Sverdlov class cruiser

The Sverdlov class cruisers, Soviet designation Project 68bis, were the last conventional cruisers built for the Soviet Navy
Soviet Navy
The Soviet Navy was the naval arm of the Soviet Armed Forces. Often referred to as the Red Fleet, the Soviet Navy would have played an instrumental role in a Warsaw Pact war with NATO, where it would have attempted to prevent naval convoys from bringing reinforcements across the Atlantic Ocean...

; 13 ships were completed before Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

 called a halt to the programme as these ships were considered obsolescent with the advent of the guided missile. A total of 30 ships were planned.


These ships were improved and slightly enlarged versions of the Chapayev class cruiser
Chapayev class cruiser
The Chapayev class were a group of cruisers built for the Soviet Navy during and after World War II. Seventeen ships were planned but only seven were actually started before the German invasion...

s. They had the same main armament, machinery and side protection as the earlier ships, but had increased fuel capacity for greater range, an all welded hull, improved underwater protection, increased anti aircraft artillery and radar.

The ultimate radar suite was:
  • 1x 'Big Net' or 'Top Trough' air search radar
  • 1x 'High Sieve' or 'Low Sieve' air search radar
  • 1x 'Knife Rest' air search radar*
  • 1x 'Slim Net' air search radar
  • 1x 'Don-2' or 'Neptune' navigational radar
  • 2x 'Sun Visor' gun fire control radars
  • 2x 'Top Bow' 152mm gun fire control radars
  • 8x 'Egg Cup' gun fire control radars
  • 2x 'Watch Dog' ECM systems

The Admiral Nakhimov had an SS-N-1 anti-ship missile launcher installed in place of A and B turrets as a trial in 1957. This installation was not successful, the ship was rapidly decommissioned and was used as a target ship in 1961.

The Dzerzhinsky had a SAM launcher for the SA-2 missile, replacing the aft turrets in 1960-62. This conversion was also not successful and no further ships were converted.

The Senyavin and Zhdanov were converted into command ships in 1971 by replacing the aft turrets with extra accommodation and electronics. The two command ships were fitted with a helicopter deck and hangar together with a SA-N-4 SAM missile system and 4 twin 30mm guns.


  • Sverdlov (Свердлов) - named after Yakov Sverdlov
    Yakov Sverdlov
    Yakov Mikhaylovich Sverdlov ; known under pseudonyms "Andrei", "Mikhalych", "Max", "Smirnov", "Permyakov" — 16 March 1919) was a Bolshevik party leader and an official of the Russian Soviet Republic.-Early life:...

built by Baltic Yard, Leningrad -
laid down 1949, launched 5 July 1950, completed 15 May 1952,
Scrapped 1989
  • Dzerzhinsky (Дзержинский) - named after Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky
    Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky
    Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky was a Communist revolutionary, famous as the first director of the Bolshevik secret police, the Cheka, known later by many names during the history of the Soviet Union...

built in Nikolayev
Mykolaiv , also known as Nikolayev , is a city in southern Ukraine, administrative center of the Mykolaiv Oblast. Mykolaiv is the main ship building center of the Black Sea, and, arguably, the whole Eastern Europe.-Name of city:...

laid down 1948, launched 31 August 1950, completed 18 August 1952,
Scrapped 1989
  • Ordzhonikidze (Орджоникидзе) - 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
Indonesian Navy
The role of the Indonesian Navy is to patrol of Indonesia's immense coastline, to ensure safeguard the territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone , to protect Indonesia's maritime strategic interests, to protect the islands surrounded Indonesia and to defend against seaborne threats. The TNI...

 in 1962, recommissioned as KRI Irian in 1963; sold for scrap to Taiwan in 1972. British frogman Lionel Crabb
Lionel Crabb
Lionel "Buster" Crabb OBE, GM was a British Royal Navy frogman and MI6 diver who vanished during a reconnaissance mission around a Soviet cruiser in 1956.-Early life:...

 disappeared in 1956 when secretly inspecting this ship for MI6 when it was docked in Portsmouth Harbour
Portsmouth Harbour
Portsmouth Harbour is a large natural harbour in Hampshire, England. Geographically it is a ria: formerly it was the valley of a stream flowing from Portsdown into the Solent River. The city of Portsmouth lies to the east on Portsea Island, and Gosport to the west on the mainland...

  • Zhdanov (Жданов) - named after Andrei Zhdanov
    Andrei Zhdanov
    Andrei Alexandrovich Zhdanov was a Soviet politician.-Life:Zhdanov enlisted with the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1915 and was promoted through the party ranks, becoming the All-Union Communist Party manager in Leningrad after the assassination of Sergei Kirov in 1934...

