Surface Forces: August 30, 2003


Very large cruisers have been called battlecruisers, and one of them still exists. Russia is refurbishing one of it's older nuclear powered Kirov class cruisers, the Admiral Nakhimov. The ship entered service in 1988, but last went to sea in 1997. It's depleted nuclear fuel was replaced in 1999, but it remained tied up for lack of money and sailors to take it to sea. The 24,000 ton ship is the largest surface combat ship in service. In addition to nuclear reactors, it also has a  steam power plant. This arrangement apparently developed after decades of Russian nuclear power plants on subs breaking down at inopportune times. The Kirovs carry 20 SS-N-19 cruise missiles, 20 S-300F surface-to-air missiles, and 192 short range (anti-cruise missile or aircraft) Kashtan missiles. There are also 20 Vodopad anti-submarine missiles. There are two 130mm guns and half a dozen short range autocannon. Also carried are three helicopters and a crew of 720. 


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