Under the sign of the North Star: Warships in the Arctic

Under the sign of the North Star.  Warships in the Arctic
“Nautilus” was the first ship to reach the North Pole, August 3, 1958



(Translated from Russian by Google translate)


A place where a person without special protective equipment dies in a few minutes. This is not the surface of the Moon or Mars distant. This is everyone’s favorite Arctic Territory extending above 66 ° 33 ‘. sh. (The Arctic Circle), and distinguished from the rest of the negative average annual temperature of the Earth.

In this case “special protective equipment” means the maximum Insulated clothing and covered areas with mandatory heat source. well known that people in its original form is able to spend a few days outside the ship and quietly move air temperature over +50 ° C. But in the Arctic, such tricks will not pass. This place is more dangerous than the Sahara and Death Valley California, taken together – one misstep in frosty mist and cold zavernet daredevil a ram’s horn. Morning comrades find a mummy with stiff limbs bent forever.

“Country icy terror” – that describes the Arctic Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen after years of expeditions in these parts. Fatal obstacle to the development of these places – the endless winter night (the duration of the polar night depends on the latitude.) When the edge of the solar disk will fly again in the south-east side sky and snowy landscape of hills illumined pale pink light in Murmansk celebrated Feast of the Sun. Residents of Moscow and Kuban not understand why so rejoice in the gathering dusk 300 thousand lucky – the inhabitants of the world’s largest city built above the Arctic Circle. Arctic was not meant for human habitation. Like nature itself cursed this place forever pinning down a layer of earth and ocean durable as stone, ice. Monotonous snowy landscape and endless night – of explorers go mystical legends of “white noise” and “call of the North Star.”

Strange mental disorder known among Pomors as “meryachene” – a person loses his mind and runs off into the icy wilderness. According to legend, accidents always run straight north. But no matter how severe these northern territory, they belong to us by right. To paraphrase Admiral Essen: “Other water we have. We have to use these. ” And if so – Russian had to master this area unsuitable for life and learn to reap the maximum benefit.main treasure of the Arctic today remains the Northern Sea Route (NSR) – a strategic transport artery on the way from Europe to Asia, historically rooted national integrated transport communication Russia in the Arctic, stretching along the entire northern coast of the Urals, Siberia and the Far East.

Battles for Arctic Ocean

Length maritime borders of the Russian state – 38,808 miles! Of which 19,724 km are along the coast of the Arctic Ocean: the Barents, Kara, Laptev, East Siberian and Chukchi seas. Year-round shipping without icebreakers is possible only in the Barents Sea off the coast of the Kola Peninsula – where the warm Gulf Stream warms the air and water, driving the ice far north. And then begins the “country of icy terror” – all SMP ports, except Murmansk, work 2-4 months a year – during the summer and autumn of navigation. mandatory attribute is the icebreaker fleet – contrary to popular assertion that “the longest sea boundaries” Russia de facto, is the owner of the world’s longest ice boundaries.Multimeter pack ice cover us from the north more reliable than any Coast Guard and Navy. With all the attendant advantages and disadvantages.Unique Arctic trek Northern Fleet, held in September, the outgoing year, still causes a mixed assessment: domestic and foreign analysts have questioned the appropriateness of the presence of nuclear missile cruiser “Peter the Great” in the high latitudes. On the question of whether there were previous similar operations using surface warships, the former commander of the 5th Mediterranean operational squadron, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Valentin Selivanov said bluntly:

“Peter the Great” was created as a hunter convoys and naval group opponents, but to imagine a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier group in the Kara Sea is absolutely impossible. First, it there are no problems. Secondly, the U.S. surface fleet strongly geared for action in the Arctic. Last time the enemy appeared in these waters in the Great Patriotic War – in August 1942 in the Kara Sea broke through the heavy cruiser “Admiral Scheer.” As a result, the Raiders could not catch up with the convoy on its way to the strait Velkitskogo – when Soviet ships and icebreakers crawled at 5 knots. Germans hardly betrayed 1-2 knots .. Heavy ice leveled all the advantages of the “Scheer” performance – the very nature of the Arctic sea battle has turned into a farce.

After wandering through the Kara Sea, the cruiser sank in an unequal battle icebreaker “Siberians” unsuccessfully fired Port Dickson – and get out. Superkorablem risk for such a worthless results Germans decided not to.

