MOSKVA class gallery

The two Moskva class anti-submarine cruisers were designated within the project known as “Project 1123 Kondor“. These ships, when entered service in the late 1960s, were the largest vessels built by the USSR since the 1917 Revolution and their appearance was really impressive.
The design of the Moskva class was strongly influenced by the Italian Vittorio Veneto class cruisers and the French Jeanne D’Arc cruiser of smaller dimensions. The ships operated mainly in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, although they made some exits to the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. Despite its elegant appearance, the bow tended to “snuffle” and were unstable in rough seas, making the cruises uncomfortable and insecure to their crews.
The Western forecasts were that the USSR could build up to a dozen ships of this class, but finally the class was reduced to only two units. Although it seems that the vessels were never really effective in detecting the SSBNs, it is more than possible that the presence of the Moskva class influenced the US Navy to develop powerful submarine launching missiles.
(Moskva ship). The Moskva class were the first ships within the Soviet Navy to have a permanent air wing. In addition to exercising as antisubmarine cruisers, they could also serve as assault helicopter carriers in amphibious operations. They had a flight deck of 81 x 34 meters, and just below, an internal hangar of 67 x 25 meters, both areas were connected by two elevators.
These ships had two lifts of 16 x 4.50 meters, one on the port and one on the starboard side of the wide flight deck. At the base of the large funnel is a tractor garage, a small maintenance workshop for helicopters and a meeting room for pilots. Upon these facilities was the flight operations control room.
Moskva class could carry a maximum of 30 helicopters on board, although their usual endowment was between 15 and 18 units. Despite having a huge flight deck, these vessels could not operate with V/STOL aircraft such as the Yak-38 Forger, as this deck was too weak to withstand the thrust of the engines and the weight of the aircraft.
(Leningrad ship). The small size of the elevators was a serious problem when the Moskvas had to operate with helicopters other than the Ka-25. In 1974, during demining operations on the Suez Canal, the Leningrad ship had to carry the Mil Mi-8 Hip helicopters destined for these tasks permanently on the deck, as can be seen in this image.
(Moskva ship). These ships were architecturally divided into two totally different sections that were separated by the imposing set of superstructures. This set was composed by the funnel, the main mast and the command tower. In the bow area were the weapons systems and the aft area was completely occupied by the flight deck and the aeronautical installations.
(Moskva ship). The block of superstructures was built in a staggered way to more easily accommodate all communication and electronic systems. Equally, the installation of the armament follows this guideline, thus finding the double launchers for SA-N-3 “Goblet” SAM missiles in the bow area. The launchers are widely separated from each other and at different heights to achieve wide sectors of fire.
(Moskva ship). The armament of the Moskva class was of great power, having two twin launchers for SA-N-3 “Goblet” SAM missiles, one twin launcher for SUW-N-1 anti-submarine missiles armed with FRAS-1 5 kilotons nuclear warhead, two 12 barrels RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers, two twin 57/80mm guns and ten 533mm torpedo tubes in 2 quintuple mounts. These ships were the first to carry the SA-N-3 missiles, which would eventually become the standard anti-aircraft weapon of all the large Soviet ships during the 70s.
(Moskva ship). The list of electronic equipment included a “Top Sail” 3-D aerial surveillance radar, a “Head Net C” 3-D surface surveillance radar, two “Head Light C” SAM missiles guidance radars, two “Muff Cob” fire control radars for the 57mm guns, two “Don-2” navigation radars, a “Moose Jaw” keel sonar with a retractable transducer, and a “Mare Tail” variable depth sonar. The list ended with eight “Side Globe” ECM devices and two chaff and fungible dipoles launchers.
(Moskva ship). The lack of openings in the hull made the western naval experts think that in its design the habitability and accommodations for the crew were taken care of, as well as better security systems and damage control. It seems that this aspect was even superior to ships built many years later.
(Leningrad ship). The propulsion system was of conventional type and was composed by 4 high pressure steam boilers that provided power to 2 turbines geared to two axes that moved two propellers. These vessels reached 30 knots of maximum speed, although the cruise speed was 24 knots. The operation of the powerplant was always a cause of problems and, together with the low stability of the vessel, it created a bad reputation within the Red Fleet.
(Leningrad ship). At the end of the 70s Moskva and Leningrad ships received a slight overhaul in which the torpedo tubes were removed and minor improvements were made. The torpedo tubes were inside two openings made in the middle hull section, under the superstructure area.
(Moskva ship). The tactical use of these large cruises was designed to operate always with more ships, so it was decided not to equip them with antiship weapons and leave this mission to other ships of the task force. In fact, the main mission of the Moskva class was to detect and point the enemy submarines to other ships, which would be the ones that would perform the “hunt” itself.
(Moskva ship). Moskva and Leningrad vessels were attached to the Black Sea Fleet and their main base was that of Sevastopol until their withdrawal in 1991. Both ships were scrapped in the late 1990s.


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