The heavy nuclear cruiser "Peter the Great" is rightfully considered the "direct heir" of the famous Soviet artillery battleships and cruisers of the wartime. The nuclear missile era has unconditionally dismissed them. Against the American aircraft carrier armada and silent nuclear submarines, stuffed with modern electronics and ICBMs, the main caliber guns were already powerless. On the stocks of the largest Soviet military shipyards, the contours of the new generation of missile-carrying ships were outlined.
Combat ships of the 3rd generation (Project 1144) were our answer to the US naval aircraft carrier hegemony. The Soviet Union opposed it with heavy nuclear missile cruisers, which, thanks to their powerful equipment, began to be called "aircraft carrier killers."
In the period from 1980 to 1998, on the stocks of the Baltic Shipyard, an "admiral" series of three ships was prepared - "Admiral Ushakov", "Admiral Nakhimov", "Admiral Lazarev". Its crown was the heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser "Peter the Great".
Like his older "brothers", he is the brainchild of the St. Petersburg Northern PKB. For many years, the Bureau was headed by Vladimir Evgenievich Yukhnin, under whose leadership Project 1144 was implemented.
General Designer SevPKB V. E. Yukhnin
The cruiser was laid down in the perestroika times - 1986, followed by the "dashing 90s". It took 12 long years amid the collapse of the Soviet military-industrial complex, the organizational structure of the Navy and chronic lack of money, before in 1998, "Peter the Great" finally went to his place of permanent service - the Red Banner Northern Fleet.
To emphasize the importance of Peter the Great as a combat unit of the Russian Navy, it is often called the most powerful attack ship of the non-aircraft carrier class. Although this comparison with aircraft carriers in terms of combat power looks very arbitrary, since its main task is to destroy the opposing enemy aircraft carrier orders, which, in addition to the aircraft carrier itself, includes solid cover. And for this, the ship has everything it needs.
There should be a lot of nuclear cruisers
The impressive dimensions of the nuclear attack missile carrier - 262 x 28.5 m (length, width), with a 59-meter height of superstructures and 26, 000 tonnes of displacement - speak volumes. With all this seeming enormity, there is not a single extra square centimeter here. The creators of the nuclear attack ship were faced with the difficult task of placing and assembling in a very limited space two nuclear reactors of 300 MW each next to two auxiliary boilers and two turbines of 70, 000 liters each. from. Here it is necessary to add 4 steam turbine generators, 4 gas turbine generators, 4 power plants, a "mountain" of the most modern weapons and more than 700 crew members.
All this gigantic power was embodied in a speed of about 60 km / h, two months autonomy (in food supplies) and three years in nuclear fuel.
And one warrior at sea
As you know, American aircraft carriers do not go one by one due to their weak (individual) security. Covering is carried out from 6 to 10 warships (destroyers, URO frigates) and up to two nuclear submarines. Taken together, this constitutes an aircraft carrier strike group or order, for the destruction of which Peter the Great was created.
Launching shafts of the Granite complex
To send such an armada to the bottom required a unique weapon, or, to use the old "battleship" terminology, the "main caliber". It was Granit, an anti-ship missile system, an outstanding creation of VN Chelomey and the team of NPO Mashinostroeniya, which was put into service more than 30 years ago.
One can only imagine the consequences of a salvo of 20 Granit cruise missiles weighing 7 tons each, capable of delivering three types of warheads - conventional, nuclear, and volumetric action - to their destination at a speed of Mach 2.5 over 600 km (depending on the nature of the target).
Moreover, this is not some kind of accumulation of flying multi-ton pigs, but a "thoughtful" maneuvering, flying over the very edge of the water, a deadly flock led by the "leader". During the flight, the "Granites" constantly exchange information, maneuver, which makes them practically invulnerable to the enemy's naval air defense systems.
By bringing down the deadly Granites on the enemy's head, Peter the First remains one of the most protected warships. On distant approaches, up to 12 air targets are destroyed by missiles of the Rif S-300F ship complex, and already on the approach, the Blade and Kortik systems enter the battle. The combination of rockets and rapid-fire artillery mounts creates an insurmountable "palisade" for virtually anything that can fly.
Rocket and artillery complex Kortik
The ship's artillery is represented by the AK-130 - twin artillery mounts (cal. 130 mm), “reaching” the target, located at a distance of 25 km.
The ship is reliably protected from below. It is protected from unwanted encounters with submarines by Ka-27 helicopters, Vodopad missile and torpedo systems, RBU-12000 and RBU-1000 bomb installations. The effective anti-torpedo system "Udav-1M" is definitely worth mentioning. All this works in conjunction with a powerful sonar system that detects underwater targets at medium and low frequencies.
The shipborne air defense system includes Fregat-MAE radar stations with a target detection range and altitude of 300 and 30 km, respectively. General ship tracking means include 6 space communication stations (2 SATSOM and 4 SATPAU) and 4 special electronic stations.
Where is "Peter the Great" now
Peter the Great, one of the flagships of the Northern Fleet, underwent scheduled repairs in the village of Roslyakovo in the dry dock of the local shipyard last fall. At present, the nuclear-powered missile cruiser is sailing, fulfilling the assigned tasks of combat training.