Extended Cold War Naval Development

that_person

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Ok, this is a scenario I've been working on for a while now, so I'd like to hear other peoples' thoughts on it. It has some plot devices though (the Soviet Union not completely falling apart, Bush restarting the Cold War, etc), but I think it's realistic enough to seem sane from a glance.

In 1985 Gorbachev comes to power and puts in a series of radical economic policies in an attempt to restart the Soviet economy. He puts heavy emphasis on global trade, building international relations, and ending the Cold War. The Soviet economy grows but at a price, until 1992, the Soviet Defense Budget will be cut by 4% each year. The lack of funds will force the USSR to dispose of old military equipment and some of its stockpiles (so the Kanins, Whiskeys, and other old ships are scrapped or sold off). The military, despite having its budget cut, can now actually train its personnel and buys limited numbers of new equipment, mostly because the money used the keep massive stockpiles of tanks and subs operational, can be put elsewhere. The USSR begins to export military equipment and technology to foreign partners and works to strengthen trade relations. Gorbachev also puts money into public infrastructure and improves the overall quality of life, making him a hero in the eyes of the Soviet people, and preventing the 1989 Revolutions.

When Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, Gorbachev announced his support for Iraq, preventing the coalition from forming and kicking down Saddam's front door. Iraq, with some nudging from the Kremlin, cuts off oil trade with the West, sending the US into a mild economic recession. In 1994 Bush is elected as the President and goes full anti-communist Reagan hardline on the Soviets. He announces a new space initiative, puts money back into the SDI program, and raises the defense budget to Reagan levels. The Soviets now are a major economic force and have international partners throughout the world, allowing the Soviet Defense Budget to rise again (but to acceptable heights). The Cold War has restarted. Note the Soviets still lay down the Ulyanovsk, the Burke still enters service in 1991, etc, but the US does NOT cancel virtually every research project in 1990. How does this affect Naval development?
 

isayyo2

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Love the idea but I am not intensely familiar with Soviet Naval projects, thankfully this site is blessed with many Russian members.

If Chernobyl could be avoided then we could see more nuclear powered naval ships?
 

DWG

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It's not just Ulyanovsk that might get completed without a Russian economic collapse, there's Varyag and the third Kusnetsov, Kherson and Kremenchug, another seven Slavas, the eight Sovrememny 2s and the three Udaloy 2s, and then there's the subs: six extra Oscars, the Project 881 Merkuriys, an extra Sierra, five extra Akulas, and the Severodinsk/Project 885 Yasen will commission on schedule, not a decade and a half late. They're likely still to run into problems with the R-39UTTH Bark, so the Boreys will still be delayed as they're redesigned for the R-30 Bulava, though they won't need to resort to the mix-and-match with left over Oscar and Akula hull sections that appears to have been used IRL.
 

that_person

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It's not just Ulyanovsk that might get completed without a Russian economic collapse, there's Varyag and the third Kusnetsov, Kherson and Kremenchug, another seven Slavas, the eight Sovrememny 2s and the three Udaloy 2s, and then there's the subs: six extra Oscars, the Project 881 Merkuriys, an extra Sierra, five extra Akulas, and the Severodinsk/Project 885 Yasen will commission on schedule, not a decade and a half late. They're likely still to run into problems with the R-39UTTH Bark, so the Boreys will still be delayed as they're redesigned for the R-30 Bulava, though they won't need to resort to the mix-and-match with left over Oscar and Akula hull sections that appears to have been used IRL.
I'm sorry, there were plans for three Kuznetsovs? That's the first I've heard of it. I don't think Project 881 would come to fruition, I am under the impression it was canceled in favor of the Yasen, which could function as an SSGN and SSN. Here are my thoughts for the Soviet Navy:

Aircraft Carriers:
Due to the budget cuts, Varyag won't be commissioned until 1994, followed by the first Ulyanovsk sometime around 1998, and the second in 2000-ish. Now note the Ulyanovsks and Kuznetsovs were built to house some Soviet version of AEGIS and the SPY-1, but it ultimately failed to come to anything, I think this will also occur in this timeline too. Instead, based on a picture and Russian website I've seen, the second Ulyanovsk will be built with a different island housing a different radar. Picture here: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachme...977673996697640/11437_model_NevskoePKB_14.png I also think Ulyanovsk production would continue into the early 2010s, with a total of 3-4 units total (the last being completed in 2006-ish). The third and fourth units may have their missile battery removed in favor of catapults (catapults will be on these vessels regardless) and additional weapon and aircraft housing areas. I don't think the Kherson would be laid down at all, but instead, I think the Kievs would be converted the have full flight decks in place of the missile batteries, similar to what happened to Admiral Gorshkov. I personally kind of think the Yak-141 would be canceled in favor of additional MiG-29s and Su-33s, note the Indian Kiev can fly both IIRC. They would function as training and ASW carriers that would defend Soviet SSBNs. With this in mind, they'll serve a lot longer.

