Kirov class battlecruiser

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Radars (NATO reporting name):
Voskhod MR-800 (Top Pair) 3D search radar, foremast
Fregat MR-710 (Top Steer) 3D search radar, main mast
2 × Palm Frond navigation radar, foremast
Horse Jaw LF hull sonar

The Kirov class battlecruisers is a class of military ships of the Russian Navy, the largest and heaviest surface combatant warships (i.e., not an aircraft carrier, assault ship or submarine) currently in active operation in the world. Originally built for the Soviet Navy, in Russia they are usually known by the designation Project 1144 Orlan (sea eagle).

They are second in size only to aircraft carriers, and are similar in size to a World War I battleship. Because of this, the ships are sometimes known as battlecruisers in the West. It is more appropriate to consider Kirov an oversized guided missile cruiser[2], analogous to the U.S. Navy Alaska-class large cruiser, which had the displacement and armament of a battlecruiser but otherwise was closer to a heavy cruiser in mission and construction. Soviet and Russian naval analysts always referred to it as a TARKR (literal translation from Russian - Heavy Nuclear(-Powered) Missile Cruiser). The appearance of the Kirov class played a large role in the recommissioning of the Iowa-class battleships by the United States Navy in the 1980s.[3][4][5]

The Kirov hull design also was used for the nuclear-powered SSV-33 command ship.



The lead ship, Kirov (renamed Admiral Ushakov in 1992 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union) was laid down in June 1973 at Leningrad's Baltiysky Naval Shipyard, launched on December 27, 1977 and commissioned on December 30, 1980. When she appeared for the first time in 1981, NATO observers called her BALCOM I (Baltic Combatant I).

Kirov suffered a reactor accident in 1990 while serving in the Mediterranean Sea. Repairs were never carried out, due to lack of funds and the changing political situation in the Soviet Union. She may have been cannibalized as a spare parts cache for the other ships in her class.

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