:: SOVIET/RUSSIAN CRUISERS AND DESTROYERS (III) ::
Soviet/Russian aircraft carriers
Kirov class battlecruisers
USS Long Beach
American cruisers and destroyers
AK-130 twin 130-millimeter cannon
AK-630 30-millimeter cannon
RBU-1000 antisubmarine mortar
533-millimeter torpedo launcher
Sovremennyy classThe first unit of the Sovremennyy class entered service in 1980 with the numeral 431. Since then another 20 units were completed but in 2016 only remain in active service five of these ships with the Russian Navy, with another five in the reserve or being modernized, and another four serving in the Chinese Navy. This class was another victim of the lack of funds that sent to the reserve or the scrapyard so many valuable ships in the Soviet/Russian Navy during the economic collapse of the early 1990s. The following photograph, taken in January 1987, shows the destroyer Stoykiy (645), commissioned in 1986 and retired in 1998.
The destroyers of the Sovremennyy class have an overall length of 156 meters, a beam of 17.3 meters and a draught of 6.5 meters, with a standard displacement of around 6200 tonnes that reaches almost 8000 tonnes at full load. For some reason, these ships were fitted with conventional steam turbines instead of the more efficient gas turbines. The propulsion plant comprises four boilers KVN and two steam turbines GTZA-674 actuating on two shafts, giving a total output of 110000 shaft horsepower, which can impulse these ships at a maximum speed of 32 knots, in comparison with the 35 knots reached by the Udaloy class which operates with gas turbines. Operational range is around 6500 nautical miles (12040 kilometers) at a speed of 20 knots and about 2400 nautical miles (4444 kilometers) at 32 knots. The complement is around 350.
The armament comprises eight surface-to-surface antiship missiles SS-N-22 "Sunburn" in two quadruple containers, two single launchers for the surface-to-air missile SA-N-7 "Gadfly", two AK-130 twin 130-millimeter cannon mountings, two AK-630 CIWS 30-millimeter cannons, two RBU-1000 antisubmarine rocket launchers (which have six barrels instead of the twelve found on the RBU-6000), four 533-millimeter torpedo tubes in two twin launchers and one Ka-27 "Helix" antisubmarine helicopter. The antisubmarine equipment is clearly reduced in comparison with that on the Udaloy class.
The ships of the Sovremenny class were fitted with a good number of decoy launchers, allegedly because of the high radar signature caused by the abundance of elements that clutter the superstructures. The image shows two chaff launchers PK-10 and PK-2 onboard the Gremyaschiy, one of the ships retired.
The "Front Dome" is the director/illuminator radar of the surface-to-air missile SA-N-7 "Gadfly", operating in bands H/I (6-8 GHz and 8-10 GHz). The SA-N-7, which entered service in 1981, is a solid-fuel missile able to fly at Mach 3 speed with a range of 30 kilometers, having a ceiling of 15000 meters and a minimum altitude of 30 meters. Front Dome provided semiactive guidance to this missile until it was later replaced by the SA-N-12 "Grizzly".
In service since 1981, the AK-130 mounting, fitted with two 130-millimeter 70-caliber cannons which have a rate of fire of up to 45 rounds per minute each, has an elevation arc from -15 to +85 degrees. It fires 33.4-kilogram projectiles to distances of up to 29 kilometers with a muzzle speed of about 1000 meters/second. The ships of the Sovremenny class, armed with two of these mountings, have an unusually powerful artillery for their type.
The SS-N-22 is a derivative of the SS-N-9 which entered service in 1981 as well. Fitted with a liquid-fuel propeller, it weighs 3500 kilograms and has a 500-kilogram warhead which can be nuclear. It reaches a speed of 2.5 Mach which, in certain phases of the flight, can reach 4.5 Mach. It has a range of 110 kilometers and a guidance system either by radar or active/passive infrared.
The NATO designation of the CIWS system shown next is ADMG-630 and the first ship in which it appeared was a Kresta II class missile cruiser. Ammunition feeding is effectuated by means of a continuous belt which goes to the mounting from a storage placed beneath the deck where it is installed. A hinged cover in the rear part allows to access the firing mechanisms.
The Russian Navy uses diverse types of antisubmarine weapons based in rockets or missiles. Here we can see a sextuple rocket launcher RBU-1000 which can launch projectiles with a 55-kilogram warhead to up to 1000 meters of distance. When the sonar systems detect a submarine threat, the launcher rotates automatically to aim to the target area, while the distance of launching is simply set by the elevation arc of the launcher. Weapons of this genre were used for the first time in British destroyers and other antisubmarine ships during the Second World War, but in that time they were not automated.
In the following photographs, the destroyers Bespokoynyy (620), Nastoychivyy (610) and Besstrashnyy (434), commissioned in the last days of 1991, 1992 and 1993, respectively, and currently in service with the Russian Navy.
The following photographs show Sovremennyy class destroyers in service with the Chinese Navy. The first image right below shows a conventional type, while the others show a more recent variant with modifications specifically ordered by the Chinese Navy; in this variant the AK-130 mounting astern was suppressed and the hull was shortened, while the two AK-630 CIWS were replaced by two Kashtan CIWS.
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