Russian icebreaker vs US airctaft carriers

Ivan Papanin will become a kamikaze

On October 25, a unique vessel was launched, though it was called the icebreaker in the media. However, it should be called a ship. Because it is equipped with weapons, and it is able to take part in military operations. We are talking about a universal patrol ship of the Arctic zone of the ice class of project 23550 Ivan Papanin.


Its versatility lies not only in the fact that the ship is capable of breaking ice up to one and a half meters thick and walking in tropical zones. The ship is designed both for solving military tasks and for “peaceful campaigns” – for escorting bulk carriers and tankers in the northern latitudes, participating in rescue operations and providing oceanological expeditions.


The ship, designed at the Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau, was laid down in the spring of 2017 at the Admiralty Shipyards St. Petersburg shipyard. The transfer of Ivan Papanin to the Northern Fleet is expected in 2021.


Launching of “Ivan Papanin” on the 5th slipway of the shipyard No. 8 shipyard was an extraordinary event that attracted attention on different continents. In the United States, publications appeared about the militarization of the Arctic Ocean by Russians. In Vietnam, in the military publication BaoDatViet, they wrote that “Ivan Papanin” is a serious threat to the existence of American aircraft carriers. And that “these ships are enough to cool the hot heads of the enemies.”


True, for the time being we can talk only about one ship, which continues to be built. The second – Nikolai Zubov – will be laid down at the Admiralty Shipyards next year. At this project 23550 is supposed to be completed.


So, about the armament of the ship. How much does it threaten aircraft carriers if, together with their “retinue of escorts”, consisting of 7–9 ships and ships, decide to come to the Far North?


The main striking force is represented by two launchers containing 4 missiles each. In total – 8, not counting the spare ammunition. Missiles are either Caliber or Onyx. In this case, the “Caliber” can be anti-ship, anti-submarine or for firing at ground targets.


There is also a universal artillery mount A-190 of 100 mm caliber, designed to fire both sea and air targets. Rate of fire is 80 rounds per minute. Firing range – 21 km, height – 15 km. In this case, the elevation angles of the trunk are in the range from – 15 degrees. up to + 85 degrees Horizontal shelling sector – 170 degrees. Air defense systems that complement the A-190’s ability to repel an air attack include Igla man-portable air defense systems.


There is also an anti-submarine helicopter K-27, for which a hangar was created on the ship. Also, two drones are attached to the ship.


As you can see, the weapons are quite serious. But if you consider that the “Ivan Papanin” in terms of displacement belongs to the class of destroyers – 8500 tons, then it could have been more. Once in the warm latitudes, the ship is unlikely to be able to fight with the enemy aircraft carrier strike group – the forces are too unequal. Russian Ivan Papanin will be able to fight the American aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan only as a kamikaze. But in the role of a patrol ship, ensuring safe navigation both along the Northern Sea Route and in the oil shelf region, this, as they say, is the very thing.


The remaining characteristics of the ship are as follows. Length – 114 m. Width – 20 m. Draft – 6 m. Speed ​​in clear water – 18 knots. Cruising range 6000 miles, autonomy – 60 days. There is special equipment – a towing winch with a thrust of 80 tons and two electro-hydraulic cranes with a lifting capacity of 28 tons each.


All equipment, including electronic, is domestic production. The ship is equipped with modern navigation and communication systems, a radar station designed to illuminate the air and surface situation, and to control weapons. There is also a hydrometeorological station on board.


All comments regarding the launching of the Ivan Papanin are unanimous regarding the claim that this is a unique ship, the only one in the world. And that nothing like this has ever existed.


Yes, indeed, in terms of characteristics, “Ivan Papanin” occupies a solid leading position that cannot be challenged. But about the fact that nothing similar anywhere has ever happened – this is some kind of advertising inflection.


In the first half of the 30s in Leningrad, when designing the project 51 icebreakers, they laid very serious weapons – 3 130 mm and 4 76 mm artillery mounts, as well as heavy machine guns. The lead was Joseph Stalin, followed by Vyacheslav Molotov, Lazar Kaganovich, Anastas Mikoyan.


The icebreakers had very serious design characteristics comparable with Ivan Papanin. Displacement – 11,000 tons. Length – 107 m, width – 23 m, draft – 8.5 m. Speed ​​in clear water – 15.5 knots.


During the war, the composition of weapons changed. As a result, some icebreakers already had 4 artillery mounts of 100 mm caliber, 14 anti-aircraft guns of 20 mm caliber with a rate of 500 rounds per minute and 6 machine guns.


These icebreakers, and in fact – warships, took an active part in the battles of the Great Patriotic War, and all remained afloat after its end. In the 50s, the entire four were renamed. Stalin, for example, became Siberia, and Lazar Kaganovich became Admiral Lazarev.


Then it was decided to use this experience in the construction of nuclear icebreakers. True, it was slightly adjusted – weapons during construction were not installed, but if necessary, it could be integrated into ship systems.


The first Soviet nuclear-powered icebreaker “Lenin”, which entered the Murmansk Shipping Company in 1960, was equipped with a foundation for installing quadruple 45-mm automatic guns, cellars for storing ammunition and other equipment that was never claimed. The weapons themselves were stored in warehouses on the shore.


US threatens Russia with nuclear weapons from an apparatus built according to our drawings

On the icebreakers of Project 10520 “Arctic”, deployed in the 70s, the weapons should have been more serious. In the event of a threat to shipping on the Northern Sea Route to nuclear powered ships, which were potential patrol ships, it was possible to install two twin AK-726 76 mm artillery mounts and four 30-mm AK-630 six-barrel assault rifles. Moreover, the retrofitting of nuclear-powered ships could be completed as soon as possible – weapons were stored in the home port.


So it should be recognized that “Ivan Papanin” is something new, which is a well-forgotten old.


It should be recognized that along the path of arming ice-class vessels, they went not only in the Soviet Union, but also beyond its borders. Since 2002, the Svalbard ice class patrol ship has been operating in the Norwegian Coast Guard. Of course, in terms of armament, he loses a lot to the Ivan Papanin, having only an 76 mm artillery mount. There is also a heavy multi-purpose helicopter. However, in terms of “build” it is a very serious ship with a displacement of 6500 tons and a length of 103 meters. The power plant has a capacity of 10 MW. The range is almost 9 thousand miles. Speed ​​in clean water – 17.5 knots. Passes through ice fields a meter thick. He made a trip to the North Pole. 10 years ago, a message appeared that Norway intends to bring the number of these ships to 6-8. However, more news on this topic has been reported.