Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The 21st Century Russian Navy

Following the fall of the Soviet Union the Russian Navy has been significantly downsized, currently only a few new vessels have been added to the Russian Navy. This document will describe in brief these vessels and vessels under construction.


Displacement: 14720 tons surf / 19400 tons sub.Speed: 15 kts surf./ 29 kts sub.
Dim: 170x13.5x9
Maximum Depth: around 450 m

ARMAMENT: 6 533mm Torpedo Tubes. 12 Torpedoes. Originally 16 SS-N-28 SLBMs, now 16 RSM-56 Bulava SLBMs.

Radar: Snoop Tray I Band Surface Search/Nav Radar.
Sonar: Shark Hide LF Passive Hull Array. MGK-540 Shark Gill Spherical Bow Active/Passive Array. Mouse Roar HF Hull Array (Mine and Ice Avoidance), Acoustic Intercept. Pelamida Passive Towed Array. UWT underwater Comms.
EW: Rim Hat and Brick Pulp ESM. Brick Spit EO Mast. Park Lamp RDF. Kremmny-2 IFF.
Other: VLF/ELF wire antennas, Pert Spring SATCOM, Cod Eye radio sextant

Crew: 107

Machinery: 2 OK-650b Reactor, 2 90,000 shp steam turbine. 1 pumpjet propulsor.

Remarks: Currently a submarine without a mission. The missile original slated to arm this class failed repeatedly during development and was scrapped in favor of a missile derived from the land based Topol-M missile named Bulava. During test this missile has had a roughly %50 success rate.

The Yury Dolgoruiy is currently undergoing sea trials and is expected to be commission soon. Russia has laid the keels for three more submarines of this class.


Displacement: 9,500 tons surf / 11,800 tons sub.
Speed: 20 kts surf./ 35 kts sub.
Dim: 120x15x10
Maximum Depth: about 600 m

ARMAMENT: 8 650 mm torpedo tubes. 24 Torpedoes. 8 VLS Cells with 3 missiles each.

Radar: Snoop Pair Surface Search/Nav Radar.
Sonar: Passive Hull Array. Spherical Bow Active/Passive Array. Acoustic Intercept. HF Mine Avoidance Sonar. Passive Towed Array.
EW: Rim Hat ESM/ECM.

Crew: 50

Machinery: 1 OK-650KPM Reactor, 1 43,000 shp steam turbine. 1 pumpjet propulsor.


Project 677 Lada class Submarine
Photo: Kobus via Picasa

Dis: 2700 tons submerged
Dim: 72x7.1x6.5 meters
Speed: 21 knots dived
Range 650 miles on batteries
Endurance: 45 days

Weapons 6 533mm torpedo tubes with 18 weapons incl. torpedoes, Novator Alfa or Onix ASMs RPK-6 SUBROC.

Machinery: Diesel-Electric with AIP. 1 7 blade propeller.

Project 20120 Sarov Class Submarine

Dimensions 72,6 x 9,9 m x 7 m
Displacement 2300/3950 tons
Depth about 300 m,
Speed 10 surfaced/17 knots dived
Autonomy 45 days.
Crew 52

Armament and Electronics unknown

Machinery: Nuclear reactor and D-E system

Remarks: Testing platform, possibly for a new nuclear reactor, radioisotope thermoelectric generators, or AIP technologies.


Steregushchy Class Corvette (Project 20380)

D: 1,900 tons, 2,200 tons tons full load
S: 30 knots
Dim: 104.5 x 11.1 x 3.7

8 3M24 Uran Missiles
4 400mm TT for torpedoes and SS-N-29/RPK-9 Medvedka (not confirmed, maybe a future weapons fit)
2 14.5mm HMGs or AGLs.

Positiv-MAE radar
Garpun-B radar
Sonar system with hull mounted and towed arrays
Chaff and decoy launcher system with four launchers

Crew: 117

Twin shaft CODOG system, comprising:
......2x10,000 kW gas turbines
......2x3650 kW diesel engines

Aviation: Pad/hangar for Ka-27

Notes: Steregushchy entered service in 2007, 5 additional ships are under construction.

