Wednesday, October 26, 2016

BB Settsu

Settsu seen here in her final appearance before being disarmed for use as a target ship, and then later, a radio-controlled ship (1938). Note that she is still carrying her torpedo net defence at this late date (August 1921).

The 21,440-ton Settsu and Kawachi, laid down in 1909 and completed in 1912, were Japan’s first dreadnoughts. Their twelve 12-inch guns were imported Armstrongs, but their Brown–Curtis turbine engines were made in Japan, under license by Kawasaki. Their armor, too, was manufactured in Japan, which had first produced Krupp armor under license for the two 13,750-ton armored cruisers of the Tsukuba class, laid down in Kure early in 1905 as replacements for the battleships Hatsuse and Yashima, lost to Russian mines earlier in the war. These warships, and the two 14,640-ton armored cruisers of the subsequent Ibuki class, eventually were re-rated as battle cruisers, owing to their large size and heavy primary armament of four 12-inch guns. 18 After laying down the Settsu and Kawachi, Japan waited three years to begin another dreadnought.

Displacement: 21,440 tons normal load
Dimensions: Length: 526ft oa; Beam: 84ft 3in; Draught: 27ft mean
Armament: 12 x 12in (mixture of 45 and 50cal); 10 x 6in 50cal; 8 x 4.7in; 12 x 14pdr; TT: 5 x 18in
Armour: Main belt: 12in–4in; Barbettes: 11in; Decks: 2in–1in; Turrets: 9in (faces); Casemates: 6in; Conning tower: 10in
Machinery: Two Curtis turbines (Parsons in Settsu) driving two screws, sixteen Miyabara boilers
Designed SHP: 25,000 for 20 knots
Fuel: 1,000 tons coal min, 2,300 tons max; 175–400 tons oil
Complement: 960–1,000
Laid down: 18 January 1909, Yokosuka Dockyard
Launched: 30 March 1911
Completed: July 1912
Fate: Sunk at Kure by US aircraft, 24 July 1945
Laid down: 1 April 1909, Kure Naval Yard
Launched: 15 October 1910
Completed: March 1912
Fate: Sunk as result of an internal explosion, Tokuyama Bay 12 July 1918

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Revisiting Nelson and Trafalgar

Revisiting Nelson and Trafalgar

Now that 200 years have passed on one of the most famous naval battles that ever took place in history, it's time to look back and try to get a fresh look upon it. What made this battle so special? In order to answer to this question we must understand Nelson's history.

The Virginius

The Virginius

William Ryan smiled defiantly as he marched calmly with three fellow captives at dawn between armed guards serving as escort. Ryan puffed on a cigar while the angry crowd shook fists and shouted ugly epitaphs. Ahead, he could see the long wall of the adobe building called the slaughterhouse.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Chasing Napoleon

Accurate intelligence in the age of sail was a scarce commodity. Accurate intelligence is, of course, scarce at all times but the sea, in the years before radar and radio, let alone satellite surveillance, was an arena of the unknown. The horizon was an impenetrable barrier, the man-of-war, breasting the waves at six knots or so, a ponderous means of extending a captain’s field of vision beyond it. An admiral with a fleet under command could enlarge his supervision by disposing his men-of-war and their attendant frigates at intervals of a dozen miles or so, the maximum distance at which intervisibility and so intercommunication, masthead to masthead, was possible. Even thus, the transmission of news of a sighting was a haphazard business. Admiral Lord Howe, seeking to establish the whereabouts of a French convoy of 139 merchantmen he knew to be nearby, had to quarter the sea for eight days before he brought its escort to action on the Glorious First of June 1794. The interception was rightly regarded as remarkable. The battle took place 400 miles from land at a time when most sea engagements were fought, as they always had been, within fifty miles of the coast.

Admirals, moreover, did not like to disperse their capital ships for purposes of reconnaissance, needing to keep them concentrated for action lest the enemy were met unexpectedly. The need to gather information always had to be balanced against that of keeping firepower massed under the commander’s hand. The strength of a fleet lay not in that of its individual units but in the line of battle, formed bow to stern at intervals of a few hundred feet. Ships isolated were ships exposed to ‘defeat in detail’, or one by one, by superior numbers. Hence the importance of the capital ships’ scouts, the frigates, smaller and swifter sailers which could be sent to and beyond the horizon in search of the enemy.

No admiral ever had enough frigates. The calls on their service were manifold: as despatch vessels, as commerce raiders, as convoy escorts. Such duties chronically depleted the number available as scouts and ‘repeater ships’, which lay close to but outside the line of battle, copying the signals of the flagship, which were often masked by its near neighbours, so that they were visible from van to rear. The scarcity of frigates was odd. As they were much smaller than battleships, a third or a quarter by displacement, carried far fewer men, perhaps only 150 against 800, and cost only a fifth as much to build, it might be expected that they would have been turned out in much larger numbers. Such was not in practice the case. In 1793, at the start of the Wars of the French Revolution, the Royal Navy had 141 first-, second- and third-rates, battleships with between 100 and 74 guns; of fifth- and sixth-rates, frigates of between 44 and 20 guns, it had only 145;1 by 1798, there were still only 200. Little wonder that Nelson, then the Mediterranean admiral, warned that, if he died, ‘want of frigates would be found written on his heart’.

