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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The hardware of war: Russian Battlecruisers

Thanks to StrategyPage here, one can keep up with modern naval developments including this piece on the Russian Kirov-class battlecruiser into which some money is being pumped to keep it a viable force to be dealt with:

Russia is keeping at least one of its nuclear powered “battlecruisers” in service for a while. The Admiral Nakhimov, a Kirov class, 24,500 ton, warship, has begun a twenty month stay in the Severodvinsk shipyards, where the ship will receive new electronics and missiles. The Admiral Nakhimov entered service in 1988, right at the end of the Cold War, and it’s electronics are ancient by current standards, despite a 1994 upgrade. Four Kirovs were built, but only t he Admiral Nakhimov and Pyotr Velikhiy, which entered service in 1998, are still in working order. The Kirovs, in addition to their nuclear power plants, carry twenty Shipwreck anti-ship missiles and three different type of anti-aircraft missile systems (and over 250 missiles). There are also anti-submarine torpedo launchers, and 30mm cannon for anti-missile and close in defense...While the upgrade can be seen mainly as a way to keep shipbuilding technicians employed, and maintain a formidable looking Russian warship in commission, a Kirov on the high seas is a warship to be reckoned with. The high speed Shipwreck anti-ship missiles have a range of 550 kilometers, and carry a 1,600 pound warhead. This missile was built to cripple an American aircraft carrier, but it would outright destroy any lesser vessels.

Seems to be a little confusion about what a "Shipwreck" missile looks like with Jane's taking this view:

And others having this view:

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