The Russian Ministry of Defense released a short video showing Kirov-class nuclear battlecruiser Pyotr Velikiy (Peter the Great) firing multiple unusual torpedo tube-launched anti-submarine missile system known as the RPK-6 Vodopad. Russia recently concluded a series of drills in the Barents Sea, situated above the Arctic Circle, which had occurred in an area that overlapped in part with where the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces were conducting the “Trident Juncture 2018″ drills in Norway and its surrounding seas from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, the largest since the end of the Cold War.
The RPK-6 Vodopad (Waterfall”) is a Soviet 533 mm anti-ship missile deployed operationally since 1981. The anti-ship missiles are given the same United States Navy designation SS-N-16 and NATO designation Stallion. RPK-6 Vodopad is a torpedo-tube launched, with a solid-fuel rocket engine to power them above the surface. This missiles is dual-role; they can be armed with either a 400 mm anti-submarine torpedo or a nuclear depth charge.
The Veter’s (650 mm version) increased range of approximately 100 kilometers was an impressive boost over its predecessor the SS-N-15 Starfish, which could only reach half the distance.
Unlike in a more conventional missile launcher, missile out of the torpedo tube and into the water, after which it sails away from the ship for a distance underwater. Then a rocket motor ignites and sends it flying back into the air and on its way. The missile has an inertial navigation guidance system to get it to target areas more than 60 miles away. When it gets there, the missile releases its payload. The Soviet Union originally designed the weapon to also be able to carry a nuclear depth charge. That option would make it much more difficult for the target to escape.
Pyotr Velikiy is the fourth Kirov-class battlecruiser of the Russian Navy. Initially named Yuri Andropov for Yuri Andropov, the former General Secretary of the Communist Party, the ship’s name was changed after the fall of the Soviet Union. Construction of the ship was heavily affected by the economic problems before and after the fall of the Soviet Union and it was not commissioned until 1998, twelve years after work had started. The Russian designation for the type is “heavy missile cruiser”, but Western defense commentators re-invented the term “battlecruiser” to describe these as they are the largest surface combatant warships in the world. Pyotr Velikiy is the flagship of the Northern Fleet.