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Monday, May 15, 2017

Marshal Ustinov Heads to Barents Sea

A Russian guided missile cruiser is set to enter the Barents Sea for exercises following a multi-year overhaul program.

Marshal Ustinov, a Project 1164 (Slava) guided missile cruiser, is en route to the Barents Sea for a series of exercises. The ship's anti-air and anti-submarine capabilities will be examined, as well as other aspects.

Marshal Ustinov was initially commissioned in the 1980s. It began a multi-year overhaul in 2011 at Zvezdochka Shipyard. Overhaul work improved the hull and replaced onboard electronic systems; the latter saw an upgrade from analog to digital. The cruiser's propulsion was also repaired. Russian media reported that diagnostics revealed the ship's electrical cables were largely in need of replacement, which prompted delays in completing the repairs.
Once the work was completed, the vessel was tested on the sea to ensure proper operation. The ship was handed back to the Navy in December 2016.

For armaments, the Project 1164 cruisers feature 16 P-500 Bazalt anti-shipping missiles, 64 S-300F surface-to-air missiles, and 40 Osa-M short-range surface-to-air missiles. It is possible that alongside its overhaul work, Marshal Ustinov received Kalibr or Oniks anti-shipping missiles as replacements for the P-500, though this is unconfirmed.

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