Kirov-class battlecruiser Frunze
|Builders:||Baltic Shipyard, Leningrad|
|Operators:|| Soviet Navy
|In service:||From 1980|
|Active:||1 (1 in overhaul, 2 in reserve)|
|Type:||Heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser|
|Displacement:||24,300 tons standard, 28,000 (full load)|
|Length:||252 m (827 ft)|
|Beam:||28.5 m (94 ft)|
|Draft:||9.1 m (30 ft)|
|Propulsion:||2-shaft CONAS, 2× KN-3 nuclear propulsion with 2× GT3A-688 steam turbines
|Speed:||32 knots (59 km/h)|
|Range:||1,000 nautical miles (2,000 km) at 30 knots (56 km/h) (combined propulsion),
unlimited at 20 knots (37 km/h) on nuclear power
Radars: (NATO reporting name):
|2 x PK-2 Decoy dispensers (400 rockets)|
|Armour:||76 mm plating around reactor compartment, light splinter protection|
|Aircraft carried:||3 helicopters|
|Aviation facilities:||Below-deck hangar|
The Kirov-class battlecruiser is a class of nuclear-powered warship of the Russian Navy, the largest and heaviest surface combatant warships (i.e. not an aircraft carrier, amphibious assault ship, or submarine) currently in active operation in the world. Among modern warships, they are second in size only to large aircraft carriers, and of similar size to a World War I-era battleship. The official designation of the ship-type is heavy nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser, but because of their size and general appearance, the ships are sometimes referred to as battlecruisers in western media.
Originally built for the Soviet Navy, the class is named for the first of a series of 4 ships to be constructed, the Kirov, which was renamed Admiral Ushakov in 1992. Original plans called for the construction of 5 ships, however the last was cancelled. In Russia this class of ship is usually referred to by the designation Project 1144 Orlan (sea eagle). Only the Pyotr Velikiy is still operational, but Russia plans to reactivate the remaining three vessels by 2020.
The Kirov hull design also was used for the nuclear-powered SSV-33 command ship Ural.
The lead ship, Kirov (renamed Admiral Ushakov in 1992 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union) was laid down in June 1973 at Leningrad's Baltiysky Naval Shipyard, launched on December 27, 1977 and commissioned on December 30, 1980. When she appeared for the first time in 1981, NATO observers called her BALCOM I (Baltic Combatant I).
Kirov suffered a reactor accident in 1990 while serving in the Mediterranean Sea. Repairs were never carried out, due to lack of funds and the changing political situation in the Soviet Union. She may have been cannibalized as a spare parts cache for the other ships in her class.
In 1983, a command and control ship, the SSV-33 command ship Ural was launched, although the ship would not be officially commissioned until 1989. It utilized the basic hull design of the Kirov-class vessels, but with a modified superstructure, different armament, and was intended for a different role within the Soviet Navy. The Ural was decommissioned and laid up in 2001, due to high operating costs.
Frunze, the second vessel in the class, was commissioned in 1984. She was assigned to the Pacific Fleet. In 1992, she was renamed Admiral Lazarev. The ship became inactive in 1994 and was decommissioned four years later. The ship is currently held in reserve. On 19 September 2009, General Popovkin, Deputy MOD for Armaments, said that the MOD is looking into bringing Lazarev back into service.
Kalinin was the third ship to enter service, in 1988. She was also assigned to the Northern Fleet. Renamed Admiral Nakhimov, she was mothballed in 1999 and reactivated in 2005. She is in overhaul at Severodvinsk Shipyard.
Construction of the fourth ship, Yuriy Andropov, encountered many delays; her construction was started in 1986 but was not commissioned until 1998. She was renamed Pyotr Veliky (Peter the Great) in 1992. The ship currently serves as the flagship of the Russian Northern Fleet.
On March 23, 2004, English language press reported that the Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief, Fleet Admiral Vladimir Kuroedov said Pyotr Veliky's reactor was in an extremely bad condition and could explode "at any moment". Russian language reporting actually said that the condition of the propulsion plant was such that it could get worse at any moment. This statement was later withdrawn and Russian sensationalist press speculated it may have been the result of internal politics within the Russian Navy, alleging that Admiral Igor Kasatonov was the uncle of Pyotr Veliky's commanding officer, Vladimir Kasatonov), who was testifying in the court hearings on the losses of K-159 and Kursk.
The ship was sent to port for a month, and the crew lost one-third of their pay. Examinations found no problems with the ship's reactor.
A fifth Kirov-class cruiser was planned; originally named Fleet Admiral of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov or alternatively reported as Dzerzhinsky, the ship was never laid down. The name was later changed to Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya (October Revolution), and then just Kuznetsov; finally, on 4 October 1990, the project for a fifth ship was scrapped.