But that was then. Now things are different. uniqueness Arctic campaign in 2013 was that the operation involved all nuclear surface ships of Russia (Navy cruiser and four Rosatomflota icebreaker.) You can not remain indifferent to the mind wading through the ice icebreaker “Yamal”, “Taimyr”, ” Vaygach “and” 50 Years of Victory “- the power which knows no borders! These magnificent machines will be where any ship stuck forever and will be crushed under the pressure of heavy ice. In 2013, the icebreaker “50 Years of Victory” noted fantastic anniversary – for the umpteenth time he got to the North Pole. These ships have unlimited autonomy on fuel reserves, long-term supply of food on board, carry airplanes, the latest navigation and communication systems, and have the ability to destroy the ice thickness of more than 2.5 meters. The true rulers of the Arctic – they are able to penetrate into every part of this icy world.

However, four of the icebreaker – it is an occasion to reflect. To post three warships and seven support vessels (TARKR “Peter the Great”, landing ships “Kondopoga” and “Miner Olenegorsky” rescue tugs, maritime transport and the average tanker) – for such wires caravan to the coast of the New Siberian Islands needed all Russian icebreaker fleet ! When that campaign was carried out at the perfect time of the year – the beginning of September, the height of the navigation. When daytime temperatures exceed 0 ° C, and the southern edge of the pack ice is moved far to the North.No doubt, in the last decade sailors celebrate simplification ice conditions – in the beginning of the XXI century there were precedents when during one navigation SMP single vessels were unaccompanied icebreakers . Pictures from space confirm the situation – the area of ice in the Arctic has declined. … But it needed only to turn from the usual route – take a little to the north, in the direction of. Boiler (archipelago Siberian Islands) – and immediately needed help four nuclear icebreakers!

Naive Canadians still hope that the melting of Arctic sea ice will become irreversible – even a little bit, and open the Northwest Passage in the high latitudes, along the northern coast of Canada. Direct competitor Russian SMP! hell. The myth of global warming is a hoax global – unscrupulous scientists and experts who exploit this hypothesis, are not inclined to tell the whole truth. The amount of ice in the Arctic has indeed decreased. But in the same time ice cap of Antarctica, on the contrary, increased in thickness and size. Cycling of matter in nature! seems that we are dealing with some unexplored cyclic process between northern and southern hemispheres – it is possible that in a few decades the Arctic ice will begin to tighten again. Sweet dreams of banana trees on the Franz Josef Land and the arguments in the form of oil reserves in the Arctic shelf (which is 100% proof that millions of years ago on the ocean grew lush tropical forests) should not be led astray everyman. It was hundreds of millions of years ago.

And yet again a very long time. We live in the coldest era in Earth’s history – all the fault of Antarctica. If on-site ice-covered land in the place was South Arctic Ocean, the climate on the Earth would be a fundamentally different. Antarctica vyholazhivaet Earth, serving excellent reflector of sunlight and storage giant ice reserves. Alas, there are no palm trees in high latitudes, we do not see, as long as the damned “refrigerator” does not upolzet elsewhere, obeying the eternal movement of lithospheric plates. meantime … ships making their way through chilled water along the coast of Russia. Icebreaker leads caravan – despite accidents, ice discharged, the crew activates the pnevmoobmyva (SOA – used to reduce friction on the ice building). This allows you to maximize the channel astern of the icebreaker and facilitate the movement going in the wake of ships and vessels.Without knowledge of the subtleties in the northern seas to survive.

Application in the Arctic squadron of surface warships considerable difficulties: the ships bound to maneuver. Additional gift for that trouble northern waters will be such an unpleasant process as ICING. The scary thing is, during bad weather and storms it is capable of in a jiffy bring the ship down, pinning down indestructible chains all launchers, guns and radar. Polar night, changeable weather, disgusting visibility – the rule rather than the exception for those latitudes. Obviously, even with assistance, in the form of nuclear icebreakers, cruisers and destroyers (not to mention the “Mistral”) do absolutely nothing in the Arctic. Yet there is only one class of warships that could challenge the primacy of nuclear icebreakers in the fight for the title of Master Arctic.

Black sleek submarines that are carried to the North Pole, with no resistance. Nuclear submarines do not pay attention to the fields impenetrable pack ice, are not afraid of the most severe frosts and polar blizzard. They do not suffer from nasty icing and visibility. They are powerful, fast and able to navigate through the Arctic Ocean, at any time of year. Ice, on the contrary, is for them a perfect cover and protection – no aircraft can expose sonobuoy or reset torpedo. And neither anti-ship will not be able to keep up with the submarine in those latitudes – he firmly stuck in the ice, without the possibility to use their weapons. If necessary, tell the crew availability hydroacoustics polynya or ice suitable thickness: submarine gently pressed against the inner surface of the ice tank for sale and – voila! – Will lay blocks of broken ice, rise to the surface. In this sense, the most spectacular was the giant “Shark”: thanks to its size, heavy Project 941 SSBN could destroy his wheelhouse ice two meters!