Photo: Wikipedia

Buyan Class Corvette (Project 21630)
Displacement: 600 tons full load
Dim: 62 meters long
Speed: 28 knots
Range: 1500 nm

Armament: 1 A-190 100mm gun. 2 AK-360 30mm CIWS. 1 9K38 Igla SAM launcher, 1 A-215 122 mm Grad-M MLRS (20 launch tubes). Mine Rails with about 30 mines.

Radar: MR-231 Navigation Radar
Decoys: PK-10 "Smely" decoy Rocket Launchers

Machinery: 2 8000 HP Diesel engines, 2 waterjets.

Remarks: Called a "Small Artillery Ship" by the Russians the first of these ships was assigned to the Caspian Sea Flotilla. Unusual is its A-215 Rocket Launcher, a coastal bombardment weapon indicating the ship is designed for the littoral environment. The first ship Astrakhan was commissioned in January of 2006, two more Kaspiysk and Mahachkala are under construction. Plans exist for a Project 21631 "Tornado" variant armed with guided surface-to-surface missiles.

Dyugon` Class Landing Craft (Project 21820)


Dis: 280 tons
Dim: 45x8.6x2.2
Speed: 35 knots

Armaments: 2 14.5mm machine guns.

Cargo: 140 tons
Crew: 6

Machinery: 2 9000 hp M502A-2D Diesel Engines.

Remarks: One hull D-105 is under construction at Nizhniy Novgorod and should be commissioned soon. An additional hull is under construction at Vladivostok.

Vessels In Development

Admiral Sergey Gorshkov class Frigate (Project 22350)

Dis: 4,500 tons
Dim: 132x16x8 meters
Speed: 26 knots
range: 4000 nm at 14 knots or 15 days
crew: 100

1 Arsenal 130mm Gun, 2 Kashtan CIWS, 8 SS-N-26 Oniks ASMs or PJ-10 BrahMos, 1 Shtil I SA-N-12 GRIZZLY SAM, 4 533mm Torpedo Tubes, RPK-9 Medvedka SS-N-29 ASW Rockets

Air wing: 1 Helicopter

Sensors: 3D Air Search Radar, Sonar.

Machinery: 2 COGAG with boost turbines.

Remarks: Under construction and expected to be launched late 2010 with commissioning in 2011. One more under construction.

Ivan Gren class Landing Ship (Project 11711)
Dis: ~5,500
Dim: 120x16
Speed: 18 knots
Range: 3000 nm at 16 knots
Crew: ~100
Cargo: 13 Tanks or 60 APCs.

Weapons: Unknown may include
1 Arsenal 130mm Gun and CIWS.

Remarks: 1 under construction, 4 more maybe built.

Future Amphibious Assault Ship
Russia has expressed interest in operating four French Mistral class vessels. Two maybe built in France while the other two are built in Russia. Designs from Spain and South Korea are also said to be under consideration.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

HAVAS Submarines

Havas is a French SDV manufacturer founded by Jean Claude Havas in late 1960s producing a range of civilian and military craft. Over 300 craft have been produced including both military and civilian models, which is several times more than some of its better known competitors such as Cosmos.

Open source information is particularly scarce because of the secrecy of their military operators; Janes' notes Chile as an operator of Havas Mk 8 SDVs, and it can now be confirmed that the USN SEALs previously operated early civilian models, but beyond this a military operator list will be conspicuously absent from this article. It can safely be assumed however that the firm’s craft are employed with major western Special Forces and represent top-end products in the SDV market.

Havas SDVs are not armed although the crew can carry limpet mines etc for sabotage missions.

Early civilian models
The Havas Mk I, II sports craft were produced from the late 1960s. The craft are fiberglass and electric powered, with the two crew sitting in cockpit-like openings in the craft’s teardrop hull. Large hydroplanes are mounted forward, a small electric motor aft. The craft are demonstrably robust and easy to maintain, hinting at the great potential for military applications.

Some did make their way into military hands, notably the USN SEALs, but the craft was not designed or optimized for special forces. The SEALs’ examples were possibly sourced via US Scuba firm Scubapro, the successor to Healthways.
Havas Mk II craft operated by USN SEALs, now retired. Source Flickr.

