Pyotr Veliky’s sisters to sail again

Nuclear powered battle cruiser Pyotr Veliky at port in Severomorsk on the Kola Peninsula.

Three nuclear-powered battle cruisers that have been laid up for the last 20 years will get major overhaul including the reactors, electronic warfare systems and weaponry.


Nuclear powered battle cruiser Pyotr Veliky at port in Severomorsk on the Kola Peninsula.
The nuclear-powered battle cruiser “Pyotr Veliky” at port in Severomorsk. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

The refit work on “Admiral Nakhimov” has already started at the naval yard Sevmash in Severodvinsk reports Izvestia. A source in Russia’s military-industrial complex says to the newspaper that also the two other nuclear battle cruisers of the Kirov-class, “Admiral Lazarev” and “Admiral Ushakov” will get the same significant modernization.

The only vessel of the class today in operation is the Northern fleet’s flagship “Pyotr Veliky” (Peter the Great) based in Severomorsk on the Kola Peninsula.

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The hulls on the three huge navy vessels will be renovated and the reactors will be repaired. New radio-communications equipment and radars will be installed. The main acquisition will however be the upgraded weapons with new cruise missiles and universal launch systems. The number of cruise missiles on each vessel will increase from originally 20 to 80 after the refit, according to Izvestia’s source.

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The oldest vessel now to be refitted and enter service again is “Admiral Ushakov” from 1980. The vessel was sailing for Soviet Northern fleet until 1990. “Admiral Lasarev” was launched in 1984, also based in Severomorsk and used to sail the Barents Sea before she was laid-up after the collapse of the Soviet Union. “Admiral Nakhimov” was sailing for the Pacific fleet in the period from 1988 to the early 90ties.

One of the three refitted vessels will be based in Severomorsk together with today’s operational “Pyotr Veliky.”

- There will be two nuclear-powered cruisers with the Northern Fleet, says the Defence Ministry source to Izvestia. The two other will likely sail for the Pacific fleet.

The first modernized battle-cruiser “Admiral Nakhimov” will be handed over to the fleet again from the naval yard in Severodvinsk in 2015. The service life is expected to last until 2030-2040.