What is the most powerful Russian warship?Admittedly, the very concept of “powerful” is rather vague. But in this case we are talking about the heavy nuclear missile cruiser "Admiral Nakhimov" project 1144.2M "Orlan". In 2020, Forbes magazine wrote that she is the most powerful non-aircraft-carrying surface warship in Russia, and has the potential to become the most powerful in the world. However, it has not been used for a quarter of a century. In the Western press, they even began to write that the cruiser "died", although later they themselves denied this information. But what really happened to him and will he ever be launched? Let's try to understand this issue further.
"Admiral Nakhimov": the cruiser of evolution
Initially, the cruiser "Admiral Nakhimov" was calledKalinin. It was laid down on May 17, 1983, and in the spring of 1986 it was launched. The ship entered service two years later. It became the third in a series of Project 1144 Orlan nuclear missile cruisers.
In 1992, the ship received its current name -"Admiral Nakhimov". However, he was not destined to surf the expanses of the oceans for a long time. Most of the time it was under repair and modernization. Already in 1997, that is, less than 10 years after its creation, the ship was transferred to the place of repair. In August 1999, it was delivered for repair and modernization in Severodvinsk at the Sivmash enterprise. It was assumed that the ship would receive modern digital equipment to replace obsolete electronic equipment. However, the repair itself began much later.
In 2008, the plan for the modernization of the ship changed, and in 2013 it was decided to carry out a complete modernization of the cruiser. That is, in fact, the cruiser has ceased to be operated since 1997.
According to the latest plan, he was toreturn to service in 2018. But, as you know, this did not happen. Perhaps because of such delays in delivery, the Western media called the cruiser “dead” in 2021.
Ship with hypersonic missiles "Zircon" on board
According to The National Interest,the repair turned out to be an almost complete rebuilding of the ship. The Sivmash enterprise carried out large-scale internal work on the ship. In particular, the specialists installed equipment, performed thermal insulation, painting, and also performed many other works.
It is also reported that the company will install onthe future flagship of the Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy more than 5,000 units of various modern equipment. About 200 km of pipelines and 1,800 km of cables will be laid on the ship. Therefore, it is not surprising that the modernization took more time than the construction itself.
But most of all deserves attention, of course,ship armament. It is reported that the cruiser will have ten launchers for eight Caliber-NK or Onyx cruise missiles on board, but this is only at the beginning. Ultimately, the ship will be armed with Zircon hypersonic missiles. As we said earlier, Zircon is successfully passing the final stage of testing. Therefore, it is quite possible that by the time the ship is commissioned, it will be armed with the latest hypersonic weapons.
Moreover, it is expected that there will be 60hypersonic missiles "Zircon". In addition, the cruiser will also receive twenty large supersonic Granit missiles, forty short-range 9K33 Osa missiles, and almost a hundred long-range S-300 missiles.
However, the ship will be equipped with a systemmelee "Kashtan", Gatling guns and short-range missiles 9M322. As Chris Osborne writes in The National Interest, the cruiser will pose a huge threat to US and NATO forces. According to him, such a number of missiles is capable of simultaneously destroying enemy surface ships, coastal defenses, as well as some fortified targets on land.
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It should be noted that even nowthe most modern and modernized air defense systems are practically unable to shoot down hypersonic missiles such as the Zircon. And when several dozen of these missiles fly, the danger is really extremely high.
When the cruiser "Admiral Nakhimov" will be ready for operation
In the spring of last year, it was reported that the transfership fleet will be delayed until 2023. Already at the beginning of this year, it was announced that the work had made significant progress, and now Sevmash has begun to form and train the ship's commissioning team. The team will include testers, commissioning engineers, and other specialists. In total, it will number more than 1,000 people.
However, according to American experts, thisdoes not yet say that the ship will return to service with the Russian Navy in the near future. Years may pass before its launch. Whether this is really so or the ship is still ready for 2023, time will tell.