Russia has finally commenced a refit programme on the Russian Navy’s mothballed Project 1144.2 Kirov-class heavy missile cruise ship, Admiral Nakhimov, after years of delays, the Sevmash shipyard said.

RIA Novosti cited Sevmash shipyard as saying that the schedule for modernisation work on the cruiser, formerly named the Kalinin, has already been drawn up.

Heavy equipment is currently being dismantled before moving the ship from its berth into the dockyard using specially constructed pontoons, the shipyard added.

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Commissioned in 1988, the Nakhimov Kirov-class cruiser was mothballed in 1999 and has been reportedly undergoing repairs at the Severodvinsk Shipyard since 2005, according to RIA Novosti.

The refit will include installation of the P-800 Oniks (SS-N-26) supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles, air defence missiles based on the S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler) and close-in weapons systems, to strike against missiles and aircraft.

"The refit will include installation of the P-800 Oniks (SS-N-26) supersonic anti-ship cruise missile."

Powered by four nuclear reactors and two auxiliary boilers, the ship is armed with torpedo tubes for 20 Vodopad-NK anti-submarine missiles or torpedoes, as well as anti-submarine and anti-torpedo rocket systems, the Udav-1 with 40 anti-submarine rockets and the RBU-1000.

Capable of accommodating three Kamov Ka-27PL or Ka-25RT helicopters, the vessel is fitted with a 130mm AK-130 multipurpose twin-barrel gun and Kashstan air-defence missile / gun system to provide defence against precision weapons including anti-ship and anti-radar missiles and air bombs, aircraft and small naval ships.

Although only one of the four Kirov-class missile cruisers, Pyotr Veliky, is operational with the navy, Russia is planning to re-launch the other three ships of the class in 2018 starting with the Admiral Nakhimov.

Defence Technology