Havas Mk V OPS (SDV)
The MK V was a continuation of the Mk I family, produced until about 1980 when it was superseded. For its time, the craft was very advanced with features including:
- Enclosed canopy for reduced crew fatigue
- "pressure balance system" that allows a permanent non-variable buoyancy at any depth.
- Intelligent CAS
- BIS 100 coded "discrete" transponder for recovery
- Non magnetic compass and computer driven navigation
- Interphone
- Onboard air supply to allow crew breathing during approach. They use their closed circuit apparatus for the real action.
Mk V SDV at a 1988 trade show

The Mk 5’s advanced cockpit resembles that of a fighter aircraft – particularly the Harrier II. Photo Wikipedia

Cruising speed - 5 kts
Endurance - 5 hours
Cargo - 80 kg (in air)
Weight - 1,000 kg
L – 4.8 m
Operating depth – up to 100m
Max Transit depth (ie attached externally to a carrying sub)- 300m

Havas TTV
Designed to be deployed through the torpedo tubes of a submarine, the TTV is a very large ‘scooter’ with the crew riding externally.

The TTV has zero magnetic signature further enhancing stealth.

Externally the craft could easily be mistaken for a regular 533mm (21”) heavyweight torpedo. In many respects this is a precursor to more recent “torpedo” SDVs now being marketed by companies in Sweden (eg Torpedo SEAL) and Germany (eg Gabler SDV).
The TTV can carry a stores container mounted on the nose and an enlarged 2-crew fairing. Control is provided via a small joystick mounted immediately rear of the pop-out dashboard.
Diameter 533 mm (21”)
L - 6.5m
Cargo - 100 kg
Cruising speed - 6 kts
Emergency dash speed - 10 kts
Range - 30 nm
Endurance - 5 hours

ASDV Mark 10
An advanced SDV the Mk 10 departs from the Mark V’s layout. Although it too resembles a torpedo, the Mk 10 is about twice the width preventing deployment from regular torpedo tubes. Two crewmen are carried internally. Like the TTV the Mk 10 has no magnetic signature. The ASDV Mk 10 has a cruising speed of 10kts which allows decreased mission times, or can be translated into a greater distance between the launching platform and the target.

Diameter – 0.99m
L – 9m
Weight - 3,900 kg
Cargo - 250 kg
Cruising speed - 10 kts
Endurance - 5 hours
Operating depth – 100m

Other Havas SDVs
Mk III – similar to Mk V but civilian
Mk VI-VIII – TBC, likely similar to Mk V but progressively improved

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Russian (/Soviet) SF underwater craft

For Triton-1 and Triton-2, see below
The Russians experimented with a two-man chariot in late 1950s which appears heavily influenced by WWII Italian Maiale and British Chariots. Hull diameter was greater than a torpedo, but otherwise similar. The two crew sat in a single cut-out with shield at the front. There were hydroplanes both fore and aft.

The type does not appear to have been entered operational service.

Sirena / Sirena-UME
Often referenced to the WW2 'Maiale' designs of 'Human Torpedo', the Sirena is not closely related except in so far as it is based on a WWII 533mm torpedo. The first Sirena tests models reused war-trophy German G-7E torpedoes but these proved problematic and Soviet motors were used on production units.

At least one early craft, probably a prototype using the G-7E torpedo aft section, had the crew sitting closer together facing opposite directions as per the British Chariot MkII. This configuration was not adopted in production models where both the crew faced forward.

The Sirena is in some respects a precursor for the latest SDVs trends in that it can be carried and deployed in the torpedo tubes of Submarines. Some Project 877EK/EKM Kilo class boats have been modified with rams to launch it through their tubes, or it can be carried externally by Piranha midget subs or boats.
Photos: TBC
L - 8.7m, 11.2m with storage container attached (some sources say L - 8.6m, 10.8m with container)
W - 0.53m
Speed - 2-4 kts
Depth - up to 40m
The crew sit inside the hull with just their upper bodies exposed, like the British Chariot Mk.II but both face forward.
The current version still in service is the Sirena-UME, which is the result of a 1972-76 upgrade to reduce noise. Similar upgrades were applied to the Proteus DPD.
Photos: TBC

Following is a series of renderings of what a potential Sirena operation would be. The basic layout of such an operation can be considered a blueprint for any operations utilizing similar vehicles.

