Sverdlov-class cruiser

The Sverdlov class cruisers, Soviet designation Project 68bis, were the last conventional cruisers built for the Soviet Navy, in the 1950s. They were based on Italian pre-Second World War concepts and designs, but with deployment on the North Atlantic and Arctic sea routes as a potential role and represent an intelligent approach with a modest armament of conventional 6 inch triple turrets on a large seaworthy hull able to run fast in rough water and fight her armament in a seaway. The expectation was that they would be accompanied by battlecruisers, but these were never completed or approved. By the mid 1950s the development of USN and Royal Navy jet strike aircraft meant gun cruisers increasingly could only be used for gunfire support and as command ships. Only 14 Sverdlovs were completed before Nikita Khrushchev called a halt to the programme, with 2 hulls being scrapped on the slip and 4 more partially complete Sverdlovs launched in 1954, being scrapped in 1959. Conventional cruisers were considered obsolescent by all navies with the advent of the guided missile, although many dissenting Russian admirals and officers still considered a cruiser effective in overcast weather in the late 1950s' before the age of the all-weather carrier strike aircraft. A total of 30 ships were planned. Only the Mikhail Kutuzov is preserved, in Novorossiysk.

Sverdlov-class cruiser
Class Ship
Type Cruiser
Manufacturer Baltic Shipyard
Production Period 1949 - 1953
Origin Russia (USSR)
Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1950
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Russia (USSR) 1951 1989 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Nikolay Fyodorovich Makarov 1949 1952 3 View
Baltic Shipyard 1949 1953 6 View

Ships

Sverdlov - named after Yakov Sverdlov

  • built by Baltic Yard, Leningrad -
  • laid down 1949, launched 5 July 1950, completed 15 May 1952,
  • On 14.2.78 she was relegated to the reserve and stationed at Liepaya. On 30 May 1989 she was decommissioned, and in 1990 towed to Kronshtadt. In early 1991 she was sold to an Indian company for scrap, and in October 1993 towed to India and scrapped.

Dzerzhinsky - named after Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky
  • built in Nikolayev,
  • laid down 1948, launched 31 August 1950, completed 18 August 1952,
  • On 19 February 1980 she was relegated to the reserve and stationed in Sevastopol; 12.10.88 decommissioned; 1988-1989 scrapped in Inkerman.
Ordzhonikidze - named after Sergo Ordzhonikidze
  • built by Admiralty Yard Leningrad,
  • laid down 1949, launched 17 September 1950, completed 30 June 1952;
  • sold to the Indonesian Navy in 1962, recommissioned as KRI Irian in 1963; sold for scrap to Taiwan in 1972. British frogman Lionel Crabb disappeared in 1956 when secretly inspecting this ship for MI6 when it was docked in Portsmouth Harbour.
Zhdanov - named after Andrei Zhdanov
  • built by Baltic yard, Leningrad -
  • laid down 1950, launched 27 December 1950, completed 31 December 1951,
  • Converted into a command ship with X turret removed and replaced by office space and extra electronics added, Scrapped 1991
Aleksandr Nevsky - named after Alexander Nevsky
  • built by Admiralty yard Leningrad,
  • laid down 1950, launched 7 June 1951, completed 31 December 1952, Scrapped 1989
Admiral Nakhimov - named after Admiral Pavel Nakhimov
  • built in Nikolayev, laid down 1950, launched 29 June 1951, completed 27 March 1953,
  • rearmed as a guided missile trials ship in late 1950s, Target ship 1961
Admiral Ushakov - named after Fyodor Fyodorovich Ushakov
  • built by Baltic yard, Leningrad -
  • laid down 1950, launched 29 September 1951, completed 8 September 1953,
  • Scrapped 1987
Admiral Lazarev - named after Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev
  • built by Admiralty yard Leningrad,
  • laid down 1951, launched 29 June 1952, completed 30 December 1952,
  • Scrapped 1986
Aleksandr Suvorov - named after Alexander Suvorov
  • built by Baltic yard, Leningrad -
  • laid down 1951, launched 15 May 1952, completed 31 December 1953,
  • Scrapped 1990
Admiral Senyavin - named after Dmitry Senyavin
  • built by Baltic yard, Leningrad -
  • laid down 1951, launched 25 June 1953, completed 31 December 1953,
  • Converted into a command ship with after turrets removed and replaced by helicopter hangar and office space, Scrapped 1991
Dmitry Pozharsky - named after patriot Dmitry Pozharsky
  • built by Baltic yard, Leningrad -
  • laid down 1952, launched 25 June 1953, completed 31 December 1954,
  • Scrapped 1987
Oktyabrskaya Revolyutsia - named after the October Revolution
  • built by Severodvinsk -
  • laid down 1952, launched 25 May 1954, completed 30 November 1954,
  • Scrapped 1987
Murmansk - named after the city of Murmansk
  • built by Severodvinsk -
  • laid down 1953, launched 24 April 1955, completed 22 September 1955,
  • Decommissioned late 1980s. She ran aground in December 1994 at Hasvik, Norway on her way to India for scrapping
Mikhail Kutuzov - named after Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov
  • built in Nikolayev,
  • laid down 1951, launched 29 November 1952, Completed 1954,
  • Museum ship at Novorossiysk


Builders: Baltic Yard, Leningrad
Nikolayev
Admiralty yard, Leningrad
Severodvinsk
Operators:  Soviet Navy
 Indonesian Navy
Preceded by: Chapayev-class cruiser
Succeeded by: Kynda-class cruiser
Planned: 30
Completed: Sverdlov, Dzerzhinsky,Ordzhonikidze, Zhdanov, Alexander Nevski, Admiral Nakhimov, Admiral Ushakov, Admiral Lazarev,Alexander Suvorov, Admiral Senyavin, Dmitry Pozharski,Oktyabrskaya Revolutsia,Murmansk, Mikhail Kutuzov
Cancelled: 17
Retired: 12
Preserved: 1 (Mikhail Kutuzov)
General characteristics
Type: Cruiser
Displacement: 13,600 tons standard,
16,640 tons full load
Length: 210 m overall, 205 m waterline
Beam: 22 m
Draught: 6.9 m
Propulsion: 2 shaft geared steam turbines, 6 boilers, 118,100 hp
Speed: 32.5 knots
Range: 9000 nm (16,200 km) at 18 knots
Complement: 1250
Armament: 12 x 15.2 cm 57 cal B-38 in four triple Mk5-bis turrets,
12 x 10.0 cm 56 cal Model 1934 in 6 twin SM-5-1 mounts
32 x 3.7 cm AA
10 x 533 cm torpedo tubes
Armour: Belt: 100 mm
Conning tower: 150 mm
Deck: 50 mm
Turrets: 175 mm

End notes