Russia’s Admiral Nakhimov heavy nuclear cruiser will return to service after modernisation in 2022, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko told reporters on Monday.

The Admiral Nakhimov is the third battlecruiser of the Russian Navy Kirov class. The ship was originally commissioned into service with the Soviet Navy in the 1980s, known back then as the Kalinin.

“It will be the most powerful Navy warship. We inspected the project, the ship is now about 50% ready,” he said in a statement reported by Russian media.

According to Krivoruchko, the defense ministry allocated 29.5 billion rubles for the project this year alone.

“As was agreed with the Sevmash shipyard, we expect to receive the ship in late 2022,” he said.

“We have no doubts that this timeframe will be observed.”

The new timeframe anyway, work on modernising Admiral Nakhimov was resumed in January 2014 with the vessel originally being projected to rejoin the Russian Navy in 2018.

Admiral Nakhimov is slated to carry the P-800 Oniks supersonic anti-ship missile and a navalised variant of the S-400 (missile) SAM system, among other weapons.

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Steve Salt

I wonder if that’s fitted for but not with P800 and S400 ? ?


Steve wrote: “I wonder if that’s fitted for but not with P800 and S400 ? From the Drive (Warzone) 2 years ago: Delivery Of Russia’s Refit Nuclear Battlecruiser Delayed But Progress Looks Impressive The Kirov class nuclear powered battlecruiser Admiral Nakhimov has been in dry dock undergoing a deep refit for years now, with the promise being the ship would come out the other side basically new, with a whole host of new weapons and sensors. The Russian Navy’s plan is to eventually have two massive Kirov class ships operational at the same time, which will be a first in… Read more »

Steve Salt

Hi Farouk.
My comment was entirely tongue in cheek but thanks for the fascinating piece you’ve shared with us. Fully tooled and operational she’s formidable but I’m sure an Astute or a Virginia class sub would see it off pretty quickly.

andy reeves

or a batch 2 river if it tries to avoid escorting through the channel!


On paper impressive, but she is Russian, with a Russian nuclear reactor, Emm not a good idea having the Russians anywhere near a nuclear anything, jesting aside, what is the time frame for refueling or replacing the reactors on their ships, if it is anything like the Russian subs its 25 years and then scrap them.


Ron, I’m fully aware of the dangers of buying Russian. In fact in Bosnia, I point blank refused to fly back to Split in a HIP, perfering to travel back overland in convoy. My own personal view on this refit is Moscow (read that as Putin) wants a cheaper and quicker state asset to fly the flag than an Aircraft carrier. (Seeing as their own has its own problems which link in nicely with your post) In other words its a political tool rather than a miltary one and what a lot of people on board have left out, there… Read more »


farouk, yep been there done that, had to catch a flight from Kiev to Odessa it was some Yak for about 20 passangers, the in flight attendant was jumping on some plate in the foot well to stop it coming out, I took the overnight train back, wont tell the stories of that trip, well not in public. Kiev to Moscow was even more fun I don’t remember the name of the plane but it was some Ill with a glass nose, it remended me of a Russian bomber and red velvet couches as seats, god did I need the… Read more »

andy reeves

5 years time it’ll be a rusting hulk on the kola peninsula

andy reeves

these ships after kuznetsov would be next on the ‘to do’ list.

andy reeves

does it run on windows 95???


Upper superstructure looks like a car breaking yard!


I was thinking that, not so much the appearance (although I like your comparison) but more about top-weight and how much ballast she might need to be carrying down below to compensate for that. I suppose that with all the lead shielding then if the reactor is as low as possible in the hull that’s probably a good start on the ballast to counteract the car breaking yard up top but surely quite a lot more ballast than that must be needed because not only is that superstructure big and ugly but it also seems to me to be unusually… Read more »

andy reeves

one thing i do admire the russians for is that if there is a place for a weapon, they’ll put one there.i think much of the NATO fleet is undergunned where trust is put into technology rather than grunt muscle.


