Digital Undaunted: The Navy Awaits an Updated Submarine Hunter
Until the end of 2021, the Neustrashimy patrol ship (TFR) is to join the Navy. It was officially handed over to the Navy in 1993, and in 2014 it was sent for repairs. After the modernization, the "Fearless" became actually a new ship: in particular, unique digital control systems were installed on it. Now this electronics, having received data from radars and sonars, will prompt the crew on the most effective ways to combat underwater and surface targets. Experts note that "Fearless" will increase the capabilities of the Navy in the far sea zone. It is expected to become one of the most efficient submarine hunter ships.
Sources in the military department told Izvestia that the Neustrashimy TFR is currently preparing to leave the shipyard in Kaliningrad. The ship should be handed over to the Navy this year, but it is possible that the date may be shifted to the beginning of 2022.
The watchdog has been undergoing modernization since 2014. Earlier, Izvestia wrote that its return to service was planned at the end of 2016, but the major delay was caused by the repair of the ship's propulsion system, produced in Ukraine. At the aircraft plant in Samara, it was necessary to practically master new technologies for domestic engineers from scratch.
In the course of the work, "Neustrashimy" was seriously updated, the sources of "Izvestia" in the military department noted. In particular, all analogue equipment on it was replaced with digital. A new combat information control system (BIUS) was installed - a modern complex of electronic computing equipment and other technical means, designed for the automated development of recommendations for controlling weapons and the entire ship. A new artillery control post appeared on the TFR. The "Fregat" complex, a radar station for monitoring the air and surface situation, was also modernized.
These changes should seriously increase the ship's combat capabilities. According to Izvestia's sources, now all of its weapons meet the most modern requirements.
In addition, a new digital navigation station was installed on the patrol, Izvestia's interlocutors said. She is responsible for the automated exchange of information about the location, course and speed of ships and vessels in the adjacent water area, as well as the state of the fairways. This ensures the safety of navigation.
There are only two patrol ships belonging to the project 11540 (code "Yastreb") in our Navy - this is "Fearless" and "Yaroslav the Wise", and both are part of the Baltic Fleet, military expert Dmitry Boltenkov told Izvestia.
- The Russian Navy now really needs ships for operations in the far sea zone, and "Fearless" is one of them, - the specialist emphasized. - It has been actively exploited for a long time far from the Russian shores, demonstrating good seaworthiness and reliability. I am sure that after his return to service, he will again expect long sea voyages, business trips to the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. There he will not only be engaged in the demonstration of the flag, but also the study of possible areas of hostilities. The ship will also be useful for fighting pirates off the coast of Africa.
The return of the Undaunted to the Navy is a success for Russian shipbuilders. The modernization carried out will seriously increase its combat potential, the expert noted.
Fighter, diplomat and movie star
TFR "Fearless" was built at the end of the Cold War as a high-speed high-tech ocean hunter for nuclear submarines. When creating patrol boats of Project 11540, technologies were used to reduce acoustic signature. By the time of the collapse of the USSR, "Fearless", while still in the process of testing, was one of the most modern and versatile ships of the Russian fleet at that time. The Navy flag was raised over it in 1993.
After modernization, the TFR must cope with any task of finding and destroying submarines. Its distinctive feature is its powerful anti-submarine weapons: depth charges, the Vodopad-NK missile and torpedo complex and the Ka-27 helicopter. The highly sensitive hydroacoustics of the ship makes it possible to search for submarines even in the Baltic Sea, where depth differences make such a task extremely difficult.
The Ka-27 carrier-based helicopter located aboard the Undaunted is responsible for the search, detection and destruction of submarines. In addition, it can be used for search and rescue operations, evacuation of the wounded and urgent delivery of goods from the shore or between ships.
The patrol anti-aircraft armament allows you to take protection of other warships on the high seas. Also, "Fearless" can cover with its air defense systems the actions of troops during the conduct of amphibious assault.
In addition, the ship is armed with torpedo tubes and a universal 100-mm artillery mount Ak-100 with a firing range of more than 21 km. In this case, the gun can hit not only surface or ground, but also air targets. Its ammunition includes anti-aircraft shells with a radar fuse. The projectile is detonated at a distance of 5 m from the cruise missile and 10 m from the aircraft, which guarantees their destruction.
Before being put up for repairs, the Neustrashimy was actively exploited. During his service, he traveled about 120 thousand nautical miles, made several dozen foreign trips, including the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. The ship took part in operations against Somali pirates more than once and accompanied merchant ships in the Horn of Africa. He was a participant in the international naval exercises Baltops, during which he practiced skills in conducting peacekeeping operations at sea.
In 1995, "Fearless" represented Russia at the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Kiel Canal. In 2003, he provided for the official visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to London, and as part of that trip, the President visited the ship with the Duke of York. In 2006, "Fearless" took part in the ceremony for the reburial of the ashes of Empress Maria Feodorovna, wife of Alexander III: he met the Danish naval ship Esbern Snare, which was transporting the ashes of the Empress, off the Russian coast, and escorted him to Kronstadt.
Also "Undaunted" can be called the main movie star of the Russian Navy. He was filmed in such famous films as "Peculiarities of National Fishing", "The Envy of the Gods" and "Paragraph 78".