The overhaul of mothballed Admiral Nakhimov nuclear-powered cruiser will start after 2012 with the focus on refitting the ship with advanced weaponry and electronics, the Sevmash shipyard said.
The Admiral Nakhimov (former Kalinin) Kirov class cruiser was commissioned in 1988 and mothballed in 1999. It has been docked at the Sevmash shipyard in the city of Severodvinsk in northern Russia, undergoing repairs since 2005.
“During the talks with the Russian Defense Ministry, we have concluded that it would be senseless to continue the repairs without determining the final variant of the modernization, so the repair work has been suspended [until after 2012],” Sevmash General Director Andrei Dyachkov said on Friday in an exclusive interview with RIA Novosti.
Dyachkov said that the main changes during the overhaul will be applied to cruiser’s armaments as the SS-N-19 Shipwreck missiles – the ship’s current main weaponry – have become outdated.
The SS-N-19s will be replaced with P-800 Yakhont (SS-N-26) anti-ship cruise missiles. The cruiser will also receive advanced air defense missile systems based on the land-based S-400 Triumf, and new point-defense systems.
Russia built four Kirov class nuclear-powered cruisers in 1974-1998. One of them, the Pyotr Veliky, is still in active service as the flagship of the Northern Fleet.
Several sources in the Russian military and defense industry earlier said that the Russian Defense Ministry was planning to refit the Admiral Nakhimov, Admiral Lazarev and Admiral Ushakov missile cruisers by 2020 in a major boost for the Russian Navy's combat strength.
Dyachkov said on Friday the fate of the Admiral Ushakov, which has been docked at the Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk, has not been determined.
The Kirov class main weapons in current configuration include 20 SS-N-19 Shipwreck missiles, designed to engage large surface targets, and air defense is provided by 12 SA-N-6 Grumble launchers with 96 missiles and two SA-N-4 Gecko with 40 missiles.
After the refit, the Kirov class cruisers will most likely be deployed with Russia's Northern and Pacific fleets as part of large task forces set up to carry out a variety of combat missions - from "hunting" the adversary's aircraft carriers and submarines to massive land assaults.