Project 968 Borey
As part of the Ten Year military shipbuilding plan for 1971-1980, the Northern Design Bureau was issued a TTZ in for the design of a fleet command ship; Project 968. The ship was intended to control its assigned forces in remote areas of the ocean in peacetime and war. The outline design of an 18,700-ton ship was completed in December 1970. In May 1971, the draft was reviewed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy but was rejected later in the year as being too complex and expensive ship. Redesign to reduce costs began the draft design 968 was approved in 1973. But during mid-1974 when the project was 80% ready it was suspended as the Northern SKB was busy on the Project 61ME 'Modified Kashin' for the Indian Navy. At the same time, the possibility of building the ship at 61 Kommunara shipyard was raised. Given that the yard was to build the Project 1164 Atlant cruisers, Project 968 was recast to use the same hull. The preliminary assessment of this option was approved by S.G. Gorshkov in July 1974. Studies confirmed the feasibility of this project, all the originalweapons were removed and the volume of superstructure and a forecastle increased. The standard displacement was 9,000 tons, loaded 11,000 tons, and the cost of construction was reduced by 10%. But this study was not further developed and the Borey control ship was finally abandoned due to the cost and the greater priority for the Atlant.
The drawing above is the 1974 study using a highly modified Pr.1164 hull.
The self-defence armament is quite substantial with 2x2 76mm AK-76, 8x 30mm AK-630, 4x RBU-series A/S rocket launchers and no less than four Urugan SAM launchers.
I've always been drawn by the looks of this project and so finally, after months of stop-start work on it, it is complete.