By TASS Russian news agency
“We can say that our work is proceeding on schedule… I believe that the cruiser will start trials in 2023,” Korolyov said in reply to a question about when the work on the Admiral Nakhimov would be completed.
While upgrading the Admiral Nakhimov cruiser, the shipbuilders have to deal with a lot of issues related to the warship’s powerplant, its weapons and radio-electronic armament. Specialists are carrying out large-scale work on the cruiser’s missile systems, he said.
The pace of work on the Admiral Nakhimov demonstrates that the Sevmash shipbuilders can both construct nuclear-powered missile-carrying submarines and restore the technical readiness of such unique warships as Project 1144 Orlan-class heavy nuclear-powered cruisers, the deputy CEO said.
The Admiral Nakhimov has been under repairs at the Sevmash Shipyard since 1999. Real work on the warship started in 2013. It was reported earlier that the heavy missile cruiser Admiral Nakhimov would enter trials in 2021.
During the upgrade, the cruiser’s strike capabilities have been enhanced. The ship will carry Kalibr (NATO reporting name: SS-N-27 Sizzler) and Onyx (SS-N-26 Strobile) missile systems. In future, the Admiral Nakhimov will get Tsirkon hypersonic missiles.
Naval News comments
For the record, the “Admiral Nakhimov” (Project 1144 “Orlan”) was named “Kalinin” until 1992. It was laid down on May 17, 1983 at the Baltic Shipyard. Launched on April 25, 1986 and commissioned with the Soviet Navy on December 30, 1988. On April 22, 1992 it was renamed “Admiral Nakhimov”.
The vessel arrived from Severomorsk to Severodvinsk at Sevmash shipyard to undergo repair and modernization back in 1997. On August 14, 1999, the ship was officially accepted for repair and modernization at the shipyard. However, the work did not start fora while, and only in September 2008 the spent nuclear fuel was unloaded.
In 2012, the technical project for the modernization of the ship under the project 11442M was completed. On June 13, 2013, Sevmash signed a contract with the Russian Ministry of Defense worth 50 billion rubles for the repair and modernization of the cruiser, with a contractual deadline for its return to the fleet in 2018. On October 24, 2014, the cruiser was brought into the Sevmash pool/dry dock, after which the actual modernization work began. The vessel was put back in the water in August 2020. Experts estimate that the vessel won’t be back at sea for post-modernization sea trials until 2022 at best.
Modernization of the weapon systems includes, according to Sevmash CEO, the Fort-M (NATO reporting name: SA-N-6 Grumble) and Pantsyr-M (SA-22 Greyhound) air defense systems and the high-power Paket-NK and Otvet antisubmarine warfare weapons. According to H I Sutton, the cruiser will be also armed with the 3M22 Zircon hypersonic anti-ship missile, possibly a total of 60 missiles.