I saw a picture of the Admiral Nakhimov on the Capt(N) (at) Capt_Navy twitter site (12th Sept) Pretty amazing shot of it out of water with a load of scaffolding around it.


If these ships are even half as capable as they look on paper, there would be nothing close to their capability to compete against them.

Hopefully we will never find out, but it is interesting to consider if something like this has effectively made the carrier redundant. The carriers only real strength was being able to out range a battleship, but if the battleship gains the capability to take out the carriers air group, then its a matter of the anti-ship guns coming into play.


An Astute class would crack her back without breaking a sweat.

Steven B

Hopefully not anywhere near the UK coastline with that nuclear reactor on board


I suspect thats its greatest asset the nearer it gets the more dangerous to take it out.

andy reeves

the people of devonport say much the similar thing about all the swiftsure submarines rotting there. on the issue of nuclear propulsion, could the R.N. REMOVE, JUST REMOVE THE NUCLEAR BITS N BOBS FROM THE DORMANT SUBMARINES AT ROSYTH, DEVONPORT AND RE COMMISSION THEM AS CONVENTIONAL DIESEL BOATS MAYBE? ASSUMING THAT THEY ARE SEAWORTHY

andy reeves


andy reeves

we’d hope, but my problem with astute is the£1.4 billion price tag, i’d much prefer 14 modern conventional boats for around the same price tag, for example the swedish gotland boat was able to evade an entire modern u.s battlegroup screen to make an undetected simulated 4 fish attack, modern technology has made the conventional boat a very formidable part of a good few nations fleets, i think too much trust is put into what it says in the brochure than what it actually does.


These where originally built in the 1980s as carrier killers armed with SS19 Shipwreck Anti Ship Missiles. The USN brought out the Iowa class from retirement and Tomahawked them up as a counter ( Ah the good old cold war!!!) As stated a Sub would kill one of these in short order . I was on a number of FRE that escorted these around the UK waters and up to the North Cape back in the day. They are Friken Huge! The RAF tried to get one of them to turn on the radars to no avail by bouncing them… Read more »


I see your logic but thats a very brave proposition to claim the ‘battleship’ is now going to retrieve its premier position in place of the Aircraft Carrier for all sorts of reasons I won’t bore this forum with. Taking your logic to the extreme however you could argue all seaborne assets are sitting targets for land based long range systems tied into far superior sensor assets that will tell them theoretically wherever any given enemy vessel is and the bigger they are the easier to do so. So maybe all large ships are liabilities in reality and as small… Read more »

andy reeves

could we have 14 battleships like we used to do? talk about crewing issues?

andy reeves

i doubt these ship go anywhere without a NATO submarine in the area, they’d be easily found and no doubt dealt with.

Mark F

These ships were highly capable when they first appeared in the 1980s. I seem to remember the first photos taken by the kipper fleet caused quite a stir amongst the Intel fraternity.
However four of the 5 hulls have been laid up for years I guess we will have to wait and see if the Admiral Nakhimov is returned to service before the money runs out.

Evan P

These things would be scary to fight if you were in another warship, but as a result of their size and power, the Kirov class would be easy pickings for an Astute.

David 61

i doubt they would go anywhere without there own subs patrolling around them. so probably more use to there enemies to find their subs


Is this what they call putting all your eggs in one basket?


Yes… good point.

Levi Goldsteinberg

Nonsense. They’ve been pushing this back and back and back and will continue to do so


Apart from the QEs, the RN continues to mark time maintaining warship nunbers at an all time low, which doesn’t even cover our peacetime commitments, while every opponent grows their fleets. How do you expect that to end? Probably either humiliating defeat or we take protecting ourselves & way of life seriously.


And Russia has been spending years doing nothing on this total waste of space. I think I know who has the best navy.
Russia … Putin … talks big but they regularly expose their incompetence.

andy reeves



Got to wonder about the nuclear propulsion reactor/system….will have been in service 36 years when the ship eventually recommissions……


Counter by reviving the USN alpha-strike concept:

12 F35B, 6 as buddy tankers, 6 strike jets: each carrying 8 SPEAR3s, launched from OTH. 48 missiles overwhelm the defences, some get through to significantly degrade her combat effectiveness or possibly even sink her with a bit of luck.