Large Combatants:
Originally there were plans for five Kirovs, but like in real life, I think construction will stop at 4, because of cost and an evolving doctrine. The last Kirov will enter service sometime in the early 1990s. Like in our timeline, they will serve as carrier escorts and lead surface action groups. I also think the last Kirov may receive Kalibr batteries instead of her Granits. On the contrary, all eight Slavas will be completed, with the later vessels being of the improved 1164.1 type. The only main difference is electronics and Kashtans instead of AK-630s. Also, there will be the construction of the smaller nuclear-powered destroyer, Project 11990 "Anchar". These would serve as AAW escorts to the carriers, with two per carrier group. Picture here: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachme...1785336188948/otvaga2004_atrina_pr1199_02.jpg

Small Combatants:
Obviously, additional Udaloys and Sovremennys will be built as escorts. Without the old ships in the fleet, these will make up the bulk of the fleet. I also kind of think there would be some kind of stealth AAW/ASW successor to the Udaloys and Sovremennys, but definitely not as big as Project 11990. My example here would be Project 1156, which I know very little about: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachme...5789022732288/otvaga2004_atrina_pr1156_03.jpg Does anyone have any more info on it? I think these might be built in favor Udaloy and Sovremenny 2s. Krivak production will be succeeded by the Neustrashimyy-class FFGs, and Grisha production will be succeeded by several stealth corvette designs.

Submarines:
More Akula and Sierras will be produced, with production stopping in the mid-to-late 1990s. A few more Oscars will be built, with the last of the class having Kalibr batteries instead of Granits. Yasen production will overtake all three designs, with the first of the class entering service in the early 2000s, with a further 13-ish to follow. So that is something like 8 Victor 2s (training boats), 27 modernized Victor 3s, ~20 Akulas, and ~6-8 Sierras, plus the Yasens and Oscars, so maybe 60-80 modern nuclear-powered submarines. Kilo production will ramp up in the 1990s, but mainly for foreign customers. The bulk of the Soviet SSK force will consist of Kilos, with 1/4 of those being of the Improved Kilo type. The Kilos will be succeeded by the Ladas in the early 2000s. These will be the main strike force of the Soviet Navy. SSBN production isn't that special, but I think the Boreis will enter service earlier, and with a slightly different design.
 

DWG

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It's not just Ulyanovsk that might get completed without a Russian economic collapse, there's Varyag and the third Kusnetsov, Kherson and Kremenchug, another seven Slavas, the eight Sovrememny 2s and the three Udaloy 2s, and then there's the subs: six extra Oscars, the Project 881 Merkuriys, an extra Sierra, five extra Akulas, and the Severodinsk/Project 885 Yasen will commission on schedule, not a decade and a half late. They're likely still to run into problems with the R-39UTTH Bark, so the Boreys will still be delayed as they're redesigned for the R-30 Bulava, though they won't need to resort to the mix-and-match with left over Oscar and Akula hull sections that appears to have been used IRL.
I'm sorry, there were plans for three Kuznetsovs?

I thought there were plans for a third, but on reflection I think it's just references to Shandong as the third Kuznetsov hull have wormed their way into my head. Considering Ulyanovsk was laid down immediately after Riga/Varyag, that's a pretty good indication the plan was two.

I don't think Project 881 would come to fruition, I am under the impression it was canceled in favor of the Yasen, which could function as an SSGN and SSN.

I think it's likely Yasen would replace Merkuriy even if production started, but a sub that makes the Oscar/Project 949 look like it's the Merkuriy's baby brother is too attractive to completely pass over in an alternate timeline, and the point of departure is close enough to its IRL cancellation to make it viable.

Instead, based on a picture and Russian website I've seen, the second Ulyanovsk will be built with a different island housing a different radar. Picture here: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachme...977673996697640/11437_model_NevskoePKB_14.png

I've seen it quoted as Mars-Passat replaced by a second MR-750 Fregat M2 and MR-650 Poderezovik T1.
 

