The Heavy Cruiser Pyotr Velikiy (1998). This 1:200 scale yard model of the „Pyotr Velikiy“ was a gift to our collection from the Baltiysky Zavod and is on display in our Cold War Navies section on deck 5 of the museum.
The Soviet Navy’s Project 1144 Orlan, designated by NATO as the Kirov class, consisted of four nuclear-powered heavy guided missile cruisers. This is the Russian Navy’s current definition of these ships, while in some NATO countries they are referred to as battlecruisers due to their size. With a standard displacement of 24,300 tons, a length of 252 meters and a width of 28.5 meters, the Project 1144 ships are the largest surface ships built for direct combat operations today (this definition excludes the much larger aircraft carriers). The original mission of these behemoths was anti-submarine warfare. Over time, fleet defense against aircraft was added to their duties, and the latest model even has ballistic missile defense capability.
The construction of these ships took place at the Baltiysky Zavod shipyard in Leningrad. As it spanned a period from 1973 to 1998, the city had already been renamed back to Saint Petersburg when the last ship in the series was completed. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the ships were also renamed. Their original names were those of important political figures of the Soviet Union, but from 1992 onward they were replaced by personalities of Russian naval history. Thus, the last ship was completed as „Pyotr Velikiy“ (named after Tsar Peter the Great) and not after „Yuri Andropov“, the fourth General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, as originally planned. In the wake of the crisis following the collapse of the Soviet Union, a planned fifth ship of the class was not built.
The heavy cruiser „Pyotr Velikiy“ was commissioned in 1998 and has been the flagship of the Russian Northern Fleet ever since. Her armament consists of 20 P-700 Granit surface-to-surface missiles. She is currently the only Project 1144 cruiser in service. Her sister ships, the „Admiral Lasarev“ and the „Admiral Nakhimov“ have been undergoing modernization for over 10 years and the first ship of the class, the „Admiral Ushakov“, was recently scrapped.