The Frunze battlecruiser was a product of the Cold War, part of the Kirov-class of cruisers. Though serving in her intended role for years, she was later renamed as the Admiral Lazarev after 1992. Though traditionally classified as a missile cruiser, the Frunze and her Kirov-class ships are also known as battlecruisers because of the long range and firepower they possess. Next to aircraft carriers, the Frunze and her associated class of warships represent some of the largest sea-going vessels on the water today.
The Frunze is powered by twin nuclear reactors of KN-3 PWR type which work in conjunction with twin steam boilers which in turn feed two shafts. A top speed of over 30 knots can be attained and the nuclear reactors provide for an essentially unlimited range making her a prime adversary of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in the West. Initially intended to hunt and destroy NATO and American submarines, the Frunze graduated to become so much more in the way of a complete warship. Her armament is an array of cannons, torpedoes, rockets and missiles.
The main armament of the Frunze is her 20 x P-700 Granit anti-ship missiles held in a forward "missile farm" This is augmented by some 128 SA-N-8 surface-to-air missiles for anti-aircraft defense. This is further helped by another 96 S-300PMU surface-to-air missiles to counter additional closing threats. The SA-N-8 Gecko system further ensures the vessels survivability as 44 of the type are carried aboard. Rockets can be launched from the twin RBU-1000 and RBU-12000 for anti-ship / surface-to-surface work at closer ranges. Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) support is handled by the battery of 8 x 30mm/L60 AK-630 anti-aircraft gatling systems. 10 x torpedo tubes mounting 533mm types are also provided.
The Frunze's profile is dominated by a tall mast set amidships with a secondary and shorter mast directly abaft. Her superstructure takes up most of her midship and stern area while the bow contains the large amount of missile firing ports needed for the bulk of her long-range arsenal. Accommodations for personnel on board total over 700 sailors, officers and a small contingent of airmen. Her air arm is represented by three Kamov-brand Ka-27 "Helix" or Ka'25 "Hormone" type anti-ship / anti-submarine helicopters which are stored in hangars below deck. Onboard systems afforded to the Frunze include sonar, fire control, navigation and search radars.
As of this writing, the Admiral Lazarev (formerly Frunze) was waiting to be re-commissioned after having spent some time in limbo. This, of course, is directly related to budgetary constraints faced by Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In any case, it is foreseeable that the Admiral Lazarev will see active service in the resurgent Russian military movement. Her primary region of operation is the Pacific Ocean.
Admiral Lazarev has been out of service since 1999. She remains laid up at Abrek bay.
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