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It occurs to me that one important point for US fleet availability is that retiring CGNs, in many cases the most modern CGNs, because they still needed their reactors refuelling won't become a thing. That's likely to affect some of the SSN force, too.
 

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My example here would be Project 1156, which I know very little about: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachme...5789022732288/otvaga2004_atrina_pr1156_03.jpg Does anyone have any more info on it?

Happened across a note I'd saved stating it was:
"9000 tons standard, 174x20x5.8m 2x2 Moskit, 8 cell Fal SAM (version of Fort) 8 cell Kinzhal SAM, 1 AK-130, 2x2 AK-630, 2x2-torps (533) 2 Helix."
No idea where I got that. I presume the both the Fal/Fort (SA-N-6 Grumble) and the Kinzhal (SA-N-9 Gauntlet) are actually 8 rotary launchers for 64 missiles.
 

uk 75

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The key to keeping the Soviet Union going in the 90s goes back further than Gorbachev.
You need to replace Breshnev in the 1970s with a Gorbachev like figure. Some suggest that Yuri Andropov knew what was wrong with the USSR and might have put things right.
The West was very much on the back foot in the 1970s after Vietnam and the Oil Price hike.
Reagan arrives as in our timeline but has to deal with a different Gorbachev who takes over from Andropov at about the same time as Reagan replaces Carter.
There is no Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 but East Germany is a more dynamic place than our GDR. Gorbachev has got rid of Honecker and replaced him with Hans Modrow.
There is no Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1991 because there is no Saddam. The Soviets engineer his replacement by a Ba athist Council headed by Tariq Aziz in the aftermath of the disasterous Iran/Iraq war.
George Bush has none of Reagan's charisma or Gorbachev's!
The Soviets matched the Reagan Arms Build up (scope for the weapons discussed above) and took full advantage of it.
South Africa descends into chaos in 1990 as the ANC receives greater Soviet and Chinese support than our timeline.
India is much more closely aligned with Moscow not least because China has relied on the West to face growing Soviet influence in Vietnam and N Korea.
 

Archibald

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Gorbachev mentor died in 1978 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fyodor_Kulakov
(in mysterious circumstances).
But Brezhnev really dried up any threat to his rule after 1970. The few people he kept in his inner circle - Kosyguin, Kirilenko - were toothless (and senile, in Kirilenko case). Except for Chernenko, who was tolerated as he was Brezhnev clone groomed to replce him: Andropov just delayed the unavoidable by 1 year.
 

zen

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So one path forward is say having the Communists take over in Iran rather than Khominei.
This changes the economic balance, and gives the USSR access to warm water ports and even more oil.
Presumably they'd then back Kurdish and Baluchi separatist movements to undermine Turkey and Pakistan.
 

Archibald

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So one path forward is say having the Communists take over in Iran rather than Khominei.
This changes the economic balance, and gives the USSR access to warm water ports and even more oil.
Presumably they'd then back Kurdish and Baluchi separatist movements to undermine Turkey and Pakistan.

Alas, even Carter said "no way". "If you try getting middle-east oil, we nuke you." The problem was that applied only "if you try sizing it by force" - Red Storm Rising, here we go !
(Remember - in the novel, the maskirovka-turned-into-a-suicidal-war tried first and foremost to break NATO back - through "West Germany turning rogue and blasting the Kremlin, so let's punish those unrepenting nazis"
- but the real deal is, once NATO is a politically broken wreck, the Soviets can happily attack Middleast oil fields they desperately need after Afghan terrorists ruined USSR main big oil reffinery and send their industry into a concrete wall.
- Of course OTL GW1 soon showed that America didn't needed NATO to get an up and running coalition to defend vital middleast oil fields when threatened by a nutjob, Soviet ally or not !)

Of course a communist Iran allying with the Soviets is granting them middle-east oil "for free" - no need to wage a war and run into that Carter doctrine.

Of course to avoid that disaster even Carter rather bet a) on the Shah and then on b) on Khomeini
- rather than c) on Tudeh, the Iranian communists and Moscow best friends.

Geez, what an interesting choice. Would you prefer the plague, smallpox, or the spanish flu ?
(Kissinger realpolitik intensifies !)
 
