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Project 1164 Atlant - Moskva (ex-Slava)

On 12 April 2022, information appeared in the Ukrainian media about the shooting down of the Moskva missile cruiser in the Black Sea. TASS reported "The cruiser "Moskva" sank while being towed in a storm - Russian Defense Ministry.... During the towing of the Moskva cruiser to the port of destination, the ship lost its stability due to damage to the hull received during the fire from the detonation of ammunition. In the conditions of stormy seas, the ship sank," the military department said.

The Pr1164 Atlant [aka Moskva] cruisers were designed to win the "Struggle for the First Salvo" - hence the distinctive battery of 16 Bazalt (SS-N-12) tubes. With a very short life expectancy after a volley, possibly not much damage control was in the design.

Vladislav Shurygin , a military expert and member of the Izborsk Club, had reported : “An emergency situation occurred on the cruiser, a fire and explosion of ammunition in an artillery turret located on the bow of the ship. After that, the struggle for survivability began. The crew was removed, only the emergency parties remained, as there was a danger that the fire would spread to the main ammunition, to the missiles. This was avoided, and in the morning the control of the cruiser was restored, and by lunchtime it went to Sevastopol on its own, about which our public was warned by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, who “reassured” everyone, saying that the Russian cruiser was afloat and moving towards Sevastopol. True, a couple of minutes before Kirby's message, Ukraine reported that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had attacked the Moskva cruiser, it caught fire, there was an explosion, at the moment it turned over and was sinking. We see that the process of "sinking" is very extended, apparently for many years."

There was no official information on casualties as a result of the incident. The ministry reported that the entire crew of the cruiser was evacuated to other ships of the Black Sea Fleet. The ship received "serious damage" but remained afloat, the Defense Department said. In addition, the main missile armament of the cruiser was not damaged. the Ministry of Defense reported on the localization of the source of ignition and the elimination of open burning. Explosions of ammunition on board ceased. When the cruiser was towed to the port of destination due to damage to the hull received during the fire from the detonation of ammunition, the ship "lost stability and sank in a stormy sea".

Claims that it sank "because of storm" appear dubious. Conditions in the Black Sea today at 17:00 local time were nowhere near “stormy” with wind speed of 14 knots and wave height of around 1 meter.

Veteran of the Russian-Ukrainian war Oleksandr Karpyuk said that Ukrainian-made missiles "Neptune" hit the Russian ship. The Office of the President of Ukraine confirmed the information about the incident on board the Moskva cruiser and stated that the ship was on fire.

Ammunition detonated on the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Moskva cruiser, the ship was seriously damaged, the crew was completely evacuated, the Russian Defense Ministry said 14 April 2022. "As a result of a fire, ammunition detonated on the Moskva missile cruiser. The ship was seriously damaged. The crew was completely evacuated," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement. They added that "the cause of the fire is under investigation." The Russian side claims that there was a fire and an explosion of ammunition on the ship, followed by the evacuation of the crew. Reports about the use of "Neptune" by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation were bypassed, and pro-Russian bloggers call the destruction of "Moscow" by "Neptune" missiles a fake.

US President Joe Biden's National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on April 14 that the ship was severely damaged on April 13 as a result of "incompetence" or a successful attack by the Ukrainian military. “During the night we contacted the Ukrainians who said they hit the ship with anti-ship missiles. We don’t have the capacity for independent verification yet, but certainly the way this has unfolded is a big blow to Russia. This is their Moskva flagship. and now they are forced to admit that he is badly damaged. And they had to choose between two stories. One story is just incompetence, and the other is that they were hit. Both of them are not a particularly good result," Sullivan said.

"Both explanations for the sinking of the Moskva point to possible Russian shortcomings - either poor air defense, or incredibly weak security and damage control on the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet," said analysts Mason Clark, Ekaterina Stepanenko and George Barros of the Institute Study of War wrote in their daily military briefing. “This raises the question of naval competence 10 years after Putin announced that he was going to restore the capabilities, morale and professionalism of the navy. It seems that he could not keep any of his promises,” Karl Shuster, a former US Navy captain said.

