POTD: Minigun & Russian Missile Cruiser Marshall Ustinov through the Channel

    Today’s Photo Of The Day shows HMS St Albans during an intercept and escort of Russian Missile Cruiser Marshall Ustinov in the British Channel.

    Above you see a crew member of the HMS St Albans manning a Minigun (M134).

    The Mk44 Minigun is a ship-mounted 6-barrelled, electrically operated weapon that shoots 7.62x51mm rounds at a high rate of fire, up to 6000 rpm.

    The Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary employ the Mk44 as protection against small surface threats such as armed speedboats.

    In the sky, to the right of the ship, you can see a Merlin helicopter.

    HMS St Albans was the sixteenth and the last of the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates built in 2000. Constructed by BAE Systems at Scotstoun, she was delivered to the Royal Navy in November 2001.

    Below: HMS St Albans 4.5 inch gun.

    The 4.5-inch gun has been the standard Royal Navy ship mounted gun for use against surface and shore targets since the late 1930s.

    The latest Mark 8 version of the Naval Gun is semi-automatic, has a rate of fire of 25 rounds per minute and a range of 12 nautical miles.

    More pictures of Miniguns. Below you can see the Russian Missile Cruiser Marshall Ustinov. I bet these were exciting times for the crew and the photographer.

    Below is an aerial photograph of Russian cruiser Marshal Ustinov (Russian: Маршал Устинов) taken from a Royal Navy Wildcat Helicopter.

    Marshal Ustinov is a Slava-class cruiser laid down in 1978, launched in April 1982 and commissioned in 1986.

    The Russian name for the ship type is Gvardeysky Raketnyy Kreyser (GRKR), meaning “Guards Missile Cruiser”. She is named after Dmitriy Ustinov, a former Soviet Minister of Defence.

    A crane is installed on the ship for handling boats, while anti-ship missiles fitted on either side of the superstructure provide it a typical appearance. The vessels have poor damage control capabilities due to flammable materials used in the structure.

    Designed as a battlecruiser, the Slava Class is smaller and less expensive than other ships, which demonstrate similar capabilities. The design integrates the P-500 Bazalt missile, which is a conventional alternative to the missiles installed in the Kirov Class battle cruiser.

    Source: Ministry of Defence GOV.UK and Wikipedia.