Moscow is a Russian Project 1164 Atlant guided missile heavy cruiser, also known as Slava class.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on April 14 that the guided-missile cruiser Moskva, flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, was badly damaged after a fire, which forced the evacuation of more than 500 sailors. The fire was then contained and the cruiser Moskva was towed to port in Crimea, with the missile launchers intact. However, during the process of being towed back to the port, Moscow sank due to damage to the hull that made the ship unstable in high wave conditions.

The Russian military has not disclosed the cause of the fire, but Maksym Marchenko, mayor of the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa, said two Neptune anti-ship missiles caused heavy damage to the Russian warship, but did not provide evidence. This is considered a serious loss for Russian forces, because Moscow is the most powerful surface warship in the region, acting as the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet. She participated in the military campaign in Ukraine from the very beginning.

Moscow is a Russian Project 1164 Atlant guided missile heavy cruiser, also known as Slava class. The ship was 186 m long, 21 m wide and had a displacement of 12,000 tons. Forbes Ukraine estimates the ship to be worth about $750 million.

Cruiser Moskva
Cruiser Moskva

Initially the Soviet Union planned to build 10 cruisers, but after political events in the Soviet Union in 1990, only three were actually completed and currently serving in the Russian navy. Moscow, with the hull number 121 is the lead ship of the class, her name was given in honor of the Russian capital Moscow.

The design of Moscow as common as any other warship, an upward-sloping bow, behind the bow is the superstructure and at the stern is a small helicopter landing deck that served the operation of  a Kamov Ka-25 or Ka-27 navy helicopter or similar. The ship features 16 majestic missile launchers arranged along both sides of the port and starboard sides. The bridge is mounted high on the top of the superstructure for a sweeping view ahead. The main mast contains the main radar and sensors are also located at the forward superstructure. The rear superstructure area contains two smoke funnels and an auxiliary mast. A crane is installed on the ship for handling boats.

Moskva cruiser was equipped with a combined gas or gas propulsion system, four M8KF two-turbine gas turbines that provide a total capacity of about 120,000 shaft horsepower. This configuration allows for better management of limited fuel stores and more flexibility in travel modes over older engine arrangements. The propulsion system enabled the ship to reach a maximum speed of 32 knots, a range of 2500 nauticalmiles at 30 knots and a maximum of 6,500 nauticalmiles at a speed of 18knots.

The Moscow was equipped with a range of advanced electronic control systems, including the Voskhod MR-800 multi-function 3D long-range search radar in conjunction with the Fregat MR-710 3D search radar to cope with aerial threats. In addition, there were Top Dome SA-N-6 fire control radar, Pop group SA-N-4 fire control radar, high-frequency and ultra-high sonar, which could detect and locate the position as well as technical information, tactics of enemy submarines and surface ships within a range of several hundred nautical miles. Electronic warfare and decoy included Rum Tub and Side Globe Early-warning antennas, two PK-2 DL 140mm chaff.

The Russian cruiser was equipped with a powerful weapon system, which can undertake a variety of tasks in defensive and offensive operations. Even many experts believe that, with the Moscow cruiser of the Black Sea Fleet, the Russian navy can destroy the entire Ukrainian navy, which has been greatly weakened since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Featured in this cruiser’s weapon system are the 16 P-500 Bazalt long-range supersonic anti-ship missile launchers, with a range of 550 km and up to 700 km for the P.1000 improved variant. These missiles are capable of carrying a conventional warhead weighing 1 ton or a 350 kiloton nuclear warhead. At mach 2.5, this is considered one of the most effective anti-submarine and anti-carriers weapons in the world today.

In addition to the anti-ship weapons system, the cruiser was also equipped with a modern long-range surface-to-air missile system. In particular, 8 S-300F long-range air-to-air missile launchers, anti-aircraft combat range is 150km and 30km for ballistic missiles. Two OSA-MA surface-to-air missile systems, one at the front and the other at the rear, have a maximum range of 15 km and a maximum altitude of 12 km.

The Moskva cruiser was also equipped with a twin AK-130 130mm dual purpose guns, with a maximum range of 23km against surface targets, 15km with aerial targets, and an average rate of fire is 40 rounds per minute. There were also six AK-630 close-in weapon systems installed on the ship, provides self defence against anti-ship missiles and other guided weapons, with a rate of fire of 5,000 rounds per minute. Together with 5 533mm dual torpedo tubes, 2 RBU-6000 anti-submarine mortars. The rockets can be launched against submarines within a range of 6km.

The loss of the flagship Moskva is a heavy loss for Russia, when it only owns three Project 1164 cruisers. They are the third largest surface ships in the Russian Navy, after the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and the nuclear cruiser Pytor the Great.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here