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Reactivated Kirovs?

Grey Havoc

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Recently, there have being some reports going around that the 'Admiral Lazarev' (ex-Frunze) will definitely be reactivated alongside the 'Admiral Nakhimov' (ex-Kalinin). How high do you think the chances are that we'll see them back in service before late 2011, given ongoing shipyard and other problems? And given trends in Russia, will we see them sailing under new names?

EDIT: Actually, maybe I should have put this in Military.
 

flateric

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The Russian Navy Recalibrates its Oceanic Ambitions

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 6 Issue: 200
October 30, 2009 12:23 PM Age: 10 days
By: Jacob W. Kipp

In early October, the Russian Deputy Minister of Defense Vladimir Popovkin announced the decision to take two heavy nuclear-powered missile cruisers (TAKR) out of conservation and restore them to the active fleet. This decision coming just one year after the Petr Velikii (Peter the Great), the fourth ship of its class and the only one then in service, set out on a long-range cruise that took it from Severomorsk, the home port of the Northern Fleet to the Mediterranean, Caribbean, South Atlantic, and the Indian Oceans. On this voyage, which lasted from September 22, 2008, to March 10, 2009, the Petr Velikii exercised naval presence –taking part in naval maneuvers with friendly powers (Venezuela and India), making port calls and even engaging in antipiracy operations off the coast of Somalia. The arrival of the Petr Velikii at the port of La Guaira, Venezuela, in late November coincided with the state visit by President Dmitry Medvedev shortly afterwards (Interfax, October 2).

This voyage announced the reappearance of Russian naval power on a global scale. Commissioned in 1996 in time for the 300th anniversary of the Russian Navy, Petr Velikii had a sad fate over the next few years. In August 2000, she took part in the naval exercise of the Northern Fleet that led to the explosion and sinking of the nuclear missile-attack submarine Kursk. In March 2004, Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov the then Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the Russian Navy, declared her unseaworthy because of engineering problems. The ship went into dry-dock for repairs and rejoined the Northern Fleet in August 2004. In 2008-2009, she became the symbol of Russia's naval presence. She and her sister ships are the largest, nuclear-powered non-carrier surface warships in the world and are often classified by the archaic term “battle cruisers.”

The navy judged the cruise to be such a success that the defense ministry unveiled plans to modernize and re-commission two other vessels from this class: Admiral Lazarev and Admiral Nakhimov. The fourth ship in this class, Admiral Ushakov (originally the Kirov, which was the first built in the 1970’s at the Baltic shipyards in Leningrad) has remained at Severodvinsk since 1999 undergoing modernization and may also rejoin the fleet. Deputy Minister Popovkin spoke of deploying the re-commissioned heavy, nuclear-powered, missile cruisers to the east and west to protect Russian maritime commerce.

Andrei Kokoshin, the former First Deputy Minister of Defense, sees a different potential in these ships once they have been modernized. In an interview with Sergei Viktorov for Krasnaya Zvezda, Kokoshin called the measure “necessary, timely, and extremely important.” He made specific reference to the long-range cruise of the Petr Velikii in demonstrating the military capability and political-military influence of such ships in various regions of the globe (Krasnaya Zvezda, October 3). When originally built, the TAKRs were intended to be the flagships for Russian task forces conducting anti-carrier operations during the Cold War. In the 1990’s Kokoshin supported the funding for the completion of the Petr Velikii under very difficult financial and material conditions. The project kept intact key components of the naval ship building capacity in the St. Petersburg area at a time when the Ukrainian shipyards were in decline and those linked to the Northern and Pacific Fleets were overburdened with the decommissioning of nuclear submarines. Preserving this not only maintained the Baltic ship-building base, but it also provided expertise in terms of skilled workers, naval engineers, and architects for the revival of the shipyards of the Northern Fleet.

Under the new financial conditions, Kokoshin now envisions the modernized TAKR’s as “strike cruisers” with super-structures of new materials, modern anti-ship missiles, and “Aegis-quality” anti-aircraft and missile defense systems as well as incorporating the latest Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) and electronic warfare capabilities. Assigned to the Northern and Pacific Fleets, these vessels will be key elements in the restoration of the strategic bastion concept in the Arctic and Sea of Okhotsk, where the Russian navy can protect its nuclear deterrent forces operating on Russian SSBN’s. Similarly, these vessels and their support ships represent “a free naval force to protect Russian national interests in the world’s oceans. Kokoshin particularly highlighted the need for two such large surface combatants in the Asia-Pacific region, where they could contribute to an enhanced political-psychological atmosphere in the Russian Far East and permit a greater naval presence in that region and in the Indian Ocean (Krasnaya Zvezda, October 3).

