Russian Navy cruiser Pyotr Veliky kicks off drills in the Barents Sea

Pyotr Veliky
TASS Image

The Russian Navy Northern Fleet’s heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky and also planes and helicopters of the Air Force and Air Defense Army started drills in the Barents Sea, Russian news agency TASS reported on 28 May.

“The Northern Fleet’s heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky has begun performing combat training tasks at naval ranges in the Barents Sea in interaction with aircraft and helicopters of the Air Force and Air Defense Army,” the press office said in a statement.

At the first stage of the drills, the Pyotr Veliky’s crew checked the operation of the cruiser’s radio-technical systems in various modes for detecting and tracking aerial targets. An Il-38 anti-submarine warfare plane simulated an aerial target in the drills. Following this, the seamen practised interoperability with Ka-27 anti-submarine helicopters in searching for a notional enemy’s submarines, the statement says.

The crew of the missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky will shortly hold a series of drills for anti-submarine warfare and air defence and fulfil combat training exercises employing weapons, the press office specified.

The Pyotr Veliky is the world’s largest non-aircraft combat strike ship outfitted with a nuclear propulsion plant. It is designated to strike large surface targets and provide all-embracing air and anti-submarine defense. The cruiser is armed with the most advanced Granit cruise missiles and shipborne air defense systems and carries surface-to-air missile, artillery and anti-submarine armaments on its board.

About Pyotr Velikiy:

Pyotr Velikiy is the fourth Kirov-class battlecruiser of the Russian Navy. It was initially named Yuri Andropov for Yuri Andropov, the former General Secretary of the Communist Party, but the ship’s name was changed after the fall of the Soviet Union. The Russian designation for the type is “heavy nuclear missile cruiser”, but Western defence commentators have resurrected the term “battlecruiser” to describe them, as they are the largest surface combatant warships in the world. Pyotr Velikiy is the flagship of the Northern Fleet.

pyotr velikiy
Image courtesy of Rumoaohepta7 on Youtube

The ship is armed with the Granit (Nato designation SS-N-19 Shipwreck) long-range anti-ship missile system. 20 Granit missiles are installed under the upper deck, mounted at a 60° elevation. The version of Granit on the Kirov is not controlled after launch. In ripple-fire mode, the lead missile follows a high flight trajectory, while the other missiles follow a low-level flight path. If the lead missile is intercepted then one of the other missiles automatically takes on the lead role.

An S-300F air defence missile complex is installed on the ship, with 12 launchers and 96 vertical-launch air defence missiles. The Osa-MA air defence missile system is supplied by the Znamya Truda Plant-based at Saratov. The ship has two double launchers and 40 missiles. The system can operate autonomously or it can be integrated into the ship’s combat systems and download target data from the ship’s sensors. Osa-MA has a range of 1.2 to 10km at an altitude between 25m and 5,000m.

Check out Naval Library App to find out the specifications of Kirov-class battlecruisers.

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