Can the cruisers "Mikhail Kutuzov" and "Aurora" return to the Navy of the Russian Federation

When you get acquainted with the selection of morning News, disturbing and very disturbing, among them was one that involuntarily made the author of these lines smile. Allegedly, it was decided to return to operation two artillery cruisers at once - "Mikhail Kutuzov" and "Aurora" - to participate in the operation to liberate Odessa. What is it, subtle trolling on the topic of "disposal of Soviet junk" or is everything really that bad in the Navy?

A joke of humor?

The source of this information is the popular telegram channel “Notes of midshipman Ptichkin”, and the original message, already widely distributed on the Runet, is as follows:

The command of the twice Red Banner Baltic Fleet of the Russian Navy decided to return the Aurora cruiser to service. The command of the Red Banner Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy decided to return the cruiser Mikhail Kutuzov to service.

These are ships with powerful artillery armament and significant armor, notes the midshipman's source. They are capable of providing significant rocket and artillery support during the future Odessa offensive operation.

In St. Petersburg, the Aurora is being prepared for staging at one of the docks of the Kronstadt Marine Plant. In Novorossiysk, Kutuzov is waiting for a floating dock. According to under-wing sources, the ships will also be equipped with a universal ship-based firing system with vertical launch installations. They will allow cruisers to use not only Caliber and Onyxes, but also hypersonic Zircons.

Since the problems of the liberation of Odessa, we ourselves concerned literally the day before, one should try to clarify the question of the possibility of hypothetical participation in such an operation of old cruisers, how realistic this is and when the offensive can take place.

The project 68-bis cruiser Mikhail Kutuzov was launched in 1952 in Nikolaev, commissioned in 1955 and decommissioned in 2000. The ship was based on the Black Sea in Sevastopol, performed combat missions in the Mediterranean. Since 2002, the Mikhail Kutuzov has been a museum ship and stands near the pier in Novorossiysk. Veterans of the Russian Navy insist on returning him to Sevastopol. Can the old cruiser still fight on the Odessa front?

Kutuzov is the latest representative of a generation of artillery cruisers, which were replaced by ships with missile weapons. It has four turrets with three 152,4 mm guns each with a firing range of 30 kilometers. Is this enough to conduct artillery duels during some kind of landing operation near Odessa? As you know, a projectile fired from a gun barrel is almost impossible to intercept with existing air defense / missile defense systems.

Of course not. The ground-based anti-ship missile systems in the hands of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are capable of hitting targets at a distance of up to 180 kilometers. Nobody will allow any old cruiser to approach the coast at a distance of effective artillery fire, or, conversely, they will allow it, but only to be guaranteed to drown. By the way, soon Ukraine will receive fourth-generation F-16 fighters, which will be able to carry air-launched anti-ship missiles, which will enable Kyiv to target the entire Black Sea.

Theoretically, the installation of a universal firing system on Mikhail Kutuzov will make it possible to use it, say, directly from the base of the Russian Navy in Sevastopol or Novorossiysk. The question is to what extent such modernization is generally expedient. The ship is very old, has not been repaired for decades, all its equipment and power plant are obsolete long ago. The return of the cruiser to service will take more than one year and will cost the military budget a pretty penny. With this money, it is easier and faster to build a couple of small missile ships that can perform the same tasks with high efficiency.

The information that the Aurora, launched in 1900, will also fight for Odessa, causes nothing but a smile. Or is it all for her one shot? Joke.

Not funny

But seriously, warships with artillery weapons have some chances of a return. The United States is the only country in the world that has retained four Iowa-class battleships at once, which we all know very well from Hollywood films featuring the Missouri. In one of them, the old battleship even made some war with the evil aliens. Today the gunships are used by the Americans as museums, but they are in no hurry to send them for scrap. Moreover, there is even a concept of their real combat use as part of the surface combat groups SAG (Surface Action Group), built around not an aircraft carrier, but a battleship. What gives grounds for this?

At first, unlike all modern warships, battleships have exceptionally high survivability, as they are equipped with powerful armor. Where the destroyer goes to the bottom with a couple of anti-ship missiles, the Missouri will calmly withstand a dozen direct hits. Such endurance can be decisive in the exchange of missile strikes.

Secondly, even such aged ships, thanks to technical care, have a high speed, reaching 32,5 knots, which allows them to go on an equal footing with modern rocket ships.

Thirdly, after the Vietnam War, all four Iowas underwent modernization and re-equipment, having received modern radars, Mk.15 Volcano Phalanx anti-aircraft artillery systems, BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles, AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, a platform for basing helicopters and UAV. That is, even age American battleships can participate in modern hostilities.

Moreover, their monstrous 406 mm Mk.7 main caliber guns are capable of firing 1225 kg shells or special ammunition - Mk.23 shells with a W-23 nuclear warhead with a TNT equivalent of 1 kt. Also, one should not discount the American Strategic Long Range Cannon (SLRC) project, within the framework of which work was carried out on active-rocket projectiles capable of flying up to 1852 kilometers. As one of the carriers, the Iowas were considered. In all seriousness, the United States even discussed the possibility of resuming the production of battleships of a more modern project, the Montana.

