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Russia’s Pyotr Veliky cruiser for hypersonic missile upgrade

February 19, 15:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Pyotr Veliky's current main armaments are Granit anti-ship missiles and the Fort air defense missile system, a naval analogue of the S-300 system
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© Lev Fedoseev/TASS

MOSCOW, February 19. /TASS/. Russian warship Pyotr Veliky - Peter the Great - will be fitted with new-generation hypersonic 3M22 missiles in a 2019-2022 upgrade for the Russian Navy's only operational nuclear-powered cruiser, the world’s largest nuclear-propelled military vessel that is not an aircraft carrier, a shipbuilding industry source told TASS on Friday.

"The Pyotr Veliky will start repairs in the third or fourth quarter of 2019. Repairs and upgrade are due for completion in late 2022, the ship to be equipped with Zircon hypersonic anti-ship missiles," the source said.

"The missile is undergoing development testing and will enter service if it passes," the source said, without specifying the trial schedule.

Another defense industry source told TASS that the cruiser, coded Project 11442 and having the NATO reporting name Kirov-class, would be equipped with 10 3S-14 launch systems for firing Onyx, Kalibr and Zircon missiles. Two launch versions exist - for four and eight missiles, the source not specifying which version would be installed.

Editor-in-chief of the journal National Defense Igor Korotchenko told TASS that the new missiles "will improve the ship’s combat characteristics, survivability and firing capabilities as well as expand its combat mission scope in various theaters of naval operations".

Zircon's operating parameters are classified. But according to open sources, the new missile’s range may be up to 400 kilometers, flying five times faster than the speed of sound.

The Pyotr Veliky's current main armaments are Granit anti-ship missiles and the Fort air defense missile system, a naval analogue of the S-300 system. The same-class Admiral Nakhimov cruiser is currently undergoing an upgrade and is due to reach navy ranks in 2018.

The Project 11442 Pyotr Veliky nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser is designed to sink hostile ships, destroy land targets and provide air defense for its formation. The cruiser carries the 130-mm AK-130 gun, land-attack, antiship and surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, Kortik SAM/gun close-in weapons systems and the Vodopad antisubmarine missile/torpedo system. The ship was launched in 1989 and commissioned with the Russian Navy in 1998. It displaces 24,500 tons and measures 251 m long. It has a full power of 140,000 hp, a speed of 31 knots and a crew of 728. The cruiser carries a Kamov Ka-27 (Helix) helicopter or a derivative thereof.

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