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Old 18-Jun-2018, 14:51   #1
Eja Cool8
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Post Russki Husky

..Submarine. Our eastern chums going down the "one size fits all, just swap the bits" modular route. Sticking with the huge double-hulled basic design that goes back to SSGNs from years back, like the Kursk. Seems like an attempt at unifying sub types into one package, SSN/GN/BN in one boat, potentially.

Ambitious. Not least in the respect of its claimed max diving depth of 1km, and weapons that can be successfully fired at that depth. Bold claims, to say the very least...

http://www.navyrecognition.com/index...submarine.html

https://www.popularmechanics.com/mil...onic-missiles/

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Old 18-Jun-2018, 17:21   #2
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1km down has an obnoxious amount of pressure (napkin math says ~1,500 psi) for the hull to deal with. And weapons launch? A torpedo maybe but I doubt they can get missiles out at that depth.

Modular hull sounds sensible though. Must make it cheaper too.
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Old 18-Jun-2018, 17:59   #3
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They really shouldn't leave the windows open like that.
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Old 18-Jun-2018, 18:50   #4
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Anyone else getting the impression the Russian military are beginning to be more ambitious with their designs, with potentially better ability to execute, than the rest of the world?
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Old 19-Jun-2018, 12:11   #5
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Question is; can they follow through on their bold plans? The Russian economy is in a bit of a state. There's no doubt whatsoever that there are some very clever and capable scientists, designers and engineers in Russia, but based on their track record since the Cold War, that doesn't mean a lot of production output.

There has been a bit of a history, in recent decades, of Russian yards starting on a boat series, filling a large production hall with parts, and, eventually, part-completed hulls, then just....stopping. Usually because funds aren't available to see them through temporary design or production issues. I'm not just talking about the late 80s-early 90s either.

Russia's going through one of those funny phases at the moment, I think. A strong man in charge, which a lot of Russians like, and they all want to see a similarly strong Russia. Basic cockwaving, really. Granted, saleable military hardware will help their bank balance, but that's fine for your odd SAM system, etc. Not many can afford a state-of-the-art SSN/SSGN.

Make no mistake though; when they do build them, they're good. There was a lot of guff talked during, and just after the Cold War, mostly by the Yanks, about how noisy and easy to track Soviet/Russian boats were. Rubbish. In the latter days they were making huge strides in the areas of not just mechanical quieting, but usage of full noise elimination techniques, using electro-acoustics, miles ahead of their earlier Subs, but bear in mind, many of the earliest US Nucs weren't exactly quiet either, that took a lot of trial and error to achieve.. The Sov boats themselves had many other useful and potent features too. As US Naval and Intel Analysts have latterly admitted, they didn't necessarily do things worse than NATO. More often than not, what they came up with was merely the result of different design goals, doctrine, and the decisions related thereto.
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Old 20-Jun-2018, 11:19   #6
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Make no mistake though; when they do build them, they're good.
The Russians are the only country in the world that can build subs out of a single contiguous piece of titanium. Everyone else has to weld sections together. This obviously has performance implications. An excellent example of this is the Alfa class (40 knots, theoretical crush depth of 1,300m, test depth 400m). Sonar doesn't work so well through 3,000ft of water.

https://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/deep.htm
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Old 20-Jun-2018, 16:03   #7
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Not sure about that "one piece of Titanium". That implies casting the Hull, then cutting dirty great holes in it to fit the machinery. Not ideal. From what I read, and there's a book reference in the "What am I reading" thread, the Hull sections were formed conventionally, as with the high rated steels normally used. This was a hard process at first, and a massive learning curve for the Soviets. The sections were then welded, iirc, in a sealed building with an Argon atmosphere. Latterly they figured out how to do this just by sealing off the section(s) being worked on.

Also took them time to figure out welding Titanium to ferrous metals. Again, not straightforward, apparently. The first boats, although intended for service, and armed on commissioning, were very much floating test beds, much like the first Western boats with streamlined steel hulls.

There was a lot talked about the Alfa being a very deep diver. Lately it's been suggested that this wasn't the case. Where that class did score was in terms of acceleration, outright top speed, and handling. It had the benefit of the lighter Hull, and also a much smaller reactor, one that was cooled by liquid metal. This type of reactor is also highly efficient and powerful. The Alfa could easily top 40 knots, and from a standing start was unsurpassed. It was this level of maneuverability that forced us to develop the Spearfish torpedo, and the US, the mk. 48 ADCAP.

Downsides were that these early Titanium hulls were far from perfect. Cracks appeared, sometimes leading to cut-out and replacement of entire sections. The reactors could never be powered down, even in port, as the metal coolant would seize in the system, meaning a buggered reactor. That also meant that their home ports needed hefty power supply capability just to have the boats alongside.

Another funny thing about the Alfa was the crewing. It was intended to be highly automated, manned by a few officers only, no enlisted men. This might have sounded great on paper, but really impossible for the Soviets to achieve, so that had to change too.

As I say though, they learned from all of this. Successor classes improved markedly. With that, comes cost, which is what's holding the Russians back today.
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