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    Typhoon class SSBNs future:

    GarryB
    GarryB


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    Post  GarryB Fri Jun 02, 2023 2:49 pm

    Or they could use it as an opportunity for testing new reactors of a new modern generation... take out the two old reactors and put in a modern much more powerful reactor that could be used on new destroyers and cruisers so it can be operationally tested.

    Of course if they want it as a museum piece it would be better if the nuclear reactors were de-fueled and removed too...

    But I think that they really need to test their new military reactors because they seem to want to use them on their new build new design destroyers and cruisers so they are going to need a few of them.

    An alternative could be to put brand new reactors on upgraded Orlan class cruisers as a test case to replace the old mixed propulsion system with a new much more powerful all nuclear system that will boost performance and range with a more compact propulsion system... perhaps even convert it to all electric drive with the new reactors just being power supplies for the otherwise all electric system.

    It wont be cheap but in terms of testing and experience in electric drives it will be money very well spent... when problems and bugs are found they will have plenty of time to solve those problems in the case of an Akula sub it is not operational so it can focus on solutions without distractions.

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    lancelot
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    Post  lancelot Fri Jun 02, 2023 5:11 pm

    The nuclear reactors for the cruisers will have already been tested on a floating platform. The RITM-200 reactor was tested on the Project 22220 nuclear icebreakers. And the RITM-400 will be tested on the Leader icebreaker. Adding these reactors to submarines might be possible, but would be much harder than putting them on a surface ship like a cruiser.

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    Podlodka77
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    Post  Podlodka77 Fri Jun 02, 2023 5:21 pm

    Project 22220 icebreakers have a full displacement of over 33000 tons and they use 2 Х RITM-200 reactors so I think those reactors would be enough for a 15 to 18000 ton destroyer if the Russians decide to build such giants..

    The RITM-400 would already be sufficient for aircraft carriers with a full displacement such as the Admiral Kuznetsov. What is a big disadvantage of icebreakers in achieving higher speed is the hull of the ship, which is designed for breaking ice - not for speed.

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Sat Jun 03, 2023 5:03 am

    If you want a sub to carry unlimited range low flying nuclear powered cruise missiles of unlimited flight range... and there is no reason to think they do at this stage, but if they did then a large platform like the Akula would be better suited in terms of the numbers of missiles it could carry and also the ability of the sub to endure very long deployments all around the planet, which is critical because you want to sail enormous distances for very long periods with such a vessel because away from the chokepoints in the north like the GIUK gap etc there wont be a lot of sea bed sensors available to track these subs so essentially the US or one of her allies would need to actually follow the sub around to keep tabs on it... and you couldn't just send one ship... you would need to send a group which just adds to the costs.

    The Russian sub in question doesn't need to be super stealthy, or particularly fast... for all the west knows it might have self defence drones that intercept incoming torpedoes and attack the platforms that launch torpedoes at the sub... but really so far it has been used for testing Bulava SLBMs, and having a one off sub that has no other duties than testing is useful because it means it is always available and never gets called away to service and can do mundane long term testing.

    It means Yasens and Boreis and other new subs don't need to be called off duty to test things... sensors, weapons, equipment, etc.

    The new electric drive concept means new ships and subs will be electric drive vessels, so no big engine attached to enormous shafts on the end of which are huge propellers.

    The new electric drive concept means the wheels or propellers contain the electric motor and rather than attach a big diesel or nuclear propulsion system on the end of that, you can have a couple of smaller "engines" that generate electricity.

    I remember as a kid when batteries were not cheap and were not very good in terms of capacity and were heavy and large for their performance, so my bike had a dynamo generator... which is just an electric motor that was driven by the wheel of the bike that was connected to the light on the front.

    Advantages included it was cheap and reliable, but problems include when you stopped the light went off, and if you went down a steep hill the light got very very bright but if you were pedalling up a hill it got rather dim.

    The modern solution would be a rechargeable battery and an electronic controller. Instead of connecting the dynamo directly to the lights you connect the battery to the electronic controller which checked the state of the battery and its level of charge and its capacity to take charge, and then you would connect the dynamo and the headlight with a switch so you could turn it off during the day and on at night or low light conditions.

    As you pedal around with the light off the dynamo will simply charge the battery, whereas at night or in dark conditions you turn on the light which will remain bright whether you are pedalling or not.

    The electronic controller will tell you if there is a problem with the battery and manage charging it so it does not over charge or overheat.

    Modern LED lights would reduce the demand for power from the batteries and make the whole system very efficient.

