On December 23 of last year, the navy received a new large landing ship “Pyotr Morgunov”, the second built on project 11711. In January, the ship made a transition to her duty station as part of the Northern Fleet. Now the crew of the large landing craft is preparing to participate in maneuvers and other activities in accordance with the prepared plans for combat and operational training. It is expected that the appearance of a new landing ship will have a noticeable impact on the combat capabilities of the Northern Fleet and the Navy as a whole. Consider the new ship, its capabilities and potential within the fleet.
The new large landing craft “Petr Morgunov” was built according to the project 11711 developed by the Nevsky Design Bureau. It became the second ship of this type (earlier the Navy took over the lead “Ivan Gren”) and the last one built according to the original version of the project. The construction has been carried out by the Yantar plant in Kaliningrad since 2015. The launch took place in May 2018, and tests started at the end of 2019.
The ship has a standard displacement of 5 thousand tons and a total displacement of 6.6 thousand tons. The maximum length reaches 135 m with a width of 16.5 m and a side height of 11 m. The largest draft is 3.8 m. The ship’s hull is distinguished by a special bow shape, which is necessary to accommodate the landing ramp. The recognizable silhouette of the BDK is formed by two superstructures, between which there is a large hatch for access to the internal volumes of the hull.
Inside the building is located the so-called. tank deck, which occupies almost the entire length of the hull. It can be accessed through the bow ramp, through the aft hatch, or through the top loading hatch. In the latter case, a 16 ton crane is used. Also on the ship there are cockpits to accommodate the landing.
The main power plant of “Petr Morgunov” includes a pair of 10D49 diesel engines with a capacity of 5200 hp each. Two diesel-reverse-gear units DRRA-6000 provide a drive for two propellers. A bow thruster is placed in the bow of the hull.
Full speed is declared at 18 knots, economic speed – 16. The maximum cruising range reaches 4 thousand nautical miles. The hull lines allow sailing in the distant sea and ocean zones. In addition, the bow is designed taking into account the need for landing troops ashore.
Three artillery mounts are provided for self-defense and support of the landing. These are two AK-630M products with a six-barreled machine gun and one AK-630M-2 with a twin unit.
The main task
BDK pr. 11711 are intended for transportation and disembarkation of a reinforced marine battalion with standard weapons and equipment. The landing can be carried out at a distance from the coast or directly on the coast. When disembarking on an unequipped coast, pontoons can also be used, also transported by an amphibious assault ship.
Inside the ship’s hull, there are two large-area cockpits to accommodate 300 paratroopers. All the necessary conditions have been created for a long stay at sea. In particular, the Marines have a canteen and a gym at their disposal.
The tank deck is intended to accommodate equipment and other cargo. It can carry up to 13 heavy vehicles, such as main tanks or other vehicles with similar parameters. It is also possible to transport 20 units. medium-sized vehicles or up to 30 trucks. Disembarkation is carried out on its own through the bow ramp, to the shore or to the pontoon.
Also, two Ka-29 helicopters are based on the BDK. A take-off platform is provided for their work at the stern. In front of it, in the rear superstructure, there is a hangar.
Potential and benefits
Project 11711 is another variant of the implementation of the domestic concept of a large landing ship, made on the basis of modern technologies and developments. The project was based on the experience of development, construction and operation of previous large landing ships, which led to a certain technical and tactical similarity.
“Pyotr Morgunov”, like its predecessors of various projects, is capable of taking on board a large number of soldiers and equipment, delivering them to a given area and providing landing directly to the shore. At the same time, Project 11711 provides for some new opportunities that have a positive effect on the results of the landing operation.
First of all, the advantages over their predecessors are provided by the novelty of the design, components and assemblies created on the basis of modern technologies using the accumulated experience. With similar or better tactical and technical characteristics, greater efficiency is provided, the working conditions of the crew are improved, etc.
On the BDK pr. 11711, new amphibious landing vehicles are used, due to which the requirements for a section of the coast for landing are reduced. This, to a certain extent, simplifies the planning and conduct of amphibious operations.
The ship’s amphibious capabilities have also been improved by upgrading the cockpit and tank deck. First of all, it should be noted that the conditions for 300 paratroopers have improved. Such comfort while sailing to the landing zone will improve the morale and increase the efficiency of the combat work of the landing force.
“Petr Morgunov” is capable of transporting a variety of military and auxiliary equipment, as well as various cargoes. The vehicles can take up space on the tank deck on their own, and there is a standard crane for other loads. Such technical innovations simplify the operation of the BDK as an element of logistics. This is especially important taking into account the experience of recent years – amphibious ships are used not only for landing marines, but also as transport.
It should be noted that Project 11711 has a number of specific features that limit the value of such ships. Some of them can even be considered disadvantages. However, all these nuances are taken into account when developing new landing ships, incl. improved version of pr. 11711.
The very concept of a large landing ship remains controversial. She is opposed to a universal amphibious assault ship, which has more capabilities. Due to the different composition of the landing craft, the UDC is able to land troops at a distance from the coast, without entering the zone of destruction of the coastal defense. In addition, modern UDC has an aviation group, including attack helicopters to support the landing.
The composition of the weapons of the large landing craft “Petr Morgunov” also becomes a serious reason for criticism. It has only small-caliber artillery for self-defense against air, surface or coastal targets. Because of this, the ship needs to be accompanied by other combat units of the fleet and aviation.
It should be noted that all these problems are well known to the fleet and shipbuilders – and measures are being taken. In April 2019, the laying of two new large landing ships, being built on the updated project 11711, took place. Without changing the project number, the hull, superstructure, weapons and aviation group were redesigned. The second pair of BDK pr. 11711 will have a displacement of up to 8 thousand tons, an increased payload, as well as a number of new options for landing and support of the assault force.
Newest and progressive
The new large landing craft “Petr Morgunov”, like the one-type “Ivan Gren”, is a fairly successful modern ship. It has its own advantages and disadvantages, and in general it meets the requirements of the Russian Navy. Two new large landing ships of the same project will serve in the Northern Fleet and contribute to the country’s security.
However, despite the positive features of the two existing ships, construction on the original project 11711 will not continue. The two new large landing ships will receive an updated look with a number of important changes. This suggests that in recent years the requirements for landing ships have changed, and in the future the fleet will need pennants of a different look. In addition, the construction of the first domestic universal amphibious ships has begun.
Two BDK modernized project 11711 and the first UDC pr. 23900 will enter the fleet no earlier than the middle of this decade. Thus, over the next few years, the newest and most modern models in the Russian amphibious forces will be two large landing craft pr. 11711 – “Ivan Gren” and “Petr Morgunov”. In general, they correspond to the title of the newest and most progressive ships, but in a few years this place will be taken by new combat units with higher characteristics and wide capabilities.