Moskva Class


Country: Soviet Union

The two Moskva Class ships were introduced in 1967 and were designated anti submarine cruisers by the Russians although a more accurate description might be helicopter cruiser. Both vessels were home ported in the Black Sea and deployed into the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. Their designation by the Soviet Navy may well have had something to do with providing them with free passage through the Dardanelles since, as cruisers, they would not have infringed the 1936 Montreaux Convention which prohibited passage of "aircraft carriers".

Although thought by many Western analysts to be primarily for anti-submarine warfare these vessels were something of a hybrid. They had the features of a missile cruiser forward and a flight deck aft of the superstructure. At the time of her construction, the Moskva was the largest ship ever built by the Soviet Union. Their design was somewhat marred by less than perfect sea handling characteristics.

Developed to counter Western strategic missile submarines, they proved ineffective and unreliable. There is some doubt as to exactly how many the Soviet Union planned to build. Some sources suggest up to twelve. In fact only two ships were built, both of which were scrapped in the early 1990s. A third was laid down but scrapped soon after.

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