Project 1164 Slava cruiserIt is worth noting that the incident occurred on a missile ship, with which a Ukrainian soldier was negotiating on the island "Snake". The soldier, responding to the threats of the occupiers, said over the radio: "Go fuck yourself!" The flagship Russian missile cruiser had been one of the most recognizable symbols of Ukrainian resistance since the war broke out. The Moskva gained notoriety on 24 February 2022 as Russia kicked off its invasion, when it was one of two ships that confronted a small contingent of Ukrainian guards on the tiny Black Sea outpost known as Snake Island. In an account that swiftly entered the Ukrainian war lexicon, the guards reportedly shouted at the ships to leave when ordered to surrender. An audio recording of the exchange went viral, causing a torrent of patriotic memes.

The incident also made it onto a stamp that went into formal issuance and was lauded by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Instagram a day before reports emerged that the Moskva was in trouble. “We call for entries for the next target, Ukraine’s postal service said on Twitter, posting an image of the stamp showing a Ukrainian soldier facing a hostile military vessel with a defiant gesture.

The General Belgrano, named after an Argentine independence leader, was a former US Brooklyn class cruiser with a displacment of 9,575 tons (empty) 12,242 ton (full load). Belgrano was sunk on 02 May 1982 by a British submarine during the Falklands War. The Slava, with a displacement of 9,800-10,000 tons standard and 11,200-12,500 tons full load, was thus the largest warship [by displacement] sunk in combat since World War II.

The sinking of the Russian warship Moskva was “a very big loss” for Moscow, defence and military analyst Pavel Felgengauer told Al Jazeera 15 April 2022. “Losing a flagship during a war is really bad, it’s bad PR,” Felgengauer said. “It’s going to increase the morale of Ukrainians at a time when they are on the verge of losing Mariupol,” he added. The Institute for the Study of War (IOW) said it was not able to verify that Ukraine had sunk the warship, but the Moskva’s loss – regardless of the cause – was a “major propaganda victory for Ukraine”. In contrast, it was likely to undermine Russian morale, the institute said.

The sinking came while the Christian world celebrates Easter which marks Jesus’s death and resurrection. A Piece of the True Cross on which the believers say Jesus Christ was crucified would be kept at the Moskva missile cruiser, the Black Sea fleet flagship, archpriest of the Russian Orthodox Church’s Sevastopol District Sergiy Khalyuta told TASS. He explained that the relic is a wood chip only several millimeters long. It is embedded into a 19th century metal cross, which, in turn, is stored in a special reliquary.

"This relic used to belong to a Catholic church, but was acquired by anonymous patrons of arts, and it was their will to send the relic to the [Black Sea] fleet. The Moskva cruiser has an onboard chapel, where services take place," Khalyuta said. He underscored that such relics are very rare and important for all Christians — both the Catholics and the Orthodox. Russia is in possession of several items with pieces of the True Cross embedded into them; usually, they can be found in large temples. Purchasing such relics has become possible after European churches began to close and sell their property.

Military analyst HI Sutton initially believed that the sunken cruiser Moskva could have lost up to half of the crew. He made such a conclusion after analyzing images from the parade ground in Sevastopol, on which the cruiser personnel lined up, and the video of the Russian Defense Ministry. Sutton estimated that approximately 240 people were present at the formation, while the approximate composition of the Moskva’s crew consisted of about 510 people. According to the Russian edition of The Insider, there were about a hundred sailors on the parade ground.

Meduza, an independent Russian-language news website, citing a source close to the Black Sea command, said 37 members of the Moskva’s crew had died. About 100 men were wounded, while the precise number of missing is unknown, the publication said. Some 500 people were on board when the Moskva was hit, Meduza said, citing the source.

Messages about the death of sailors on the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet began to appear on social networks. Russia had not made any official comment about if -- or how many -- sailors died. In a statement shortly after the incident, Russia stated it had “completely” evacuated the crew. However, in subsequent statements the reference to “completely” was missing. A hospital in Sevastopol had about 200 young men, injured with burns. There were only 200 people there, and there were more than 500 on the cruiser. Where are the others? A number of conscripts are "missing" aboard the Moskva.

The statement of a conscript sailor who witnessed the attack on Moskva was revealed by Novaya Gazeta, Russia's leading investigative media outlet, which now operates from outside the country after being gagged by Putin. The anonymous survivor told his mother in tears that at least 40 crew members died in the attack, with “many missing” and mutilated with lost limbs.

