Project 48 Destroyer Leader, Kiev - Lost Leader

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Project 48 Destroyer Leader, Kiev

Bluewater vessel, smaller Tashkent with worse AA but better torpedoes.

In 1935, as part of the “Ocean-Going Fleet” plan, the USSR commissioned the Italian OTO shipyard to design a large high speed destroyer, build the first prototype, and then assist Soviet shipyards to build their own, this was known as Project 20, and resulted in the Tashkent. However, it was soon discovered that the Italian design was incompatible with Soviet shipbuilding. Instead, Soviet designers used the Italian design to finish an ongoing project, Project 48 (a project for an improved Project 1/Project 38 destroyer leader), and in the 3rd Five-Year Plan, 8 ships were ordered, 3 for the Black Sea Fleet and 5 for the Baltic Fleet. The first 3 ships were laid down in 1939, but in 1940 the Navy revaluated the project and ordered all remaining ships and one laid down cancelled, with only the two for the Black Sea Fleet to be completed in 1942. Additionally the Project 35 and 47 Destroyers were projected to be ordered in 1941 and 1942, which were generally superior to the Project 48. Work on the two ships continued, until it was disrupted by the German Invasion.

Kiev was to be the lead ship of the class, and was laid down in Shipyard 198 “Marti” in Nikolayev. It was launched in 1940, and was about 48.9% complete at the start of Operation Barbarossa. Along with the less complete Yerevan, they were evacuated from Nikolayev to first Sevastopol, then various other ports until they arrived at Batumi, in Georgia. There they would wait out the war until Nikolayev was liberated and in 1944 they were towed back to be finished. The Navy wished for a modernized design, and a revised one was made in 1948, with more efficient engines and better anti-aircraft weaponry, with this design being called Project 48K. However by then the modern Project 30bis destroyers were being produced, and the Navy decided it wasn’t wise to waste resources for 2 unique and more or less obsolete ships, and all work was cancelled in 1950. I’m not sure if any real construction work to that standard was actually done before cancellation.

Kiev had been sunk during fleet exercises in 1946, but was refloated the next year and transferred to the shipyard in Nikolayev and resumed construction. In 1952, Kiev was removed from the shipyard and spent 3 years laid up, then it was transferred to the Caspian Flotilla for testing purposes. In 1962, it was expended as a target ship, being shot by a P-35 cruise missile without a warhead. The missile pierced the ship and it sank in three minutes.

Specifications: (Project)

3x2 130mm/50 B-2LM mounts (900 rounds)
1x2 76mm/39 39-K mount
4x2 12.7mm DShK in DShKM-2B mount
2x5 533mm 2-N torpedo tubes
2x depth charge racks (30 depth charges)
76 mines

2350 tons standard
3045 tons full

Length: 127.8m

Beam: 11.7m

Draft: 4.2m

Propulsion: 3 geared steam turbines with 3 boilers, 90 000 hp, driving 3 shafts

Speed: 42 knots (77.8 km/h)

Range: 4100nmi (at 15 knots)

Crew: 264

Mina Fire Control System
2 Fire Directors and Rangefinder
Mars Hydrophone

Images: (There’s almost no pictures of either of the Pr.48 leaders)

A horrendously low quality image of Kiev and Yerevan under construction
Kiev with dummy weapons, during missile testing

Budzbon, P; Radziemski, J; Twardowski, M. Warships of the Soviet Fleets 1939–1945 (p. 105). Pen and Sword. Kindle Edition.
Gogin, I. Fighting ships of World War Two 1937 - 1945. Volume VII. Soviet Union. (p. 43). Kindle Edition.
Kachur, P. I., & Morin, A. B. (2003). In Lidery Eskadrennykh Minonostsev VMF SSSR (pp. 106, 220, 228-229). Izdat. Ostrov.
Platonov, A. V. (2003). Vtoroe Pokolenie Sovetskikh Minonostsev. In Sovetskie Minonost︠sy. Part 1 (pp. 66–69). Galeya Print.Лидеры_эскадренных_миноносцев_проекта_48



Suggestion passed to the developers for consideration.

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