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Russia: four submarines and two cruisers to be scrapped by 2021

Two heavy nuclear cruisers of project 1144 - the Admiral Ushakov and the Admiral Lazarev, and four nuclear submarines - the Daniil Moskovsky K-448, the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky K-221, the Svyatoy Georgy Pobedonosets K-433, and the Podolsk K-232 will be scrapped by the end of 2021, the Izvestia daily writes.

Russia four submarines and two cruisers to be scrapped by 2021 The Russian Northern Fleet’s missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky (Kirov-class, which is the upgraded version of the Orlan-class) on its way to St. Petersburg (Picture Source: Finnish Navy)

Four Orlan-class cruisers of project 1144 were built for the Soviet and Russian Navy: the Admiral Ushakov, the Admiral Lazarev, the Admiral Nakhimov and the Petr Veliky. They were built in 1973-1996. Three cruisers joined the Northern fleet and the Admiral Lazarev operated in the Pacific fleet. At present only the Petr Veliky is operational.

The Admiral Ushakov was floated in 1980 and was decommissioned in 2002. It has been moored in Severodvinsk since then. In the 1990s the Admiral Lazarev was mothballed. In 2014, the 30th Shipyard of the Pacific fleet completed dock overhaul, but no rearmament was launched.

Only the Admiral Nakhimov is being upgraded to fire Kalibr and Onix missiles. It will get the modern Poliment-Redut air defence. The upgrade of the Petr Veliky will begin after the Admiral Nakhimov becomes operational again.

Three Kalmar-class SSGN of project 667BDR capable of carrying 16 R-29R ICBM and torpedoes will be scrapped. They were for a long time the backbone of the naval part of the nuclear triad. Two submarines of the project will remain in the Navy - the Ryazan K-44 and the Orenburg BS-129. Shchuka-class SSN of project 671RTMK, the Daniil Moskovsky K-448 was the main submarine in 1980-1990s. The project was successful due to stealth and tactical characteristics and reliability.

The utilization of the Podolsk SSGN will be the most expensive. 975 million rubles will be appropriated. The scrapping of the Daniil Moskovsky is estimated at 250 million, of the Georgy Pobedonosets - 400 mln, and the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky - 300 million. The Defense Ministry will pay 350 million rubles to scrap the Admiral Lazarev and 400 mln for the Admiral Ushakov.

The submarines and the first Orlan-class warships have exhausted their life cycle, former Navy Chief-of-Staff Valentin Selivanov said. "They were perfect warships for their time, but the resource is not unlimited. The Admiral Ushakov is the first Soviet nuclear-powered cruiser. It joined the fleet in 1980. Not each warship can be adapted to new arms. It is better to build a new cruiser or submarine that will serve much longer than an outdated warship," he said.

The Navy will not lose its combat might as the scrapped warships will be replaced by new ones, expert Dmitry Boltenkov believes. The submarines will be replaced by Borey-A-class SSBN of project 955A and Yasen-M-class SSGN of project 885M. Five new SSBN and six SSGN will join the Northern and Pacific fleets in the coming years, the Izvestia said.

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