The nuclear cruiser Peter the Great: heir to the Soviet battleships

Heavy nuclear cruiser Peter the Great is rightly considered to be the “direct heir” of the famous Soviet artillery battleships and cruisers of the military era. The missile-nuclear era unconditionally sent them to “resign”. Against US carrier-based armadas and noiseless nuclear submarines, stuffed with modern electronics and intercontinental ballistic missiles, the guns of the main caliber were already powerless. On the stocks of the largest Soviet military shipyards, the contours of the new-generation missile carriers were identified.


Project 1144

Combat ships of the third generation (Project 1144) became our response to the US naval aviation carrier hegemony. The Soviet Union countered it with heavy nuclear missile cruisers, which, thanks to their powerful equipment, were called “killers of aircraft carriers”.

Characteristics of TARKR Peter the GreatCharacteristics

In the period from 1980 to 1998, an “admiral” series of three ships – Admiral Ushakov, Admiral Nakhimov, and Admiral Lazarev, was prepared at the stalls of the Baltic Shipyard. Its crown was the heavy nuclear missile cruiser Peter the Great.

Like his older “brothers”, he is the offspring of the St. Petersburg Northern PKB. The bureau was headed by Vladimir Evgenievich Yukhnin for many years, under whose leadership the project 1144 was implemented.

YukhninGeneral Designer SevPKB VE Yukhnin

The laying of the cruiser fell on perestroika times – 1986, replaced by “dashing 90”. It took a long 12 years in the midst of the collapse of the Soviet military-industrial complex, the organizational structure of the Navy and chronic lack of money, before in 1998 Peter the Great finally went to his permanent service – the Red Banner Northern Fleet.

Peter the Great

To emphasize the importance of “Peter the Great” as a combat unit of the Russian Navy, it is often called the most powerful strike ship of the “non-naval” class. Although this comparison with aircraft carriers in terms of combat power looks very conditional, since its main task is the destruction of opposing carrier-based enemy warrants, which in addition to the aircraft carrier itself has a solid cover. And for this, the ship has everything you need.

TARKR Peter the Great


Atomic cruiser should be a lot

The impressive dimensions of the atomic strike missile carrier are 262 x 28.5 m (length, width), at a height of 59 meters and superstructures of 26,000 tons – speak volumes. For all this seeming greatness there is not a single extra square centimeter. The creators of the impact nuclear-powered ship were faced with the challenge of locating and assembling in a very limited space two nuclear reactors of 300 mW in the neighborhood of two auxiliary boilers and two 70,000-liter turbines. from. It is necessary to add 4 steam turbine generators, 4 gas turbine generators, 4 power stations, a “mountain” of the most modern weapons and more than 700 crew members.

TARKR Peter the Great

All this enormous power was embodied in a speed of about 60 km / h, a two-month autonomy (for food reserves) and a three-year period for nuclear fuel.


And one in the sea warrior

As you know, American aircraft carriers do not walk one by one because of their weak (individual) security. Coverage is carried out from 6 to 10 warships (destroyers, frigates URO) and up to two nuclear submarines. All together, this constitutes an aircraft carrier strike group or warrant, for the destruction of which the “Peter the Great” was created.

Launching mines GranitaLaunching of the Granit complex

To send to the bottom of such an armada required a unique weapon, or, using the former “Lincor” terminology – “the main caliber.” They became “Granite” – missile anti-ship complex, an outstanding creation of VN Chelomey and the collective of NPO “Machine Building”, adopted for service more than 30 years ago.



Launching a cruise missile

One can only imagine the consequences of a volley of 20 cruise missiles “Granit” weighing 7 tons each, capable of delivering to the destination at a speed of 2.5 max for 600 km (depending on the nature of the target) three types of warheads – conventional, nuclear and volumetric action.

And this is not some sort of crowd of flying multiton discs, but a “thoughtful” maneuvering, flying above the very edge of the water, a deadly flock led by a “leader”. During the flight, the Granites constantly exchange information, maneuver, which makes them virtually invulnerable to the enemy’s air defense weapons.

Air Defense of the Cruiser

Crushing the deadly “Granites” on the enemy’s head, “Peter the First” remains one of the most protected warships. At distant approaches up to 12 air targets are destroyed by missiles of the ship complex “Reef” S-300F and already on the approach into battle systems “Klinok” and “Dirk” come in. The combination of missiles and quick-firing artillery installations creates an intractable “palisade” for almost anything that can fly.

Rocket complex DirkRocket and artillery complex Dirk

Ship artillery is represented by AK-130 – twin artillery installations (cal 130 mm), “reaching” targets located at a distance of 25 km.

Ka-27 HelicoptersKa-27 Helicopters

The ship is reliably protected and “from below”. From unsolicited meetings with submarines, he is guarded by Ka-27 helicopters, Vodopad missile-torpedo systems, RBU-12000 and RBU-1000 bomb installations. It is worth mentioning the effective anti-torpedo system “Udav-1M”. All this functions in combination with a powerful hydroacoustic system that fixes underwater targets at medium and low frequencies.


Radioelectronic facilities

Peter the Great

The ship’s air defense system includes the Fregat-MAE radar stations with a target range and height of 300 and 30 km, respectively. The general ship tracking facilities include 6 space communication stations (2 SATSOM and 4 SATPAU) and 4 special electronic stations.


Where is Peter the Great now?

“Peter the Great” – one of the flagships of the Northern Fleet last fall was scheduled for repair in the village of Roslyakovo in the dry dock of a local shipyard. At present, the nuclear-powered missile cruiser is sailing, fulfilling the tasks of combat training.

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