New York Times - Ships and Shipping

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Repair of Cruiser Admiral Nakhimov Needs RUR 50 Bln

Repair of Cruiser Admiral Nakhimov Needs RUR 50 Bln

Text: Vzglyad
Photo: Admiral
Repair, modernization, and rearmament of nuclear-powered missile cruiserAdmiral Nakhimov will cost Russia about RUR 50 bln, said Anatoly Shlemov, chief of defense order department at United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC). 

"Recovery of the ship costs 30 billion rubles; considering rearmament, modernization cost of Admiral Nakhimov grows up to 50 billions. This ship is mentioned both in state defense order and State Arms Procurement Program 2011-2020. The project was submitted to Navy command and then to defense minister Anatoly Serdiukov", Shlemov said. 

As for him, other two ships of this project, Admiral Lazarev and Admiral Ushakov are non-repairable and will be dismantled. 

Project 1144 Orlan nuclear-powered missile cruisers are designed for destruction of sea and air targets, i.e. enemy ships and aircraft. Full speed of Orlan-class cruisers is up to 32 knots; because of 600-MW nuclear powerplant, operational range is unlimited. 

According to design configuration, Orlan-class cruisers were armed with ASW systems Granit, antisubmarine rockets Vodopad-NK, rocket/bomb systems Smerch-3and Udav-1, gun mounts AK-130, surface-to-air systems Fort, antiaircraft systemOsa-MA, and 533-mm torpedo tubes. Each cruiser is capable to accommodate three Ka-27PL antisubmarine helicopters. 

Out of four such ships, only one remained in Russian Navy. It is flagship of Northern Fleet, nuclear-powered missile cruiser Petr Veliky. Other three Orlans are mothballed;Admiral Lazarev rusts at Pacific Fleet, Admiral Ushakov and Admiral Nakhimov – at Northern one. Cruiser Admiral Nakhimov (named Kalinin till 1992) was laid down atBaltiysky Zavod shipyard in 1983, commissioned into Soviet Navy in 1988, took sea for the last time in 1997. Since 1999, the ship stays idle at mooring quay of Sevmashshipyard. 

According to an insider fr om Russian Navy, recovery of Admiral Nakhimov is an already decided matter. 

"The works will be done within the next five years. Then the ship will be stationed at Northern Fleet along with similar cruiser Petr Veliky. Presently, experts determine renovation parameters for powerplant, radioelectronics, and weapons. We move toward increasing of the ship's combat power. By the end of the year, the government's military industrial committee will consider all modernization variants and make a decision", said the source. 

However, naval arms expert and chief editor of Arms Export magazine Andrei Frolov says feasibility of Admiral Nakhimov's recovery is quite questionable. He emphasized that the money planned for retrofitting of the cruiser is well enough to buy a newMistral-class French amphibious ship. 

"These large ships are pretty vulnerable to present-day weapons. Besides, they were built in Soviet era, so will serve no longer than 15 years even after modernization. After that, the cruisers will be decommissioned anyway", explained Frolov. 

According to Northern Fleet HQ, after recovery Admiral Nakhimov will need large crew, but it is not clear wh ere to find personnel. 

"Such ship requires hundreds of high-class officers and skilled sailors, but today they are much more in need for new warships. So far, it is unclear who will serve onNakhimov", said a source in the headquarters. 

At present, there are three Project 1164 Atlant cruisers in Russian Navy; they areMoskvaVaryag, and Marshall Ustinov. In addition, Russia hold talks with Ukraine regarding purchase of similar cruiser Ukraina (former Admiral Flota Lobov). By the way, Atlant-class cruisers are designed for the same tasks as Admiral Nakhimov, writes Izvestiya.

Source: Rusnavy.

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