Saturday, December 6, 2014

Is "Petr Velikiy" Preparing for Another Half-Year Deployment?

Kirov nuclear-powered cruiser "Petr Velikiy" in the Mediterranean Sea - November 2013
Northern Fleet Kirov-class nuclear-powered cruiser "Petr Velikiy" completed a seven-month deployment between October 2013 and May 2014. After a six-month stand-down that included some level of repairs, the cruiser returned to sea in mid-November to complete combat certifications. During an approximate week-long underway period, the cruiser's crew conducted basic crew certifications along with gunnery and surface-to-air missile qualifications. Very routine, nothing unusual.

In late November, however, dispatches from social media suggested "Petr Velikiy" was preparing for a half-year deployment. And in early December, Deputy Minister of Defense General Dmitriy Bulgakov visited "Petr Velikiy" during a trip to Severomorsk.

There is no other information on departure/return dates, potential port calls, areas where the cruiser will operate, or even the names of support vessels. And, of course, no official confirmation of such a deployment has been released.