How big was the Russian ship that sunk?

How big was the Russian ship that sunk?


After saying initially, the warship was afloat, late on Thursday the Russian defense ministry announced that the Moskva had been lost. The 12,490-tonne vessel is the biggest Russian warship to be sunk in action since World War Two.

The next question is who salvages the Moskva. Some of its systems are still intact. Worth hard cash if sold, and perhaps invaluable if retrieved by a power who can make direct use of it. (That is, the Ukrainians or anyone with a white Persian cat.)

In particular, its sixteen P-500 Bazalt or P-1000 Vulcan missiles (known in NATO as SS-N-12 Sandbox) are a versatile design that’s deployed on both surface vessels (the three, now two (or perhaps one). Slava-class guided missile cruisers and the one Kiev-class aircraft carrier) and submarines.

That *should* mean that the specific missiles sank with the cruiser won’t have damaged. In addition, at least not from being at the bottom of the Black Sea. But I suspect from what we’ve seen of the Russian (and before that, Soviet) military in action that the crew of the Moskva were lax in the maintenance of the ship’s systems and armament. Perhaps to the point that the ones on the Moskva were no longer watertight.

The P-500 has a range of 550 km and can carry a 1,000 kg payload, with a CEP of 300-700 meters. That can either be a 950 kg semi-armor-piercing conventional munition or a 350 KT nuclear warhead.

The P-1000 is an upgrade that can take a heavier payload, installed on some submarines but—as far as we know—not on the surface vessels.

Either the Ukrainians reputedly shot anti-ship missiles at a warship that might have had nuclear weapons or the Russians were so lax in its care *while at war* that a fire and munitions explosion occurred.

Did the ship contain up to sixteen nuclear weapons? Don’t believe anyone who says they know either way. Admiral Ospov, commanding the Black Sea Fleet, knows. The captain of the Moskva knows. Certain higher-ups and seamen. Maybe a really good intelligence service. 

No one who knows for sure will be on tv, online, or on Facebook talking about it. At best, someone might know if it did at some point in the past forty years. And if someone in the know was talking, e.g., how can you know they’re telling the truth? 

In conclusion, all we can say for sure is that it was capable of carrying them. Lastly, which means the Ukrainians, or whoever might have fired on the Moskva, was flirting with a Russian nuclear response. But it also means there might be nuclear weapons sitting at the bottom of the Black Sea. 

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How big was the Russian ship that sunk?