Russian battlecruiser Pyotr VelikiyFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is the fourth Kirov-class battlecruiser of the Russian Navy. Initially named Yuri Andropov for Yuri Andropov, the former General Secretary of the Communist Party, the ship’s name was changed after the fall of the Soviet Union. The Russian designation for the type is “heavy missile cruiser”, but Western defense commentators re-invented the term “battlecruiser” to describe these; the largest surface combatant warships in the world. Pyotr Velikiy is the flagship of the Northern Fleet.
Construction of the ship was heavily impacted by the economic problems before and after the fall of the Soviet Union and it was not commissioned until 1998, twelve years after work had started. By then it had been renamed Pyotr Velikiy, Russian for Peter the Great. Pyotr Velikiy has been known to carry two pennant numbers during its service; “183” and currently “099”.After completing its acceptance trials in November 1996, the vessel was transferred to the Northern Fleet at Severomorsk and became the flagship of the Northern Fleet.
In August 2000 Pyotr Velikiy was in the Barents Sea involved in the largest naval training exercise since the fall of the Soviet Union. The ship was to be the designated target of the Oscar-II class submarine K-141 Kursk, and was conducting evasive maneuvers when communication with Kursk was lost, the submarine apparently having suffered a catastrophic torpedo detonation with all hands lost. Pyotr Velikiy guarded the area where the submarine sank during the subsequent salvage operation in 2001.
In March 2004, Russian Navy chief Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov declared Pyotr Velikiy unfit for service due to problems with the ship’s engineering maintenance. On 19 April 2004, the cruiser was docked in the floating drydock PD-50 for painting of the underside of the hull, repairs and examination of the steering system. The repairs were completed later that year, and it was carrying out missions again by August.