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Kiev class

Aviation cruiser

Kiev class

The Kiev class ships were hybrid carrier/cruisers, carrying a very heavy armament

 
 
Entered service 1975
Crew 1 600 men
Dimensions and displacement
Length 274 m
Beam 32.7 m
Draught 12 m
Flight deck length 53 m
Displacement, standard 36 000 tons
Displacement, full load 43 500 tons
Propulsion and speed
Speed 32 knots
Boilers 8
Steam turbines 4 x 37.3 MW
Aircraft
VTOL 12 x Yakovlev Yak-38 'Fogger'
Helicopters 16 x Kamov Ka-25 'Hormone' or Ka-27 'Helix'
Armament
Missiles 8 x SS-N-12 'Sandbox' anti-ship missile tubes for 16 missiles; 2 x SA-N-3 'Goblet' SAM launchers with 72 missiles; 2 x SS-N-4 'Gecko' twin SAM launchers with 40 missiles; 4 x SA-N-9 'Gauntlet' vertical launchers.
Torpedoes 10 x 533-mm torpedo tubes
Other 4 x 76-mm guns in two twin mounts; 8 x six-barrel 30-mm CIWS; 2 x ASW rocket launchers.

 

   The impetus behind the development of an aviation capability by the Soviet Navy was provided  by the entry into service of the US Navy's Polaris missile submarines. The two Moskva class helicopter carriers were completed in the late 1960s, but they were fairly limited and notoriously unreliable. Work on an improved helicopter carrier began in 1967. The Project 1143 vessels, which were known in the USSR as much larger than the Moskva class.

   The new carriers were built at the Chernomorsky yard at Nikolayev on the Black Sea. The 44 000 ton Kiev was the first of the class. It passed through the Bosporus on 18 July 1976, to international protests about possible infractions of the Montreux Convention. Three more ships were later built in this class; Minsk, Novorossiysk and Baku (later renamed Admiral Gorshkov). Because of improvements which included a phased array radar, extensive electronic warfare installations, and an enlarger command and control suite, the Baku was sometimes considered a separate class. A fifth unit was approved in 1979, but not built.

   Classified as aviation cruisers (taktichesky avianosny kreyser), they were much closer to conventional aircraft carriers than the Moskva class. They had a large island superstructure to starboard, with an angled flight deck to port. However, unlike American carriers, the bow of the ships carried a very heavy armament fit, including the long-range, nuclear-capable P-500 Bazalt anti-ship missile, known to NATO as the SS-N-12 Sandbox. The air wing consisted of up to 22 Yakovlev Yak-38 Forger VTOL fighters and 16 Kamov Ka-25 Hormone or Ka-27 Helix helicopters. Ten of the helicopters were ASW machines, with two utility/SAR machines and four missile-guidance aircraft.

   None of the vessels are in service with Russian Navy today. It was too expensive for the Russian Navy to operate these warships on a post-Cold War budget. Kiev, Minsk and Novorossiysk were decommissioned in 1993 and were later sold for scrap. The Admiral Gorshkov, inactive since 1991, is due to be transferred to the Indian navy, following the addition of a redesigned Kuznetsov-style flight deck with a ski-jump built in a newly raised bow. It joined Indian Navy service as the INS Vikramaditya in 2014.

 

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
Kiev 1970 1972 1975

decommissioned in 1993, sold to China

Minsk 1972 1975 1978

decommissioned in 1993, sold to China

Novorossiysk 1975 1978 1982

decommissioned in 1993, scrapped

Admiral Gorshkov (ex-Baku) 1978 1982 1987

decommissioned in 1995, sold to India

- - - -

approved in 1979, but not built

 

 

Video of the Kiev class aviation cruiser

 

 
Kiev class

Kiev class

Kiev class

Kiev class

Kiev class

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