Project 26Bis class cruiser, Molotov (1955) - The Soviet Union's first ship with radar

Would you like see the Molotov added to the game in her post war modernization?
  • Yes, I think she should be added in-game
  • Maybe
  • Unsure
  • I don’t think we need this ship in-game

0 voters

If she was added, how would she be introduced?
  • In the tech tree
  • As a premium
  • As a event/gift vehicle
  • As a squadron vehicle
  • As apart of the battle pass
  • No preference/Any of the above
  • Unsure
  • I don’t think we need this ship in-game

0 voters

Project 26Bis class cruiser, Molotov (1955) - The Soviet Union’s first ship with radar



The Molotov or later known as Slava was a Project 26Bis class cruiser built between late 1930’s and early 1940’s and would take part in the Second World War, as well as being active during the Cold War, while most of the ships of the improved designs of the Project 26Bis and Project 26Bis2 would post war actually not receive a major modernization post war which would see more modern weapons installed as Kirov was modernized while attempts were given up on other ships and Voroshilov being converted to test missile systems, yet one other Project 26 class ships would end up receiving a major modernization, in this case this was the Molotov.


While during the Second World War the Project 26 class ships acquired a variety of AA guns starting from 45mm guns to then a number of 37mm guns and a variety of 12.7mm machine guns of different types, after the war ships such as the Project 68 class were completed in a more modernized state than they had been designed which saw the usage of twin 37mm AA gun mounts exclusively and the ships that were modernized post war would see a similar modernization in their design which saw all older AA guns removed with the newer twin 37mm V-11 gun mounts installed with a total of 11 twin mountings for a total of 22, she also had her 100mm gun mounts replaced with newer B-34USMA gun mountings which were now fully powered though the ship also saw her torpedo tubes removed, boat cranes, and her floatplane and catapult as the ship had radar. One thing that should be stated in terms of radar is that Molotov herself actually can considered worth mentioning when it comes to introducing radar to Soviet vessels as she actually would be the first Soviet vessel to use any radar as she equipped the Redut-K radar during the second world war which was a domestic design, she would also later during the war receive a second radar which was also a domestic Soviet designed radar and as it would turn out she would actually never use any US or British radars unlike her sisters but these earlier radar systems were replaced in the modernization in 1955, it’s also worth noting in the late 1940’s she also played a role in the development of the Project 68K and Project 68bis class cruisers as she was used to test some of the radar systems which would feature on the future cruisers.




Molotov was laid down on January 14th, 1937, she was launched on December 4th, 1939, and was commissioned on January 14th, 1941, during her construction she had already seen her modified before entering service in 1940 as the decision was made to instal the Redut-K air warning radar, this radar was based off a RUS-2 radar which was a land based version and as it would turn out the Molotov would be the only ship to ever use this radar system and the day after she entered service she was used in a naval exercise which saw the use of the radar successfully, due to the time she enter service only a few months into service she found herself relying on her radar even more as the Germans began operation Barbarossa however she was at the start held back from direct combat and instead kept back in Sevastopol as she used her radar to detect any incoming German aircraft which she would relay any information to help and alert air bases nearby for incoming aircraft and she would prove to be very successful in this role but as the invasion continued and German forces began invading the Crimea peninsula she was moved to Tuapse in October to continue helping to alert nearby forces of incoming German aircraft.


On November 9th she would fire her guns in combat as she fired 200 rounds from her main guns at German forces while off Feodosiya before returning to Tuapse but by in December as the situation got worse in the Crimea peninsula she began to help bring in troops from to area, in one case getting hit by German artillery by the stern which saw her counter battery the germans with her 180mm and 100mm guns. She continued to help deliver and evacuating troops, delivering supplies as well as bombarding German positions as 1942 came around but in late January she received damage to her bow significantly damage while in Tuapse during a storm and while repairs were made they were at the time unable to straighten her bow out which would reduce her speed by 7 knots. On August 2nd she would find herself under attack by after providing shore bombardment off Feodosiya while on her way back home by HE-111 bombers of 6./KG 26 which were using torpedoes along with Italian torpedo boats managed to attack the Molotov and the damage done had seen her stern blow off which reduced her speed to 10 knots and force the ship to steer with her engines and the ship surviving the encounter and would arrive in Poti for major repairs, this would also until July 31st, 1943 for work to be completed.