Essential though frigates were as scouts, their value was restricted by the limitations of the signal system then in use. It was not simply that flags – and flags were the principal means of communication – were difficult to discern at long distance, even with a telescope. No comprehensive system of arranging them to transmit information had yet been devised. Various conventions had been in use since the seventeenth century, such as then, for example, hoisting a red flag at the mizzen-top to order a particular manoeuvre. By the late eighteenth century there had been a great deal of elaboration and in 1782 Admiral Howe, then in command of the Channel Fleet, had issued a codebook, superseding many others, which allowed a commander to say 999 different things with three flags and 9,999 with four. Howe’s signal book was not, however, double-entry. The recipient could work out what a signal meant by looking it up, finding the flags picture by picture on the page. The sender, however, had to know what flags he needed to hoist before he composed his message.

Not until 1801, when Home Popham published his Telegraphic Signals or Marine Vocabulary, were sender and recipient put on equal footing. Popham, a sailor of great clarity of mind, simply had a flash of insight into the obvious which had evaded thousands of other sea officers before him. His achievement compares with that of his near contemporary Roget in compiling the first thesaurus. He analysed how language was used and saw that words might be given a numerical value, to be signalled by a set of numerical flags; 212, for example, could be made to stand for ‘cable’, with the numerical flags 2, 1 and 2. Adding a fourth numerical flag, 3, made the signal read ‘Can you spare a cable?’To make the first signal, the sender looked up ‘cable’ in his double-entry book and chose the appropriate set of flags or ‘hoist’; to read it, the recipient looked up 2123 and got the message. By the use of special indicators it could also be signified that flags had alphabetical rather than numerical value and should be read simply as letters, spelling out an unusual word not in the vocabulary. Popham’s final signal book allowed 267,720 signals to be made with twenty-four flags (of which ten doubled as numbers) and 11 special indicators.

His system remains in use to this day. It was not yet so in 1798, when the Royal Navy still sought to speak fluently between ships through the medium of Admiral Howe’s single-entry book. A great deal of time was wasted, therefore, in frigates closing up to each other or to the main body in order to transmit information unambiguously or to receive precise questions or clear orders. The days when a flag lieutenant could snap his telescope shut and confidently interpret to his superior the meaning of a flash of coloured bunting glimpsed at the extreme limit of visibility on a clear Mediterranean day lay well in the future.

The fallibility of signalling was not a crucial factor in the conduct of maritime operations in the last decade of the eighteenth century. It counted for much less than want of frigates. It counted as a factor, nonetheless, particularly to an admiral like Horatio Nelson, whose mind never rested, who calculated the relative positions of ships and shorelines as a master chess player does pieces and squares, who consumed information of every sort with the compulsion of an addict, who sought decision in battle with the relentlessness of a great financier poised to obliterate his commercial competitors. Home Popham’s signalling system would certainly have assisted him in his searches had it been available; when it became so a very few years later, Nelson enthusiastically embraced it; indeed, the most famous flag signal sent, ‘England Expects’, was made at the opening of the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805, with eight Popham hoists and ‘Duty’ spelt out alphabetically.

On Trafalgar Day Nelson had the combined French–Spanish fleet clear in view. The encounter had come at the end of a long chase which had begun in May, taken him across the Atlantic to reach the West Indies in June, back again to the mouth of the Channel in August, and finally south to the Straits of Gibraltar in September, where he blockaded Cadiz until the enemy put to sea in October. He had had a number of false starts and followed a number of false trails but once Admiral Villeneuve had cleared the Straits of Gibraltar from the Mediterranean and set off into the deep Atlantic, Nelson had been able to make the assumption with some certainty that the French were heading for the West Indies. The campaign of Trafalgar was to prove a triumph of strategic manoeuvre. As an intelligence operation, it was not, at least in its later stages, one of complexity.

