Russian missile cruiser Marshal Ustinov, which is currently undergoing repairs, could join the Pacific Fleet in 2013 to bolster and support naval combat stability, a navy admiral has said.
“In two years, the cruiser may be transferred from Severomorsk to Vladivostok to reinforce the grouping of the Pacific Fleet’s surface ships,” the admiral added.
Final decision on the cruiser’s transfer to the Russian Far East has not yet been reached, and the matter is still under consideration.
The decision to transfer follows the quick aging of the Pacific Fleet’s warships and is aimed at providing support to the grouping of the fleet’s strategic and multipurpose nuclear submarines.
The Slava Class missile cruiser was commissioned with the Russian Northern Fleet in 1986 and was designed as a surface strike ship with some anti-air and anti-submarine warfare capability.
The cruiser is fitted with 16 SS-N-12 Sandbox nuclear-capable supersonic anti-ship missiles, and carries 64 SA-N-6 Grumble long-range surface-to-air missiles (SAM) and 40 SA-N-4 Gecko short-range SAMs.
The combat ship can carry 1,000kg of high-explosives, or a tactical nuclear warhead, out to a range of 300nm, according to RIA Novosti.