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Project 1941 SSV-33

The SSV-33 was the sole Project 1941 "Titan" class » Bolshoy Atomnyi Razvedivatelnyi Korabl (Large Nuclear Reconnaissance Ship). The atomic reconnaissance ship "Ural" had no analogs in the Navies from other countries. The body and the nuclear power plant are similar to those nuclear missile cruiser Project 1144 Orlan. The lack of heavy weapons and advanced add-on allowed placing on the ship a lot of systems of electronic reconnaissance, communications, surveillance, making what is called a reconnaissance ship into a universal function unit.

The ship can conduct electronic intelligence (some problems may be solved almost without departing from the pier), to track the trajectory of ballistic missiles, to monitor and manage the satellite, transponder work with the support of manned space flight, as well as to serve as a command ship of the fleet.

This 36,000 ton nuclear-powered command ship, built on the hull of a Kirov class cruiser, served the combined roles of fleet flagship, space tracking ship, missile tracking ship, electronic intelligence ship, and communications relay ship. Designated a Sudno Suyazyy ["communications vessel"], the NATO designator 'KAPUSTA' means 'cabbage', in reference to the large dome on the forward superstructure. The ship had a building (constant) list - 2 degrees to the port side, which was due to a more developed superstructure on the left side. During the ship’s transition to the place of dislocation and its location in the Strelok Bay before the fire in 1990, this list was compensated by the ship’s systems — working sensors for pitching and side heaving, as well as hull deflection showed a normal state.

Back in 1977, together with the USSR Ministry of Defense, the Central Committee of the CPSU and the USSR Ministry of Defense made a decision to build a huge nuclear intelligence ship Ural with a length of 265 meters and a width of 30 meters. It was designed by the Iceberg Central Design Bureau. The ship was laid June 25, 1981 at the Baltic Shipyard in Leningrad, launched in May 1983, came into operation in 1988-89. To solve the problems of electronic surveillance and treatment of information obtained on a near-real time scale on the ship was mounted, unique for its time, the computational complex consisting of several computers of the EU-1046 and "Elbrus".

The ship can carry electronic intelligence (and some tasks can be almost without departing from the pier) to track the trajectory of ballistic missiles, monitor and control the satellite, transponder to work with the support of manned space flight, as well as to serve as a command ship of the fleet.

The ship also has some weapons, consisting of: 2 x 76 mm AK-176, 4 x 30 mm AK-630, 4-quad launchers of MANPADS "Igla" (16 missiles 9M-313), 4 - x 12-mm coaxial machine gun "cliff-M." On board the ship permanently based helicopter Ka-32. Ship radar equipment includes 3 MR-212/201 "Vychegda-U", the radar detection of air targets MR-750 "Fregat-MA", 2 fire control radar MR-123 "Vympel", several special-purpose radar to track missile launches, track the satellites and so on. Ship sonar system includes underkeel CEO CIM-335m "Argun" and submerged GAS "Amulet".

"Ural" with its power plant is identical to the TARKR project 1144 "Orlan" (from which an erroneous conclusion is often made that Ural belongs to the project 1144). In addition to the nuclear power plant, the ship was given energy by two KVG-2 boilers operating on fuel oil — in the bow and stern engine rooms. The standby power plant was intended for use in home-based and anchorages without energy supply facilities.

"Ural" was not created for combat operations and can only withstand boats and small vessels, helicopters. To do this, there are two 76-caliber AK-176 76-mm artillery mounts, four AK-630 30-mm artillery mounts, four quadruple launchers of Igla air defense missile systems, four 12 mm twin U-M machine-guns. But radio-electronic armament from several radio-electronic stations for detecting air, surface and underwater targets, fire control, as well as several special radars and corresponding equipment of the Coral system, designed for detecting, tracking rocket launches, tracking spacecraft orbital satellites, of particular value.

"Ural" could walk for unlimited time without refueling in neutral waters near the US coast and cover the South American intercontinental ballistic missile bases and strategic aviation airfields with an electronic field. His equipment and computers allowed to rapidly process a large amount of intelligence information and transfer it to the military-political management of our country. Obviously, such a ship, which can conduct electrical reconnaissance both from the oceanic waters, and without departing from its own pier in the naval base, apparently did not suit the hidden and obvious enemies and the newly appeared partners of Russia. But even now, when it has been 25 years since the laying of the Ural, it is very difficult to find reliable information about how it was built.

In 1989, an act of state acceptance of the ship was signed and its transfer to the home port of Vladivostok began. All-embracing teams of professionals were drafted who, during the voyage, eliminated probable problems. Management over 2 Elbrus computers was led by scientist Vladimir Anikeev. The computers did not want to perform. Anikeev always disappeared in the depths of the ship and brought the equipment up to standard, so that it could process and issue information in real time. After 59 days, the handsome “Ural” entered the Strelok Bay near Vladivostok. There was no wharf for the giant ship, and he was obliged to anchor in the bay and to start an invisible fight against corrosion and failing mechanisms.

The crew of the "Ural" immediately began to prepare for real combat work in the area of the 1st of the US missile defense test sites. But on a new ship, damage began to occur, and such that even with specialists from the Baltic Plant, naval engineers could not fix the fault in the cooling system of a nuclear installation. Neither of which campaign on combat service was not discussed. The unique intelligence complex “Coral”, Elbrus computer didn’t want to work either. Specially prepared naval specialists could do nothing with them.

As a result, the ship of the first rank, which was to become the flagship of the Far Eastern Navy, became a floating barracks for young or unpromising naval officers. He did not go out into the sea, but his powerful radio-electronic interior, in which the mass of precious metals, eventually fell into disrepair and was plundered.

The GRU stubbornly demanded the construction of a second ship, the Navy objected, since the construction of pr. 1941 interfered with the already sluggish construction of atomic RKR pr. 1144. According to many experts, the creation of this ship was already excessive "pleasure." For this reason, the further construction of such ships, despite the desperate resistance of the representatives of the General Staff, was discontinued. The leadership of the Navy used a standard trick in this fight - as if not rejecting in principle the expediency of building such ships, proposed to do this either instead of the RKR pr.1144, or instead of a program of atomic icebreakers of the Siberia type (there were no empty slipways of the corresponding size in the Baltic Shipyard, but other plants could not build nuclear surface ships). The outcome of the struggle "under the carpet" of the Navy and the General Staff was determined by the collapse of the USSR: they still did not manage to lay the second ship of pr.1941, but they cut the fifth RRC of pr.1144 on a slipway.

For various technical reasons, the ship was decommissioned a year after the completion of construction. The vessel was laid up in 1989 in the Pacific fleet because of high operating costs. In 2001 it had made only one war patrol, so BARZK "Ural" completely written off and put on a distant pier next to the heavy nuclear missile cruiser "Admiral Lazarev" (formerly "Frunze"). Disposal work was started in 2008.

By 2016 the hull of the SSR-33 "Ural" had not yet been disposed of, but the entire superstructure was sawn. Work on the disposal of "Ural" was still underway. It went slowly due to lack of funding. Also, a project for the disposal of this ship was developed for a long time, and for a long time the issue of the formation of the reactor compartment was resolved. Since such ships have mass and dimensional characteristics that are significantly higher than nuclear submarines, this option was adopted - the superstructure was dismantled to the upper deck, and then the reactor was unloaded from the reactor compartment, which was placed in special packaging. If necessary, the ship is cut into two parts in order to be able to put it on a solid foundation.

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Page last modified: 02-12-2019 17:59:20 ZULU