Returns to the fleet as, 1700 frying pans, 1300 berko boilers, 4390 steel toe capped boots and a deep fat fryer! At least she has some use to the Russian Navy now!

David 61

frying pans that heat themselves

andy reeves


Trevor G

Wonder what the radar return from all that topside clutter would be?


One would imagine she would light up like a Christmas tree!


Its rather large.
When we escorted one We carried a Lynx fitted with a specialist Synthetic aperture radar in a pod to do radar cross section mapping of one …that along with a couple of tefal headed boffins to work it.

I think it was code named Sunfish. It apparently cost more than the Lynx did.

andy reeves

a big one


If the Russian want to reserect the Admiral Nakhimov heavy nuclear cruiser thats O.K. it will take funds from their defense budget that could otherwise be alloted to more modern ships. Like many Russian Naval ships from that era, it could spend more time in port awaiting repairs than at sea. Lets hope this refurbished naval ship becomes a budget eating excersise in Russian military flag waving.

andy reeves



Joking aside, and despite our fantastic Astutes, is there an argument to be had in general about the UK coming up with a surface ship that can go on the offensive if needed, rather than just short-range defend the carrier group? Sort of a light-cruiser class, but armed to the teeth with a new generation of long-range super/hypersonic anti-ship missiles? Based on say a tri-hulled stretched Type 45s? Build at least a pair of them. Also Our two carriers are still looking very vulnerable.

Paul T

Albert – There is a potential candidate for that type of Ship in the Italian Navy”s future DDX project.


Thanks for the info Paul_T.
At least you’re not laughing the concept off the page. See I’m not mad. It’s just all the others and the Treasury keeping the spreadsheets balanced.

Geoffrey Hicking

A battleship is always welcome in a balanced fleet. Remember how the Iowas were so well designed that the U.S consistently brought them back (though their institutional memory of battleships wasn’t as traumatic as ours was- their battleships did alot of good in the Pacific theatre. Ours sank a few German warships and austerity got them post-war)

The type 45, though not a capital ship, might fill the battleship-as-carrier escort role at some point in the future if it gets fitted with anti-ship and land attack missiles- they have an awful lot of growth in them.

andy reeves


andy reeves

MAYBE BUY A COUPLE OF SOON TO BE RETIRED AND FILL THEM WITH ANTI SHIP GEAR.A COUPLE OF already built cruisers for the r.n would be, no doubt greeted by back flips and break dances in the admiralty crewing them? someone else’s issue


If it was on looks alone the Russian ships are far more impressive to look at then ours even their carrier we all slag off looks far better then our carriers.I bet their hulls are a lot thicker than ours also.


‘…their carrier we all slag off looks far better then our carriers’. In what way though? The only thing I dislike about our carriers visually is the persistence of a less flowing ski jump than most others around the World but that has nothing to do with efficiency. I do assume you are meaning ‘visually’ simply because by no stretch of the imagination are/were Russian carriers in the same ball park in carrier operations as ours as a pathetic if brief performance off of Syria clearly showed. Now as an offensive missile destroyer (but a number of times bigger) you… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Question for the navy types. Why do I see so often the deck painted Terracotta colours on these Soviet era vessels? Is it purely cosmetic or is there a valid reason?

Steve Salt

It`s so that it looks like varnished wooden decking from the days of sail from the air. Mind you I was told that by an ex Russian air force officer who may have been on a wind up.


Probably red lead primer…


Hides the rust.

andy reeves


andy reeves


Steve Salt

No need to shout mate.?
Caps lock is the arrow button on the left.


It’s the “Peter Principal” – The Russian Navy can’t build a carrier and can’t get the one they have back in to service so they’ve got to have something to wave around. The Pytor Veliki badly needs an overhaul so this one is just a replacement…