Alexey Rakhmanov: USC has aircraft carrier projects, but the Navy does not have an order
Shipbuilding industry Russia, after a period of lack of money in the 90s, stagnation in the early 2000s, has now entered the rhythmic construction of warships and submarines for the country's Navy. This year, shipbuilders must transfer 10 ships to the fleet, of which seven-in the remaining period until the new year. Tell us about the progress of ship construction, the terms of repair of the only ship in the world.Sergey Safronov, head of the RIA Novosti profile editorial office, asked Alexey Rakhmanov, General Director of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), to discuss the development of the Russian Navy's aircraft carrier and future plans for the industry.
- Alexey Lvovich, recently there was information that the docking of our only aircraft carrier "Admiral Kuznetsov" is shifted either to the end of 2021 or postponed to 2022. Does this mean that the transfer of the ship to the fleet is also postponed by a year?
– Under our contract, all dock work should be completed by the beginning of 2023, everything is in order with this. The problem is different. When the contract for the repair and modernization of the cruiser was signed and the necessary amount of work was determined, it was assumed that only one gas turbine unit out of four was to be unloaded and repaired. To date, the situation has changed – it turned out that repairs are necessary for all four units, and this is still a total of 10-11 months of work. But even in this case, if other defects are not revealed, we will transfer the ship to the fleet in 2023, as planned.
– At the USC stand at the Army-2021 forum, a model of the new large landing ship "Cayman"was displayed. Is this the new version of project 11711?
- "Cayman" is a further development of the idea, the idea of the designer, "Nevsky PKB", about how such a ship may look in the future. This is a combat vehicle of wide application, which is designed for a wide range of customers who have different requirements for the draft of the vessel, cargo capacity, and type of equipment.
– The Varshavyanka boat of project 636.3, which has been under construction in various modifications for more than 40 years, has a future, or has it run out of modernization resources?
- Of course, the Lada Project 677 boats have the best combat characteristics and are an innovative product. But in the case of Lada, it is necessary to work out promising systems in order not to get long-term construction and, accordingly, losses. The lead boat "Saint Petersburg" is currently undergoing system development.
– And what else can you build on Yantar besides amphibious ships?
– There is a program for the construction of research vessels, and there is a serious task for icebreakers. Baltika was built on Yantar, and there are plans for an icebreaking platform for "Of Gazprom." The program of construction of the fishing fleet will be continued. We have no doubts about the loading of Yantar.
– The last of the six frigates of Project 11356 is still on the Yantar . What is its fate?
- The ships of this project have proved themselves in real work, and foreign customers are showing serious interest in them. I am sure that we will agree with them on the fate of the frigate.
– What is the status of the aircraft carrier project?
– We have enough developments that could be useful in the construction of a ship of this type. The readiness of our enterprises to implement the project in cooperation is complete. However, there is no order yet, and if there is no order, then there is no project, no construction site.
– Has the main plant in this cooperation already been identified? This will be "Sevmash" or maybe, for example, the Far Eastern "Star"?
- The head factory will be determined by the customer. It can be Zvezda, Baltzavod, or Sevmash. Each has its own pros and cons, but the experience is on the side of USC enterprises. In addition, Severnaya Verf is capable of building three-quarters of an aircraft carrier. But in any case, it will be cooperation. In total, there are three possible sites: Baltzavod partially, "Severnaya Verf partially and Sevmash entirely, but Sevmash has two major drawbacks: the first is that it does not have indoor facilities for construction, and the second is the White Sea it freezes, and we lose the flexibility of the launch and completion dates. But the cases are still half the battle, you still need to have documentation, and it will take some time to develop it.
– And in how many years will you be able to build an aircraft carrier, taking into account the finished documentation?
"I think we can do it in eight years."
– So the whole project will take about ten years?
"Most likely. Take the Americans: they have been building their aircraft carriers for ten years, and they have mass-produced them. After all, an aircraft carrier is the apotheosis of shipbuilding thought, an entire army on the water.
– At the expense of what "Sevmash" will be able to build submarines for a year faster, because you recently set such a task to the factory workers?
– In fact, we are talking about the introduction of two modern technologies: the technology of quality control of steel joints and the docking of hull sections with a high degree of saturation with equipment, pipelines and cable routes. In this case, we can reduce the construction time. So far, designers are resisting this scheme, because they face additional technological risks.
You need to saturate the sections as they are built, and then you can save a lot of time. That is, if the boat is currently being built for seven years, it should take six, if five, then four, if three, then two. Everywhere minus one year.
– Does the Leader project still exist?
– Regardless of the position of the Navy, we believe that for ships with a displacement of more than eight thousand tons, the most optimal energy solution is a nuclear installation. One can argue where exactly this watershed is located-8, 10, 12, 20 thousand tons, because there are still gas turbine power plants that also effectively solve issues in the range from 10 to 20 thousand tons. But then the story of autonomy is intertwined here, because the gas turbine unit is good, but it "drinks" like a whale. Therefore, here you need to make an informed decision about what you need more: speed, ease of construction, or autonomy?
– But now there is no such project?
– We have a lot of projects, and they are presented here. We will also build such ships in cooperation, including with Baltzavod . And who will be the head coach? I'll say this – USC.
– When, by the way, will USC finally move from Moscow toSt. Petersburg?
– It will move until October 15. Now in St. Petersburg, preparations for licensing for the right to work with information constituting a state secret are being completed. By this time, the repair of the premises for employees will be completed, as well as the repair of the representative office, where both I and the chairman of the Board of Directors will be located, and there will be a meeting area for representatives of the military-technical complex. As a result, 300 people will leave for St. Petersburg, while the remaining 120 will remain in Moscow.Moscow.
– Is the possibility of joining the USC structure of the Ak Bars shipbuilding holding in Tatarstan being discussed?
– If we were set such a task – to deal with this asset – we would approach it with all seriousness. It seems to me that such industries as space, nuclear power, aviation and shipbuilding cannot live in competitive conditions similar to the consumer market (where this is mandatory). And for such investment-intensive industries, the strategy of forming a national champion is important.
– Is there any progress in creating an anaerobic, air-independent installation (VNEU)?
- Work on the creation of a prototype VNEU is carried out in the lineMinistry of Industry and Trade. The installation itself has already been created, and all the physical principles have been implemented. In the near future, a floating design will appear, and a real compartment will be tested.
- "Lada" project 677 will not work?
- VNEU-these are certain requirements for a strong body. If you install on a ready-made boat without a VNEU, you need to preload something, remove it, reduce it, and, perhaps, in the end, you will have to change the hull itself. This is impractical.
– And the project "Kalina" will not work, or it is no longer there?
– I would like to emphasize that we did not abandon any of the projects that we were developing. We have everything put on the shelf, as they say, a thread to a thread. But I have already mentioned the restrictions on VNEU.
– What does floating mean?"
– We have a laboratory installation that works on land, and we have a task to test it on water. Two companies – Rubin and Malachite - are developing the installation, each of them has its own success, and we will promote both concepts.
– When will the water tests take place?
– I would like to do it this year. But if it doesn't work out, we will definitely show it in 2022. The question is not simple, but complex.
– Will all plans for the construction of warships in 2021 be fulfilled? What are the GOZu plans for 2022?
– This year we have to transfer 10 ships to the Navy: in May, the fleet received the lead nuclear-powered submarine with cruise missiles of the Yasen-M project-Kazan. In August – the logistics support vessel Vsevolod Bobrov and the base minesweeper Georgy Kurbatov. By the end of the year, our companies will complete the construction of four more ships and repair three more.