Cruiser Mikhail Kutuzov - 105
The Cruiser "Mikhail Kutuzov" was the twelfth ship of the project 68 bis. Founded in February 1951 at the Nikolayev shipyard and launched on 9 August 1954. After passing a series of tests the ship was put into the Black Sea Fleet. Area of responsibility have become the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, as well as the Central Atlantic, where "Mikhail Kutuzov" carried the service until the decommissioning of 1998. At this point, the ship passed 211,900 miles and visited the ports of Yugoslavia, Albania, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria
Officially, "Mikhail Kutuzov" participated in two armed conflicts in the Arab-Israeli war, in 1967 and 1973. Both times it was in the port of Alexandria as a command post of chief military adviser to the Soviet Union in Egypt.
The Sverdlov-class cruisers, Soviet designation Project 68bis, were the last conventional cruisers built for the Soviet Navy, in the 1950s. They were based on Italian pre-Second World War concepts and designs, but modified to be more seaworthy and able to run fast in the rough waters of the North Atlantic. They also carried an extensive suite of radar gear and anti-aircraft artillery in keeping with other post-war designs.
The Soviets originally planned to build 40 of the class, which would be supported by the Stalingrad-class battlecruisers and aircraft carriers. This represented a significant risk to the Royal Navy, especially in the North Atlantic. They responded by introducing the Blackburn Buccaneer, a strike aircraft that had the performance to attack the Sverdlovs with impunity. When the building program was cut back and the battlecruisers and carriers were cancelled, the Sverdlovs were left dangerously unprotected outside the cover of land-based aircraft. Operating on their own as commerce raiders they would be extremely vulnerable.
Construction was cancelled by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954 after 14 examples had been completed. Two additional hulls were scrapped on the slip and four partially complete Sverdlovs launched in 1954 but were scrapped in 1959. The remaining fleet remained in service through the 1970s when the underwent a limited modernization program, before finally leaving service in the late 1980s.
Only Mikhail Kutuzov is preserved, in Novorossiysk.
To organize a more rewarding and in depth tour on any naval museum ship or naval museum in Russia please speak to Captain 1st Rank Igor Kurdin and his associates at the Submarine Veterans club by contacting him via email at Subclub@mail.ru