Russian Navy Plans Eight New Missile Cruisers
The Russian Navy is preparing a contract with the nation’s largest shipbuilder for eight new nuclear-powered missile cruisers.
According to local media, United Shipbuilding Corporation Deputy President Igor Ponomarev says the contract is currently under review. The construction of the first vessel is expected to commence in early 2018.
The new missile cruisers will be designed by the Severnoye Design Bureau in St. Petersburg and are expected to have a deadweight of 17,500 tons, a length of 200 meters (650 feet0 and to be equipped with more than 200 missiles including a version of the S-500, the newest and most lethal Russian missile system.
These weapons are expected to make the vessels comparable with U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke class destroyers. Cruisers are fitted with sophisticated modern guided-missile systems that can take out virtually any target in the air, the sea, beneath the waves or on the shore. Destroyers have similar guided-missile capabilities and take part in a wide range of missions, including supporting carrier and expeditionary strike groups and surface strike groups.
Pravda reports former deputy commander of the navy, Admiral Igor Kasatonov, saying: “Nuclear-powered cruisers are autonomous and well-armed. They can face various challenges in any part of the world ocean. The Russian Navy has not placed orders for vessels of this class since 1989. The decision to build several ships means that Russia pursues geopolitical interests to maintain its presence in remote parts of the world.”