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Kiev-class destroyer

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Project48 & 48-K.jpg
Line drawings to different scales of the never-completed Kiev-class destroyers; Project 48 (top), Project 48-K (bottom)
Class overview
Operators:  Soviet Navy
Preceded by: Tashkent class
Succeeded by: None
Built: 1939–1941
Planned: 14 or 15[Note 1]
Completed: 0
Cancelled: 11 or 12
Scrapped: 3
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer leader
Length: 127.8 m (419 ft 3 in) (o/a)
Beam: 11.7 m (38 ft 5 in)
Draft: 4.2 m (13 ft 9 in)
Installed power:
Propulsion: 3 shafts; 3 geared steam turbines
Speed: 42 knots (78 km/h; 48 mph)
Range: 4,100 nmi (7,600 km; 4,700 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 264

The Kiev class (Russian: Киев) (officially designated as Project 48) was designed in 1939 for the Soviet Navy as a smaller class of destroyer leaders after the cancellation of the Tashkent-class ships that had been intended to be built in the Soviet Union. Only three ships were begun; one was cancelled and scrapped before the Axis invasion in mid-1941 and construction of the other two was suspended during the war. The navy considered completing them under a new Project 48-K configuration afterwards, but decided against that as they would have been competing against a more modern design that lacked the stability problems that the 48-K design would have had. The Soviets either scrapped them or used them as targets.

Background and description[edit]

Originally three more Tashkents were ordered to be built in the Soviet Union, but it proved to be too difficult to marry the Italian design with Soviet shipbuilding practices and they were cancelled. Instead, the Soviets designed the Kiev class to be a smaller version with much the same armament as the Tashkent class. The Soviet Navy envisioned building 13 Kiev class ships in 1937 during the Third Five-Year Plan and then proposed 30 ships in its shipbuilding proposal in August 1939, but the government decided to only build half that number, with twelve in the first part of the five-year plan and three in the latter part. Of these twelve ships, the first eight were ordered as part of the Third Five-Year Plan–three ships for the Black Sea Fleet and five for the Baltic Fleet–and the remaining four on 10 April 1941, split between the Black Sea and Northern Fleets. The remaining ships were intended to be ordered as part of the Fourth Five-Year Plan. Only three of these ships were laid down, all in 1939. On 19 October 1940, the government reevaluated the shipbuilding program in light of the changing international situation and canceled all ships that had not yet been laid down. In addition, it ordered the one ship that had been started for the Baltic Fleet to be scrapped, and the pair being built for the Black Sea Fleet to be completed. A contributing factor in this decision may have been the Project 35 large-destroyer design scheduled for 1941 which was intended to have a dual-purpose main armament and much greater range.[1]

The Kiev-class ships had an overall length of 127.8 meters (419 ft 3 in), a beam of 11.7 meters (38 ft 5 in), and a mean draft of 4.2 meters (13 ft 9 in).[2] The ships displaced 2,350 long tons (2,390 t) at standard load and 3,045 long tons (3,094 t) at deep load.[3] Their crew numbered 264 officers and sailors.[2]

The ships had three geared steam turbines, each driving one three-bladed propeller using steam from three water-tube boilers that operated at a pressure of 27 kg/cm2 (2,648 kPa; 384 psi) and a temperature of 350 °C (662 °F). The turbines, designed to produce 90,000 shaft horsepower (67,000 kW), were intended to give the Kievs a maximum speed of 42 knots (78 km/h; 48 mph). The ships had a maximum capacity of 750 metric tons (738 long tons) of fuel oil which gave them a range of 4,100 nautical miles (7,600 km; 4,700 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph). They were equipped with a pair of 165-kilowatt (221 hp) turbo generators and a pair of diesel generators, each of 50 kilowatts (67 hp).[4]


A B-2-LM turret from the Polish destroyer Wicher

The main armament of the Kiev-class ships consisted of six 50-caliber 130-millimeter (5.1 in) B-13 guns in three twin-gun B-2-LM turrets, one superfiring pair forward of the superstructure and the other mount aft of it. The ships carried 900 rounds for their guns.[2] The B-13 gun fired a 33.4-kilogram (74 lb) shell at a muzzle velocity of 870 m/s (2,900 ft/s), which gave them a range of 25,597 meters (27,993 yd).[5] Anti-aircraft defense was provided by a twin-gun 39-K mount for 55-caliber 76.2-millimeter (3 in) 34-K AA guns atop the rear superstructure. The 34-K guns could elevate between -5° and +85° and had a rate of fire of 15–20 rounds per minute. Their muzzle velocity of 801 meters per second (2,630 ft/s) gave their 26-pound (11.9 kg) high-explosive shells a maximum horizontal range of 14,640 meters (16,010 yd) and an effective ceiling of 6,500 meters (21,300 ft). The ships were fitted with four twin-gun mounts for 12.7-millimeter (0.50 in) DShK machine guns. The DShK had an effective rate of fire of 125 rounds per minute and an effective range against aircraft of 2,500 meters (2,700 yd).[6]

