Haze Gray Photo Feature

Soviet & Russian Navy

Rocket Ships/Cruisers

 [THUMBNAIL] 'KILDIN' (Project 56M) class guided missile destroyer Bedovyy underway in the Atlantic 9 July 1969, bound for Cuba. Originally planned as a 'KOTLIN' type (Project 56) destroyer, she was converted while building and completed to the Project 56M design as a Bol'shoy Raketny Korabl' (BRK; Large Rocket Ship); she was the first BRK and served as a test platform for the missile systems. She was finally discarded in 1989.

 [THUMBNAIL] 'KILDIN' (Project 56M) class guided missile destroyer Neuderzhimyy in the Mediterranean Sea during 1967. Originally planned as a 'KOTLIN' type (Project 56) destroyer, she was laid down and completed as a 'KILDIN' class BRK, the fourth such conversion. She was discarded in 1985.

 [THUMBNAIL] The 'KYNDA' class Raketny Kreyser (RKR; Rocket Cruiser) Admiral Golovko at Sevastopol, 8/1995. Although reported stricken in 1991, she was later put back into service as the Black Sea flagship. The Project 58 'KYNDAs' were the first purpose-built missile ships in the Soviet Navy, contemporaries of the ASW-oriented 'KASHINs'. They were originally classified as destroyers but were changed to cruisers prior to completion. These ships carried the massive SS-N-3 SSM.

 [THUMBNAIL] Another view of Admiral Golovko, showing the massive SS-N-3 launchers. Ten ships of this type were planned, but only four were built. Golovko was the last survivor.

 [THUMBNAIL] A 'KRESTA I' type Rocket Cruiser (RKR) underway in the Mediterranean Sea during April 1969. These Project 1134 "Berkut" ships were successors to the 'KYNDAs', and were planned as the first sbips of a large RKR program. They were meant to carry the new SS-N-12 Bazalt SSM, but the older SS-N-3 was substituted when the new weapon was not ready in time.

 [THUMBNAIL] Another view of a 'KRESTA I' Project 1134 "Berkut" class ship underway. The entire "Berkut" RKR program was cancelled in favor of ASW ships after four 'KRESTA Is' had been completed. The design was completely reworked as an ASW ship, the 'KRESTA II'.

 [THUMBNAIL] 'KRESTA I' class RKR Vitse Admiral Drozd underway off Puerto Rico on 9 May 1970.

 [THUMBNAIL] A Project 61M 'KASHIN MOD' type Bol'shoy Raketny Korabl' (BRK; Large Rocket Ship) at sea. The six ships of this type, modifications of 'KASHIN' class ASW destroyers (BPK), were successors to the 'KILDINs'. They were meant as the "light" part of a rocket ship (RKR/BRK) squadron. Their main role was to 'shadow' US carriers in the Mediterranean, so they could rapidly eliminate the US flattops in case of war. Their rear-facing anti-ship missiles allowed them to launch at the carriers while steaming away from US forces; it was hoped that their high speed would let them escape counterattack. However, it was generally thought that their careers would have been very short and very interesting, had they ever performed their intended role.

 [THUMBNAIL] Rear view of a Project 61M 'MOD KASHIN' destroyer.

 [THUMBNAIL] SLAVNYY, a 'MOD KASHIN', at sea. Commissioned in 1966, she was converted in 1975 and stricken in 1991.

 [THUMBNAIL] A Project 61M 'MOD KASHIN' destroyer at Sevastopol, 8/1995. This ship is probably Sderzhannyy, the first 'MOD KASHIN' and the newest 'KASHIN' hull; she was the only ship of her class reported to be in commission in 1995.

 [THUMBNAIL] Slava, a Project 1164 rocket cruiser (RKR). The first RKRs since the 1960's 'KRESTA I' class, four of these vessels were completed from 1982 to the mid-1990's. These ships carried the SS-N-12 Bazalt SSM, which had originally been intended for the 'KRESTAs'.

 [THUMBNAIL] Another excellent view of Slava.

 [THUMBNAIL] An overhead viw of a Slava class ship, showing the weapons layout.

 [THUMBNAIL] A closeup of the forward superstructure and missile launchers of a Slava class cruiser.
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 [THUMBNAIL] A Project 956 "Sarych" Sovremennyy class Bol'shoy Raketny Korabl' (BRK; Large Rocket Ship) at sea. The Sovremennyy design is an interesting one. The hull and propulsion systems are taken from the 'KRESTA' class, which these ships followed into production. They are fitted with a general-purpose weapons outfit, with a heavy complement of antiship missiles; in some ways they may be seen as successors to the 'KASHIN MOD' BRKs as the "light" half of an RKR/BRK group. These ships are clearly meant as escort or battlegroup vessels, to operate with carriers, Slava class RKRs or the huge Kirov class RKRs. These ships are more like contemporary western ships, both in role and design, than previous Soviet ships were. Some recent references indicate these vessels have returned to the traditional Soviet/Russian designation for "destroyers" - Eskadrenny Minonosets (EM) [literally, "squadron mine vessel"] - rather than the more specializd BRK designation.
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 [THUMBNAIL] An overhead view of an early Sovremennyy at sea. Unfortunately the image is very dark, but topside details are still visible.

 [THUMBNAIL] A quarter view of the Sovremennyy class Bezuprechnyy at sea.
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 [THUMBNAIL] Osmotritelnyy, another Sovremennyy, underway. She is the 4th ship of the class.
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 [THUMBNAIL] An overhead view of a Sovremennyy, taken from astern.
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 [THUMBNAIL] A Project 956A Sovremennyy class destroyer Nastoychivyy in Neva River, St. Petersburg, 7/1995. One of the later Sovremennyys, built to a modified design, this ship is one of the newest of her class and one of the most modern ships in Russian service. Additional ships of this type have been built for China.

 [THUMBNAIL] Another view of Nastoychivyy.

 [THUMBNAIL] Bow view of Nastoychivyy.

 [THUMBNAIL] Project 1144 "Orlan" Kirov class cruiser Frunze underway. She is the second of four Kirov class Raketny Kreyser (RKR; Rocket Cruisers; NATO 'BALCOM-1'), the largest cruisers constructed in the post-WWII ea. Designed as powerful, multirole combatants, they would have made worthy companions for the Kiev and Kuznetsov class carriers. They are the ultimate RKRs. Frunze is now named Admiral Lazarev; she is in the Pacific. Laid up in poor repair, she was to be replaced by the new Velikyy, but probably will be retired without replacement instead.

 [THUMBNAIL] Kirov class cruiser Petr Velikyy ("Peter the Great") fitting out in the Neva River, St. Petersburg, 7/1995. She is the last of four Kirov class RKRs. Velikyy was scheduled to go to the Pacific when completed, replacing her sistership Admiral Lazarev, but now she will remain in the Northern Fleet.

 [THUMBNAIL] An overhead view of Petr Velikyy at St. Petersburg.

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