Russian cruiser Admiral Nakhimov not to return service before 2023

Admiral Nakhimov at Shipyard
Admiral Nakhimov at Shipyard

The Russian TASS agency reported the delivery of the Admiral Nakhimov nuclear-powered battlecruiser (Project 11442M) to the Russian Navy after repairs will be possible in 2023.

“Due to problems with suppliers, the Admiral Nakhimov cruiser’s handover to the fleet is postponed until 2023 at best,” a defence industry source of TASS said.

The press service of the Sevmash shipyard, where the warship is undergoing repairs and modernization, did not comment on the information.

Sevmash CEO Mikhail Budnichenko said that during the Army-2020 forum last August, the modernization proceeded according to the schedule. In his words, the warship is to begin trials in 2021 and will be delivered to the Russian Navy in 2022.

After modernization and repairs, the Admiral Nakhimov will be the most powerful warship of the Russian Navy. It can carry various radars, offensive and defensive weapons.

The upgraded cruiser will fire hypersonic Tsirkon missiles, antiship Onyx missiles and Kalibr cruise missiles. Fort-M and Pantsir-M will provide air defense. The cruiser will carry powerful antisubmarine weapons.

The cruiser joined the Soviet Navy as the Kalinin in 1988. It was renamed in 1992. It has been overhauled by Sevmash since 1999, but the work actually began in 2013.

admiral nakhimov
Admiral Nakhimov during refit (Zvezda)

Admiral Nakhimov nuclear-powered battlecruiser:

Admiral Nakhimov is the third battlecruiser of the Russian Navy’s Kirov class. The ship was originally commissioned into service with the Soviet Navy in the 1980s, known back then as Kalinin, a name the ship kept until 1992. From 1997 Admiral Nakhimov is undergoing a repair and a refit to receive new and improved weaponry.

The battlecruiser is 252 meters long and has 28.000 tons of displacement in full load condition. The ship’s main propulsion system consists of 2 x KN-3 nuclear propulsion with 2 GT3A-688 steam turbines.

Admiral Nakhimov’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 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missiles, while on subsequent ships these were replaced with 3K95 Kinzhal (Russian: Кинжал – dagger) surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems. In fact, the Kinzhal installation 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 (1.18 in) AK-630 close-in weapon systems, which were supplanted with the Kortik air-defence system on later ships.

Other weapons are the automatic 130 mm (5 in) AK-130 gun system (except in Kirov which had two single 100 mm (4 in) guns instead), 10 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo/missile tubes (capable of firing SS-N-15 ASW missiles on later ships) and Udav-1 with 40 anti-submarine rockets and two sextuple RBU-1000 launchers.