The contrast with Nelson’s earlier pursuit, discovery and destruction of a French fleet was extreme. In 1798 Nelson, recently promoted to independent command, was appointed to lead a British squadron back into the Mediterranean, from which it had been absent since late 1796, and to mount watch outside Toulon, the principal enemy naval base in the south of France. It was known that General Napoleon Bonaparte was in command of an army assembling there, that transports were gathering also, under the protection of a French battle fleet, and that an amphibious expedition was planned, directed against British interests. The question was which and where? Britain itself? Ireland? Southern Italy? Malta? Turkey? Egypt? All lay within Napoleon’s operational reach and some, Malta in particular, were stepping-stones to others. Beyond Egypt lay India, where Britain was rebuilding a substitute for the overseas empire lost in North America in 1783. If Napoleon could put to sea undetected, the Mediterranean would swallow his tracks and Nelson would discover where he had gone only when he had done his worst. The menace was guaranteed to perturb a watcher day and night. Nelson was perturbed. Before the French left port he was anticipating their departure for ‘Sicily, Malta and Sardinia’ and ‘to finish the King of Naples at a blow’ but also perhaps for ‘Malaga and [a] march through Spain’ to invade Portugal, Britain’s longest-standing ally. After they left, in late May, he was in hot pursuit, sometimes on the right track, sometimes the wrong, sometimes behind, sometimes ahead, sometimes in the wrong continent altogether. In the end he ran his quarry to earth. The scent had died in his nostrils several times, however, and his own false calculations had led him astray. Not until one o’clock in the afternoon of 1 August, when the lookout on HMS Zealous reported masts in Aboukir Bay, east of the Nile delta, had Nelson reassurance that the chase begun seventy-three days earlier had been brought to conclusion. How it had makes one of the most arresting operational intelligence stories of history.

The Indo-Pakistan Wars – the maritime point of view

Indian carrier Vikrant played a key role in enforcing a naval blockade over East Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Ghazi was the only long range submarine operated by either of the warring nations in 1965. The sinking of PNS Ghazi played a point of turning role in Indian Naval operations in East Pakistan.

INS Khukri was a British Type 14 (Blackwood-class) frigate of the Indian Navy. She was sunk off the coast of Diu, Gujarat, India by the Pakistan Navy Daphne-class submarine Hangor on 9 December 1971 during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. This was the first warship sunk in action by a submarine since World War II. It remains the Indian navy’s only warship to be lost in war to date.

The departure of the British from the subcontinent in 1947 had left the borders of India and Pakistan demarcated fairly well except in the west along the Rann of Kutch where the great Indus river loses itself in a giant swamp with only a few clearly marked outlets into the sea. The northern portion of the border has always been turbulent owing to the invasion of Kashmir’s territory by Pakistan-sponsored tribesmen in a bid to absorb the state, of which the ruler was undecided which way he should accede in 1947. The subsequent war in 1948 resulted in a cease-fire line which has been active ever since. Pakistan, which is a theocratic state, claims Kashmir on the grounds that the population is predominantly Muslim. India rejects this claim as absurd particularly as secular India has more Muslims than Pakistan. The attitude adopted by Pakistani leaders since 1947 has been to focus the attention of its people on Kashmir as a `burning’ issue, thereby attempting to weld them together as a cohesive small nation threatened by a big bullying neighbour.

In early 1965, the ill-demarcated border in the Rann of Kutch was the scene of a fire fight which was later taken to the world court for adjudication. By May of that year, the month before the monsoon breaks, it was clear to the armed forces of both countries that the possibility of a conflagration existed and normal states of readiness were raised by each service according to its own procedures. These realistic steps were taken by everyone with the full knowledge that the border question in the Rann of Kutch was a red herring, a minor diversion intended to distract attention away from the real issue, which was Pakistan’s attempt to annex Kashmir.

Immediately after the monsoon began to peter out in northern India, Pakistani infiltrators in large numbers slipped into Kashmir where their co-religionists promptly gave them up to the Indian authorities. This operation, which had been planned and executed in secrecy from Pakistan over a number of months, failed catastrophically. To pull the chestnuts out of the fire, a regular Pakistan army blitzkrieg was launched opposite Jammu, with the intention of cutting the only Indian road link to Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir. The possibility that this strike would succeed was real. The Indian army leadership had to launch a counteroffensive opposite Lahore to outflank the Pakistani thrust and relieve the pressure on Jammu. The war, although anticipated to some extent as a possible long-term outcome, therefore actually occurred in a time and place that initially caught the Indians, and later the Pakistanis, by surprise. The war, as an instrument of state policy, in this instance, was far from the sea, was fought over disputed territory and neither side had great staying power economically or industrially. The stamina of both sides was further reduced by the consequent international arms embargo imposed at the outbreak of war.

What kind of a sea war could have influenced this conflict? The Pakistan navy had a modest destroyer force, was in the process of inducting one submarine from the US and had its own integral maritime reconnaissance aircraft. The Indians had a larger navy, centred around the small carrier Vikrant supported by new anti-submarine and AD frigates-a navy which was a miniature version of a sea-control navy, modelled around the British concepts of maritime strategy. Whatever may have been its operational directives, neither fleet saw action, being content to protect the areas in which their own merchantmen plied. A Pakistan destroyer which lobbed a few shells on to the Indian coast in a high speed night sortie was the one night sensation of the naval war. Naval control of shipping and contraband control was attempted, but was not stringent enough to cause substantial economic damage.

