Marshal Ustinov (055) is a guided-missile cruiser serving the modern Russian Navy and one of three ships designed to the Slava-class standard. The group includes sisters Moskva and Varyag and is the product of the late-Cold War period, built to a 12,500 ton full-load displacement standard and a multi-mission design approach. The warship is currently assigned to the Northern Fleet and homeports out of Severomorsk with the 43rd Missile Ship Division.
The Russian Navy is one of the few remaining ocean-going powers still relying on the "cruiser" warship. These surface combatants represent dimensionally large warships, smaller than aircraft carriers but larger than destroyer types.
The Marshal Ustinov saw its keel laid down on October 5th, 1978 and she was launched to sea for trials on February 25th, 1982, being formally commissioned into service on September 19th, 1986. The warship was originally named Admiral Flota Lobov prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Empire.
The Marshal Ustinov fields a displacement of 10,000 tons under standard loads and up to 12,700 tons under full loads. She has a length of 611.7 feet, a beam measuring 68.2 feet, and a draught down to 27.6 feet. Her propulsion scheme is of a COmbined Gas-Or-Gas (COGOG) arrangement incorporating 4 x Gas turbines of 31,250 horsepower for dash actions and 2 x Gas turbines of 12,000 horsepower for cruising actions. This allows the warship to reach speeds up to 34 knots in ideal conditions and ranges out to 9,000 nautical miles (10,000 miles).
Aboard is a crew of 505 personnel and the vessel is outfitted with all-modern solutions including the MR-800 "Vochkod" / "Top Pair" 3-D long-range air-search radar, the MR-700 "Fregat" / "Top Steer" radar, the MG-332 "Tigan-2T" / "Bull Nose" hull-mounted sonar, and MR-184 "Kite Screech" Fire Control System (FCS) for fire direction. Electronic Warfare (EW) is handled by the Kol'cho suite with Gurzhor-A&B / "Side Globe" intercept system. The MR-404 "Rum Tub" jammer unit is also used to help defend the ship. The ship also supports a single Kamov Ka-25 or Ka-27 model Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) helicopter from its stern-based helipad.
The warship is armed through 8 x 2 launchers housing a total of 16 x P-500 "Bazalt" (SS-N-12 "Sand Box") (modernized to become P-1000 "Vulcan") anti-ship missiles (8 launch tubes along the port side, 8 launch tubes along the starboard side), 8 x 8 launchers for 64 x S-300F "Fort" (SA-N-6 "Grumble") long-range Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs), 2 x 20 (40 total) OSA-M (SA-N-4 "Gecko") short-ranged SAMs. Beyond this missile weaponry is a single 130mm /L70 AK-130 Dual-Purpose (DP) turreted deck gun, 6 x AK-630 Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs) in single-gunned mountings, and 10 x (2x5) 533mm torpedo tubes.
After commissioning in 1986, she served several tours in the Mediterranean Sea while making several stops along the American East Coast around the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union (1947-1991). In 1994, she underwent an extensive period of refitting and repair before being placed back into service with the Russian Fleet in May 1995. After a few more voyages, she faced an overhaul in 2012 through the Zvyozdochka Shipyard where her running gear, hull, and subsystems were all addressed for the better - bringing her more in line with modern, digital-driven, offerings seen in the West. In 2016, she was put back into active service and began formal operations the following the year.
More friendly port visits greeted the warship over the following years and included several intense training exercises to full express the capabilities of the vessel. In January of 2020, it was announced that the warship would be temporarily stationed off the coast of Syria due to the ongoing Syrian Civil War - with Russia backing the existing regime and the West backing rebel forces in the country.
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