Soviet aircraft carrier Kiev
|Career (Soviet Union ⁄ Russia)|
|Builder:||Chernomorskiy yard, Mykolaiv|
|Laid down:||July 21, 1970|
|Launched:||December 26, 1972|
|Commissioned:||December 28, 1975|
|Decommissioned:||June 30, 1993|
|Fate:||Sold to a Chinese company, 1996, theme park in Tianjin since 1 May 2004|
|Class & type:||Kiev-class heavy aircraft carrier|
|Displacement:||30,530 tons (standard) 
41,370 tons (loaded) 
|Length:||273.1 m (896 ft) o/a|
|Beam:||49.2 m (161 ft) overall
31 m (102 ft) at the waterline
|Draught:||8.95 m (29.4 ft)|
|Propulsion:||Four shaft geared steam turbines, 140,000 shp (100 MW)|
|Speed:||32 knots (59 km/h)|
|Range:||13,500 nautical miles (25,000 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h)|
|Complement:||1,612 ship's crew
430 air group
|Armament:||4 × twin SS-N-12 Sandbox SSM launchers (8 missiles), 2 × twin SA-N-3 Shtorm SAM launchers (72 missiles), 2 × twin SA-N-4 Gecko SAM launchers (40 missiles), 2 × twin 76 mm guns, 8 × AK-630 30 mm CIWS, 10 × 533 mm torpedo tubes, 1 × twin SUW-N-1 ASW rocket launcher (16 nuclear-tipped rockets), 2 × RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers|
|Aircraft carried:||32 (total); 12 Yak-38M fighter aircraft
20 Kamov Ka-25 or Kamov Ka-27 helicopters
Kiev was a heavy aircraft carrying cruiser that served the Soviet and Russian navies from 1975 to 1993. It was built between 1970 and 1975 at Chernomorski factory in Mykolaiv and was the first ship of its class (Project 1143 Krechyet (Gyrfalcon) or Kiev class)
The Kiev was laid down on 21 July 1970 and launched on 26 December 1972. She was completed and commissioned on 28 December 1975, but officially entered service only in February 1977, after completing all trials.
On 16 July 1976 she sailed from Sevastopol in the Black Sea, and on 20 July began testing her Yakovlev Yak-36M aircraft (four Yak-36M and one Yak-36MU onboard) under sea conditions in the Mediterranean off Crete. On 10 August 1976 she arrived in Severomorsk, Murmansk Oblast, and was attached to the Northern Fleet's 170th Anti-Submarine Warfare Brigade, and conducted extensive tests up to December. Between 12 and 19 April 1977 she took part in the Sever-77 exercise, and on 26 June 1977 was reclassified from Protivolodochnyye Kreysery (PKR) "ASW cruiser" to Tyazhelyye Avianesushchiye Kreysery (TAVKR) "Heavy aircraft carrying cruiser". Between 20 December 1977 and 21 April 1978 she participated in operations in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean. On 3 November 1978 she hit a sand bar, but suffered no damage. She took part in a local exercise on 4 August 1978, and on 11 October in final tests of the main missiles in the White Sea.
From 1977 to 1987, Kiev undertook 10 practice voyages to the Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. In March 1979 she undertook manoeuvres with her sister ship Minsk on the Mediterranean. In October 1981 she was a flagship in the massive fleet exercise Zapad-81 on the Baltic Sea. From December 1982 to November 1984 she underwent an overhaul and modernization in Mykolaiv. From 1985, the practice of operating Yakovlev Yak-38s in STOL mode instead of VTOL was introduced, allowing an increase in aircraft payload and range, and a replacement of Kamov Ka-25 helicopters with Kamov Ka-27 started. In 1985 Kiev went back to the Northern Fleet. From 1987 she mainly stayed in Severomorsk. In December 1989 she was moved to reserve. After the disintegration of the USSR, the ship was taken by Russia. Due to a low military budget and worsening ship's condition, she was retired on 30 June 1993.
In 1996 she was sold to a Chinese company, and has been part of Binhai Aircraft Park, a military theme park in Tianjin since 1 May 2004. The concept design and master plan for the park was developed by tourism and attraction consultant Leisure Quest International (USA).
Notes and references
- "Heavy Aircraft-Carrying Cruisers - Project 1143". russian-ships.info. 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- Due to restrictions imposed by the Montreux Convention limiting the tonnage of aircraft carriers traveling through the Bosporus, all Soviet and Russian aircraft carriers are named as aircraft carrying cruisers. However, in the case of Kiev, this accurately reflects the ship's mission and weapons fit.
- Holm, Michael (2013). "Kiev class". ww2.dk. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- "China launches second aircraft carrier after a £9.6m refit... as a luxury hotel". Daily Mail. 11 August 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- Branigan, Tania (10 August 2011). "China launches second aircraft carrier – as luxury hotel". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- Заблоцкий, В.П. (V.P. Zablotskiy) (July 2003). "Тяжелый авианесущий крейсер "Киев"" [Heavy aircraft carrying cruiser "Kiev"]. Morskaya Kollektsiya ("Naval Collection").
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kiev (ship, 1972).|
- History of the Kiev (Russian)
- Article on the Kiev Class (Russian)
- Article from FAS
- MaritimeQuest Kiev pages
- Satellite Photo of Kiev in a military theme park in Tianjin from Google Maps
- China turns aircraft carrier into a luxury hotel (BBC Website News)