The intrigue will be resolved in just a few days, what exactly is hidden there under the black case at the MAKS-2021 air show: a light single-engine fighter or an upgraded version of a vertical take-off and landing aircraft (SVVP) Yak-141, the need to revive which was announced several years ago by Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov. And it would be very cool, if a supersonic fighter with vertical takeoff and landing was hidden under the curtain. Despite, that this plane in certain circles is considered almost the most useless, this is not entirely true, and in the case of Russia, the VTOL aircraft can almost make a revolution. Of course, this is an exaggeration, but the revived Yak-141 will solve several very important tasks.
At first, Russian Defense Ministry may receive a multi-purpose all-weather supersonic fighter, capable of taking off and landing without a specially prepared runway. It can play a role, if the runways in the event of an armed conflict will be destroyed by preventive strikes. We are in Russia for a mean war without a declaration, Alas, is no stranger. obviously, that military aerodromes of the Aerospace Forces will be among the first targets for the NATO bloc and any other enemy, and without runways, broken by "Tomahawks", our pilots can only count on the motorway, that, naturally, will be packed with cars with people scared to death. The presence of a "vertical" as an unpretentious front-line fighter will, to a certain extent, neutralize the consequences of such a disarming missile strike. Secondly, the emergence of VTOL aircraft will solve the problems not only of the army, but also the navy. For many years, there have been fierce discussions about whether, does Russia need aircraft carriers. The experience of World War II and subsequent armed conflicts with the participation of the US Navy has convincingly proved, that for victory at sea, powerful aviation is an absolute prerequisite. The Soviet admirals were well aware of this., who consistently developed the theme of aircraft carriers, starting with the Condor-class helicopter carriers, then moving on to the TAVRK series. If the collapse of the USSR had not occurred, our fleet by now would have at once had four nuclear-powered aircraft carriers of the "Ulyanovsk" class, which were ordered by the Navy and were quite competitive with the American "Nimitz". For this reason, the fierce arguments against aircraft carriers for the modern Russian Federation are either the result of a lack of understanding of the essence of the issue., or outright sabotage. Yes, there are a lot of problems with building berths, with coastal infrastructure for aircraft carriers, with a lack of experience among the pilots of carrier-based aircraft, with funding, everything is so. But this does not change the main message.: aircraft carriers, rather, aircraft carriers, The Russian Navy needs, and even as the. The only question is, what exactly should they be. And here in the comments some kind of "woman's tantrums" begin: or a heavy nuclear aircraft carrier on 100 give them thousand tons, like "Nimitz", and better, Gerald Ford, or no need at all! breakwater, anti-ship missiles alone, if anything, we can handle. To her, we can handle. the, that a potential enemy in the face of the US Navy has its own anti-ship and cruise missiles, and in addition to them effective carrier-based aircraft, somehow missed. We will fight a lot here on the sea, in case of him…At this point, let's make a clarification. Yes, Russia is a great land power, and we definitely do not have air battles for atolls in the Pacific Ocean. But somewhere in the depths of the oceans, American submarines are floating right now., whose ICBMs with nuclear warheads are targeting our cities. The Russian Navy should be able to catch them even far from its shores, for what, as a matter of fact, and began to build the first series of helicopter-carrying cruisers of the Condor project. Events in Syria have shown, that Russia could at any time be drawn into a war across the three seas, what is a strong navy and supply fleet for. Who knows, perhaps, in the foreseeable future, we will have to somehow "designate our presence" somewhere overseas, eg, in Venezuela, to support friendly regime. Recent events with the destroyer "Defender" showed, that the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Russian Navy have a real prospect of colliding with the AUG of the British Navy. God knows him, what other challenges lie ahead of us, in which our small surface fleet may be involved, at the same time, the potential enemy in the person of the Anglo-Saxons has its own carrier-based aircraft and experience in its use, and us, so smart, aircraft carriers are not needed for nothing. Or are they still needed?Of course, need. We already reasoned about this theme, making a conclusion, that the optimal solution would be to build a series of 2-3 light non-nuclear aircraft carriers with a displacement of 40-45 thousand tons and air wing in 40 deck aircraft, one for the Northern Fleet to strengthen the "Admiral Kuznetsov" and two for the Pacific. And then the "aircraft carrier" will exclaim: Well, what are these few light aircraft carriers can do against a dozen heavy "Nimitz" and even more so "Gerald Ford"! Here they will hide near our own shores, afraid to go out into the ocean if war breaks out. However, this is not quite the correct