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Vice-Admiral Kulakov (626)

Destroyer Warship [ 1982 ]

Vice-Admiral Kulakov, a late-Soviet-era destroyer, continues in service with the modern Russian Navy today.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/07/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The modern Russian Navy fields a destroyer force of about a dozen ships and these are broken down into three major supported classes - Kashin, Udaloy and Sovremennyy. By quantity, Udaloy leads the way and includes Vice-Admiral Kulakov (626), a 7,570 ton vessel commissioned into Soviet Navy service in 1982. She serves with the Northern Fleet as of this writing (2017).

The Udaloy-class were originally developed in the latter stages of the Cold War period (1947-1991) when the primary enemy were American submarines. As such, the class was constructed for anti-submarine functions and a dozen were completed in two standards - "Udaloy I" and "Udaloy II". Udaloy II numbered just one warship which was completed in the late-1990s to a modernized standard. Two warships of the class were later cancelled as the Russian Navy entered a period of decay and slashed budgets following the demise of the Soviet Empire.

Vice-Admiral Kulakov, named after Soviet statesman Fyodor Davydovich Kulakov, was launched in 1980 and became active in 1982. She entered an extended period of refitting that lasted from 1991 to 2010 in which some of her systems and facilities were modernized. She remains active as of this writing (2017).

Kulakov displaces 6,200 tons under standard load and up to 8,000 tons under full load. Her length measures 535 feet with a beam of 62 feet and a draught of 26 feet. Power is through a "COmbined Gas And Gas" (COGAG) arrangement which sees 4 x Gas turbines generating a combined 120,000 horsepower driving 2 x Shafts. Speeds reach 35 knots and range is out to 10,500 nautical miles. This makes Kulakov both fast and of good endurance coupled with the ability to accomplish blue water work as part of the fleet or as an individual entity sent out to hunt submarines. However, she lacks more modern design lines and any obvious "stealth-ification" as seen in Western warships - there are many protrusions and exposed spaces on the vessel which provide a larger signature than is typically wanted in modern ship design.

Aboard there are 300 personnel. A helicopter deck over the stern supports up to 2 x Kamov Ka-27 "Helix" navy submarines which are equipped to search, track and destroyer submarines and surface warships beyond the visual range of the ship itself. A hangar provides full service facilities for maintenance and repair. In addition to maritime work, these helicopters can also support amphibious assault actions close-to-shore. Of note is that the warship now can launch and retrieve the powerful Kamov Ka-52 "Alligator" dedicated attack helicopter which is also used by the Russian Navy - and this provides an excellent attack platform for when assailing shoreline and inshore positions during an amphibious assault.

Standard armament of Kulakov includes 2 x SS-N-14 anti-submarine/anti-ship missiles arranged in quad-launchers. There is a Vertical Launching System (VLS) for SA-N-9 Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) to counter aerial threats to the ship (or fleet). More conventional, projectile-minded firepower comes from 2 x 100mm turreted deck guns (single-gunned mountings) and 4 x 30mm AK630 Gatling systems used in the Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) role. The warship is outfitted with 2 x 533mm (22") torpedo tubes in quadruple launcher mountings. 2 x RBU-6000 Anti-Submarine ROCket (ASROC) launchers are also carried. With all this, Kulakov can attack and defend as is necessary - be the threat from the air (aircraft / cruise missiles), on the sea or under it.

Despite all this, Kulakov is an old warship with origins seen in the Cold War years despite the attempts at modernization (which kept her from sailing for nearly two decades). A fire in January 2011 caused by a short circuit incident damaged her internals some so this delayed her sea-going ventures even more. It is only very recently that her career has become active: She was used in the convoy escort role in 2012 and arrived offshore Syria to support Russian actions in the ongoing Syrian Civil War. In 2013 she participated in World War 2 celebrations hosted by the United Kingdom. In April of 2014 she was sighted by British warships passing close to English shores which made global headlines. For 2016, she was stationed once more off the coast of Syria in support of addition Russian participation on behalf of the local government in its fight against various rebel factions.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Severnaya Verf - Soviet Union (Russia)
Russia; Soviet Union (former)
Operators National flag of Russia National flag of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
National Origin
Commissioned, Active
Project Status
Hull Class
Udaloy; Vice-Admiral Kulakov; Marshal Vasilyevsky; Admiral Zakharov; Admiral Spiridonov; Admiral Tributs; Marshal Shaposhnikov; Severomorsk; Admiral Levchenko; Admiral Vinogradov; Admiral Kharlamov; Admiral Panteleyev; Admiral Chabanenko (Udaloy II); Admiral Basisty (Udaloy II); Admiral Kucherov (Udaloy II)

Offshore Bombardment
Offshore bombardment / attack of surface targets / areas primarily through onboard ballistic weaponry.
Offshore strike of surface targets primarily through onboard missile / rocket weaponry.
Maritime Patrol
Active patroling of vital waterways and maritime areas; can also serve as local deterrence against airborne and seaborne threats.
Airspace Denial / Deterrence
Neutralization or deterrence of airborne elements through onboard ballistic of missile weaponry.
Fleet Support
Serving in support (either firepower or material) of the main surface fleet in Blue Water environments.

535.0 feet
(163.07 meters)
62.0 feet
(18.90 meters)
26.0 feet
(7.92 meters)

4 x Gas turbines developing 120,000 horsepower to 2 x Shafts in COmbined Gas And Gas (COGAG) arrangement.
35.0 knots
(40.3 mph)
Surface Speed
10,502 nm
(12,085 miles | 19,449 km)
1 knot = 1.15 mph; 1 nm = 1.15 mile; 1 nm = 1.85 km

2 x 4 SS-N-14 Anti-Submarine / Anti-Ship missile launchers.
4 x SA-N-9 Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) vertical launchers.
2 x 100mm turreted deck guns in two single-gunned mountings.
4 x 30mm AK-630 Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs).
2 x 533mm (22") quadruple torpedo launchers.
2 x RBU-6000 Anti-Submarine ROCket (ASROC) launchers.

2 x Kamov Ka-27 "Helix" navy helicopters.

Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War period
Military lapel ribbon for early warship designs
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2


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Image of the Vice-Admiral Kulakov (626)
Image from the Russian Ministry of Defense.

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