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  1. OSA 1 Fast Missile Boat Kagero Super Drawings in 3D The Osa class is probably the most numerous class of missile boats ever built, with over 400 vessels constructed between 1960–1973 for both the Soviet Navy and for export to allied countries. "Osa" means "wasp" in Russian, but it is not an official name. The boats were designated as "large missile cutters" in the Soviet Navy. The earlier Komar class were cheap and efficient boats (and the first to sink a warship with guided missiles, destroying the Israeli Navy's Eilat), their endurance, sea keeping, and habitability were modest at best, and the missile box was vulnerable to damage from waves. Among their other weak points were the wooden hull, the radar lacked a fire control unit, and had an inadequate defensive armament consisting of two manually operated 25 mm guns with only a simple optical sight in a single turret. The Komars' offensive weapons were a pair of P-15 Termit (NATO: SS-N-2 "Styx") missiles, and there was insufficient capacity to hold the more modern longer-ranged P-15Ms. The sensors were not effective enough to use the maximum range of the missiles, and the crew of 17 was not large enough to employ all the systems efficiently. In order to remedy all these shortcomings, it was felt that bigger boats were needed to mount the necessary equipment and to provide more space for a larger crew. In the new design the hull was made of steel, with a low and wide superstructure made of lighter alluminium alloys, continuous deck, and a high free-board. The edges of the deck were rounded and smooth to ease washing off radioactive contamination in case of nuclear war. The hull was quite wide, but the Project 205 boats could still achieve high speeds as they had three Zvezda M503 radial diesel engines capable of a combined 12,000 hp (15,000 hp on Project 205U onward) driving three shafts. These powerful engines allowed a maximum speed of about 40 knots, together with reasonable endurance and reliability. There were also three diesel generators. Two main engines and one generator were placed in the forward engine room, the third main engine and two generators in the aft engine room. There was a control compartment between the two engine rooms. The problem related to the weak anti-aircraft weaponry of the earlier Project 183R was partially solved with the use of two AK-230 turrets, in the fore and aft deck. An MR-104 Rys (NATO: "Drum Tilt") fire-control radar was placed in a high platform, and controlled the whole horizon, despite the fact that the superstructures quite low. Even with the unit placed in the aft position, this radar had a good field of view all around. The AK-230 turrets were unmanned, each armed with two 30 mm guns capable of firing 2,000 rpm (400 practical) with a 2,500 m practical range. Use against surface targets was possible, but as with the previous Komar ships, once all missiles were expended it was planned to escape and not fight. The missile armament consisted of four box-shaped launchers (protected from bad weather conditions) each with one P-15 Termit (NATO: SS-N-2 "Styx") missile. This doubled the available weapons compared to the Project 183R, giving greater endurance. The missiles were controlled by a MR-331 Rangout (NATO: "Square Tie") radar and a Nikhrom-RRM ESM/IFF that even allowed targeting over the horizon, if the target's radar was turned on. With all these improvements, these ships were considerably more effective. They had one of the first, if not the first close-in weapon systems (CIWS). The survivability rating was improved to 50%, and the required volley of 12 missiles could be launched by only three ships. Sinking a destroyer was therefore regarded as 'assured' using only six ships (two squadrons of three vessels), making the Project 205 vessels easier to coordinate and even cheaper than would be the required number of Project 183R boats to achieve the same effectiveness. I have always been fascinated by this class of vessel, they looked sleek and powerful. It’s great to see the Osa being the subject of this ever increasing collection of books, and while it is not the most complicated vessel seen in the series, the small details included in the renderings will be very useful. As usual there is a short introduction on the first six pages, covering the following:- Osa – from design to production Construction P-15, missile fangs of the ship Artillery armament Radiolocation equipment Osa’s under different flags Days of glory Museum ships bibliography The rest of the fifty nine pages are filled with the beautifully rendered 3D drawings we have got know so well in this series, covering every part of the ships structure, weapons, radars and sundry equipment. The drawings are really clear and perfect for the maritime modeller to see all the useful details that could help make that masterpiece that we all strive for. This release does include drawings for below the waterline, particularly useful for getting the propellers and rudders right,. An A3 folded sheet of line drawings is also included and this contains 4 views of the ship overall, in 1:100 scale, while on the reverse there are detail drawings of equipment in no particular scale, giving more detail to the information hungry modeller. Of particular interest are the distinctive Bass Tilt radars, P-15 missile and Nichrom IFF array Conclusion Following the now tried and tested formula that Kagero have made their own, this book is superbly produced and with the subject matter being one of the first fast missile boats which just happens to be the subject of the Merit 1/72 model released a year or two ago, plus several other kits that can still be found on auction sites etc. The most useful thing though, if building the Merit kit, is the positioning and style of the ships railings, which will need to be scratch built as the kit didn’t include them. Review sample courtesy of
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