Russia returns Admiral Nakhimov cruiser armed by 478 missiles

According to publications in Russian media, Moscow is preparing the cruiser Amiral Nakhimov for tests. The information comes after some time ago it was claimed that the cruiser encountered several problems, the quick solution of which is very difficult. It is about cracks in the reactor, or in some key elements.

Russia returns Admiral Nakhimov cruiser armed by 478 missiles
Photo credit: TASS

The claims may turn out to be true because they are most likely being worked on to remove them. Proof of this is a press release from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, according to which, at the end of 2023, the cruiser goes out into open waters to start tests.

According to sources in Moscow, tests will begin in the fall of this year. However, some are skeptical and predict winter [December] as the time when the tests will be carried out. More precisely, it is a test run, and the actual return to service is expected in mid-2024, if all goes well and according to plan.


One of the main changes after the repair of the cruiser Admiral Nakhimov will be the armament. Currently, this armament is P-700 Granit anti-ship missiles. They will be retained, but the cruiser will be equipped with at least ten more vertical installations 3S14, probably the M version. This means that, in addition to the P-700 Granit, Admiral Nakhimov will be equipped with 80 additional missiles of various modifications and models.

Russia returns Admiral Nakhimov cruiser armed by 478 missiles
Photo credit: CNES

The range of the P-700 Granit varies depending on the height of the flight, which also affects the detection – a maximum of 625 kilometers, but this is a high-altitude trajectory. The range can be drastically reduced to 200 km, but this is if the cruiser shoots low. Such shooting is carried out when it is necessary to avoid the enemy’s anti-aircraft defense.

In addition to the increased number of missiles and launchers, it is assumed that the Admiral Nakhimov cruiser will receive the Zircon [Tsirkon] hypersonic missiles. This information has not been confirmed, but based on a press release from the Ministry of Defense of Russia, which says that many ships of the Russian Navy will receive these missiles, it is quite logical to assume that Admiral Nakhimov is also on this list. What amount of Zircon will be on board this cruiser remained unknown.

478 missiles onboard

It is also rumored among the Russian media that the cruiser will receive Otvet anti-submarine missiles capable of neutralizing any enemy submarine at a distance of up to 100 kilometers. As for the defense of the battleship, most likely the S-300F air defense systems will be integrated, as well as a modification of the S-400. The missiles of the two anti-aircraft naval versions will have an active seeker. Some sources suggest that Admiral Nakhimov may also receive a naval version of the S-500 air defense system, but these are only rumors at the moment.

MiG-31K with installed Kinzhal hypersonic missile lands in Kaliningrad
Photo credit: South Front

However, it is noteworthy that this cruiser will receive a colossal amount of missiles if the claims in the Russian media are to be believed. It is about 478 missiles of different types and purposes. This includes dozens of Dagger missiles, as well as the 9M96 family of interceptors, as well as missiles from the naval version of the Pantsir-M warhead, which are supposed to be in the range of 200 units.


According to claims in the Russian media, Finland’s accession to NATO played a significant role in the modernization of this cruiser. Russian experts say NATO’s expansion suggests the threat must somehow be contained. That is why it was decided to integrate launchers for the Dagger missiles on board the cruiser.

Another reason for the rapid recovery and commissioning of the cruiser Admiral Nakhimov is the withdrawal of the American fleet to prevent its concentration in threatened areas. For example, the Mediterranean Sea. Remember that the cruiser is atomic after all, meaning it can spawn anywhere and attack at any time. This is a capability that would make it difficult for the US Navy, and it will be looking for a way to solve such problems.

In any case, the most interesting stage of the modernization of the cruiser is not far away – the moment of entering the test, when we will finally see its final appearance and all those numerous disputes about its real capabilities.


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