    For all the same reasons disconnecting the power plant from the propulsion in Ships and Subs is also a good idea.

    Normally with a sub hunter like the Udaloy class ships you have low speed diesel engines for normal operations up to about 18 knots... usually you have two for redundancy if you have problems with one or battle damage to one you always have a back up, but the ship design might need 80,000hp to go 32 knots, well a 40,000hp diesel is huge and heavy and expensive, so having two 20,000hp diesel engines for normal operations, plus two gas turbine engines for high speed operations chasing down a sub that add another 40,000hp with the two of them means most of the time you run two or even just one diesel engine because it is fuel efficient and generates the power and electricity you need to run everything and operate at low speed to move around the place... when you need to go faster you can start up the other diesel engine and the two gas turbines if you need maximum power.

    A new ship or sub will likely work the same except with nuclear power plants... so you would never fit an 80,000hp NPP to a sub, actually having four of 20,000hp makes more sense because you can pick which powerplants to run and you might only ever run on all four NPPs for very short periods... which means the NPPs you use the most often to start with can be used as the very occasional high speed burst engine later on in the life of the ship and the NPPs that have been mostly rested can take on the work of normal operations.

    It also means if a NPP fails you are not dead in the water.

    Having electrical propulsion means you can put the NPPs where you want, and in fact they could be located in places where you take off a few outer panels and slide the NPP out like a battery... you don't refuel it... you take it out and replace it... and the old NPP could perhaps be retired to generate power for a small town or island, or refuelled and put into a new ship or kept as a replacement battery for the ship or sub it came from.

    Lots of things to work out and learn about and lots of new technology to be developed including better batteries and better capacitors and electrical current and storage management systems and equipment.
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    Post  ALAMO Sat Jun 03, 2023 7:49 am

    All your ideas require a massive ship reconstruction.
    Rebuilding a ship is much more expensive than building a new one.
    641 project was created back in 60s.
    It is something that was made before several technological breakthroughs. I can't imagine bringing that to the relatively modern shape, that would cost some enormous money.
    And without any particular gains.
    Remind yourself the genesis of constructing those monsters. Those were supposed to be retaliation tools of the Doomsday. Its size was so absurd not because stupid Soviets could not pack a 20 missiles battery on a smaller hull. It was made to make those ships operate months without any supply. And to be extremely hard to sink - it has three internal hulls and the spacing of the external hull is some monstrous number I can't remember now.
    Actually there is only one task I suppose could be considered as interesting to modernize them - it is scientific projects carried offshore. It can accommodate a brigade of scientists for months, if needed.
    But I doubt if rebuilding them for the mission would bring a single ruble savings if compared to building a dedicated scientific vessels.

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Sat Jun 03, 2023 9:34 am

    Your comments are fair, but there can be flexibility here.

    Perhaps just refuel one reactor and remove the other one completely and in the space reshape it for a new more modern reactor.

    As you point out the sub was designed for operating for long periods under the ice and was designed to surface through thin areas of ice to launch missiles from the surface by surfacing up through sea ice that would prevent any other SSBN from launching anything... even a torpedo tube launched cruise missile.

    The high freeboard means when surfaced the sea ice would actually sit below the draught of the sub so from the side or front or back you could not target it with torpedos because they could not distinguish the sub from the ice around it.

    As a transport it makes no sense as a surface transport would be more efficient, unless you use it as a blockade bypassing sub to deliver materials and equipment that is bulky and hard to hide on a surface ship.

    They have a Delta III being used as a mothership for "research"... as a mothership an Akula class has rather more available volume for all sorts of things including crew and vehicles... the length of the deck means it could be used as a submersible aircraft carrier for drones, but I still think a revenge weapon would be more fitting.

    The Il-76LL flying lab aircraft has one of its normal engines replaced by the engine being tested and has proven to be a very valuable test aircraft.

    Just refuelling the two NPPs on the sub would add 20 SLBMs at a time when the US cannot be talked to and is ripping up agreements for entertainment.

    The sub is very old and lots of the systems and equipment are obsolete, but some could be replaced with modern superior equipment that would take up a fraction of the space the older equipment took meaning capacity and performance can be improved easily.

    Being a rather large sub it could either have large numbers of crew or drones or mini subs or larger mini subs or drones than other smaller subs could manage.
    Big_Gazza
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    Post  Big_Gazza Mon May 13, 2024 11:40 am

    Pic of the Severstal and Arkhangelsk as mothballed or "in reserve".

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