The Kirov-class battle cruiser is for sure a military warship that will go down in history. The Kirov-class cruiser has served the Russian Navy since 1980 (then the Soviet Navy), which means it is one of the oldest battleships in operation.
The ship is always upgraded, however, and no matter what year it was launched, it remains one of the seas’ worst nightmares. Today, there is only one active vessel under refit, and the Russian Navy still has plans for that vessel to move forward.
Let’s see what makes the Kirov-class battle cruiser a concern of the US and Chinese navies.
An overview of the Kirov class
The Kirov-class or even Project 1144 Orlan, as the Soviets called it, is a class of nuclear-powered guided-missile cruisers that have served the Soviet and Russian navies since 1980. The ships were built between 1974 and 1998, and four were full in total. . In 2021, one is active, two have retired and one is under refit. Its exact type is a heavy missile combat cruiser / cruiser. The ship was built by the Baltic-Leningrad Shipyard, and although five ships were to be built, one cancellation resulted in four final ships.
The ships have a standard displacement of 24,300 tons, a displacement of 28,000 tons when fully loaded, an overall length of 252 meters (827 feet) and a width of 28.5 meters (94 feet). Two CONAS shafts, two KN-3 nuclear marine propulsion units with two GT3A-688 steam turbines provide the warship with a top speed of 32 knots / 37 mph and a range of 1,000 nautical miles at a speed of 30 knots / 35 mph . Although on nuclear power and at 20 knots / 23 mph, the range is limitless.
The radars used on the vessel are the Voskhod MR-900 3D search radar – foremast-, the Fregat MR-710 3D search radar (main mast) and two Palm Frond navigation radars (foremast). As for sonar, the Kirov class includes Horse Jaw LF hull sonar and Horse Tail VDS sonar. The vessel is also equipped with two PK-2 lure dispensers of 400 rockets.
In the armament part, the ship is heavily loaded crazy! Let’s talk about missiles first; the ship can carry 20 P-700 Granit AShM surface-to-air missiles, 96 S-300F Fort SA-N-6 Grumble surface-to-air missiles, 48 S-300F Fort missiles and 48 S-300FM Fort-M long-range SAM missiles , 3K95 Kinzhal SAM defense point (68 on Pyotr Velikiy, 128 on Admiral Lazarev, Admiral Nakhimov and Pyotr Velikiy), and 40 OSA-MA PD Sam (not on Pyotr Velikiy). Let us let you know that Pyotr Velikiy is the name of the class ship that is still in service.
The vessel is also equipped with a dual-purpose AK-130 130mm / L70 dual-purpose double cannon. 8 Gatling guns with six AK-630 30 mm / L60 PD guns and six CADS-N-1 Kortik gun / missile systems. It is also equipped with two 6 RGB-1000 305 mm anti-submarine rocket launchers, one 10 Udav-1,254 mm anti-submarine rocket launcher and two anti-submarine torpedo tubes. 533 mm for firing Type 53 torpedoes or RPK-2 Vyuga anti-submarine missiles. It can also carry up to three helicopters.
Why the Kirov-class is a nightmare fuel for the US Navy
If the specs weren’t telling you much, the Kirov-class has the most vertical launch system (VLS) cell count of any battleship, as it has an impressive 352 capacity. Keep in mind that the The US Navy’s excellent Arleigh Burke-class destroyers have 122 cells, and Chinese type 055 destroyers have 112 VLS cells.
It is evident that with this unusually heavy armament, Kirov-class ships are of concern to the United States, China and other great powers. The ship has sailed for decades, and today it remains one of the most dangerous and deadly battleships ever created.
Think of the VelociRaptor conversion, but with instantly available torque and a sleek, low-profile design.
About the Author