19FortyFive reports that the Russian naval forces may soon have to make a difficult choice: which ship to designate as the service’s “flagship.” The Pyotr Velikiy (Peter the Great) Kirov-class battlecruiser currently plays that duty, but the warship may be decommissioned by next year. It is the world’s largest nuclear-powered vessel.
Considering the decades-long repair and refit of the sister ship Admiral Nakhimov and the odyssey of the modernization of Moscow’s lone aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, it’s easy to see why the Kremlin might choose to retire its flagship battlecruiser rather than pay the high price of updating it.
Although it has not been confirmed, it is widely believed that Admiral Nakhimov will be transferred to the Russian Navy in 2024. The present flagship may be decommissioned at that time.
The problem of how to get Peter the Great out of the Navy is being discussed at the moment. A Russian Navy insider was quoted by state media Tass last week as saying repairing and modernizing the same type is very costly.
Interestingly, these rumors spread precisely twenty-five years after Russia’s naval ensign, the St. Andrew’s flag, was first flown from the nuclear-powered cruiser on April 18, 1998.
The Pyotr Velikiy is one of four Soviet and Russian surface ships designed for combat use in deep-sea environments.
On April 25, 1986, the keel was laid for the heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser with serial number 803. In the 1980s, the ship was rechristened after the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Yuri Andropov, became known as The Yuri Andropov. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1992, the battleship, which had made its maiden voyage on April 25, 1989, was renamed Pyotr Velikiy in honor of Tsar Peter I (Peter the Great), the founder of the Russian Imperial Navy.
Between 24,300 and 28,000 tons of cargo space are available on the battlecruiser. Its length is 252 meters (827 feet), and its breadth is 28.5 meters (94 feet).
A nuclear submarine may be given the battlecruiser’s name after it is decommissioned, as was reported by Tass last week.
An official in the Russian Navy has revealed that the strategic nuclear submarine of the Borey-A project will take on the name The Pyotr Veliky once the cruiser is decommissioned.
In February, Russia retired the Dmitry Donskoy, the largest nuclear submarine in the world.