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uk 75

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A bit off the thread topic but the big issue which could have destroyed NATO was the Soviet deployment of new generation mobile SS20s from the 70s on.
NATO had replaced US Thor and Jupiter land-based IRBMs with SSBNs allocated to NATO by UK and US.
German Chancellor Schmidt posed the question whether the US would sacrifice Pittsburgh or Chicago for Munich or Frankfurt.
The US offered Tomahawk GLCMs and Pershing 2 deployments. Despite a vocal Peace Movement in Europe these got the first significant verifiable arms agreement of the 80s with both US and Soviet weapons being scrapped.
Schmidt had a low opinion of Carter and it is possible that the UK and US could have stuck to the view that Poseidon and Polaris missiles were a more than adequate counterweight to SS20s. UK PM Callaghan got on well with Carter.
A more left wing German Chamcellor might have succeeded Schmidt in the 80s rather than the conservative Kohl. The West German armed forces were a crucial part of NATO's developing Air Land battle approach which fitted in with Germany's need to defend its territory as far forward as possible using mobility (Beweglichkeit) instead of static defence in depth like the BAOR. If the Germans had succumbed to Soviet offers to have a nuclear free zone in Europe with massive cuts in conventional forces, the US would have more to lose.
You get into a very different 1980s from our own. Even in our reality there was widespread hostility in Europe to Reagan and Thatcher. But if instead of Andropov and Chernenko they are faced by a more subtle and younger leader, a Vladmir Putin even.
 

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My example here would be Project 1156, which I know very little about: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachme...5789022732288/otvaga2004_atrina_pr1156_03.jpg Does anyone have any more info on it?
I have a saved copy of the Project 1156 text from the Atrina Flot site which was translated and posted to Never Were Warships 3.0 about 15 years ago.

MULTI-PURPOSE SHIP
Project 1156 / 11560

The site administration of "Atrina" expresses its gratitude to Dr. Alexey Sokolov, author of the book "Alternative. Unbuilt ships of the Russian Imperial and Soviet Navy ", for his invaluable assistance in the preparation of this material.

Since 1980, into the Soviet Navy the ships of the new generation began to appear – the large anti-submarine type "Udaloy" ( Project 1155) and fleet torpedo boat (MIKENOTE i.e. destroyer) type "Sovremenny" (Project 956). Their design, which was begun in the early 1970's, occurred according to the decision of the leadership of the Navy to establish a system of two ships: one – strike and air defense, and the second – anti-submarine defence, and joint actions were planned as a part of formations with both types.

This decision was, of course, forced, because of the backlog of our industry in its element base, and some other issues, resulting in ship's weapons turning out quite large and heavy. For example, the destroyers of Project 956, although they were armed with a powerful strike weapon, had a weak means of anti-submarine defence, providing only self-defense against torpedo attack submarines, and the BPK of Project 1155, in contrast, had a powerful sonar system and a developed means of Anti-submarine warfare, but carried only self-defense ZRK. But when the decision on the construction of both projects had already been taken and they were included in the shipbuilding program, and in 1976 the first hulls had already been laid at the shipyards, the "chase" was started in designing the so-called "unified" version of the ships - Project 1156, which combined the features of strike, anti-ship and air defense. As an alternative and as a reserve for the future this decision could justify itself but the decision was clearly overdue. Initially they were all aware of the limitations of Projects 956 and 1155, but nonetheless they commenced their construction although the joint operation of the "system of two ships" actually in our Navy was never been implemented (which again was confirmed later).

Project 1156, the chief designer of which was appointed V. P. Mishin, was developed in the same Severnoye (Northern) PKB in which was created the BPK of Project 1155. The initial preliminary design involved the placement of the area air defence ZRK "Fort" ("Fal"), in view of which they had to increase the size of the ship. This was based on the lengthened hull of Project 1155 (length 174 metres, width 20 metres, draft 5,8 metres), the launchers of PLRK "Rastrub" were replaced by quadruple launchers for PKRK "Moskit", two batteries of the "Kinzhal" ZRK were united into one battery, the 100 -mm single artillery installation replaced by one 130-mm AK-130 twin artillery installation, as the antisubmarine weapons were 533 mm torpedo tubes, RBU-6000 and two permanently embarked anti-submarine helicopters. As the sonar system "Polinom" already did not fully fit on board the ship, it was decided to retain only the antenna in the bow dome fairing, without the towed body or, as stated in the description, the ship had a "somewhat truncated sonar system”. As the main sensors were provided the long-range radar "Voskhod" and "Fregat". Standard displacement was 9 000 tons.

Also developed was a variant with ZRK "Uragan" in the composition of two complexes with the rail launchers instead of “Fort” and "Kinzhal”, with a slightly smaller displacement.

