Story by TASS Russian news agency
They will have long-range communication systems, automatic controls and satellite communications. Experts believe the possibility to control warship groups, aircraft and land forces from the universal ships will promote the effectiveness of operations, the Izvestia daily writes.
Project 23900 ships will not only carry helicopters and marines. Defense Ministry and industry sources said they will have the necessary equipment to control sea, land and air groups.
The amphibious assault ships will be equipped with automatic controls and other command equipment. They will have special headquarter compartments with computer terminals and workplaces.
Project 23900 ships have to replace Mistral which France refused to supply to Russia. It was stressed at negotiations on Mistral procurement in early 2010s that the ships will be mostly used for control.
It is possible to command a squadron from the ship, former Navy Chief-of-Staff Valentin Selivanov said:
“A big ship is necessary to carry a command post and cabins for the officers of the headquarters. The hall to accommodate the command post is to be equipped with modern and protected communications to maintain uninterrupted information exchange with coastal headquarters. On-duty officers have to see the movement of warships and aircraft in a specific area. The commander can see the situation with neighbors, if necessary. It means he can see the developments in the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas from the Black Sea. Complete information will help make correct decisions,”
former Navy Chief-of-Staff Valentin Selivanov
In Soviet time, cruisers and floating submarine bases were used for the purpose, as they had enough place for command posts, Selivanov said.
Today only the Americans have command ships, expert Dmitry Boltenkov said. The Soviet Union used to have them and Russia also needs the ships. “It was said at the laying ceremony that the universal ships will have long-range communications. They will help the commander report the situation to central headquarters and receive instructions. The size of the ships is fit for command posts. Several dozen officers have to be accommodated. It is problematic to deploy so many people and equipment on an ordinary warship. Anyway, amphibious assault ships do not operate solo. They are accompanied and offer the best place for floating headquarters,” he said.
The command ships are necessary, as the Russian Navy is expanding its presence in the World Ocean and effective control should be provided.
“A group of warships in the Indian Ocean or the Mediterranean Sea should be better controlled on site rather than from Moscow. The commander on site better sees the situation and can rapidly make decisions,”
expert Dmitry Boltenkov
Crews are being selected for the warships laid in Kerch. The Navy command is determining the organizational structure and the staff matrix. Besides navymen, the crews will have pilots and marines. Specific attention is paid to air mechanics who have to meet the highest requirements and maintain hardware operability away from Russian bases. They have to make any overhaul in congested conditions with a limited set of tools and devices.
The crews have to be manned by 2022. The training program will be drafted by the time. Upon approval, the crews will begin training and accept the new ships, the Izvestia said.