Rooskies of the Caribbean

RFS Pyotr Vlikiy (Peter the Great) fires a SAM

RFS Pyotr Vlikiy (Peter the Great) fires a SAM

Defense Tech: Russian Force to the Caribbean

The Russian government is sending one of the world’s largest warships into the Caribbean for a joint naval exercise with Venezuela. This will mark the first time since the end of the Cold War in December 1991 that a Russian naval force will sail that “American sea.” The ships will operate in the Caribbean during November, showing support for Venezuela’s government, which is strongly anti-United States.

Leading the Russian force will be the Petr Velikiy, a 26,000-ton, nuclear-propelled “battle cruiser.” The ship, completed in 1998, is the world’s largest warship other than aircraft carriers, and displaces more than twice as much as the largest U.S. surface combatants, the Aegis missile cruisers of the Ticonderoga (CG 47) class.

The Petr (or Pyotr) Velikiy, a Kirov-calss ship, was laid down in 1986 as the Yuri Andropov. Completion was delayed for years following the collapse of the Soviet Empire, and the ship has had a number of reliability issues since joining the fleet. Like most Russian ships.

In 2004, the chief of the Russian Navy said that Pyotr Velikiy could “explode at any moment.” Again, this is like most Russian ships.

Check this out for more background on the Velikiy. Image from here.

The Caribbean/South American area is going to be getting much more interesting in the coming years if Russia is really serious about re-establishing itself as a major player.


  1. Just for kicks, it sure would be nice if we could have sent a bigger surface ship down there just to annoy the ruskies. Like maybe an iowa class ship. :P Ours is bigger than theirs and all that.
    Yep, I’m still in love with the thought of a modernized true BB.

  2. Googling around for some images and specs I learned that there are some folks who blamed the Peter the Great for accidentally sinking the Kursk.

    Putin said it was impossible, as Peter the Great was nowhere near the area. Other sources claim though the ship has some weapons capability out to 500 miles.

    You don’t have to be anywhere near the target to kill it anymore. Hell, probably not since what, Leyte Gulf, has that been true.

  3. JM I won’t disagree with you, though I don’t know that I’ve heard much about Russian Med deployments lately.

    This show of the flag to buddy up with Venezuela isn’t just a photo-op, though, in my estimation.

  4. HiĀ”,
    Thank you for pingback the post of my blog “Flota Rusa” (Russian Fleet).
    Congratulations for your website, very nice.
    Venezuelan people have controversial opinions about deployment of russian ships in the Caribbean.
    Best regards

  5. Damm,

    I knew that I should have paid more attention in Spanish class. I have a hard enough time picking up the sarcasm in English blogs, never mind trying to understand “controversial opinions” in Spanish. Thanks for the links anyway Murdoc.

    I agree with Matt, the Kirov’s sure do LOOK impressive. Would be great if the Navy would release some SSN periscope pictures of her. I agree that this is really not a just a photo op too.

    What do you guys think about the comment that the P700 SSM would not sink a Iowa but and that the Kirov’s are lightly armored? In light of the serious damage control issues the GW recently had, I really question if a modern warship design is really superior to a 1950s Farragut? Thoughts?

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