In the preliminary design of the ship, which since the mid 1980's had received the number 11560, already provided for was the installation of vertical launchers for 16 anti-ship missiles of the prospective PKRK "Onyx" and 64 anti-aircraft missiles of the modified ZRK "Uragan" (later - "Tornado"). Tonnage had increased and amounted to 9 400 / 11 500 tons, main dimensions - 184 x 21 metres, speed 30 knots, the power of the “Steam Turbine” (MIKENOTE: I believe this to be an error although the text on the site clearly said “steam turbine", it should have said "gas turbine") main power plant 90 000 hp For air defense in the near zone, instead of AK-630 were provided 4 combat modules for ZRAK "Kortik", to destroy submarines - two quad launchers for PLRK "Vodopad-NK and there remained the basing of two KA-27 anti-submarine helicopters. As the main means of detection were assumed to be the long-range radar "Forum" and GAK (sonar complex) Zvezda. Almost simultaneously was developed an even more powerful version of Project 11560, in which ZRK "Uragan" was replaced by ZRK "Fort" and the number of PKR "Onyx" was brought to 24. Installation of the perspective radar "Mars" was assumed. Displacement increased to 12 000 / 14 500 tons, respectively, and the length increased to almost 200 metres, the full speed dropping to 28 knots.

In fact, it was the multi-purpose ships for the future, having little in common with the original project, and their implementation was constantly postponed. Besides, in full swing was the construction of the BPK of Project 1155 and the destroyers of Project 956 and industry could not in parallel master the new, more sophisticated ships, for which, moreover, there were no slipways available. The only thing achieved was the creation of the more "solidly" universal Project 11551, series production of which was prevented by the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Basic Tactical-technical characteristics (Version)

Displacement, tons
• Standard 9 400
• complete 11 500

Main dimensions, m
• LOA 184
• Breadth 21
• Draught 5.8

Main power plant:

• 2 Cruise gas turbine total power, hp 23 500 24 000 ...
• 2 Boost gas turbine total power, hp 66 000 ... 66 500
• 4 gas-turbine generators

2 shaft, 2 propellers

Speed, knots:
• maximum 30
• Economic 18

Range, miles (at speed knots) N / A

Endurance, days. 30

Crew. N / A

ARMAMENT

Strike Missile:
• UVP for PKRK "Onyx" 2 x 8

Anti-aircraft Missiles:
• UVP ZRK "Uragan" (Tornado) 1 x 64

Anti-submarine Missile:
• PU PLRK "Vodopad-NK 2 X 4

Anti-aircraft missile and artillery:
• ZRAK 3M87 "Kortik" 4

Artillery:
• 130-mm AK-130 AU 1 X 2

Anti-submarine:
• RBU-6000 "Smerch-2" 1 X 12

Aviation:
• helicopter Ka-27 2

Radio-electronic ARMAMENT

BIUS N / A

Long range Air search 1 x 'Forum-2M "

General Search Radar 1 x "Fregat-M2

Surface Search and Navigation Radar 1 ... 2 x Vaigach-U

GAK Zvezda

EW Means N / A

Decoy complexes
2 x 2 PK-2
6 ... 8 x 10 PU PK-10

Fire control radar
1 x "Mineral" for PKRK "Onyx"
6 ... 8 x MR-700 air defense missile system for the "Uragan"
1 x "Pozitiv" for ZRAK "Kortik"
1 x MR-184 Lev-218M for 130-mm AU

Radio navigation means 2 x "Privod-V" for the helicopters

Communications means N / A

IFF N / A
 

A Tentative Fleet Plan

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They're likely still to run into problems with the R-39UTTH Bark, so the Boreys will still be delayed as they're redesigned for the R-30 Bulava, though they won't need to resort to the mix-and-match with left over Oscar and Akula hull sections that appears to have been used IRL.
I'm cobbling this together from multiple sources, but seems the original SLBM intended for the Project 955 Boreys was the D-31 Ost, complemented by a smaller single-warhead system called the D-35 West which was intended to be carried by the abortive Project 935 SSBNs. It was only after the collapse of the Soviet Union that the R-39UTTh was intended to be placed on the Project 955s (prior to that it seems that only the Project 941s were to be rearmed with it).

Here's the original Atrina Flot article on the Project 1156 and 11560 destroyer designs if anyone wants to read it. The general gist of it seems to be that the design died before the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the Project 1155.1 Udaloy IIs were going to be built instead.
 

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