1906-11-17 THE RUSSIAN CRUISER RURIK
London Times, 17 November 1906, p. 8: THE RUSSIAN CRUISER RURIK. The Russian armoured cruiser RURIK, which is to be launched by Messrs. Vickers, Sons, and Maxim this morning from their naval construction works at Barrow-in-Furness, is of special interest, since she may fairly be assumed to embody the results of experience hardly won in actual fighting during the Russo-Japanese war. The old RURIK was thought a remarkable vessel when she was launched 16 years ago, but as a fighting machine she is far outclassed by her successor. She was 426ft. long, 67ft. in beam, 29-3/4ft. in draught, and of 10,940 tons displacement, while her engines developed 13,500 i.h.p. and gave her a speed of 18.7 knots. The new RURIK is 490ft. long, has a breadth (moulded) of 75ft., is 26ft. in mean draught, and displaces 15,000 tons. Her two sets of four-cylinder, triple-expansion, balanced engines are to develop together 19,700 i.h.p., transmitted to two three-bladed propellers by hollow propeller shafts 19in. in diameter, and designed to give her a speed of 21 knots on trial, with 1,200 tons of coal on board, which is the amount she is calculated to carry at normal draught. Her 28 Belleville boilers supply steam at a pressure of 250lb. to the square inch, and it is stipulated that the trial speed of 21 knots must be attained with one-quarter of the number out of use; they have a total heating surface of over 55,000 square feet, and are fitted with arrangements for burning oil fuel, of which the ship carries 200 tons, in addition to her coal. In regard to armament, the old RURIK had four 8in. breech-loading guns, one 6in., and six 4.7in. quick-firing guns, and six torpedo tubes. The new RURIK will have four 10in. breech-loading guns, eight 8in. and 20 4.7in. quick-firing guns, 12 smaller quick-firers, and two submerged torpedo tubes. The 10in. guns are contained in two barbettes on the centre line, one forward and one aft, while the 8in. ones are twin-mounted in four barbettes. The armour of the barbettes is Krupp cemented, 7¼in. thick, and the guns, which are 50 calibres in length, are electrically worked. Of the 20 4.7in. guns, 16 are placed on the upper deck in a battery some 200ft. long protected by 3in. armour, and four stand aft on the main deck in a battery with armour of the same thickness. An armoured belt, 6in. thick amidships and 3in. and 4in. thick at the ends, encircles the ship at the water-line, joining the armour of the batteries. In addition to these protective measures, every precaution has been taken to secure, so far as possible, that any damage sustained shall not put the ship out of action. The conning tower forward, the observing tower aft, and the four range-finding towers are all heavily armoured; but, even if they were all rendered useless, the ship could still be worked from an armoured station under water. The water-tight bulkheads have been made unusually strong so as to stand high pressures without yielding, and each of the more important water-tight compartments is provided with a powerful electrical pump of its own, to clear it if flooded, the motors being arranged above the water-line. Electricity is very extensively employed throughout the ship, and the dynamos, wiring, &c., are so arranged that, in the event of one system being disabled, another will be available. The rudder is provided with both electrical and steam steering gears, and has a device by means of which it can be disconnected from both at will, to preclude the possibility of its becoming fixed, by damage or accident, in such a way as to impede the navigation of the ship. The funnel casings are armoured, experience having shown that when they are pierced by shot it becomes very difficult to work and fight the ship owing to the flame and smoke poured out through the holes. Finally it may be mentioned that in the RURIK torpedo nets and booms have been dispensed with, and reliance is placed on structural arrangements to guard against the loss of the ship by torpedo attack.
Provided by Stephen McLaughlin