Modernization of Project 1144 Orlan nuclear-powered missile cruiser Admiral Nakhimov will start at Sevmash shipyard after 2012; the emphasis will be put on enhancement of missile arms, said the shipyard’s director general Andrei Diachkov in the interview to RIA Novosti. Cruiser Admiral Nakhimov has been mothballed at Sevmash for the recent ten years.
“This would be a quite considerable arms enhancement, especially the ship’s missile system. Today, the cruiser is still armed with Granit cruise missiles which are out of production now. Nobody is satisfied with their power and range any more, so we plan to mount the new mighty missile weapon – Caliber and Onyx systems”, Diachkov said.
He stressed that the powerplant would face no changes. “Development works are supposed to finish in April, and then drawing up of repair and modernization project will start. Sevmash won’t work on this project in 2012“, said Diachkov.
According to him, defense ministry initially planned to sign two contracts at once, i.e. one for development works, and another for repair and upgrading. “In the course of talks, we have reached a conclusion that it was pointless to continue work on the ship without final version of modernization project. That is why, it was decided to suspend repair works at the shipyard”, said the Sevmash‘s director. He said that the contract for development of a reduced technical project had been tied with Severnoye Design Bureau. The bureau will determine the way for the ship’s modernization.
Defense ministry agreed to pay for the ship’s maintenance at the yard’s quay for the period of development works, noted the interviewee.
Diachkov emphasized that only modernization of Admiral Nakhimov was in question. “Take note, I’m talking of only Nakhimov. The similar cruiser Admiral Ushakov is laid up at Zvezdochka ship-repair plant, but she’s already written off“, said the interviewee.
Presently, Russian Navy has in inventory only one ship of that project – missile cruiser Petr Veliky. She is the world’s biggest non-aircraft-carrying attack warship designed for destruction of large sea surface targets, protection of deployed naval forces from aerial attacks, and antisubmarine warfare in distant sea and ocean zones.
The nuclear-powered cruiser was handed over to Russian Navy in 1998. Her standard displacement is about 24,000 tons, full displacement is 26,000 tons. Mighty nuclear-powered plant makes possible to accelerate up to 31 knots (60 kph). The cruiser’s length is 251 meters, beam is 28.5 meters, height is 59 meters, crew is over 800 men.
Basic weapon is Granit P-700 (3M-45, Shipwreck) antiship supersonic cruise missiles. Twenty missiles are located under main deck at launch angle of 60 degrees. The ship also has various advanced arms to hit surface targets, submarines, and repel aerial attacks. Petr Veliky has no analogs worldwide.
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, December 7, 2011; Image: mistrasites