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> The Worst Nightmare of the US Navy, Russian Navy Kirov Class Battlecruisers
The Worst Nightmare of the US Navy, Russian Navy Kirov Class Battlecruisers
The pride of the Russian navy is the Kirov Class battle cruiser warship. Some may say its the worst nightmare of the US Navy. The Kirov-class battlecruiser is a class of nuclear-powered warship of the Russian Navy, the largest and heaviest surface combatant warships (i.e. not an aircraft carrier or amphibious assault ship) currently in active operation in the world. Among modern warships, they are second in size only to large aircraft carriers, and of similar size to a World War I-era battleship. The official designation of the ship-type is “heavy nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser”, but because of their size and general appearance, the ships are often referred to as battlecruisers by western defense commentators.
Originally built for the Soviet Navy, the class is named for the first of a series of 4 ships to be constructed, Kirov, which was renamed Admiral Ushakov in 1992. Original plans called for the construction of 5 ships, however the last was cancelled. In Russia this class of ship is usually referred to by the designation Project 1144 Orlan (sea eagle). Only the Pyotr Velikiy is currently operational. The Admiral Nakhimov is projected to re-enter the Russian Navy in 2018. Russia planned to reactivate the remaining two vessels by 2020, but recent reporting suggests that the reactors in Ushakov and Lazarev are in a poor condition, and these ships cannot be safely reactivated.
The appearance of the Kirov class played a key role in the recommissioning of the Iowa-class battleships by the United States Navy in the 1980s.