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.
"In two years, the cruiser may be transferred from Severomorsk to Vladivostok to reinforce the grouping of the Pacific Fleet's surface ships," the admiral said, adding that the Navy's main headquarters was considering this possibility, although a final decision had not yet been made.
The Marshal Ustinov, a Slava-class missile cruiser, was launched in 1982 and commissioned with the Russian Northern Fleet in 1986.
"Now the cruiser is preparing for medium repairs in the Northern Fleet," the admiral said, adding that the cruiser's transfer to the Russian Far East was due to the quick ageing of the Pacific Fleet's warships and the need for this kind of ships to support the combat stability of the grouping of the fleet's strategic and multipurpose nuclear submarines.
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.
MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti)
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