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Kara-class cruiser
Kara class cruiser Kerch
Class overview
Builders: 61 Kommunara Zavod Black Sea Shipyard
Operators:  Soviet Navy
 Russian Navy
Preceded by: Kresta
Succeeded by: Udaloy / Slava
Completed: 7
Active: Kerch
Laid up: Petropavlovsk
Retired: Azov
General characteristics

8,200 tons standard

9,700 tons full load[1]
Length: 173.2 m
Beam: 18.6 m
Draught: 6.7 m
Propulsion: 2 shaft COGAG, 4 gas turbines, 120,000 hp (89 MW)
Speed: 34 knots
Range: 9,000 miles
Complement: 380
Armament: 2 quad SS-N-14 Silex anti-submarine missiles
2 twin SA-N-3 Goblet surface to air missile launchers (80 missiles)
SA-N-4 Gecko surface to air missile launchers (40 missiles)
2 twin 76mm AK-726 dual purpose guns
4 30mm AK-630 CIWS
2x5 533 mm PTA-53-1134B torpedo tubes
2 RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers
2 RBU-1000 anti-submarine rocket launchers
24 SA-N-6 Grumble surface to air missiles [on Azov]
Aircraft carried: 1 Kamov Ka-25 'Hormone-A' or Kamov Ka-27 'Helix'

The Kara class were Cold War era Soviet warships designated guided missile cruisers by NATO. The Soviet designation is Project 1134B Berkut B - Беркут Б (Golden Eagle) and the Soviet mission description is "large anti-submarine warfare ship" (BPK) and not "cruiser".


These ships were enlarged versions of the Kresta II class, with gas turbine engines replacing the steam turbines. These ships were fitted as flagships with improved command, control and communications facilities. These are dedicated ASW ships with significant anti-aircraft capability including both SA-N-3 and SA-N-4 surface to air missiles.

The specifications for the class were issued in 1964 with the design being finalised in the late 1960s. The gas turbine engine was chosen instead of steam for greater efficiency and quietness, and because the main Soviet gas turbine plant had a long association with the Nikolayev shipyards.

The cruiser Azov was constructed as a trials ship for the SA-N-6 missile system and was also fitted with the associated Top Dome Radar. During the Cold War she was confined to the Black Sea.


These ships were built by the 61 Kommunar Shipyard at Mykolaiv (Nikolayev) on the Black Sea.

Ship Fleet Laid Down Launched Completed Fate/Status
Nikolayev - Николаев Black Sea 25 June 1968 19 December 1969 31 December 1971 Scrapped in 1994
Ochakov -Очаков Black Sea 19 December 1969 30 April 1971 4 November 1973 Decommissioned 22 August 2011
Kerch- Керчь Black Sea 30 April 1971 21 July 1972 26 December 1974 Active, Black Sea Fleet, 2009
Azov - Азов Black Sea 21 July 1972 14 September 1973 25 December 1975 Decommissioned 28 December 1998, scrapped at Inkerman (Sevastopol) in 1999-2000
Petropavlovsk - Петропавловск Russian Pacific Fleet 9 September 1973 22 November 1974 29 December 1976 Sold for scrap in 1996.
Tashkent - Ташкент Pacific Fleet 22 November 1974 5 November 1975 21 December 1977 Sold for scrap in 1994
Vladivostok - Владивосток - (ex Tallinn) Black Sea Fleet 5 November 1975 5 November 1976 31 December 1979 Sold for scrap in 1994


  1. Chant, Chris (2004). Warships Today. Summertime Publishing Ltd. p. 98. ISBN 0-7607-6700-9. 
  • Gardiner, Robert (ed.) (1995). Conway's all the World's Fighting Ships 1947-1995. London: Conway Maritime. ISBN 0-85177-605-1. OCLC 34284130.  Also published as Gardiner, Robert; Chumbley, Stephen; Budzbon, Przemysław (1995). Conway's all the World's Fighting Ships 1947-1995. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-132-7. OCLC 34267261. 

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