Analysis: Russian Navy to focus on precision weapons - take 5

Russia is building new-generation warships and submarines and upgrading old ships. Design of next-generation warships and submarines is beginning. The Defense Ministry and industry have sustainable perceptions of the development of major classes of warships and auxiliary vessels, the Independent Military Review writes.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001Russian Navy’s Ocean Shield-2019 naval maneuvers (Picture source: Vitaliy Nevar/TASS)

Fundamental and applied research is the basis for the solution of the problems, design and introduction of specific events. The Krylov State Scientific Center is the main shipbuilding designer in Russia. In China, it is the Shipbuilding research center, in the USA - the Taylor Center.

In Russia, the development of science for defense is stipulated by the federal law #61-FZ of May 31, 1996 on Defense (item 12 of article 2) as a component of defense organization in the Russian Federation. Similar norms are stipulated by provisions on other law enforcement agencies. The volume of new scientific knowledge generated by civilian science has mostly dual-purpose character and is of interest for defense, security and law enforcement. Some research guidelines can enjoy the official dual-purpose status and receive subsidies from the federal budget.

Therefore, the main organizational problem of interdepartmental coordination of fundamental and applied research in the sphere of defense and security is information access of scientists, defense enterprises, designers general to databases of budget appropriations disbursed for research to FANO, Academy of Sciences, the Kurchatov Institute, the Moscow and St. Petersburg Universities, RFFI, RNF and FPI.

Another prospective guideline of navy development is the introduction of robotic complexes. They include drones (UAV), unmanned underwater craft (ANPA), remotely controlled underwater craft, self-propelled anti-mine craft and unmanned boats (BKA).

The creation of robots is moving to a new quality level. Since 2020 the United States has been creating big unmanned robots: Large Unmanned Surface Vehicle (LUSV), MUSV middle unmanned surface craft, super big XLUUV unmanned underwater vehicle. Four billion 518.9 million dollars are to be appropriated for the purpose in 2020-2024. Smaller naval drones are also planned: LDUUV and Mk 18, as well as UAV.

The US Navy views big robots as a weapon to counter modern threats, mostly from China. In contrast to manned vehicles, the naval robots are cheaper, engage in long operations and decrease risks for the personnel. The procurement plans for big robots are directly linked to the transition to the so-called distributed structure of the fleet and reduction of big warships, such as cruisers and destroyers, increased number of frigates and coastal patrol vessels, as well as the use of a major number of big robots. The fleet of 355 warships should include 104 big and 52 small vessels, as well as a big number of naval robots - 30 LUSV and 40 MUSV.

NATO allies are also engaged in the problem. The UK displayed the concept of transition ship (TX-ship) from manned to unmanned vessels at DSEI-2019 show in September 2019. It is a prototype to master technologies for the creation of unmanned vessels. The ship resembles US LCS Independence. It is designed by stealth technologies and is a trimaran. Although it is an unmanned ship, a 15-men crew will operate it at the initial stage.

The release of various manned and unmanned craft in a rough sea is ensured by a big automatic payload compartment. The ship has a helipad and a displacement of 600 tons.

Robotization of warships is due to the global trend to distance the personnel from direct contact with the adversary. It expands the range of missions and increases combat effectiveness. A growing number of naval arms and hardware will be created with robotic elements (remotely controlled artillery guns, lifting devices, etc.).

Intensive batch construction in all navies prepares the creation of new-generation warships by 2030s which will accumulate the currently developed scientific potential, the Independent Military Review said.

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