However, the original TAKR’s were intended to be flagships and command and control platforms for carrier battle groups. And currently, Russia has only one carrier –Admiral Kuznetsov– which operates with the Northern Fleet. Last year, the C-in-C of the Russian Navy Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky outlined a plan to create six such carrier battle groups; three with the Northern Fleet and three with the Pacific Fleet (Interfax, July 27, 2008).

Nonetheless, no shipyards have started the construction of such ships. The Russians are, however, moving forward with the long-delayed conversion of the former Kiev-class heavy aircraft-carrying ship Admiral Gorshkov for the Indian Navy as the INS Vikramaditya. The Vikramaditya will be a radically different ship from the original Kiev class, with her forward armaments removed and replaced by a ski-jump bow, and arresting gear on the rear of its angled deck; which will allow it to conduct short-take-off but arrested recovery (STOBAR) operations. Modernization measures will include new European designed electronic systems and enhanced habitability for the crew. This work is being done at Severodvinsk, which will permit this shipyard to develop the necessary industrial base to support future carrier construction. Last month, test pilots conducted carrier operations off the Admiral Kuznetsov, practicing take-offs and landings with the MiG-29K/KUB, which were ordered by the Indian defense ministry for the Vikramaditya. Commenting on the successful tests, Mikhail Pogosian the CEO of the MiG Corporation said that the Russian defense ministry would find the aircraft attractive because of its advanced avionics, including the Zuk-ME phase-array radar (Izvestiya, October 1).

These developments, taken together, suggest that Russia’s commitment to an oceanic navy built around the Northern and Pacific Fleets is real, and it is making progress along non-traditional lines

http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=35677&tx_ttnews[backPid]=7&cHash=e48e898db8

P.S. remarks from insiders - seems that people who can believe in reactivation of TAKRs, are ended in Russia, so search began for 'em abroad. One Kirov-class restoration will cost around USD 2 bln. Oops...
 

Grey Havoc

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Oops indeed. How much of that estimate is made up of reactor refurbishment/ replacement costs?
 

JFC Fuller

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There are multiple problems with this,

With the exception of PtG these ships are now all over 20 years old, they have had no upgrades and have recieved little if any maintenance since 1990.If you see the photos of them they look a mess.

Furthermore they are not that special despite their size. Their AAW capability is less than Arleigh Burke / Ticonderoga and there massive AShM armament is inhibited by the lack of current Russian naval surveillance capabilities.

Even if they were to be repaired the end of 2011 is a pipe dream, any observer of the Russian naval industry knows that it is unable to do anything on schedule and on budget and the Russian economy shrunk by at least 8% this year. At best Nakhimov would be 25 years old before re-entering service and nothing special by international standards when she does. The best thing the Russians could do is focus on their Frigate programme.
 

T-50

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I agree with you sealordlawrence they must use the money for their new generation admiral Gorskov stealth frigates!
They can build for that money more frigates than overhaul old warships.
 

Avimimus

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I've heard reports that the Kirov class had low observable features (for its time at least). Reportedly, it's wake appeared on some radars before the ship itself appeared (thus it would be identifiable by the fact that there was a large wake with no clearly discernable origin). Anyone else have ideas regarding this?
 

Abraham Gubler

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Avimimus said:
I've heard reports that the Kirov class had low observable features (for its time at least). Reportedly, it's wake appeared on some radars before the ship itself appeared (thus it would be identifiable by the fact that there was a large wake with no clearly discernable origin). Anyone else have ideas regarding this?

Total fiction. The greatest source of RF reflection is actually spherical or dome shapes. The Kirovs have lots of them. On top of that it is huge and there is no attention to coordinating lines, angles and surfaces to reflect RF away from a radar reciever.

The Kirov does appear however to be shapped to minimise damage caused by nearby nuclear blasts. Some angling inwards of the superstructure. But this shouldn't be mistaken for RCS reduction.
 

flateric

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Avimimus said:
I've heard reports that the Kirov class had low observable features (for its time at least).

I guess it didn't go further that special RAM paint a-la used on pr. 956
 

JFC Fuller

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Agreed,

At best that coated the ships in the same radar absorbent pain that the Neustrashimiy got, but at the end of the day, put them next to a LaFayette and ask how stealthy it is then?
 