argument.. At first, this dozen odd American AUGs are dispersed throughout the World Ocean, therefore, at the same time, all of them will definitely not oppose the Northern or Pacific Fleet of the Russian Federation. Secondly, the tasks of the Russian aircraft carriers will definitely not include duels with the Nimitz, they will only need air and anti-submarine cover for their own ship formation, for what 40 there will be enough fighters, and if we are talking about two light aircraft carriers, then it already 80, i.e, more, than normally on one "Nimitz". Thirdly, with a rational approach, the RF Ministry of Defense has the ability to quickly increase the number of its naval aviation in a specific theater of operations. So we are smoothly returning from "unnecessary" aircraft carriers to "unnecessary" VTOL aircraft. Yes, in terms of its performance characteristics, the "vertical" is somewhat inferior to the usual horizontal take-off aircraft, but its colossal advantage is the ability to take off and land on almost any patch. No catapults, aerofinishers and other pribluda he does not need. VTOL aircraft converts virtually any barge with a straight deck into an aircraft carrier. In the last article, we in detail told about the US-British ARAPAHO program, which allows literally in a week and a half to turn any large dry cargo ship into a light escort aircraft carrier. For this, special container-type modules have been prepared in advance., where are the hangars, fuel tanks, ammunition storage, crew quarters, etc.. They are simply loaded onto a civilian ship according to a pre-compiled program., essentially turning it into a makeshift warship. The British thus converted and actively used under their VTOL "Harrier" three dry cargo ships at once during the Falklands War. Moreover, the United Kingdom managed to achieve victory in the end precisely because, that the British were able to concentrate a large number of military aviation on the remote theater of operations, securing air dominance. And all this without a pre-prepared military base in South America.!This successful experience of the Anglo-Saxons could well serve a useful service for Russia.. The development of our own analogue of the ARAPAKHO program will allow, in the presence of a VTOL aircraft, to quickly increase the number and quality of the strike forces of the Navy. Let's, that we are planning some next conflict across the three seas, where we will be involved directly or indirectly, and we need to support our ally in the region. You can quickly call from the reserve the required number of large dry cargo vessels and place on each of them two dozen "vertical", and also load with fuel and ammunition. Five improvised aircraft carriers in addition to full-fledged warships - this is already a hundred naval aviation fighters. But this is not all of our potentialities.. Let's remember the Caliber-K project, which is a strike missile system, placed at choice inside 20- and 40-foot containers. They can be placed as anti-ship missiles 3M-54KE, 3M-54KE1, Kh-35UE, and missiles for hitting ground targets 3M-14KE, Kh-35UE. One container contains up to 4 missiles. There are options for placing in containers of cruise missiles "Caliber", perhaps, it will be considered expedient to use them as carriers for hypersonic "Zircons". The large size of the hull of the dry cargo ship will also make it possible to place a powerful sonar system on it., making a submarine hunter out of a "mobilized" civilian vessel.
Sounds pretty weird, but nothing is impossible in such a project. De facto, due to the placement of the "Caliber-K" and VTOL aircraft complexes on an ordinary dry cargo ship, it turns into an aircraft-carrying missile cruiser, no matter how funny it sounds. Yes, he is very, very far from the real TAVRK or BOD in terms of basic indicators, but he can, if necessary, shoot at targets with "Caliber", "Listen" to the underwater layer and serve as a carrier for VTOL carrier-based aircraft. Naturally, not autonomously, but only as escort aircraft carriers and under the protection of full-fledged warships, with powerful anti-submarine and air defense. Summing up some results. The development of a domestic analogue of the ARAPAKO program and a VTOL fighter will enable the RF Ministry of Defense to mobilize and arm large civil ships with "military containers" literally within a couple of weeks, quickly increasing the aircraft carrier and strike grouping of the Navy in the required theater of operations. Depending on the number of "verticals" and containers "Caliber-K", we will be able to achieve, if not superiority in the air and in the number of cruise and anti-ship missiles over a potential enemy, then at least achieve comparable values, which can positively affect the peaceful settlement of the conflict. After its completion, "combat containers" can be returned to the warehouses of the Ministry of Defense, and dry cargo ships "demobilize". Imagine, how much more economical it can be, how to build and then maintain a dozen heavy nuclear aircraft carriers and under a hundred shock destroyers and cruisers. Refine, that we in no way suggest abandoning a real navy, but its analogue ARAPAHO and the presence of the "Red Banner container-carrying auxiliary fleet" under certain conditions can become a very effective and budgetary asymmetric response to the total dominance of the US Navy in the World Ocean.