Ukrainian naval ensign raised on Zaporizya. Photo: Official Ukraine Armed Forces
I was slow to follow this event but it is important.
Between 23 and 27 April 2012, the sole Ukrainian submarine Zaporizya conducted a series of test in the Black Sea. This is the first time that the 42 year old submarine sailed alone since 1992.
The Foxtrot (Project 641) class Zaporizya is the only submarine in Ukrainian inventory. She her large scaled overhaul started in February 2010. The aim of Ukrainian Navy was to have her ready for duty by the end of May 2011.
According to Jane’s Fighting Ships , Zaporizya has maximum speeds of 16 kt surfaced and 15 kt dived, with a range of 20,000 n miles at 8 kt surfaced and 380 n miles at 2 kt dived.
Although the age and the condition of the submarine will restrict her operations below water considerably without any doubt this trials mark a very important step for the Ukrainian Navy as they have regained their submarine force back. I must say that I envy the courage of the crew of the boat.
Today, April 27, after successfully conducted in the Black Sea the first phase of sea trials to return submarine Sevastopol Naval Forces of Ukraine “Kiev”.
At 15.20 pryshvartuvalasya submarine to berth wall of the 13th shipyard Black Sea fleet.
The crew of the submarine “Zaporizhia” personally met the Commander of Naval Forces Admiral Viktor Maksimov Ukraine. Chairman of the host committee captain 1st rank Roman sleek submarine commander Captain 2nd rank Robert Shaheyev commander reported the successful completion of the campaign.
Commander of Naval Forces Admiral Viktor Maksimov Ukraine by telephone reported the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Dmytro Salamatin the successful completion of the first phase of sea trials and mooring berth at the factory.
Head of the Ministry of Defence Dmitry Salamatin greeted the crew of the submarine “Zaporizhia” the successful performance of assigned tasks and return to Sevastopol.
Ship for the first time since 1993 on April 25 went to sea with its own power plant. For three days the crew submarine was tested in a complex work of power plant at different running modes and performance equipment and technology.Members of the combat units together with experts sudnoremontnykamy-tested health equipment and various tools.
In particular, in the electromechanical part of the battle were determined allowable load on the main diesel engine, with dimensions appropriate parameters at different frequencies of rotation of the crankshaft and the line shaft. Reliable feeding device horizontal and vertical steering wheels steering, tested hydraulic and air system pressure.
In addition, by controlling the verification capacity of the battery when running motors at full power in the above-water position, and also tested other systems and mechanisms.
During sea trials are carefully checked the reliability of communications, radar, search, sonar equipment and mate.
Overall, during sea trials the boat was about 135 nautical miles in the above-water position.
It should be stressed that the test took place in view of strict control in terms of security, the deployment of all necessary protective systems and equipment.
The reactivation of the submarine creates a new dilemma for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Keeping the 41 year old submarine with a very limited remaining service life, will be very difficult and expensive, draining valuable resources needed for other naval projects. On the other hand scrapping the sole submarine of the navy after so much public attention will not be a good political move.
I think the words of the Ukrainian Defense Minister Dmytro Salamatin sums the situation nicely: I wish you, to the number of dives always coincided with the number rises to the surface “