A Russian navy general said recently that Russia does not need vulnerable helicopter carriers. In fact, as early as 2011, Russia had intended to purchase two "northwest wind" class helicopter carriers from France, and ultimately failed. At present, Russia's only aircraft carrier "Kuznetsov" is being overhauled, the domestic aircraft carrier blank, is not conducive to the great powers of sea operations and sea deterrence. Why doesn't Russia choose to build a relatively inexpensive helicopter carrier that can carry both helicopters and vertical takeoff and landing fighters?
Military expert Li Jie pointed out that Russia said "do not need" helicopter carriers, this statement has its own difficulties, mainly because of lack of money is difficult, not do not want. He said that in addition to insufficient military expenditure, never built a helicopter carrier is vulnerable to many technical problems, more importantly, Russia does not care about helicopter carriers at present, the most urgent is to build a fixed-wing aircraft to carry out long-range deterrence and carry out long-range combat missions of aircraft carriers, and to protect aircraft carriers. Large and medium sized ships. "The Russian naval surface ship construction priority, one aircraft carrier, two new cruisers, destroyers and other large warships, the third may be helicopter carriers." Li Jie said.
At present, most of the world's nine largest aircraft carriers also have helicopter carriers, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force is more ambitious to "cloud" helicopter carrier to dominate the East China Sea. In theory, helicopter carriers are motherships that can carry or take off and land helicopters, but now the definition and concept of helicopter carriers have been extended, after deck modification and improvement, can also carry short takeoff and vertical landing of fixed-wing fighters, such as the F-35B. The tonnage also increased from twenty thousand or thirty thousand tons to forty thousand or fifty thousand tons. With the continuous improvement of the combat performance of helicopters and vertical takeoff and landing fighters, the combat tasks of helicopter carriers are also expanding.
"Fixed-wing aircraft is the main difference between helicopter carriers and ordinary aircraft carriers, in addition, the two flight decks, hangars and cabins are also quite different." Li Jie said that the fixed-wing aircraft is mainly air combat, combat effectiveness, and helicopter aircraft can not conduct air combat or air combat capability is very weak. Generally speaking, when a helicopter carrier and an aircraft carrier form a formation, the carrier carries out the task of capturing air power and attacking the sea, the helicopter carrier carries out firepower support and vertical force delivery, and when the helicopter carrier acts alone, it can carry out amphibious landing operations and anti-submarine operations.
The function of helicopter carrier is different from that of aircraft carrier in general sense, each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Helicopter carriers are relatively simple in design and construction, and the overall cost is only one fifth to one tenth of the carrier; the ship is less staffed, only one tenth of the carrier, and therefore less costly; the implementation of a variety of tasks, including amphibious landing operations, vertical force delivery, formation command, fire support; and formation formation formation at the same time. The group is more flexible, and if it gets hit by the other side, the damage will be smaller. By contrast, carriers are expensive and time-consuming, and require a variety of naval escorts to carry out their missions. Large carriers can carry out missions with up to 56,000 personnel and great expenditure; however, the impact of the carrier going to sea is great, the sensation effect is also great, the combat capability and air-control capability are strong, and can carry out large-scale deterrent operations. The overall combat capability of the aircraft carrier formation is much better than that of the helicopter carrier.
Russian officers believe that under current conditions, helicopter carriers will become opponents of high-precision weapons "floating target" and the primary target, and therefore very short-lived. Li Jie said that whether a ship is vulnerable to attack at sea depends on its own stealth performance, escort, self-defense capabilities and tactical behavior, which should be judged according to specific circumstances. "Compared to helicopter carriers, aircraft carriers rely on carrier-based aircraft and formation warships for air defense and anti-missile, the large size of the attack will be more. However, helicopter carrier self-defense capability is slightly weaker than the carrier, using helicopters to defend the other side of the aircraft and missile attacks, more difficult, its formation of defense vessels less, less resistance to attack than the carrier. (Tang Fang)
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