November 28, 2012
by Vyacheslav Shpakovsky
The appearance of a new submarine, especially a nuclear-powered cruiser equipped with missiles, is always an outstanding event, since it represents the security of a country. How can one make it as invulnerable as possible and not too expensive at the same time? It turns out that it is not that hard: the submarine only needs to be outfitted with silent weapons.
The shipyards of Sevmash have already built two serial underwater cruisers of the 955th type (Borei) – Yury Dolgoruky and Alexander Nevsky before. Presently, the company is building another sub of this project – Vladimir Monomakh. Afterwards, there will be a fourth strategic cruiser of this series – St. Nicholas. In total, according to the weapons program before 2017, it is planned to build eight submarines of this type to thus completely renovate the Russian fleet of strategic submarine.
Of course, such submarines are very expensive, and all of us would really like to see them equal or superior to similar subs of the United States, Britain, France and China in terms of performance. The noise factor is especially important at this point, since it is the noise of the submarine that makes it easy to detect.
Everything on board submarines makes noise. Noise is produced by pumps that push the water through the contours of the nuclear reactor, by steam turbines, electric motors and even by the water propeller. Weapon systems of the submarine make a lot of noise too. Missiles, torpedoes and cruise missiles are very noisy when they are being launched. Everything that makes all this noise, unmasks the submarine and a helps the potential enemy find and destroy it.
But is it possible to create such a weapon that would be highly effective and absolutely silent at the same time? It turns out that it is possible, especially for deep-water submarines. Large submersion depths, such as one kilometer, like of the K-278 Komsomolets submarine, serves as a measure of security and protection from anti-submarine weapons – at least, the existing ones.
However, launching missiles and torpedoes from such depth is quite problematic not to mention the fact that missiles and torpedoes roar so loudly under the water that detecting them at a distance is an easy nut to crack.
However, creating a fundamentally new and also totally silent weapon for deep-water submarines is not so hard. Imagine something like a large deep-water bomb in a tear-drop case with cross-like rudders at the stern and a massive released cargo at the nose. Containers with such shells are placed on the bottom of the sub, because the sub shoots them “underneath itself.” The new type of weapons that can be called as follows: “gravitational self-propelled projectile,” or, for short, GSPP.
Approaching a target at a great depth, an aircraft carrier for example, the submarine gets ready for attack, the control system of a projectile receives data on the speed, the course of a target and a distance to it. All parameters of the trajectory are calculated, the projectile is discharged and starts to sink. In this case, naturally, a projectile gains a certain speed. At this very moment, the rudders of the projectile change its trajectory towards the target. The shell continues to sink, but it approaches the target, almost silently, because it does not have an active engine.
When the projectile reaches a certain point of the trajectory, the system discharges the ballast. The ballast drowns and immediately begins to surface, but again, it moves towards the surface along the trajectory guided by the rudders, and thus covers a long distance, as the on-board computer calculates it as horizontal as possible.
Finally, closer to the enemy ship, the homing guidance system is activated, possibly together with an engine that will provide high accuracy. That’s it! The enemy’s vessel is thus struck from underneath, where every surface ship is most vulnerable. The trajectory of the projectile in the direction of the target will be reminiscent of a silhouette of a house with the roof ridge upside down.
It would also be possible to develop a fundamentally new type of small deep-water submarine for this type of weapon. A small size means that the sub will not be too expensive, and it would be possible to build many of such submarines. In addition, it will not have missiles on board, so the price would be relatively low. Finally, just because the new sub would be quiet, they would pose a serious threat to any aircraft carriers.
…article originally appeared on pravda.ru