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

  • Alexander Nevski (Александр Невский) - named after Alexander Nevsky
    Alexander Nevsky
    Alexander Nevsky was the Prince of Novgorod and Grand Prince of Vladimir during some of the most trying times in the city's history. Commonly regarded as the key figure of medieval Rus, Alexander was the grandson of Vsevolod the Big Nest and rose to legendary status on account of his military...

built by Admiralty yard Leningrad,
laid down 1950, launched 7 June 1951, completed 31 December 1952, Scrapped 1989

  • Admiral Nakhimov (Адмирал Нахимов) - named after Admiral Pavel Nakhimov
    Pavel Nakhimov
    Pavel Stepanovich Nakhimov |Siege of Sevastopol]] during the Crimean War.-Biography:Born in the Gorodok village of Vyazma district of Smolensk region. Nakhimov entered the Naval Academy for the Nobility in Saint Petersburg in 1815. He made his first sea voyage in 1817, aboard the frigate Feniks ,...

built in Nikolayev, laid down 1950, launched 29 June 1951, completed 27 March 1953,
rearmed as a guided missile trials ship in late 1950's, Target ship 1961
  • Admiral Ushakov (Адмирал Ушаков) - named after Fyodor Fyodorovich Ushakov
    Fyodor Fyodorovich Ushakov
    Fyodor Fyodorovich Ushakov was the most illustrious Russian naval commander and admiral of the 18th century.- Life and naval career :...

built by Baltic yard, Leningrad -
laid down 1950, launched 29 September 1951, completed 8 September 1953,
Scrapped 1987
  • Admiral Lazarev (Адмирал Лазарев) - named after Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev
    Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev
    Admiral Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev was a Russian fleet commander and explorer who discovered Antarctica.-Education and early career:Lazarev was born in Vladimir, a scion of the old Russian nobility from the Vladimir province. In 1800, he enrolled in Russia's Naval College. Three years later he...

built by Admiralty yard Leningrad,
laid down 1951, launched 29 June 1952, completed 30 December 1952,
Scrapped 1986
  • Alexander Suvorov (Александр Суворов) - named after Alexander Suvorov
    Alexander Suvorov
    Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov , Count Suvorov of Rymnik, Prince in Italy, Count of the Holy Roman Empire , was the fourth and last generalissimo of the Russian Empire.One of the few great generals in history who never lost a battle along with the likes of Alexander...

built by Baltic yard, Leningrad -
laid down 1951, launched 15 May 1952, completed 31 December 1953,
Scrapped 1990
  • Admiral Senyavin (Адмирал Сенявин) - named after Dmitry Senyavin
    Dmitry Senyavin
    Dmitry Nikolayevich Senyavin or Seniavin was a Russian admiral who ranks among the greatest seamen of the Napoleonic Wars.- Service under Ushakov :...

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 Pozharski (Дмитрий Пожарский) - named after patriot Dmitry Pozharsky
    Dmitry Pozharsky
    For the ship of the same name, see Sverdlov class cruiserDmitry Mikhaylovich Pozharsky was a Rurikid prince, who led Russia's struggle for independence against Polish-Lithuanian invasion known as the Time of Troubles...

built by Baltic yard, Leningrad -
laid down 1952, launched 25 June 1953, completed 31 December 1954,
Scrapped 1987
  • Oktyabrskaya Revolutsia (Октябрьская Революция) - named after the October Revolution
    October Revolution
    The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

built by Severodvinsk
JSC PO Sevmash is a shipbuilding company based in Severodvinsk, a port city on Russia's White Sea. The name Sevmash is an abbreviation of Severnoye Mashinostroitelnoye Predpriyatie , i.e. "Northern Machine-Building Enterprise". Sevmash is the largest shipbuilding enterprise in Russia and today the...

laid down 1952, launched 25 May 1954, completed 30 November 1954,
Scrapped 1987
  • Murmansk (Мурманск) - named after the city of Murmansk
    Murmansk is a city and the administrative center of Murmansk Oblast, Russia. It serves as a seaport and is located in the extreme northwest part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, from the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, not far from Russia's borders with Norway and Finland...

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 (Михаил Кутузов) - named after Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov
    Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov
    Mikhail Illarionovich Golenishchev-Kutuzov was a Field Marshal of the Russian Empire. He served as one of the finest military officers and diplomats of Russia under the reign of three Romanov Tsars: Catherine II, Paul I and Alexander I...

built in Nikolayev,
laid down 1951, launched 29 November 1952, Completed 1954,
Museum ship
Museum ship
A museum ship, or sometimes memorial ship, is a ship that has been preserved and converted into a museum open to the public, for educational or memorial purposes...

at Novorossiysk

Five more ships were scrapped incomplete.

External links

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