The Kirov class's main weapons are 20 P-700 Granit (SS-N-19 Shipwreck) missiles mounted in deck, designed to engage large surface targets. Air defense is provided by twelve octuple S-300F launchers with 96 missiles and a pair of Osa-MA batteries with 20 missiles each. Pyotr Velikiy carries some S-300FM missiles and is the only ship in the Russian Navy capable of ballistic missile defence. The ships had some differences in sensor and weapons suites: Kirov came with SS-N-14 ASW missiles, while on subsequent ships these were replaced with 9K331 Tor SAM systems. The Tor installation is in fact mounted further forward of the old SS-N-14 mounting, in the structure directly behind the blast shield for the bow mounted RBU ASW rocket launcher. Kirov and Frunze had eight 30 mm (1.2 in) AK-630 close-in weapon systems, which were supplanted with the Kashtan air-defence system on later ships.
Other weapons are the automatic 130 mm (5.1 in) AK-130 gun system (except in Kirov which had two single 100 mm (3.9 in) guns instead), 10 torpedo/missile tubes (capable of firing SS-N-15 missiles on later ships), Udav-1 with 40 anti-submarine rockets and two sextuple RBU-1000 launchers.
Fire control 
- 2 × Top Dome for SA-N-6 fire control (the forward Top Dome is replaced with Tomb Stone in Pyotr Veliky)
- 4 × Bass Tilt for AK-360 CIWS System fire control (not in Nakhimov or Pyotr Veliky)
- 2 × Eye Bowl for SA-N-4 fire control (Also for SS-N-14 in Ushakov)
- 2 × Hot Flash/Hot Spot for SA-N-11 Grisom (CADS-N-1 units only)
- 1 × Kite Screech for AK-100 or AK-130
- 2 × Cross Sword for SA-N-9 (Gauntlet-equipped units only)
|Original Ship Name||Renamed||Laid down||Launched||Commissioned||Status|
|Kirov||Admiral Ushakov||March 26, 1974||December 27, 1977||December 30, 1980||In Autumn 2012, Dmitry Rogozin, vice-premier of Russian Government in charge of defense industry, replied to an inquiry about the fate of the ship. "Cruiser Kirov, now Admiral Ushakov, is returned to the Navy. Modernization project for the ship is in planning stages.|
|Frunze||Admiral Lazarev||July 26, 1978||May 26, 1981||October 31, 1984||Should the modernization of Ushakov go ahead, logic dictates that Lazarev will also be repaired as it is a younger ship and has a significantly smaller breakdown history.|
|Kalinin||Admiral Nakhimov||July 21, 1983||March 4, 1986||December 30, 1988||Choosing the modernization project, from 2013 to 2017, repairs and modernization. Will join the Northern Fleet.|
|Yuri Andropov||Pyotr Velikiy||March 11, 1986||April 29, 1989||April 9, 1998||Active (Ops in Atlantic and Indian Oceans and Mediterranean Sea 2010)|
|Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov or Dzerzhinsky||Oktyabrskaya Revolutsiya later Kuznetsov||never laid down||N/A||N/A||Cancelled October 4, 1990|
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Kirov class battlecruiser|
- Kirov-class cruiser for World War II–era ships
- "Russian Warship Tests Missile Defense Capability". RIA Novosti. 20 September 2012.
- Armi da guerra, De Agostini, Novara, 1985.
- Middleton, Drew (1981-03-13). "Pentagon likes budget proposal, but questions specifics". The New York Times. p. A14.
- Bishop, p. 80.
- Miller and Miller, p. 114.
- Agentsvo Natsionalnykh Novostey (Russian) 19 September 2009
- Ударные корабли, Том 11, часть 1, Ю.В. Апалков, Галея Принт, Санкт-Петербург, 2003
- "Kuroyedov declares 'Peter the Great' could explode 'at any moment'". Bellona. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
- GlobalSecurity.org Ship list.
- GlobalSecurity.org Project 1144.2 Orlan.
- Ответы на письма
- "1144 (.2) Kirov class | Russian Military Analysis". Warfare.ru. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
- Bishop, Chris (1988). The Encyclopedia of World Sea Power. New York: Crescent Books. ISBN 0-517-65342-7. OCLC 18199237.
- Miller, David; Chris Miller (1986). Modern Naval Combat. London: Salamander Books. ISBN 0-86101-231-3. OCLC 17397400.
- Globalsecurity.org page on Kirov class
- Kirov class photos from Mark Meredith
- (Russian) Encyclopedia of ships
- (Russian) Military Reform Support Fund
- (Russian) Forum discussion of ships' armament
- FAS.org article
- (English) All Kirov Class Battlecruisers - Complete Ship List
- (English) Article about the Kirov class battlecruisers.