Earlier, Vladimir Putin said that conscripts would not be sent to war with Ukraine. At the same time, it follows from the video of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation that there were conscript sailors on the sunken cruiser Moskva. Thus, the commander of the Black Sea Fleet reports that those who serve under the contract will continue to serve, and conscripts will be dismissed from May to June.

The administration of the President of Russia saw footage of the fire and sinking of the ship, which looks like the Russian cruiser Moskva, posted on the Internet, but they cannot say how authentic and true they are. This was announced to journalists on April 18 by the press secretary of the Russian leader Dmitry Peskov.

Dmitry Zhavoronkov had reported 29 November 2018 that "The existing fire alarm and fire extinguishing systems on the Russian cruisers of projects 1164 Atlant, 1144 Orlan and 11435 Krechet are outdated and do not meet modern requirements.... On Soviet ships designed before 1980, the installation of a full-fledged fire alarm is not provided at all. So, the fire alarm system, for example, on the cruisers of project 1164 was absent initially.... It was noted that the lack of a fire detection system significantly affects the survivability of the cruiser, it cannot correspond to the status of a modern ship.... the likelihood of a fire depends on the life of the ship: the older it is, the more malfunctions there will be.... The delay in the detection time of a fire, obviously, leads to its growth and increase in intensity. Thus, the effective use of fire extinguishing agents may become impossible. "

The Moskva cruiser was laid down on the slipway of the Nikolaev Shipbuilding Plant named after 61 Communards in 1976 as the Slava missile cruiser. Launched on July 27, 1979. In September 2020, the cruiser went to sea after a scheduled overhaul. The ship became part of the permanent readiness forces of the fleet.

The ship was equipped with 16 P-1000 Vulkan anti-ship missiles with a range of at least 700 km. Ammunition uses a combined flight pattern: part of the trajectory was overcome at high altitude, and near the target they decrease. The ship was also armed with S-300 Fort long-range air defense systems, which allow it to provide zonal air defense: to protect an entire area or squadron from enemy attacks.

Moskva was the lead ship of the Project 1164 Atlant class of guided missile cruisers in the Russian Navy. The ship was held under the patronage of the city of Moscow. On May 20, 1973, the ship was added to the lists of the Navy, on November 6, 1976 it was laid down at the 61 Kommunar plant in Nikolaev (building number 2008), on July 27, 1979 it was launched, and on December 10, 1981, the crew began to check in, On September 3, 1982, factory trials began, on November 3, 1982, the first embarkation, acceptance certificate was signed on December 30, 1982, the flag was raised, and on February 7, 1983, the cruiser became part of the Black Sea Fleet (150 brigade missile ships of the 30th division, although originally planned for the Pacific Fleet). Chief builder V.P. Furtat. First commander captain 2nd rank V.O. Moskalenko.

In September, the ship was visited by Minister of Defense of the USSR D.F. Ustinov. October 15, 1983 "Glory" completed the transition to Severomorsk to practice firing the main missile system. In the city, the transition to Sevastopol was advertised by an excellent ship. The initiator of the appeal was "To treat public property with care, to maintain educational and material resources in an exemplary manner, to achieve fuel savings of 5%," as well as the initiator of the social competition in the Navy, "For a worthy meeting for the 40th anniversary of the Victory and the 27th Congress of the CPSU." Cap commander 2 ranks V.A. Krikunov. In 1985 he was awarded the MO pennant, since September factory warranty repair. Since June 12, 1986, military service in the Mediterranean, November 18-22, 1986, a visit to Piraeus (Greece) with the "Komsomolets of Ukraine", under the flag of adm. M. Chronopulo. In January March 1989, the repair at the plant. 61 Kommunara (with the equipment of apartments for the meeting of the Presidents of the USSR and the USA in 1990 dismantled). December 1-2, 1989, provided the meeting of the presidents of the USSR and the USA in Malta, with a call to La Valletta. In 1990 commander cap. 2 ranks V. Lesnoy.

