The Kirov class (Soviet designation Project 1144 Orlan, meaning Sea eagle) nuclear powered missile cruisers, named after Sergey Kirov, are some of the largest and most powerful surface warships of the Russian Navy, though they were originally built for the Soviet Navy. They are among the biggest warships in the world, second only to aircraft carriers, and are similar in size to a World War I battleship. Although some call the Kirov a battlecruiser or battleship because of this, the Kirov lacks the characteristic heavy armour. It is more appropriate to consider the Kirov a super-sized guided missile cruiser, similar to the analogy Alaska-class cruiser which had a displacement of a battlecruiser but otherwise was more similar to heavy cruisers. The appearance of the Kirov class was a significant factor in the U.S. Navy recommissioning the Iowa class.
Categories: Sea - Military - Surface Warfare