Kresta Class

Overview

Country: Soviet Union

There were two classes of these multi-role vessels. They were intended for both anti-submarine and surface warfare as well as providing additional air defence coverage for Russian task groups. As the Cold War went on their ASW role became more important.

The first Kresta I Class cruiser went into service in 1967 and three others followed. Between 1969 and 1978 a further ten Kresta II Class cruisers were built. By the early 1990s all Kresta class ships had been struck off charge.

The Kresta I could launch four SS-N-3b SLCM Shaddock cruise missiles and 44 SA-N-1 surface-to-air missiles and had ten 21-inch torpedo tubes. A single Ka-25 Hormone B helicopter was carried for targeting the cruise missile and mid-course corrections.

The much improved Kresta II Class replaced the early steam boiler engines of the Kresta I with a gas-turbine propulsion system. The Kresta II also replaced the SS-N-3 Shaddock with the much more capable SS-N-14 Silex anti submarine system. Finally an alteration in hull dimensions allowed the Kresta II ships to have more than a third more below-decks space.  This in turn allowed for an increase in the numbers of Shtorm and Osa-M air-defence missiles carried. Kresta II ships were also equipped with 76mm gun mounts, which replaced the 57mm system used by the earlier Kresta I ships. This much improved class carried a single nuclear-capable Ka-25 Hormone A helicopter.

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