Military Wiki
Sverdlov-class cruiser
Sverdlov class cruiser Admiral Ushakov in 1981
Class overview
Builders: Baltic Yard, Leningrad
Admiralty yard, Leningrad
Operators:  Soviet Navy
 Indonesian Navy
Preceded by: Chapayev class cruiser
Planned: 30
Completed: Sverdlov, Dzerzhinsky, Ordzhonikidze, Zhdanov, Alexander Nevski, Admiral Nakhimov, Admiral Ushakov, Admiral Lazarev, Alexander Suvorov, Admiral Senyavin, Dmitry Pozharski, Oktyabrskaya Revolutsia, Murmansk, Mikhail Kutuzov
Cancelled: 17
Retired: 12
Preserved: 1 (Mikhail Kutuzov)
General characteristics
Type: Cruiser
Displacement: 13,600 tons standard,
16,640 tons full load
Length: 210 m overall, 205 m waterline
Beam: 22 m
Draught: 6.9 m
Propulsion: 2 shaft geared steam turbines, 6 boilers, 118,100 hp
Speed: 32.5 knots
Range: 9000 nm at 18 knots
Complement: 1,250
Armament: 12 x 15.2 cm 57 cal B-38 in four triple Mk5-bis turrets,
12 x 10.0 cm 56 cal Model 1934 in 6 twin SM-5-1 mounts
32 x 3.7 cm AA
10 x 533 cm torpedo tubes
Armour: Belt: 100 mm
Conning tower: 150 mm
Deck: 50 mm
Turrets: 175 mm

The Sverdlov class cruisers, Soviet designation Project 68bis, were the last conventional cruisers built for the Soviet Navy. They were based on Italian pre second world war concepts and designs, but with deployment on the North Atlantic and Arctic sea routes as a potential role and represent an intelligent approach with a modest armament of conventional 6 inch triple turrets on a large seaworthy hull able to run fast in rough water and fight her armament in a seaway. The expectation was that they would be accompanied by battlecruisers that were never completed or approved. By the mid 1950s the development of USN and RN jet strike aircraft meant gun cruisers increasingly could only be used for gunfire support and as command ships.Only 14 Sverdlovs were completed before Nikita Khrushchev called a halt to the programme, with 2 hulls being scrapped on the slip and 4 more partially complete Sverdlovs launched in 1954, being scrapped in 1959. Conventional cruisers were considered obsolescent by all navies with the advent of the guided missile, although many dissenting Russian Admirals and officers still considered a cruiser effective in overcast weather in the late 1950s' before the age of the all weather carrier strike aircraft. A total of 30 ships were planned. Only the Mikhail Kutuzov is preserved in Novorossiysk.


These ships were improved and slightly enlarged versions of the Chapayev class cruisers. They had the same main armament, machinery and side protection as the earlier ships, but had increased fuel capacity for greater range, an all welded hull, improved underwater protection, increased anti aircraft artillery and radar.

The ultimate radar suite was:

  • 1x 'Big Net' or 'Top Trough' air search radar
  • 1x 'High Sieve' or 'Low Sieve' air search radar
  • 1x 'Knife Rest' air search radar*
  • 1x 'Slim Net' air search radar
  • 1x 'Don-2' or 'Neptune' navigational radar
  • 2x 'Sun Visor' gun fire control radars
  • 2x 'Top Bow' 152mm gun fire control radars
  • 8x 'Egg Cup' gun fire control radars
  • 2x 'Watch Dog' ECM systems

The Admiral Nakhimov had an SS-N-1 anti-ship missile launcher installed in place of A and B turrets as a trial in 1957. This installation was not successful, the ship was rapidly decommissioned and was used as a target ship in 1961.

The Dzerzhinsky had a SAM launcher for the SA-2 missile, replacing the aft turrets in 1960-62. This conversion was also not successful and no further ships were converted. As the entire missile installation was above the armored deck and the missile itself, based on the SA-2 "Guideline" was liquid-fueled (acid/kerosene), it would have represented a serious hazard to the ship in action.

The Senyavin and Zhdanov were converted into command ships in 1971 by replacing the aft turrets with extra accommodation and electronics. The two command ships were fitted with a helicopter deck and hangar together with a SA-N-4 SAM missile system and 4 twin 30mm guns.


  • Sverdlov (Свердлов) - named after Yakov Sverdlov
built by Baltic Yard, Leningrad -
laid down 1949, launched 5 July 1950, completed 15 May 1952,
Scrapped 1989
  • Dzerzhinsky (Дзержинский) - named after Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky
built in Nikolayev,
laid down 1948, launched 31 August 1950, completed 18 August 1952,
Scrapped 1989
built by Admiralty Yard Leningrad,
laid down 1949, launched 17 September 1950, completed 30 June 1952;
sold to the Indonesian Navy in 1962, recommissioned as KRI Irian in 1963; sold for scrap to Taiwan in 1972. British frogman Lionel Crabb disappeared in 1956 when secretly inspecting this ship for MI6 when it was docked in Portsmouth Harbour.
built by Baltic yard, Leningrad -
laid down 1950, launched 27 December 1950, completed 31 December 1951,
Converted into a command ship with X turret removed and replaced by office space and extra electronics added, Scrapped 1991

The Zhdanov after conversion to a command cruiser

  • Alexander Nevski (Александр Невский) - named after Alexander Nevsky
built by Admiralty yard Leningrad,
laid down 1950, launched 7 June 1951, completed 31 December 1952, Scrapped 1989

The Alexander Nevsky.

  • Admiral Nakhimov (Адмирал Нахимов) - named after Admiral Pavel Nakhimov
built in Nikolayev, laid down 1950, launched 29 June 1951, completed 27 March 1953,
rearmed as a guided missile trials ship in late 1950s, Target ship 1961
built by Baltic yard, Leningrad -
laid down 1950, launched 29 September 1951, completed 8 September 1953,
Scrapped 1987
  • Admiral Lazarev (Адмирал Лазарев) - named after Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev
built by Admiralty yard Leningrad,
laid down 1951, launched 29 June 1952, completed 30 December 1952,
Scrapped 1986
  • Alexander Suvorov (Александр Суворов) - named after Alexander Suvorov
built by Baltic yard, Leningrad -
laid down 1951, launched 15 May 1952, completed 31 December 1953,
Scrapped 1990
  • Admiral Senyavin (Адмирал Сенявин) - named after Dmitry Senyavin
built by Baltic yard, Leningrad -
laid down 1951, launched 25 June 1953, completed 31 December 1953,
Converted into a command ship with after turrets removed and replaced by helicopter hangar and office space, Scrapped 1991
  • Dmitry Pozharski (Дмитрий Пожарский) - named after patriot Dmitry Pozharsky
built by Baltic yard, Leningrad -
laid down 1952, launched 25 June 1953, completed 31 December 1954,
Scrapped 1987
  • Oktyabrskaya Revolutsia (Октябрьская Революция) - named after the October Revolution
built by Severodvinsk -
laid down 1952, launched 25 May 1954, completed 30 November 1954,
Scrapped 1987
built by Severodvinsk -
laid down 1953, launched 24 April 1955, completed 22 September 1955,

Decommissioned late 1980s. She ran aground in December 1994 at Hasvik, Norway on her way to India for scrapping

The Mikhail Kutuzov

built in Nikolayev,
laid down 1951, launched 29 November 1952, Completed 1954,
Museum ship at Novorossiysk

Five more ships were scrapped incomplete.



External links[]

Warning: Display title "<i>Sverdlov</i> class cruiser" overrides earlier display title "<i>Sverdlov</i>-class cruiser".

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).