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Project 1134 Berkut Kresta I
Project 1134A Berkut-A Kresta II
Guided Missile Cruiser

Missile cruisers Project 1134 for the first time in the Soviet Navy had a code name - "Berkut" ["Golden Eagle"], while the lead ship - "Admiral Zozulya" - was given the code word from NATO of the Kresta I class. This was a type of Soviet Navy missile cruiser. Before 1966, it was classified as air defense ships, and as ASW from 1966 to 1977. All four of the project cruisers were built for the Soviet military with a marine classification assigned to divisions of large anti-submarine ships, and later they were transferred to the Division of missile cruisers. All the missile cruisers of this series were excluded from the Navy in 1989-1994.

Late in 1962, the Soviets sent to sea the first Kynda class guided-missile cruiser. On board this ship, the most sophisticated weapon system was the SS-N-3 antiship cruise missile (equivalent to the land-based SSC-1a SHADDOCK) with a 200-mile range. A follow-on Soviet cruiser called the Kresta was launched in 1967. This Kresta class cruiser displayed new Soviet technology. The Kresta-Is were primarily antisurface warfare-oriented while the second generation, the Kresta-IIs assumed more of an antisubmarine role. The weapons on the Kresta-IIs include a sophisticated SS-N-14 antisubmarine missile, torpedoes, twin antiaircraft missiles, and a helicopter. Aside from the Kresta, one of the newest Soviet cruisers is the Kara. This ship is propelled by a gas-turbine engine, which was capable of approximately thirty-five knots. In terms of weapons, it carried approximately the same systems as the Kresta-IIs.

Anti-aircraft and shipboard protection arose as a concern in military shipbuilding plans in 1961, with the construction of missile cruisers. The design of Porject 58 was already perfected. So the basis for the development of the newest Project 1134, was an order of the CPSU Central Committee and USSR Council of Ministers No. 1180-510 dated December 30, 1961. Based on this order, in December 1961 the Navy commissioned the North PKB with the drafting of the vessel AA-PLO, avoiding unfinished technical projects, which indicates that a direct sequence from Project 1134 was consistent with Project 58.

The incident giving rise to the appearance of a new vessel was not simply wanting to "improve" Project 58, so that the leading ship of this type had not been built and tested. It was not simply enough to combine Projects 61 and 58, as stated in some (even notable) sources. Any version had the advantage on the availability prior practice, but it appeared already that there was a de facto "similarity" between Project 1134 and Project 58, and Project 61.

The practical mastering of nuclear energy for submrines [PL] and the deployment (abroad and in the USSR) underwater strategic missile and nuclear systems brought on an acute problem of the first rank for anti-submarine warfare. Deciding this problem in principle allowed several fundamental alternatives. From the position of the current role and vision of ships, the decision was not far from a major political office, however, it seemed that surface shipbuilding of value must include anti-submarine ships.

A fundamental factor appeared to be extremely important, which for the first time marked itself in Soviet shipbuilding in the late 1950s, and became a force in the 1960s. Shipbuilding and the fleet for the entire remainder of the Soviet period of their existence, were specifically dictated by the military-industrial complex in questions of military-technical policy. The fact of the matter is that a complicated system of numerous State committees (ministries) and departments provided for the construction of the fleet. There never was an actual single governing body capable of predicting, validating, and editing the work of subordinate branches.

Instead what existed was the Commission of the CPSU Central Committee and USSR Council of Ministers in accordance with the military-industrial complex (in common parlance - MIC). But because of the extraordinary difficulty of large tasks, their problems were in practice not overcome. In practice, this resulted in countless KB and compounds (particularly missile) developed their technique, consistent only with General instructions "from above", according to their program, but often getting carried away.

With such an arrangement dates the creation of tools and equipment dictated the timing of the creation of the ship. Designers were often faced with the situation where, for example, the complex was not yet ready for management systems in the early stages of development, and the ship with the approved technical specifications of substance (TTE) already needed fleet input and "collect" it from what there is. Similar constraints spawned the construction of ships in small batches, and in their extreme specifications ships often differed with their TTE very much.

n general, the project 1134 cruisers did not become landmarks in the domestic shipbuilding industry. Forced to be designed for existing weapons, they were unsuccessful both as anti-submarine ships and as cruisers. By the merits of the project attributed only good seakeeping, better than at the predecessor, habitability and the possibility of permanent basing of the helicopter.

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Page last modified: 13-09-2021 17:21:21 ZULU