TASS Russian News Agency
The Project 11442M heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser Admiral Nakhimov set to become the Russian Navy’s most powerful surface ship after its repairs and upgrade at the Sevmash Shipyard is being prepared for its handover, the shipyard’s press office said.
“The Sevmash Shipyard has begun forming and training a trial crew for the Project 11442M ship. The crew will comprise workers, builders, adjustment and test engineers, designers, technologists, and specialists of other professions. Overall, the trial crew will comprise over 1,000 people,”
Sevmash Shipyard press office
After all the works are completed, the ship will go to sea where the trial team and the crew will check the vessel in all the operational modes, the press office added.
The Sevmash Shipyard is carrying out the repairs and upgrade of the Project 11442M cruiser on its berth. Large-scale internal work has started aboard the warship. In particular, specialists are mounting equipment, systems, painting, and insulating compartments, the press office specified.
The shipbuilders will load and install over 5,000 items of equipment and more than a million of various items on the ship. About 200 km of pipelines and 1,800 km of cables will be laid on the Northern Fleet’s future flagship. All electric installation works are being carried out by specialists of the Arktika Enterprise. The Severnoye Design Bureau has created a 3D model of the ship for working out documentation, the press office said.
Sevmash CEO Mikhail Budnichenko said earlier that the work onboard the Project 11442M Orlan-class heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser Admiral Nakhimov was proceeding on schedule. According to him, the warship is planned to be delivered to the Russian Navy in 2022.
Admiral Nakhimov has been under repairs at the Sevmash Shipyard since 1999. Real work on the ship has been carried out since 2013.
The upgrade has considerably enhanced the cruiser’s strike capabilities. In particular, the warship will carry 10 versatile shipborne launchers for eight Kalibr-NK or Onyx cruise missiles. In the future, Admiral Nakhimov will carry Tsirkon hypersonic missiles.
Naval News comments:
Claims by Sevmash CEO that the ship will be delivered to the Russian Navy this year appear optimistic. The Deputy CEO of the shipyard said six months ago that post-modernization sea trials would start in 2023.
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.
These are the most recent pictures of the ship, taken in mid-February 2022:
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.