MOSCOW -- Russian shipbuilders have finished repair work on the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, the Moskva.
A spokesman for the 13th Ship Repair Plant, located in Sevastopol, told state-owned media outlet TASS Russian News Agency on Thursday that the shipyard has concluded repairs on Project 1164 'Atlant' lead ship Moskva. The missile cruiser is being floated out from dry dock.
The spokesman, Sergei Gorbachev, stated, "Today an operation is beginning to bring the cruiser Moskva out of the dock. As the calculations show, the operation is set to be completed tomorrow. This process takes more time as the repair was done in the dry dock and it is first necessary to fill it up with water and then start floating out the ship."
Moskva entered the dock in mid-April of this year. After it has been floated out, the 13th Ship Repair Plant will prepare to receive Smetlivy, a destroyer that TASS reported will be decommissioned and converted into a museum. Smetlivy is to arrive 'in several days', TASS reported.
The Russian Navy commissioned Moskva into service in 1983. The missile cruiser is armed with 16 launchers of P-1000 Vulkan cruise missiles. Two other vessels of the same class are in service, as well. Marshal Ustinov operates with the Northern Fleet while Varyag is in service with the Pacific Fleet.
Another vessel of the class, named Ukraina, was laid down in the 1980s in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, but never completed. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the vessel remained at the shipyard and Kiev, which inherited the ship, has yet to determine what to do with it. The Ukrainian government has considered either scrapping the ship or selling it to a foreign navy.