The ships carried ten 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes in two rotating quintuple mounts amidships. The ships could also carry 86 Model 1926 mines and 30 depth charges–ten 135-kilogram (298 lb) BB-1s and twenty 25-kilogram (55 lb) BM-1s–which were delivered by two throwers.[2][6]


Ship and (yard number)[7] Builder[7] Laid down[7] Launched[7] Fate
Kiev (357) Shipyard No. 198 (Marti South), Nikolayev 29 September 1939 12 December 1940 Evacuated (48.9% complete), August 1941, ultimately used as a target or scrapped[8]
Erevan (358) 30 December 1939 29 June 1941 Evacuated (25.4% complete), August 1941, ultimately used as a target or scrapped[8]
Stalinabad (542) Shipyard No. 190 (Zhdanov), Leningrad 27 December 1939 Never Canceled, 19 October 1940, scrapped[7]
Unnamed (543) Never Canceled, 19 October 1940[7]
Unnamed (544)
Ashkhabad (545) Shipyard No. 190 (Zhdanov), Leningrad
Alma-Ata (546)
Petrozavadosk (359) Shipyard No. 198 (Marti South), Nikolayev
Ochakov[Note 2]
Perekop[Note 2]
Arkhangelsk[Note 2] Shipyard No. 402, Molotovsk
Murmansk[Note 2]

In July 1941, the shipbuilding program was reevaluated in light of the Axis invasion the previous month and both Kiev and Erevan were to be continued. Advancing German forces forced the ships that had been launched at Nikolayev to be evacuated in August to ports on the eastern coast of the Black Sea.[9] The two ships were towed to various ports before ending up in Batumi, Georgia in January 1942. They were towed back to Nikolayev on 12 April 1945 to finish building. The navy wanted to modify the design to reflect the latest war experience and the shipyard proposed in 1947 a complete modernization with weapons and radars that were still being designed. The proposal reduced the ships' speed to 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph) and reduced the range to 3,500 nmi (6,500 km; 4,000 mi) at 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph). The navy rejected this proposal and asked for a more realistic design the following year under Project 48-K.[10]

The revised proposal equipped the ships with lighter, more efficient propulsion machinery that reduced speed to 39.5 knots (73.2 km/h; 45.5 mph) for 500 nmi (930 km; 580 mi) more range. It replaced the anti-aircraft armament with a twin-gun turret for the 55-caliber 85-millimeter (3.3 in) 52-K gun and eight water-cooled, V-11 twin-gun mounts for the 74-caliber 37-millimeter (1.5 in) 70-K AA guns. Depth-charge stowage was increased to 48 BM-1s and the torpedo tubes were replaced by the latest type. These changes increased the standard displacement by almost 400 long tons (410 t) to 2,722 long tons (2,766 t). The stability of the proposal was so limited that the latest gunnery radar could not be fitted and the ships were competing for resources with the Project 30-bis Skoryy-class destroyers of a similar size already being built. Ultimately, the navy decided that it did not need a pair of unique ships with their own special maintenance and training requirements and canceled all further development in 1950.[11]


  1. ^ Sources are contradictory about the total number of ships scheduled to be built as Rohwer and Monakov mention 15 ships on page 98, but only 14 in the table on page 232.
  2. ^ a b c d Never allotted a yard number, the ship's name is unconfirmed.[7]


  1. ^ Platonov 2002, pp. 143–144; Rohwer & Monakov, pp. 45–46, 75, 99–100, 232
  2. ^ a b c d Platonov 2002, p. 145
  3. ^ Rohwer & Monakov, p. 100
  4. ^ Platonov 2002, pp. 145–146
  5. ^ Yakubov & Worth, p. 103
  6. ^ a b Yakubov & Worth, p. 104
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Rohwer & Monakov, p. 232
  8. ^ a b Rohwer & Monakov, pp. 192, 232
  9. ^ Rohwer & Monakov, pp. 146–147, 232
  10. ^ Platonov 2002, p. 144; Platonov 2003, p. 69
  11. ^ Platonov 2003, pp. 68–69


  • Platonov, Andrey V. (2002). Энциклопедия советских надводных кораблей 1941—1945 [Encyclopedia of Soviet Surface Ships 1941–1945] (in Russian). Saint Petersburg: Poligon. ISBN 5-89173-178-9.
  • Platonov, Andrey V. (2003). Советские миноносцы [Soviet Destroyers] (in Russian). Part I. Saint Petersburg: Galea Print. ISBN 5-8172-0078-3.
  • Rohwer, Jürgen & Monakov, Mikhail S. (2001). Stalin's Ocean-Going Fleet. London: Frank Cass. ISBN 0-7146-4895-7.
  • Yakubov, Vladimir & Worth, Richard (2008). "The Soviet Project 7/7U Destroyers". In Jordan, John & Dent, Stephen (eds.). Warship 2008. London: Conway. pp. 99–114. ISBN 978-1-84486-062-3.

Further reading[edit]

  • Kachur, Pavel (2008). "Гончие псы" Красного флота. "Ташкент", "Баку", "Ленинград" [Hounds of the Red Fleet: Tashkent, Baku, Leningrad] (in Russian). Moscow: Yauza/Eksmo. ISBN 978-5-699-31614-4.