Home Europe Russian nuclear battlecruiser Admiral Nakhimov returns to water

Russian nuclear battlecruiser Admiral Nakhimov returns to water

Kirov-class battlecruiser Admiral Nakhimov during its overhaul
Photo: Sevmash Shipbuilding

One of only two Russian Navy Kirov-class battlecruisers still in service, the Admiral Nakhimov, has been relaunched following six years of repair works.

The nuclear-powered ship entered the water at the Sevmash shipbuilding yard in Severodvinsk on August 19 and is close to completing the overhaul procedure. The shipbuilder said earlier that the Admiral Nakhimov would be ready to start sea trials in 2020.

During the lengthy overhaul undertaking, the battlecruiser received updated propulsion and communication systems, in addition to upgrades to its missile and artillery weapon systems.

Once Nakhimov completes the upgrade procedure, Russia plans to have the only ship in the class currently capable of getting underway for operations, the Pyotr Velikiy, undergo the same upgrade. According to reports, the battlecruiser is to receive the new Oniks, Kalibr cruise and Tsirkon hypersonic missile systems.

A total of four battlecruisers were built for the Soviet Navy over the course of 20 years, beginning in the 1970s. However, only two of them, the youngest Pyotr Velikiy and the second-youngest Admiral Nakhimov, will continue their service. The Russian defense ministry determined earlier that repairing the first two ships would come at a great cost and with greater risk, due to the states of their nuclear reactors.

The 250-meter-long Kirov-class ships displace close to 30,000 tons at full load and come equipped with a range of anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare systems. Additionally, Pyotr Velikiy, the flagship of Russia’s Northern Fleet is capable of ballistic missile defense through the use of navalized S-300FM missiles.

Russian defense ministry file photo of Northern Fleet flagship Pyotr Velikiy