Watch Russia’s Battlecruiser Launch a Granit “Shipwreck” Anti-Ship Missile

Kirov-class battlecruiser Pyotr Veliky

The Kirov-class battlecruiser is a class of nuclear-powered warship of the Russian Navy, the largest and heaviest surface combatant warships (i.e. not an aircraft carrier or amphibious assault ship) in operation in the world (28,000 tons fully loaded).

Among modern warships, they are second in size only to large aircraft carriers, and of similar size to a World War I era battleship. The official designation of the ship-type is “heavy nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser” (Russian: тяжёлый атомный ракетный крейсер). The ships are often referred to as battlecruisers by western defense commentators due to their size and general appearance.

Originally built for the Soviet Navy, the class is named for the first of a series of four ships to be constructed, Kirov, which was renamed Admiral Ushakov in 1992. Original plans called for the construction of five ships, however the last was cancelled. In Russia this class of ship is usually referred to by the designation Project 1144 Orlan (sea eagle).

Only the Pyotr Veliky is currently operational. Admiral Nakhimov is projected to re-enter the Russian Navy in 2018.

Russia planned to reactivate the remaining two vessels by 2020, but recent reporting suggests that the reactors in Admiral Ushakov and Admiral Lazarev are in a poor condition, and these ships cannot be safely reactivated.

The appearance of the Kirov class played a key role in the recommissioning of the Iowa-class battleships by the United States Navy in the 1980s.

This week, the Pyotr Veliky has been involved in battle-drills in the Arctic Ocean.

The Russian Ministry of Defense released a video of the Granit missile launch:

The SS-N-19 with its booster attached is about the size and weight of a combat loaded MiG-21 and carries a 1,650 high explosive charge or a 500kt thermonuclear warhead.

In the case of the latter, a near miss is still a certain kill, although it’s very unlikely that the Russians still deploy these missiles loaded with nuclear warheads.

Russian crew handles a massive P700/SS-N-19

The Russian Navy initially planned to return both Admiral Ushakov and Admiral Lazarev to service after several years of disuse. It was later indicated that the condition of the reactor cores of both ships was such that it would prove difficult, expensive and potentially dangerous to remove the spent nuclear fuel and repair the cores.

As a consequence, it is likely that both ships will be scrapped. The modernization of Admiral Ushakov seems unlikely due to an alleged nuclear incident which may have left one of its reactors damaged with scrapping to start in 2016 or later.

Other sources disagree, stating that all four ships will be modernized and returned to service. In 2014 some maintenance work was performed on Admiral Lazarev (the only cruiser located in the Pacific). Skepticism was expressed regarding the ability of Sevmash shipyard to simultaneously modernize two Kirov-class battlecruisers.

Modernization of Admiral Nakhimov is ongoing (to be completed by 2018) with the modernization of Pyotr Velikiy to last from 2018 until 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Watch Russia’s Battlecruiser Launch a Granit “Shipwreck” Anti-Ship Missile”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s