A debrief of the war, certainly in India, showed that the comparative lack of action at sea had been caused by certain automatic adherence to a maritime strategy which spoke of sea control, commerce protection and other well-established principles of maritime warfare, the tenets on which the sea war in World War II had been conducted. Having been taught by the British, the Indian navy had also accepted many of the precepts on which the British Commander-in-Chief of the Navy (on loan to India in 1947-48) had formulated his plans for building the future navy. Explanations to the non-naval authorities on the undramatic role of the navy in the war, which ran into arguments on sea control and commerce protection, were politely disbelieved. Questions on the relevance of sea power in the kind of conflicts that India would fight in the next 25 years were also raised. These queries could naturally be expected to have an adverse effect on the allocation of resources for the future navy. These facts need to be understood as the background for the war which occurred in 1971.

Pakistan, which had a western wing and an eastern wing separated by 1,000 miles of India, soon found itself fighting to preserve its unity as a nation, when the eastern wing wished to secede. The trouble erupted over the fact that the eastern wing felt economically neglected, a situation which they felt they could correct if their superior numbers could elect a majority in the combined parliament. This would influence the subsequent allotment of cabinet portfolios and allocation of central resources. West Pakistani elected representatives would not agree to a straightforward democratic parliament, and the civil strife in East Pakistan was suppressed with appalling brutality. Over ten million refugees migrated to India, a number far too large for India to absorb. When the United Nations and the world seemed unconcerned with the problem, the only solution appeared to be Indian intervention. This situation continued for the major part of 1971 after the initial suppression of civil revolt in the former East Pakistan occurred in March/April. In this instance, too, the armed contestants on both sides were fully aware of impending hostilities for almost six months and had sufficient time to work out detailed strategies.

The war broke out with a Pakistani attempt to carry out a preemptive air strike against Indian airfields in the west, and then both sides executed well-planned orders. All wars are unusual, but this one had its own special features, especially from the maritime point of view. The aim of the war would obviously be achieved only by soldiers in the eastern wing. However, an irrelevant land war would be fought in the west too, rather like a fishing expedition, to see what territories could be grabbed for use as bargaining tools at the end of the war. There were, therefore, two continental wars proceeding simultaneously, separated by 2,000 miles of ocean. For India it was therefore possible to exercise the classic role of sea control, encompassing sea denial, between the wings, but what could be the navy’s role in the wars in the wings themselves? For Pakistan, a successful defence in the east made sea communications between the wings an imperative, but this was so hopelessly impossible that it was not even attempted except by a couple of blockade runners which were captured and impounded.

The land war in the east lasted 11 days; the Pakistan navy fought, knowing it had no hope of help or reinforcement and no route of withdrawal. The fact that the sea was hostile must have played a major part in the psychology of Pakistani field commanders in the east. Although no major sea battle took place, Indian carrier-borne aircraft crippled or sank all available shipping in East Pakistani harbours.

The absence of major battles illustrates the classical Mahanian observation- that unobtrusive application of sea power achieves the end result in such an imperceptible fashion that the effect of sea power needs to be overemphasised for it to be understood. The Indian maritime strategy in the east was in sharp contrast to the strategy in the west, where an Indian flotilla of Petya class vessels towing Osa class missile boats attacked Karachi harbour and sank all vessels encountered there. The dramatic effect of the `enemy’ main base being battered so captured the imagination of the Indian government, the bureaucracy, the services and the people that the navy never had to explain what navies are for! The Pakistani navy, forever kept short of funds by the ruling army generals, eventually had a manpower ratio to the army of 1:45, making it the most unfavourable in the world. This statistic also proclaimed that in the strategic concepts prevailing in Islamabad in its pursuit to annex Kashmir, and in the inevitable bloody continental war with India, the Pakistani navy would play no role.

The Indians, on the other hand, have continued to build a balanced navy and should a continental war erupt once more, would have considerable time and experience in attempting to solve the question of how a navy can contribute to a continental war. From having learned that a pure ocean-oriented maritime strategy does not affect the outcome of a critical land war, India has learned that a pure Mahanian strategy is not relevant in the context of a land war over disputed territory. Then, what sort of strategy is? The uneducated section of the country can be satisfied by some action, any action. This takes care of the largest interest group- the people. What about the professionals? What about the pressures generated among the armed forces themselves over the pursuit and achievement of a common aim? This is a problem with which sea-going professionals in the subcontinent will have to grapple. It will be interesting to see what answers are found to all these questions; in fact, whether any answers will be found at all. What is evident is the need for a search, which may lead to the answer that other navies in similar situations also seek.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

