The Moskva and Leningrad were the first aircraft carriers produced by the Soviet Union. They were perfect hybrids, combining the firepower of a front cruiser and a rear flight deck, a configuration that was quite common at the time, since the Italians did the same for their Doria, and later their Veneto, or the Japanese with their Haruna. They were specialized ASM warships specifically dedicated to the destruction of American and British SSBNs. So they had to be able to implement big ASM patrol and fight helicopters, having a better range of action like Mil-Mi14 “Haze”. Their pay ranged from 20 to 12 helicopters, two of which had to be on patrol flight for maximum efficiency.
Admiral Gorshkov initialed the specification in 1959, but the latter insisted on the hull as narrow as possible (for speed), the office replying that it would pose insoluble problems of stability, capital for this type of buildings (Gorshkov proposed for a moment the reconversion of one of the hulls of mass cruisers of the Sverdlov class). The cahier des charges was definitively adopted in 1960, opting for a large, large building, very heavily armed for its own defense, notably ASM. but the studies continued and it was the 23rd project which was definitively adopted in 1961. This last allowed the ship to operate 14 rotating wings, of which a majority of Kamov Ka-25 and Mi-14, by a sea of force 6- 7. They were housed in a shed located between the two chimneys, and the large lower shed, accessing it by two elevators. There were four spots.
In the meantime, NATO’s SSBN’s Polaris missile range had doubled, forcing Krushchev to review the Soviet ASM defense: The radius of action of the ship and its on-board aircraft was to increase. Twenty-six other modifications were made to the plans before the Moskva was sailed at Nikolayev in December 1962. It was launched in January 1965, completed in December 1967, the tests having officially begun in August 1967. The Leningrad replaced it in the darse January 15, 1965, was launched in July 1968 and completed in 1969. They inaugurated the gas turbines adopted later, but experienced a number of technical problems more or less serious (until the fire of the Moskva in 1973). They could sustain 24 knots for 3 hours, but were at high risk of attempting spikes at 30 knots (which were only reached at trials). In addition, their hull was finally quite thin, thanks to the “Y” shape of their sections, which allowed them a good hydrodynamics, but the stability in the heavy weather was to be reviewed. As a result, their torpedo tubes were removed in 1974-75.
They were both based in the Northern Fleet, but they also “cruised” in the other fleets. Relatively imitated because of their fleet, their defects were taken into account for the new Kiev in 1968. They served until 1990. In 1991, the Leningrad was withdrawn from service and removed from the lists, the Moskva remaining active in 1995.
Displacement: 11,200t, 17,500t FL
Dimensions: 189 x 23 x 8.5 m
Propulsion: 2 propellers, 2 VHP turbines, 4 HP heaters, 100,000 hp. and 31 nodes max.
Electronics: Top Sail Radars, 2 Head Light, Head Net-C, 2 Muff Cob, 2 Don-2, 1 Moose Jaw Sonar, 1 SPV Mare Tail, 8 CME Side Globes, 8 Bell, 2×2 Lance Lures.
Weaponry: 2×2 miss. SAN3 (44), 4 (2×2) 57 mm, 1×2 miss. SUW-N1 (12 miss.), 2 LR RBU 6000, 10 TLT 533 mm, 12-14 Helicopters.