Russian guided-missile cruiser returns to fleet after five-year refit

Russian Navy’s Sava-class guided missile cruiser Marshal Ustinov is ready for a return to the fleet after spending five years in the port for repairs, Russian shipbuilder Zvezdochka announced September 26.

The Project 1164 cruiser left the shipyard December 24 after completing a series of at sea trials.

The ship headed for Severomorsk where the Russian Northern Fleet is situated.

Extensive refit works on the Project 1164 cruiser began in 2011 and included work on the ship’s hull, propulsion and engines. The ship’s analogue sensors and electronic warfare systems were replaced with digital ones, the company further said.

The shipbuilder said the works were complicated by the absence of as-built documentation requiring the company to develop complete sets of systems and tooling from scratch. The amount of work that has gone into the refit of Marshal Ustinov would make work on the other two cruisers faster, the company noted.

Marshal Ustinov is one of three Sava-class destroyers operated by the Russian Navy. Russia initially intended to operate ten ships in the class but due to the collapse of the Soviet Union the other seven ships were never finished.

The conventionally powered cruisers were envisioned as a cheaper alternative to the nuclear powered Kirov-class cruisers