Units: Kirov, Voroshilov
Type and Significance: These heavy cruisers are representative of Soviet construction in the years before World War II. Project 26
Dates of Construction: Laid down in 1935, with Kirov being completed in 1938 and Voroshilov following in mid-1940.
Hull Dimensions: 626’ 8” x 57’ 11” x 23’ 9”
Displacement: 7,800 tons
Armor: A belt 2 inches thick, a deck 2 inches deep, turret armor 3 inches thick, and 2-inch protection for the barbettes.
Armament: Nine 7-inch guns in three triple-gunned turrets, two being located forward and one aft. Also six 3.9-inch pieces, six 1.8-inch antiaircraft guns, six 21-inch torpedo tubes, 100 mines, and two aircraft.
Machinery: Turbines fueled by six oil-fired boilers that generated 113,000 horsepower.
Speed: 34 knots
Summary: This class was designed in part by the Italians. Both ships served extensively in World War II. The Voroshilov was scrapped in the 1960s; Kirov followed in the 1970s. While Voroshilov was laid down first, Kirov was the prototype for the class and was completed first. Her trials were a disappointment as her Italian-built turbines initially had minor defects and she was a knot slower than guaranteed. The Italians pointed out that the guarantee only applied if she displaced 7200 tonnes or less, and she was overweight by over 500 tonnes (490 long tons; 550 short tons). Her turrets had numerous teething problems and inflicted more blast damage than anticipated, which showed that her welding plan had not been followed. Her firing arcs were reduced in an attempt to mitigate the problem. Voroshilov's Soviet-built turbines were more powerful than anticipated and she almost achieved her design speed.