The repairs themselves were not ordinary to say the least, instead of having a whole new stern constructed the work saw her steal the stern of the incomplete Project 68 cruiser Frunze, the rudder from another Project 68 cruiser which was the Zheleznyakov, the steering gear from the Project 26Bis2 class cruiser Kaganovich, and the steering sensor from the submarine L-25 which made her distinctly different from then on out from her sisters as she was made up of parts from 4 other ships and she would retain the new stern for the rest of her career but despite the repairs being completed she would see no further action during the war after Stalin had ordered following the loss of 3 destroyers that their would be no major naval deployments with his permission which meant the ships remainder of the war was peaceful, with 1944 seeing her with another radar system installed as well as continuing a particular experiment which had began in 1943 when she had a new aircraft catapult installed which saw her test the viability of launching a conversional plane from the catapult in which a Supermarine Spitfire was used for testing.



After the war she was quickly taken into a dock where she saw the last of the wartime damage she received fixed though while in dock in 1946 a fire had started in her number 2 turret which almost saw a ammo explosion but the ship was saved after the magazines had been flooded 22 dead and 20 wounded, a commission which would investigate the incident later one would conclude that no error on the crews part was made and had followed their instructions in the case of that event and concluded that the fire was caused due a flaw within the ship. By the late 1940’s after repairs she was used to test newer radars which were to be fielded on the Project 68 cruisers which had begun prior to the war as they were modified in their final design after the war due to how much technology advanced. In 1952 the Molotov began to undergo a modernization which would see her with most of the weapons onboard replaced along with newer radar systems, installing a newer fire control system, the removal of her floatplane and catapult, and the removal of torpedo tubes among other things. This major modernization would end up costing somewhere between half to three quarters of the cost of a Project 68bis class cruiser and the work would be completed in 1955.


In the same year as her modernization was completed she was present when the battleship Novorossiysk which was the ex Italian battleship Giulio Cesare after it had run into a German naval mine after the war which saw her crew help in rescue efforts however 5 of her own would be lost as the ship capsized. In 1957 she was renamed to Slava after Vyacheslav Molotov was purged from the government after an unsuccessful coup against Nikita Khrushchev and she would have this name for the rest of her career and by the end of the 1950’s she would be put into reserve for a short time before returning to service. The Slava would be used as a training cruiser by 1961 however she would make 2 deployments to the Mediterranean following her being reclassification as a training cruiser, the first in 1967 during the Six day war to show Soviet support for Syria, and the other deployment in 1970 after the Project 56 class destroyer Bravyi had collided with the British aircraft carrier Ark Royal, but by the 1970’s the ship was showing its age and lacking any need for the ship in 1972 she was finally decommissioned and subsequently scrapped.





8,177 t (8,048 long tons) (standard)

9,728 t (9,574 long tons) (full load)

Length: 191.4 m (627 ft 11 in)

Beam: 17.66 m (57 ft 11 in)

Draft: 6.3 m (20 ft 8 in) (full load)

Installed power:

6 Yarrow-Normand boilers

129,750 shp (96,750 kW)

Propulsion: 2 shafts, 2 geared turbines

Speed: 36.72 knots (68.01 km/h; 42.26 mph) (on trials)

Range: 4,220 nmi (7,820 km; 4,860 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)

Complement: 963

Sensors and processing systems:

Rif surface search radar

Giuys air search radar

Zalp fire control radar radar

Yakor’ fire control radar radar

Arktur hydrophone


Main armament:

9 × 180 mm/57 (7.1") B-1-P Pattern 1932 guns (3 x 3 MK-3-180 mounts)

Secondary Armament:

6 × 100 mm/56 (3.9") B-34 Pattern 1940 guns (6 x 1 B-34USMA mounts)

AA armament:

22 x 37 mm/67 (1.5") 70-K antiaircraft guns (11 x 2 V-11 mounts)


Waterline belt: 70 mm (2.8 in)

Deck: 50 mm (2.0 in) each

Turrets: 70 mm (2.8 in)

Barbettes: 70 mm (2.8 in)

Conning tower: 150 mm (5.9 in)



Kirov-class cruiser - WikipediaКрейсера_проекта_26-бис

Soviet cruiser Molotov - WikipediaМолотов_(крейсер)

Russia / USSR 180 mm/60 (7.1") Pattern 1931 and 180 mm/57 (7.1") Pattern 1932 - NavWeaps

Russia / USSR 100 mm/56 (3.9") B-34 Pattern 1940 - NavWeaps

Image sources


Архив фотографий кораблей русского и советского ВМФ.