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Project 58 Grozny
Kynda class
Guided Missile Cruiser

The prototype of the new series - since designated KYNDA Class in NATO terminology - was displayed during the course of her sea trials in 1962 and immediately became the object of lively interest within the profession. That interest was not accidental: this new type of warship represented a spectacular new development, whose varied weapons arsenal was not matched in the West. Particularly important was the superior range of the ship's surface-to-surface missile system.

The KYNDA Class was designed within the framework of the anti-carrier naval construction doctrines of 1956-59. Even today, in Soviet nomenclature its representatives are designated as "Raketnyye Kreyzera" (missile cruisers). To be sure, in size it remains at the bottom of this category, but that did not carry much weight at the time, since, because of its size, it was considered to be more of a "bloated" destroyer than a cruiser. This becomes clear by virtue of the fact that, up to the end of the 1960s, several of the well-known fleet handbooks classified it as a destroyer and not a cruiser. This was further reflected in her NATO designation as a DDG - Destroyer, Guided Missile. In the 1960s she was reclassified as a CG - Cruiser, Guided Missile. It is noteworthy that, in contrast to the Western navies, the Soviets, with the KYNDA Class, had developed a ship type equipped to handle all conceivable deployment modes, enabling her to operate independently and at long range.

The Kynda class surface warfare cruisers, deployed during 1962-1965, were among the first of the modern Soviet warships. Initially laid down as destroyers, on 29 September 1962 they were redesignated as Rocket Cruisers. Only slightly longer than the Krupnyy and Kildin destroyer, they had significantly more firepower and could launch 16 SS-N-3b SLCMs and 24 SA-N-1 surface-to-air missiles, and also had six 21-inch torpedo tubes.

Initially, the main purpose of the Project 58 was considered "the destruction of light cruisers, destroyers and large transports of the enemy and conduct a successful battle with enemy ships, armed with short-range rocket weapons." Subsequently add the task defeat the enemy aircraft carrier formations.

The missile cruiser Project 58 left a noticeable mark on the history of the domestic shipbuilding and fleet, often considered to be their "first missile cruiser and the world who did not have their foreign counterparts". These ships were cruisers, so to speak, a "scheduled" willful decision. This is evidenced by at least the fact that the destroyers of the late 1970s in the Soviet and in the US Navy beat them in tonnage, almost doubled. But it is indisputable that Soviet scientists and designers were the first in practice to successfully solve the problem of creating a powerful compact ship with missile systems for various applications, with high concentration of new elements at the time, electronic equipment responding, as it seemed, to the requirements of naval warfare. Missile cruiser Project 58 became the first domestic surface ships with nuclear weapons and, therefore, with unprecedented and incomparable fighting capabilities.

The development and creation of a cruiser 58 was awarded the Lenin Prize in 1966, but the list was not a awarded to the Chief Designer, or the actual chief of the Navy. VA Nikitin after completion of the main creative work went to a "deserved rest" and P.Khokhlov almost simultaneously with him was discharged. Recent accounts of Project 58 assign as the chief designer A.V. Fisher.

The basic outlines of the Soviet nuclear-age navy were visible at the beginning of the 1970s. There were 26 cruisers, including 2 Moskva class helicopter carriers and 8 missile-equipped Kresta- and Kynda class cruisers. One hundred destroyers, 24 of which carried missiles, were in commission. There were 106 oceangoing escorts ranging from 900 to l500 tons displacement. There were 125 small missile patrol boats.

In the study of the various options of the program of military shipbuilding the number of new missile cruisers varied. The maximum intended build of such ships was at least 16. However, in fact, four ships were built at the Leningrad Shipbuilding Plant. The excessive top-weight of the design prompted the decision to build the larger Kresta class, and only four were built. Three of the class were stricken 1991-1993. Life made major adjustments that were implemented in part in the subsequent work. In Project 1134, which became the further development of Project 58, many of the elements were improved. Therefore, the "Varyag", named after the famous cruiser which immediately in the construction received the title of Guards, was the last ship of the series.

Admiral Golovko was recommissioned from reserve in 1995 to serve as the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, and by mid-1997 the Black Sea Fleet flag had reportedly transferred from the 'Kara' class Kerch'. By early 2001 Golovko began a refit at Sevastopol, following the designation of the Moskva (ex-Slava) as the Black Sea Fleet flagship in April 2000.



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