War Upon The Water – Naval Warfare 1500-Present

Historians traditionally subdivide naval history into three broad eras: The Age of Galley Warfare, the Age of Sail, and the Age of Steam or Modern Era. The names come from the system used to propel warships—oars, wind, and steam, whether produced by burning coal or nuclear energy. Other characteristics, such as weapons and tactics, separate the eras in roughly the same manner. During the Age of Galley Warfare the main weapons were rams and infantrymen who executed “land battles at sea.” Projectile weapons were of significantly lesser importance. The Age of Sail coincided with the development of gunpowder and cannon, which led gun duels to replace boarding tactics as the decisive factor in battle at sea. During the Age of Steam smooth-bore cannon gave way to rifled ordnance that was later supplemented and finally largely replaced by guided missiles. The Age of Galley Warfare is sometimes called the Age of Warfare under Oars because the vessels were powered by rowers, usually slaves. Commanders were more likely to be officers from the army than specialized naval officers, and the fighters aboard the galley, infantrymen. By the Age of Sail, the crewmen were mariners of varying levels of skill, often pressed into service from merchant ships, and commanded by officers in a separate sea service. Two exceptions to this rule were the “Generals-at-Sea” of England’ s seventeenth-century Commonwealth period and the army officers called upon to replace naval officers who had remained loyal to the king during the early phases of the French Revolution a century and a half later. By the Age of Steam, naval officer corps became increasingly professional with all that the term implies.

At Lepanto, in 1571, the largest sea battle to date and the last great galley battle, the Holy League of western Mediterranean states defeated the Ottoman Turks. Henceforth the Muslim power would be confined to the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa. In the Far East, where maritime nations had yet to develop, the oared “turtle ships” of Korea and China repulsed a Japanese invasion fleet in 1597, marking an end to warfare under oars in that hemisphere.

Portugal and Spain held sway as the great imperial and naval powers from approximately 1450 to 1650. Portugal carved out a massive empire, with outposts on the coasts of Africa, India, and Southeast Asia, and Spain laid claim to the entire Western Hemisphere, a division of the world recognized in the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494. By 1515 Portugal controlled the Indian Ocean. Trade between India and Europe shifted from overland routes controlled by Turks, Arabs, and Italian city-states to the all-water route around Africa controlled by Portugal. In 1540 Portugal established commercial relations with China and was setting up trading stations in Southeast Asia. It was Portugal’s navy that allowed the penetration of the region by its traders. Meanwhile, Spain developed a great empire in Latin America and used its navy to bar trading by other countries with the region.

During the second half of the sixteenth century the northern European nations of France, England, and the Netherlands mounted a challenge to Iberian hegemony that resulted in containment of Spain by the French and English, and Holland stripped Portugal of colonies such as the Cape of Good Hope and Melaka, where naval power could be brought to bear. Portugal retained colonies such as Brazil, where sea power could not be decisive, and Spain acknowledged the right of France and England to establish colonies in North America.

England followed its long-running war with Spain (1568–1604) with two additional series of largely maritime wars, first with the Netherlands (1652–1654, 1665–1667, and 1672–1674), which resulted in English control of New Amsterdam and the Cape of Good Hope, then with France (1688–1697, 1701–1713, 1740–1748, 1756–1763, 1778–1783, 1792–1800, and 1803–1815). In the Great War for Empire, 1754–1763, England, now Great Britain, virtually evicted France from Canada and India and contained French expansion in the Caribbean. During the Wars of the French Revolution and Empire, 1793–1815, Britain, the sea power, decisively defeated France, the continental power.

Concurrent with the ebb and flow of these tides of empire, other nations entered the balance of power on a regional basis. For varying periods of time and over various waters of the world, the navies of Catalonia, Imperial and Soviet Russia, China, and other countries have contended for power, but never quite supplanted one of the great powers. In restricted areas the naval forces of still other nations have held sway for varying periods of time, e.g., the Austrian-Hungarians in the Adriatic Sea; Indians in the Indian Ocean; the Hanseatic League, Danes, and Swedes in the Baltic; and Barbary Corsairs in the Mediterranean.
During the early twentieth century a number of regional naval powers, particularly Japan in the eastern Pacific, Italy in the Mediterranean, Germany in the North Sea, and the United States in the Caribbean, Western Pacific, and even the Atlantic eroded Britain’s command of the sea. During the twentieth century two world wars eliminated Italy, Japan, and Germany as contenders for great navies, but the cost of fighting those conflicts so sapped Britain’s strength that by the second half of the twentieth century, the U.S. Navy had replaced the Royal Navy as the supreme sea service of the world.

Technological Change

During the middle of the nineteenth century, while Queen Victoria’s Royal Navy imposed a Pax Britannia on the world, lesser naval powers led the technological revolution that saw steam-powered, armored-hulled ships with rifled ordnance firing exploding shells replace wooden-hulled, sail-powered men-of-war armed with smooth-bore cannon that fired solid shot. The U.S. Navy’s Stevens Battery of 1843 was the first ironclad warship, the Russian navy demonstrated the superiority of exploding ordnance when it destroyed the Turkish fleet at Sinope in 1853, and in 1861 the Monitor and the Virginia fought the first duel between steam-powered ironclad warships.

