The incident involving two U.S. Navy and Russian Navy warships, which occurred in the northern Arabian Sea on January 9, 2020, was treated differently by each side and eventually reduced to recriminations. At the same time, the news drew increased attention to the participants of the incident with the dangerous rapprochement of the two warships. First of all – to the new Russian reconnaissance ship (communication vessel) “Ivan Hurs” project 18280. Today it is the most modern reconnaissance ship of the Russian fleet.
Project 18280 Reconnaissance Ships
Engineers of the famous Central Design Bureau “Iceberg” were responsible for the development of the reconnaissance ships (communication vessels) of Project 18280. The main specialization of this CENTRAL Committee is the creation of icebreakers, as well as support ships and special-purpose vessels for the Russian navy. Back in Soviet times, the specialists of this design bureau created an unparalleled in the world large nuclear reconnaissance ship of the project 1941 “Ural”, which became the largest in the domestic fleet surface ship with nuclear power installation onboard. The Iceberg specialists also designed the reconnaissance ships of Project 1826.
The new Russian reconnaissance ships of the ocean class of Project 18280, created by iceberg specialists, are a further development of previously implemented projects at a new technical and technological level. Two ships of this project have been built for the Russian fleet at the North Shipyard in St. Petersburg. Officially, they are all designated as vessels of communication. The first ship, named Yuri Ivanov, was laid back in 2004, the ship was launched only in 2013, and the ship was accepted into the fleet in 2015. The second reconnaissance ship of Project 18280 was named Ivan Hours. The ship was launched in 2013 in 2017, and in June 2018 it was included in the fleet
Reconnaissance ship “Yuri Ivanov” is serving in the Northern Fleet, and “Ivan Hurs” went to the Black Sea Fleet, the port of its office in the city of Sevastopol. As part of the Black Sea Fleet, Ivan Hurs compensated for the loss of the medium reconnaissance ship Liman, which sank on April 27, 2017. The presence of such a ship allows the Russian Black Sea Fleet to ensure a permanent presence of reconnaissance ships, primarily in the Mediterranean Sea, which in recent years has again become quite important for the Russian fleet.
It is noteworthy that both ships of Project 18280 were named after the military sailors who made a significant contribution to the creation and development of the military intelligence of the Soviet Navy. Thus, Vice-Admiral Ivan Khurs from 1979 to 1987 headed the military intelligence of the Soviet Navy. In total, up to four such ships are planned to be built for the domestic fleet. Two more vessels of Project 18280 can be built before 2025.
Among the main reconnaissance tasks that can be solved with the help of the ships of Project 18280, are:
Radio-technical reconnaissance to determine the type, affiliation, and characteristics of the detected radio sources;
Surveillance of U.S. sea-based missile defense components;
Radio interception of radio messages at all frequencies;
Identification and systematization of sources of various electromagnetic radiation;
Compilation of electromagnetic and acoustic profiles of different surface ships and submarines;
Control of maritime communications;
– monitoring the actions of the fleets of the likely enemy, including during naval maneuvers and exercises.
What is the reconnaissance ship “Ivan Hurs”
The main tasks of the ships of Project 18280 are to provide communication and control of the fleet, as well as to solve special tasks of an intelligence nature. Ships are able to conduct modern reconnaissance and take an active part in electronic warfare. It is believed that one of the main tasks of such ships is to monitor the components of the American missile defense system (primarily maritime), as well as anti-aircraft missile systems.
According to the developers, the ships of Project 18280 managed to significantly improve the performance of the ship’s energy, as well as the cost-effectiveness of use compared to similar ships of previous generations. Automation of radio surveillance and communications control processes was widely used on reconnaissance ships, reducing the size of the crew. Improved seaworthiness. In particular, to improve the maneuverability and handling of the ship, the ships of Project 18280 installed adjustable step screws.
According to the manufacturer, such ships are fundamentally new ships for the Russian fleet, significantly superior in their capabilities ships of previous generations. The fact that the ships of Project 18280 have better tactical and technical characteristics than the ships of the Soviet construction is not in doubt, but many characteristics of the ships, including the composition and capabilities of on-board equipment, are now are classified information.
At the same time, the main specifications of the ships are well known. The ships of Project 18280, which include the reconnaissance vessel Ivan Hurs, have a total displacement of 4,000 tons. The ship is 95 meters long and 16 meters wide. The ships have a main power plant developed by the specialists of the Kolomensky plant. The ship’s GEO includes two state-of-the-art 5DRA diesel-reduction units, built on the basis of an 8-cylinder diesel engine 11D42 8CHN30/38. The total capacity of the main power plant is 5500 hp. This is enough to provide the ship of Project 18280 with a speed of 16 knots (approximately 30 km/h). The ship has a range of 8,000 nautical miles (14,816 km). The crew of the ship is 131 people. All the data is taken from the official website of the North Shipyard, which built both ships of the series. It is worth noting that the reconnaissance ships of the Soviet construction of the project 1826 were slightly larger – the length of 105 meters, the total displacement of 4550 tons.
The full composition and specifications of the radio equipment placed on board are classified information. It is known that on board the ships of Project 18280 installed: navigation radar MR-231-3; Integrated bridge electronic system “Bridge 18280” which is responsible for positioning the ship, localization and orienteering on the ground; “Subtitle-23” mutual information exchange system, which is responsible for electronic compatibility of radar, detection and navigation stations. According to experts, the equipment placed on board the ship allows you to track signals of different power in different wavelengths.
The ship’s traditional armament is symbolic and is represented by a set of 14.5 mm large-caliber Vladimirov machine guns (KPV) mounted on a special naval bollard machine gun (MTPU). In total, there are two to four such installations onboard, which can be used to combat surface and air targets, including lightly armored ones. The maximum range of fire at surface targets is 2000 meters, on-air – 1500 meters. Also at the disposal of the ship’s crew are Igla MANPADS or more advanced Verba.
The crew of the ship of 131 people and the size of the ship suggest the presence of developed household infrastructure. Onboard, in addition to crew cabins, medical unit and sanitary and service facilities, there is a large galley unit designed to feed more than 100 people. About 30 items of various equipment are used for cooking in the galley alone: from standard ovens and boilers to test-made units and flour-breakers. At the same time, all the equipment installed in the galley is domestically produced.