Nuclear cruiser arrives in Severomorsk

Publish date: February 1, 1997

Written by: Igor Kudrik

On November 24 1996, the nuclear-powered cruiser Peter the Great ("Kirov" class) arrived at the home port of the Northern Fleet - Severomorsk. The ship was scheduled to go on mission in the beginning of 1997. Most of the crew members are officers of the
Pacific Fleet, a fact suggesting that the final decision on where the ship is to be stationed has not yet been made. According to admiral Kasatonov "time will show".

The construction of the cruiser started back in 1986. It was to be commissioned in 1991, but lacking finances slowed and finally halted the project for two years, causing the completion of the construction works to be postponed until the second part of 1996.

On its way to the Northern Fleet, Peter the Great suffered an accident on October 27 1996, killing five persons. This incident caused growing criticism against the new cruiser:
Peter the Great is already out of date, being built according to a design developed in the 60’s. A number of technical improvements does not change this basic fact.
Most of the mechanisms onboard the cruiser are to be replaced due to the unusually long term of construction.
In its current state, the vessel is prone to accidents similar to the one which took place on October 1996.
And finally, the cruiser is homeless. Vessels of this class require special base facilities, which are not available – neither at the Northern nor at the Pacific Fleet.

Two nuclear-powered cruisers similar to Peter the Great and commissioned to the Northern Fleet in 1980 and 1984, are currently out of operation due to lack of maintenance and reactor refuelling facilities.


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