Be they triremes in the ancient Mediterranean, ships-of-the-line sailing the Atlantic, or aircraft carriers cruising the Pacific, warships are among the most complex and expensive items constructed by man. They are so expensive that only relatively large political bodies have the resources necessary to construct and operate them. Thus warships function as extensions of states, as agents of power that can be used for multiple purposes. Virtually all states with seacoasts, and many with large rivers, have constructed navies. States that are primarily continental or land powers have traditionally employed their naval forces in conjunction with their armies to defend their coasts against invasion or to transport troops along coastal waters, around lakes, and across rivers. When naval vessels ventured far from home it was to attack enemy commerce or perhaps to raid the enemy’s coast. Maritime powers, in contrast, depend on waterborne commerce. They use their navies to protect their merchant shipping and to expand markets for their traders, to blockade enemy coasts, to transport troops for amphibious operations, and to support forces deployed overseas.

Weapons and Tactics

Each of the great ages of naval warfare had its own characteristic weapons, and each age was marked by a gradual evolution within those weapon systems. The earliest battles of warfare under oars involved land forces fighting at sea by boarding other vessels and defeating its soldiers much as they would on land. When bronze rams were added to the bows of the galleys, commanders attempted to ram one another, as in the battle off Alalia in 535 b.c., the first naval battle for which we have a literary description, but victory still generally resulted from boarding tactics. As galleys became larger to accommodate additional rowers to provide the power needed to drive the ram into the enemy ship, artillery in the form of catapults was adapted for use at sea, and archers entered military forces on both land and water. Battles began at longer range with an exchange of projectiles fired by catapults and archers, but basic tactics changed little as the goal of the projectiles was to render unable to fight as many of the enemy as possible before the ship was captured by boarding. Toward the end of the Age of Galley warfare the Byzantines perfected “Greek fire,” a mixture of crude oil, sulfur or pitch, and saltpeter that would ignite spontaneously. The carefully guarded secret of the chemical composition of “Greek fire” was lost, and during the same era gunpowder was developed, which led to the invention of cast metal cannon. Just as the battles of Lepanto and the Spanish Armada marked symbolically the end of the age of warfare under oars and the start of the Age of Sail, so too did they mark the replacement of boarding tactics as the key element in victory by naval artillery. When the ships of the Spanish Armada were unable to get close enough to England’s to board them, and English gunnery began a destruction of the Spanish that was completed by weather and disease, a new age began.

Gunnery dominated warfare under sail, and tactics reflected differing views on how best to employ them. Commanders in England’s Royal Navy sought to get in close to the enemy and hammer his hull until loss of life or fear of sinking led the enemy to surrender. French commanders preferred to stand off from the enemy ship and aim at her sails in the hope of so destroying sails and rigging that the opponent could no longer maneuver, then to close from such an angle that the enemy could return little fire and would surrender rather than risk annihilation. English commanders, accustomed to fighting the French, were surprised when Americans John Paul Jones, Thomas Macdonough, and Oliver Hazard Perry sought or accepted combat at close quarters and continued engagements after their flagships were so battered that each one ultimately sank.

As sail gave way to steam new weapons—torpedoes and bombs—delivered by new weapons systems—torpedo boats, submarines, and aircraft—revolutionized warfare at sea. Half a century later missiles replaced guns as the main antiaircraft, antiship, and antisubmarine weapons, and aircraft and cruise missiles were used to project power long distances over land.

 David Ross at Amber Books

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Udaloy class 1155.1

total operational: 8 
NOR    4        
PAC    4        
* where available
DD Spruance  22      
DDG Arleigh Burke   34      
DDG Udaloy   8        
DDG Sovremenny      9        
DDG Kashin Mod       1
Operational ships.
Ship     Verf     Commission   Fleet   
619 Severomorsk        #820 Yantar Kaliningrad        Dec 86             NOR   
Laid: 12.06.84. Udaloy-8. Ex-Simferopol; active Northern Fleet. Refit in June 1998 completing in late 2000. Participating in Kursk salvage operation, Aug 2001       
534 Marshal Shaposhnikov    #820 Yantar Kaliningrad        Oct 85 PAC   
Laid: 25.05.83. Udaloy-7 +. Feb-April 2003 took part in military exersises in Indian Ocean. Aug 2005 took part in Russian Chinese military exersises.
Admiral Chabanenko #820 Yantar Kaliningrad        1999    NOR   
Laid: 1990. Ex-Admiral Basistiy.Udaloy II-1. chopped to Northern Fleet after completion of trials in Baltic Fleet, Feb 99; formally accepted by Russian Navy Mar 99; currently active Northern Fleet. To visit Plymouth, England, Aug 2002, for Navy Day festivities. 08.2005 took part in military exersises on Northern fleet.
687 Admiral Kharlamov        #820 Yantar Kaliningrad        Sep 89             NOR   
Laid: 7.08.86 . Udaloy-11 +. it was tied up in Boston, MA in July of 1993.           
605 Admiral Levchenko         #820 Yantar Kaliningrad        Jan 88 NOR   
Laid: 27.01.82. Ex-Khabarovsk. Refit in November 1999 completing in 2001. Udaloy-9 +      
548 Admiral Panteleyev         #820 Yantar Kaliningrad        Jul 91 PAC   
Laid: 28.01.87. Visited Pearl Harbor, August 1995; active Pacific Fleet. Deployed to Pacific and Indian Oceans, Jan 2001. Feb-April 2003 took part in military exersises in Indian Ocean. Udaloy-12 +   
552 (564) Admiral Tributs     #820 Yantar Kaliningrad        Aug 85            PAC   
Laid: 19.04.80. Was in reserve in 1994 and had a machinery space fire in September 1995, was probably back in service. Operational 2004. Udaloy-6 +. Feb 2004: official visit to South Korea and China. This visit is timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the sea battle in the Russian-Japanese war of 1904-1905    
572 Admiral Vinogradov       #820 Yantar Kaliningrad        Oct 88 PAC   
Laid: 5.02.86. Udaloy-10 +. Active Pacific Fleet; visited Pusan, ROK, in Apr 2000. Accidentally hit by a practice round from one of Burnyy's AK 630s while in port on 10 Apr 2000 (no serious damage or injuries noted). Repaired. Deployed to Pacific and Indian Oceans, Jan 2001. Acted as host-sister ship to USS Blue Ridge during the latter's visit to Vladivostok in Aug 2002.     

