Not sure why, but for those of you who track foreign military moves, it seems that the Russian navy is planning to move one of its most modern and powerful guided missile cruisers out of the Northern fleet operations area and into the more dynamic — and contested — Pacific fleet AO.
The Russian missile cruiser Marshal Ustinov may reinforce Russia’s Pacific Fleet in 2013 after repairs, a high-placed official of the Russian Navy said on Sunday.
The Ustinov is the second of four Slava class guided missile cruisersand is now stationed in Severomorsk in Murmansk. It’s unclear why the Russians want to move the Ustinov to warmer Pacific climes, but if the armaments on this ship are any indication, it’s going to be a major influence on the sea lanes — that is if the Russian government has enough cash to fill ‘er up and let her leave Vladivostok.
The Marshal Ustinov cruiser has been designed as a surface strike ship with some anti-air and ASW capability. It is fitted with sixteen SS-N-12 Sandbox nuclear-capable supersonic anti-ship missiles, which are mounted in four pairs on either side of the superstructure.
In addition, the cruiser reportedly carries 64 SA-N-6 Grumble long-range surface-to-air missiles (SAM) and 40 SA-N-4 Gecko short-range SAMs.
NATO experts had dubbed Russian combat ships of this class “the killer of aircraft carriers,” as it can carry 1,000 kg of high-explosives, or a tactical nuclear warhead, out to a range of 300 nautical miles.