Since December 12, 1991 to factory repair in Nikolaev. Since 1993, the repair was stopped. Renamed to "Moscow" in honor of the chief of the ship, Moscow. Since 1995, cap. 1st rank V. Bogdashin, repair resumed. May 13, 1998 awarded the title of "Guards" (a flag from the "Red Caucasus"). According to the plan, the completion of repair in October 1998. Board numbers: 126 (1983), 108 (1984), 106 (1987), 121 (1990)

Slava returned to Nikolayev in December 1990 for a refit but was not returned to service. Since he was introduced into the fleet earlier than anyone else - in 1982, by the time of the collapse of the USSR he needed major repairs and modernization, so he was at the factory in Nikolaev. After the collapse, the question arose - what to do with Glory. There were no funds for modernization, and a huge debt formed before the plant. And at that moment the command of the Black Sea Fleet decided to take an extraordinary step - it appealed to the Moscow government with a request to take patronage of the ship. In 1996, the ship was renamed "Moscow", and in 1999 the ship finally re-entered service.

The Moskva (ex-Slava), which had been in refit at the Nikolayev yard since December 1990, remained undelivered to the Russian Black Sea Fleet through the end of the millenium. The Moskva was expected to return to service to replace the Admiral Golokov as the flagship of the Black Sea fleet. No projected date for completion of this much-delayed work was known.

Scheduled for eight months become a long eight and a half years. Funding was received at all, and the first five years of the cruiser was maintained only thanks to the dedication of the crew. Only mentoring Municipality and personally Yuri Luzhkov allowed to raise funds for the repairs. Without an effective and comprehensive assistance to the Muscovites, active and principled position of the commanders of the Black Sea Fleet admiral Igor Kasatonov, Victor Kravchenko Vladimir Komoyedov ship, probably to this day continued to remain motionless monument bylomu might of the Soviet fleet. June 22, 1995 order of the Commander of the Navy of the Russian Federation cruiser got a new name - "Moscow".

The then mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, played the main role in this. Thanks to his connections and the gift of persuasion, the ship became sponsored by Moscow, and the Ukrainian side underwent repairs. One cannot but appreciate the assistance of Luzhkov to Severodvinsk and Severodvinsk enterprises. The main thing was that in 1996 the ship was renamed and received the name "Moscow", and then was transferred to Sevastopol.

On June 12, 1997 the ship was raised by St. Andrew's flag. May 13, 1998 in order to preserve the traditions of the Navy Guard ship handed over the flag and the title of Guards output from the BSF guards patrol ship "Red Caucasus". On July 19, 1999, after several delays the issuance of "Moscow" finally left Nikolaev. In the district of Ochakov cruiser it took naval tugs, and three days later, on July 21 the ship notified Sevastopol his return volleys of cannon salutes. July 25, the Day of the Navy of Russia, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet Russia stood on parade in Sevastopol Bay. In April 2000, the first time in 10 years, "Moscow" put out to sea to test the bogies. After checking the weapons, in November, the cruiser joined the Standby Force.

The Moskva was finally returned to service in April 2000, re-commissioned with hull number "121" after its overhaul. In mid-2008 the official newspaper of the Russian Black Sea Fleet (BSF) reported that the large anti-submarine ship (BPK) "Ochakov", which has just finished repairs, could become the flagship of the BSF instead of the cruiser "Moskva". "This project 1134B BPK (Kara class), designed more than 40 years ago, had entered the 21st Century with a millennial overhaul with the aim of extending its service life 15-20 years. This is an unprecedented event for the fleet." Intermediate repairs began at the end of the 1980s, however, with the breakup of the Soviet Union, they were never finished. Additionally a serious fire in 1993 significantly complicated the technical condition of the "Ochakov". Moskva replaced the Kynda class cruiser Admiral Golokov as the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet in early April 2003.

Moskva, along with Pytlivy, Smetlivy, and a landing ship departed Sevastopol for exercises in the Indian Ocean with a Pacific Fleet task group (Marshal Shaposhnikov and Admiral Panteleyev) and the Indian Navy. The force was supported by the Project 1559V tanker Ivan Bubnov and the Project 712 ocean-going tug Shakhter. In August 2008, in response to the Georgian crisis, the Moskva was deployed to secure the Black Sea. After Russia's recognition of Abkhazia's independence, the ship was stationed at the Abkhazian capital, Sukhumi. In August 2008, he took part in the Five-Day War of Russia and Georgia, providing air defense of the theater of war and based on Novorossiysk.