(Click on images for a larger view)

Two divers exit the sub though a torpedo tube or hatch. The Sirena is deployed though a torpedo tube.

The two divers enter the sub and proceed to the target while the submarine remains clear of the area.

The divers approach their target in this case a NATO frigate resting at anchor.

The divers retrieve their equipment from the storage compartment attached to the bow of the Sirena. In this case one diver is carrying a limpet mine and the other is carrying APS underwater rifle for self defense.

The divers attach limpet mines to vulnerable areas under the keel of the target, such area could be below the engine room or under weapon magazines. The mines would normally be set on a timer to detonate after the divers have returned to the submarine and left the area, mines could also be set to detonate if someone attempts to remove them.

The divers return to the submarine using either GPS navigation or an acoustic homing device attached to the submarine. The divers load the Sirena back in to its torpedo tube and reenter the submarine.

Triton-1 (project 907)
A wet sub now likely all retired, the Triton-1 has a distinctive teardrop bull with the two crewman sitting side-by-side in an aircraft-style cockpit.

32 craft were built entering service between 1973 and 1980.
L - 5m
W - 1.4m
Speed - 6kts

The craft can rest on the sea bed for up to 10 days before being restarted for the homeward journey allowing great operational flexibility.

Triton-2 (project 908)
With some details closely resembling the Triton-1, the Triton-2 is a much larger craft. The submarine is not a 'dry sub' but does have a system to maintain a constant pressure within the submarine regardless of depth.

13 craft were built, entering service between 1975 and 1985.
Photo: Wikipedia
L - 9.5m
W - 1.5m
Crew: 6

Piranha (Project 865, NATO - Losos)
With two boats entering service in the the early 90s, the Piranha class were purpose built special operations craft. The post-Soviet Russian Navy did not see the need to operate dedicated craft and they were discarded in the early 2000's after attempts to sell them abroad were unsuccessful despite considerable interest in the design.
An interesting feature is the two tubular storage bins for SDVs / diver propulsion devises which give the craft a characteristic hump back.
The starboard storage bin tray is seen with two Protei-5 diver propulsion devices. Photo:
L - 28.2m
W - 4.8m
Displacement - 218 t surface, 319 t dived
Speed - 7 kts surfaced, ?? dived
Crew - 3 + 6

Not a military project, the Marina wet submarine is however inherently usable as an SDV. Based on the Sirena-UME (see above), the Marina has an altered crew arrangement allowing 3 crew. Large windshields protect the crew much like the Italian series of SDVs. The design is marketed for private/commercial applications.
L - 7.8m
W - 0.6m
Depth - up to 40m
Speed - 2-4 kts

Diver propulsion units

VSON -55
Early diver propulsion devise dating from mid 1955s as the designation suggests. Consisted of a cylindrical pressure body which attached to the diver's chest, with an arm-mounted electric motor driving a shrouded propeller which tucked between the diver's legs when swimming prone.

Proteus -1
Very similar to the VSON-55 in configuration, the Proteus was a significant all-round improvement better suited to special operations forces. Introduced in 1958.

Proteus -2
At the same time that Proteus-1 was produced, a back-mounted version was introduced. This configuration proved unpopular and Proteus-1 became the preferred layout.

Proteus - 5 / 5M / 5MU
General improvement on Proteus-1 with similar layout. Larger prop. -5MU incorporated noise reduction techniques.

Proteus - L -Special model designed for landing in water by parachute.

A more recent product, the COM-1 features an unusual layout with the diver laying ahead of the propulsion unit. The device features a windshield and can carry two divers although usual operation is for a single diver.
Max speed - 2-3kts.
Depth - at least 30m

Unrealized projects

PLSM hydrofoil submarine - 1990s. Studies and models tested. Does not appear to have been built.

Triton-NN (/HH) submersible boat. Recent concept, funding and status unclear.

Foreign types
R 1 / R-2 - Reports that Soviet/Russian forces may use Yugoslavian (now Croatian) R-1 and R-2 SDVs are almost certainly incorrect.

Seehund - Immediately following WWII the Soviet union inherited two unfinished German Seehund midget submarines. One was placed in service.
CB Class - Following WWII the USSR briefly operated four Italian midget submarines of the CB class.