbuilders are not planning an all-titanium case, but titanium elements will be present.
The well-known American military expert Dave Majumdar recently expressed his assumptions about the Husky.He believes that the new Russian nuclear submarine will be equipped with a reactor with a liquid metal coolant. Such reactors on a lead-bismuth alloy were installed on Soviet submarines of the Lira project and were examples of advanced developments. "Lyrae" surpassed all other nuclear submarines in terms of speed and maneuverability, but required special maintenance. Majumdar notes that nuclear reactors with liquid metal coolant are much more efficient and more compact than pressurized ones. The installation of such a reactor will make the boat compact, but will require the creation of specialized port systems.
Now the new boat is being developed by the Malakhit design bureau. Note that it was the forces of this design bureau that "Lira" was created. As for the armament of the Husky, it is already known that, in particular, the Zircon hypersonic missile, which is being created now, will become it. The speed of this product will exceed the speed of sound by 5-6 times. This is very important, because in this case it will be very, very difficult to intercept the launched missile.
As you know, aircraft carriers operate as part of the AUG (aircraft carrier strike group), which has excellent air defense. However, the presence of the "Husky" missiles "Zircon" can significantly complicate the life of American sailors. We'll have to at least revise the tactics of protecting the AUG. The missile's range is 400 km. This is a lot, although somewhat less than that of the old P-700 Granit anti-ship cruise missile. The latter, in particular, are used on Project 949A Antey submarines, whose main task is to fight aircraft carriers.
Not only "Husky" will receive a new hypersonic missile. Even earlier, they want to arm the nuclear-powered missile cruiser Peter the Great, which is sometimes called the "killer of aircraft carriers." The same rocket will add to the arsenal of its twin, Admiral Nakhimov, which is currently undergoing modernization.
By the way, on March 17 this year it became known about the successful test of the Zircon rocket at one of the Russian test ranges. So the chances that the Husky will get a decent weapon are pretty high. Unfortunately, Zircon was not shown to mere mortals, but earlier a version was put forward that this missile could have much in common with the Russian-Indian BrahMos-II missile. In addition to hypersonic missiles, the new boat will obviously receive new mines and torpedoes, as well as equipment to effectively track enemy nuclear submarines.
Two in one
In April 2016, perhaps the main feature of the Husky became known. According to the head of the USC Alexei Rakhmanov, the new nuclear submarine will combine the capabilities of a multipurpose and strategic submarine. “This will be a boat that will be unified - strategic and multipurpose in a number of its key elements,” he said.
This information is extremely important: now nuclear submarines are clearly differentiated according to the range of tasks to be solved. Strategic submarines carry ballistic missiles on board and in the event of a nuclear war will have to wipe cities and countries off the face of the earth. The tasks of multipurpose boats are more "humane". Such submarines are needed to destroy surface ships / submarines, reconnaissance, as well as strike at ground targets with high-precision weapons.
The unification described by Rakhmanov pursues one goal: to make the project cheaper. Indeed, the creation of one submarine, which will replace both "Ash" and "Borey", will require much less investment than the design of two boats. On the other hand, the new submarine, as a rule, is positioned precisely as “multipurpose”. Therefore, it is not yet entirely clear what exactly the new ship will be for its purpose.
By the way, Russia is not the only country that is working on the creation of promising nuclear submarines. Similar work is underway in the United States. The Americans, however, have more specific tasks: they want to replace the rapidly aging third-generation strategic submarines of the Ohio type.The new carrier of ballistic missiles will be SSBN-X. This submarine is not positioned as a fifth generation boat, so Russia, in theory, could become a technology leader in this industry. A kind of "trendsetter". At the same time, quantitatively, the American Navy will still surpass the Russian fleet. We must not forget that the Americans now have about 40 multipurpose boats of the Los Angeles type alone. They are, of course, old, but soon they will be replaced by dozens of new "Virginias". In such realities, the analogue of the US Husky may simply not be needed.