On 03 December 2009 the Moskva was laid up for a month at floating dock PD-30 for a scheduled interim overhaul which comprised replacement of cooling and other machinery, reclamation work at bottom and outboard fittings, propulsion shafts and screws, clearing and painting of bottom and above-water parts of the ship's hull. In April 2010 it was reported that the cruiser would join other navy units in the Indian Ocean to conduct exercises.

Guards missile cruiser "Moskva", the flagship of the Black Sea fleet, will not pass repair with modernization in 2015, as previously expected. It had been expected that the cruiser "Moskva" would be on a four-year renovation with a deep modernization.

"Plans to repair the ship to the modernization at the 13th shipyard in Sevastopol this year renegotiated contract for this work has not been signed. The cruiser was on service contracts for its planned mezhpohodovye repairs and maintenance to maintain the technological readiness", a source in the military-industrial complex said 21 May 2015. According to him, the repair of the "Moscow" with modernization "will not begin until next year."

The transfer of work caused by two factors - the economic situation and the need to wait for entering the Black Sea fleet of new ships. In the near future it must replenish Project 11356 frigates and submarines of the project 636.3, but on the Black Sea are not. "The technical condition of the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet is now such that it is quite able to effectively perform the tasks without going through the modernization of at least another one year", - assured the official.

In the second half of 2015, the cruiser was the head of the permanent operational unit of the Russian Navy in the Mediterranean, where he covered the Russian air base Khmeimim in Syria with his own means of air defense. The flagship of the Black Sea Fleet had not gone to sea since January 2016. In 2018, the modernization of another Atlant, the cruiser Moskva, should begin. According to known data, based on the results of these works, the ship will restore the technical readiness of all major systems, as well as receive modern radio-electronic means. Also, a partial update of the weapons complex was reported. Instead of the existing anti-aircraft missile system S-300F, the newest S-400 will be installed.

According to one of the designers of the Northern Design Bureau (SPKB), as of July 2018 work to create a technical project for the modernization of the ship was not being conducted now due to lack of funds. He added that money was "the maximum for maintenance repair." The Navy had reported to the General Staff about the inexpediency of modernization of the RRC "Moscow" due to lack of money. According to a representative of the fleet, who wished to remain anonymous,, "in a somewhat distorted form" this information got into the media. He particularly stressed that there was no talk about the disposal of the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, but there are indeed difficulties with financing.

"At the moment, the pre-modernization work was stopped, the ship's fate was suspended in the air," said the officer. "There is an installation to revive the Crimean ship repair, so the cruiser will be repaired in Sevastopol." The question of modernization of the ship has been postponed for an indefinite period.

Repair of the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet - the guards missile cruiser Moskva, which had not gone to sea for about three years, was nearing completion, director of the 13th Black Sea Fleet Repair Facility Alexander Yuryev told TASS 04 January 2020. The cruiser Moskva had not gone to sea since 2016 in connection with the repair and modernization of the ship. The first voyage after the completion of the first stage of the repair took place on June 5, 2019.

As of early 2020, the ship was under repair at the 13th shipyard of the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol. In the summer of 2019, the ship went to sea for the first time in three years, but after returning it was put back to the berth, to complete the repair of the main power plant and completely restore marching readiness. When the work will be completed was not reported.

Launched in 1979, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet (Black Sea Fleet), the guards missile cruiser Moskva, which was removed from the dock on 03 July 2020 after repairs, would remain in service until at least 2040, which will be a record for its service life. "During the repair, the cruiser replaced the second bottom, tanks, part of the underwater hull, which, according to experts, will allow him to be in service for at least another 20 years," a source in the military-industrial complex said. The source noted that "for domestic warships of the 1st rank, this will become one of the records of the total service life."

The head of the State Council of Crimea, Vladimir Konstantinov, invited the citizens of the Russian Federation on 21 April 2022 to remember the traditions of the past and donate their savings to the construction of a new cruiser. Konstantinova acknowledges that defense money comes from tax revenues, but he noted the importance of "having before our eyes a clear example of our personal involvement." “Our people have a tradition to donate their savings to the needs of the army when it fights for a just cause on the battlefield…,” Konstantinov said. At the same time, the representative of the State Council of Crimea stressed that the State can allocate as much money for the defense of the country as necessary.



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Page last modified: 02-05-2022 20:18:58 ZULU