D. (tons): 6,200-6,700 tons standard
8,200-8,900 tons full load
Speed (kts): 30
Dimensions (m): 163.0-164.0 meters long
19.3 meters beam
6.2-8.0 meters draft
M./Engine: COGAG: 2 M62 cruise gas turbines, 15,000 shp; 2 M8KF boost gas turbines, 45,000 shp; 2 shafts, 60,000 shp, 29.5 knots; 3'000 n.m/14 kts
Man./Crew: 296
Armament: 2 x 4 Moscit(SS-N-22)
(R: 90 n.m; S: 2,5 mach)
8 x 8 Kinzhal (SA-N-9) Total: 64
(R: 8 n.m; S: 3 mach; r: 10-12'000 m)
2 SA Kortik
1 x 2 AK-130 DP (130 mm)
4 x 6 AK-630 gattl. AA
(6x30 mm; 6'000 rds/m/mount)
2 x 4/533 mm Total: 30
2 x 10 RBU-Udav ASW RL (R: 1'200 m)
Helicopter KA-32
Electronics: Radar: MR-700 Fregat-A/Top Plate 3-D air search, MR-320M Topaz-V/Strut Pair air/surf. search
Sonar: Zvezda-2 suite with MGK-345 Bronza/Ox Yoke bow mounted LF, Ox Tail LF VDS
Fire Control: 2 MR-360 Podkat/Cross Sword SA-N-9 SAM control, 2 3P37/Hot Flash SA-N-11 SAM control, Garpun-BAL SSM targeting
EW: Start-series suite with Wine Glass intercept, Bell Shroud intercept, Bell Squat jammer, 2 PK-2 decoy RL, 10 PK-10 decoy RL
 [crossreferences | armament:]
KA-32 Helix- C Naval helicopter
SS-N-22 Sunburn / Kh-41 (ASM-MSS) Moskit
Gun armament
SA-N-11 Grisom / Kortik (Kashtan)
SA-N-9 Gauntlet / Klinok (Kinzhal)
ASW Udav
ASW Udav
AK 630

Design approved in October 1972. Successor to 'Kresta II' class but based on 'Krivak' class. Type name is bolshoy protivolodochny korabl meaning large anti-submarine ship. Programme stopped at 12 in favour of 'Udaloy II' class (Type 1155.1).

Structure: The two hangars are set side by side with inclined elevating ramps to the flight deck. Has pre-wetting NBCD equipment and replenishment at sea gear. Active stabilisers are fitted. The chaff launchers are on both sides of the foremast and inboard of the torpedo tubes. Cage Flask aerials are mounted on the mainmast spur and on the mast on top of the hangar. There are indications of a nuclear release mechanism, or interlock, on the lower tubes of the SS-N-14 launchers.

Operational: A general purpose ship with the emphasis on ASW. Good sea-keeping and endurance have been reported. Based as follows: Northern Fleet-Severomorsk, Kharlamov and Levchenko; Pacific Fleet-Shaposhnikov, Panteleyev, Vinogradov and Tributs. Vinogradov was in collision in April 2000 but was quickly repaired. Severomorsk deployed to St Petersburg for refit in June 1998 completing in late 2000, and Levchenko followed in November 1999. The fourth of class, Zakharov was scrapped after a fire in March 1992. Tributs was in reserve in 1994 and had a machinery space fire in September 1995, was back in service in mid-1999 and may again be non-operational in 2001. Udaloy, Spiridonov and Vasilevsky have been laid up or scrapped. Kulakov has been in refit since 1990 but may return to service in 2002/03.

