The flagship of Russia’s Northern Fleet, nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky, has carried out missile defense drills during the current patrol-and-training mission in the Arctic, Izvestia newspaper said on Thursday.
Pyotr Veliky is the only Russian warship with sufficient capability to thwart massive attacks by cruise and ballistic missiles.
“During the current mission on the Northern Sea Route along Russia’s Arctic coast, Pyotr Veliky conducted tests of its missile defense capability as part of the sea-based segment of the national missile defense shield,” Izvestia cited a defense ministry source.
“The missile defense drills in the Arctic are very important because they cover the trajectories of potential strikes by land-based U.S. ballistic missiles,” the source said.
Pyotr Veliky is armed with 48 S-300F Fort and 46 S-300FM Fort-M (SA-N-20 Gargoyle) medium-range surface-to-air missiles (with effective range of up to 200 kilometers), 128 3K95 Kinzhal (SA-N-9 Gauntlet) short-range SAMs, and six CADS-N-1 Kashtan gun/missile systems.
Its radars are capable of detecting and tracking aerial targets at an altitude of 30 km and a range of 300 km.
As part of the plan to develop the sea-based segment of national missile defense network, the Russian military intends to overhaul and reactivate three mothballed Kirov class nuclear-powered missile cruisers by 2020.