A projectile weighing more than a ton, which cannot be intercepted by an air defense / missile defense system, fired from such a distance inaccessible to ground-based anti-ship missiles - this is no joke to you. The only problem is that the US Navy has such ships, but Russia does not have them and is not expected to. Neither Mikhail Kutuzov nor Aurora can definitely claim this role.
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  1. olegfbi Offline olegfbi
    olegfbi (Oleg) 6 June 2023 12: 23
    Both cruisers must be formally returned to the Navy, given the status of a training or museum, or something like that ...
    Return for the sole purpose - The presence of a naval crew and appropriate funding on the cruisers, which will keep the cruisers in proper condition!
    p\s Three years ago I visited "Mikhail Kutuzov" in Novorossiysk, the impression was ambivalent. On the one hand history! But on the other hand, the condition of the cruiser, to put it mildly, was not very ...
  2. Dmitry Volkov Offline Dmitry Volkov
    Dmitry Volkov (Dmitry Volkov) 6 June 2023 16: 35
    And why not, put the Shell on the stern and go ahead for orders, but a corvette with normal air defense, accompanied by a mandatory one, and another Ka-31 with a radar in a group or a pair of Su-35s, and Su-57 alone, so far away, about 50 km -100 distance and over 20 km one just in case soldier
    I forgot, and a couple of Varshavyanka with Caliber and torpedoes.
  3. Vasya 225 Offline Vasya 225
    Vasya 225 (Vyacheslav) 6 June 2023 17: 34
    God forbid, if in our country it comes to Aurora's shot. I would not want to, but somehow what is happening evokes.
  4. HiringXXX Offline HiringXXX
    HiringXXX (Titanium) 6 June 2023 18: 40
    Aurora definitely cannot, her boilers have been dismantled. Yes, and returning a ship of the early 20th century with their primitive systems is absurd.
  5. Spatel Offline Spatel
    Spatel 6 June 2023 19: 25
    Mr. Marzhetsky for humor "five"!!
    And a proposal: for a lot of money to buy a couple of "Iows" from the Americans, and to bomb Snake Island well!
    Won't sell?
    Then buy for a lot of money!!
  6. Oleg Apushkin Offline Oleg Apushkin
    Oleg Apushkin (Oleg Apushkin) 6 June 2023 19: 36
    Good humor, it's like a crossbow against a slingshot, but the author has deja vu.
  7. Vladimir Tuzakov (Vladimir Tuzakov) 6 June 2023 21: 02
    With comprehensive aerial reconnaissance and high-precision weapons, the glorious history of the surface navy goes into oblivion, proof of this is the fate of the Moskva cruiser and the withdrawal of the rest of the ships into the wilderness. The commemoration of the Baltic Fleet has already been celebrated earlier. The author is humorous, well, it’s nice, it’s also possible, even necessary, to joke at the funeral of the surface navy, because the glorious fleet should also depart gloriously, to the fanfare.
  8. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 6 June 2023 22: 41
    How to exit:
    Once they wrote that some millionaires-billionaires over the hill collect old warships.
    You can buy them and build them.

    Old armored and torpedo boats on pedestals are still preserved somewhere. Remove and modernize.

    At worst, there is Peter's Boat in the western-named St. Petersburg.
  9. Requiem Offline Requiem
    Requiem (Anton) 7 June 2023 14: 18
    They can serve again, but they have to adapt; where there is no longer a boiler I would mount electric motors with a generator, so as to simplify the installation design. I would set them up as ships shield, to be interposed as an active and passive shield between a modern ship (cruiser, helicopter carrier) and the enemy area. The 152mm guns can fire like the old Yamato guns (460mm), which also served as anti-aircraft by firing fragmentation munitions at altitude; thus anti-drone guns, but they can also fire decoys to saturate approaching enemy radars.
    Because of the large power generator for the engines, they could also be equipped with laser weapons; jammers; become support for small submarines.
    1. Vladimir Tuzakov (Vladimir Tuzakov) 8 June 2023 00: 00
      Restoring an old ship is more expensive than building a new one, and in terms of applicability it is clearly inferior in capabilities, -

      sheepskin is not worth the candle.

      It is not for nothing that the United States decommissions its ships only due to moral and technical backwardness, although they can serve for a long time after the cap. repairs and upgrades. There are warships here, and any discrepancy between time and armament is fraught with the loss of the entire ship. (The story of the cruiser "Moscow").
    2. Flight Offline Flight
      Flight (voi) 11 June 2023 13: 39
      The road to hell is paved with good intentions
  10. Flight Offline Flight
    Flight (voi) 8 June 2023 01: 16
    You will tell the Japanese about survivability. Yamato drowned without the use of missiles. And how will Aurora fight back?
    But if you are stupid to master the loot in the Varyag cruiser project, the elite does not hesitate.