Avimimus

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Abraham Gubler said:
Total fiction.

Well, I never thought a ship of that size and appearance would actually be invisible. However, the report came from a retired Canadian ASW/Patrol crewman. I wouldn't be surprised if it was hard to detect on some of their sensors (perhaps more related to the sensor design than the RCS of the ship itself). So, I wouldn't go so far as 'total fiction' - more likely I'd classify it as exagerrated information taken out of context.

Thanks,
 

Abraham Gubler

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Avimimus said:
Well, I never thought a ship of that size and appearance would actually be invisible. However, the report came from a retired Canadian ASW/Patrol crewman. I wouldn't be surprised if it was hard to detect on some of their sensors (perhaps more related to the sensor design than the RCS of the ship itself). So, I wouldn't go so far as 'total fiction' - more likely I'd classify it as exagerrated information taken out of context.

Its total fiction that the Kirov is designed or fitted with stealth technology. But it isn't total fiction that you could detect a Kirov's wake before you detect the actual ship. Which as you point out is an issue of the radar wavelength of the sensor being used.
 

Grey Havoc

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Interestingly enough, at the link/s below, it's claimed that funding for the restoration of the two inactive Kirovs has been delayed because of Putin's interest in the so-called Project 2145 Cruiser, which comes from a new and untested design bureau. The Cruiser is described in the article as a "sequential multifunctional monster" (note: babelfish translation).

As you'd have gathered from that, the writers don't think much of the design, pointing out among other things that it seems to recycle some concepts and systems that have proven unsuccessful before. They describe the attempt to combine a whole range of different functions, such as that of missile cruiser, ASW ship and helicopter carrier (supposely 10 to 12 [Helix sized?] helicopters stowed below deck) in one ship design as "Again the attempt to scrape grass snake with the hedgehog". Very Russian saying, methinks.

babelfish translation:

http://babelfish.yahoo.com/translate_url?doit=done&tt=url&intl=1&fr=bf-home&trurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.atrinaflot.narod.ru%2Findex.htm&lp=ru_en&btnTrUrl=Translate

Original site:

http://www.atrinaflot.narod.ru/index.htm

(Click on ЧТО МЫ ПРОЕКТИРУЕМ? [WHAT WE DO PROJECT? on babelfish translated page])
 

Grey Havoc

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Are you saying they borrowed elements from a French design concept or just that it's meant to be a counterpart to the Mistral, among things?
 

Grey Havoc

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Regarding the Project 2145 cruiser, via the Russian Photos thread over at MilitaryPhotos.net:

2145v.jpg


attachment.php
 

Abraham Gubler

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Grey Havoc said:
Regarding the Project 2145 cruiser, via the Russian Photos thread over at MilitaryPhotos.net:

It has a bowsprit! What are they smoking?
 

Jemiba

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Abraham Gubler said:

It has a bowsprit! What are they smoking?

As I cannot see masts and sails, it may have another function. Maybe it's similar to a MAD sting in an aircraft,
to bring a sensor out of the magnetic field, or maybe just ut of the bow wave of the ship ?
 

Hood

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Seems a very odd design, reminds me of the Moskva in layout (especially around the funnels) but I agree the bowsprit looks odd and the recessed VLS deck behind raised bulwarks seems odd too. I wonder if the forward turret is retractable since its not shown on the top photo?
 

Triton

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Are these drawings closer to the actual design?

Source:
http://alternathistory.org.ua/mnogofunktsionalnyi-boevoi-korabl-proekta-2145-rossiya
 

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donnage99

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The 2 pictures are 2 different models? Since one has a cannon in the forward section and the first one doesn't

PS: Im NOT referring to the pictures Triton posted, but the ones on page 1
 

kaiserbill

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Any recent or updated news on the Kirovs?

I've seen reports that state the navy wants all 4 remaining Kirovs recommissioned.

To recap:
Pyotr Velikiy (ex Andropov launched 1989) is in service.
Nakhimov (ex Kalinin launched 1986) is currently being modernised.
Lazarev (ex Frunze launched 1981) Russia has expressed interest in moderrnising and recommissioning her.
Ushakov (ex Kirov launched 1977) Russia has expressed interest in moderrnising and recommissioning her.

Ushakov and Lazarev were just about to be dismantelled when this order was rescinded with the view of recommissioning.

How likely are the last 2 vessels to be recommissioned?
Russian statements have indicated this, but these were from about 3 years ago.
 

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