On January 28, 1999, the St. Andrew colors were hoisted on the Admiral Chabanenko BPK large antisubmarine ship, symbolizing that this major surface fighter was formally commissioned into service with the Russian Navy. In terms of overall parameters, this ship significantly differs from similar-class ships.
In a congratulatory telegram to all participants in this construction project, Marshall Igor Sergeyev, Russia's Minister of Defense, expressed his profound gratitude to the Yantar shipyard which had managed i in a complicated economic environment i to complete this project, initially launched in the late 1980s, and build a ship which fully meets modern requirements. Igor Sergeyev reminded the audience of the complement of a new ship constructed under Peter the First's behest: "Under no circumstances downmast colors in a battle with the enemy."

The ceremony was attended by Vladimir Yegorov, Baltic Sea Fleet Commander; Alexander Orlov, Russian President's Representative in the Kaliningrad Region; Alexei Zherenko, Director General of the Yantar Baltic Shipyard JSC; as well as Admiral Chabanenko's sons (Andrei and Vladimir) and granddaughter (Irina).

The history of Project 11551 dates back to the 1970s when countries possessing "keys to the seas" came to the conclusion that it was too costly to build large-displacement, single-role combatants. Consequently, the sea superpowers launched the development of multipurpose warships. The concept of a multipurpose surface fighter was also contemplated by Soviet designers. However, a number of production and technological problems prevented them from actualizing this concept at that time, according to Admiral Chabanenko's Chief Designer, Valentin Mishin. In the USSR, two different types of warships were laid down which were designed by the Severnoye Design Bureau: Project 956 destroyer and Project 1155 large antisubmarine ship. In 1979, Deputy Chief Designer for Project 956, Valentine Mishin, was appointed head of the Project 1155 design team. At that time, Udaloi, the lead ship of this class, was approximately 60 percent complete. Following Udaloy's commissioning into service, the new Chief Designer began developing an upgrade package to modernize this series. The first sketches for a new version appeared in 1982. Similar to Udaloi externally, it was nevertheless a new ship.

The novel features included the Moskit antiship missiles, a twin 130mm gun, the Udav antitorpedo system and several anti-aircraft systems. The ship was to be powered by a modern gas-turbine engine and equipped with more capable sonars, an integrated air defense fire control system, and a number of digital electronic systems based on state-of-the-art circuitry.

Working on virtually a new project, the Severnoye Design Bureau specialists obviously kept in mind the U.S. Spruance and Arleigh Burke destroyers (the first of the class was commissioned in 1991). Valentin Mishin says that Admiral Chabanenko, Russia's only multipurpose warship, does not yield in any way to the Arleigh Burke-class ships. By some standards, she even surpasses them, despite apparent delays in commissioning this class into service with the Russian Navy.

Admiral Chabanenko was laid down at the Yantar Shipyard in Kaliningrad on February 28, 1989, and was launched on December 14, 1992. Complement boarded the ship in 1993. Captain First Rank Igor Bykov was appointed her first commander and took her out for the first performance trials in 1995. However, acceptance tests were delayed for several years; five shipyard directors were replaced one after another during this period. With no chances to be tried at high seas, the ship landed on financial reefs. The ship, 98 percent complete, was forced to remain within the shipyard's wall for several years. The hull of the second Project 11551 ship, already assembled by the shipyard, was scrapped.

There were three more attempts to turn over the Admiral Chabanenko to the Navy. In 1997, the ship's complement, under the command of Captain First Rank Mikhail Kolyvushko, conducted a large series of trials, however, a shallow creek of funding quickly dried out. The ship failed to complete the State acceptance trials and had to return to the shipyard.

At the end of 1998, the ship was prepared for the State trials for the third time. The trials were supervised by Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov, the Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief. Non-standard decisions were taken to resolve technical and funding problems. As a result, the plan of the trials was fulfilled within the shortest time. According to the ship's commander and Alexander Solomatin, the Yantar representative, the organization of these trials deserved the highest marks. The trials schedule was scrupulously followed: fuel, food, water and drones were supplied as requested and strictly on time. It was the primary task of the Baltic Fleet responsible for the conduct of performance and firing trials of this new ship. A submarine, other ships, and aircraft were engaged in the trials for as long as it was necessary for the Admiral Chabanenko to prove its tactical and technical characteristics.

According to Alexander Brazhnik, Baltic Sea Fleet Chief of Staff and Chairman of the State Acceptance Committee, all Admiral Chabanenko's systems and armament were tested in the course of these trials. The ship fired missiles (17 launches), guns, and antisubmarine mortars. The operation of the ship's air defense system was also tested with various types of aircraft used as targets. The Kamov Ka-27 shipboard helicopter landed for the first time on the Admiral Chabanenko's helicopter pad. These missions were flown by a crew headed by lieutenant colonel Alexander Zherebtsov, who also helped make photographs of the Admiral Chabanenko at sea.

This new ship, whose path to the high seas was so long and complicated, has recently joined the Northern Fleet. After final armament trials, Admiral Chabanenko will start her Navy service. This large antisubmarine ship has incorporated all the tactical and technological advances of the closing age, and can justly be called the warship of the 21st century.