Sitting at the top of the main line of Russian/Soviet cruisers, we have the Alexander Nevsky.
The Alexander Nevsky is based on the Project 84 of cruisers from the Soviet Navy and started in the 1950s. These ships were meant as anti-air cruisers with a total of 5 ships planned to be built.
Their armament consisted of 4 twin turrets with 180 mm guns for the main battery and 6 twin turrets with 100 mm guns for the secondary battery. Both the main and secondary battery would have been dual-purpose and the 180 mm guns were planned to have a 76° elevation as well as being able to shoot at a height of 23 km.
This armament was completed by 6 quadruple 57 mm AA mounts.
Finally, the design was also meant to carry 2 Kamov Ka-15 for anti-submarine warfare.
The commissioning of these ships was planned in 1964.
In the end, all work on the ships and 180 mm guns was abandoned when Nikolay Gerasimovich Kuznetsov was removed from the post of Commander in Chief.
While the Alexander Nevsky is a light cruiser according to her gun caliber, her armor protection is… definitely not light.
The bow section
The bow has the classic 25 mm plating but is completed by a 50 mm extended belt. Now, before people go crazy on the matter… First, this extended belt is very low on the water so if shells land on it, you either got unlucky with dispersion or aimed poorly. Second, it’s certainly not as good as the one on Stalingrad for example. On Stalingrad, the armored deck that she has inside her bow is also able to bounce shells from battleships. This means that she is EXTREMELY hard (not quite impossible because of things like armor desync, etc.) to citadel through the bow. In the case of the Alexander Nevsky, that armored deck is only 25 mm thick so if something is already able to overmatch the bow, this armored deck means nothing.
Finally, she is not the first light cruiser with an extended belt on the bow, Mainz already has that.
Roughly in the middle of the bow, the ship has a 35 mm bulkhead but just like the armored deck, it’s more of a decoration than an actually useful armor plate.
For the protection of the middle section, the upper casemate, as well as the lowest part of the citadel’s athwartship, are 50 mm thick. The biggest part of the citadel’s athwartship and the bulkheads around it are 130 mm thick.
The middle section
The deck and the sides are protected by 30 mm of armor, allowing them to bounce AP shells up to a caliber of 420 mm in game. For the main belt, it is 140 mm thick. However, it’s not the citadel but a spaced armor like on the Pyotr Bagration.
The citadel’s side armor is 40 mm thick so she has almost the same citadel protection as the Henri IV even though she lacks the 30 mm torpedo bulge that the French Tier X cruiser has.
Just like on the Pyotr Bagration, there is on the Alexander Nevsky the “double-hull” with an additional 30 mm plating on top of the citadel’s side armor. I still have no idea what kind of effect it can have.
There are 2 options in my opinion. It will either lead to the external 30 mm plating being treated as spaced armor or it will just lead to more shells detonating inside the ship.
The horizontal protection is quite poor with a simple 50 mm thick citadel deck. Combined with the large turning radius and the somewhat disappointing anti-air (because having these modern 100 mm secondaries and 180 mm dual-purpose main batteries not even crossing 180 DPS is quite sad, to be honest), this ship will be a quite tempting target with AP bombers.
The stern section
The stern is protected by 25 mm of armor except for the 50 mm extended belt, just like at the front.
There is nothing worth calling an armored deck inside the stern of the ship. However, the 50 mm roof of the steering gears might lead to AP shells bouncing on it. As you can see, the upper casemate protecting the middle section and the lower part of the citadel’s athwartship are also 50 mm thick.
Finally, for the upper part of the citadel’s athwartship, it is 110 mm thick.
The superstructure is 16 mm thick except for the conning towers that are 30 mm thick and even 180 mm thick for the one at the front.
Compared to the rest of the ship, the turrets are thinly armored. The face is 100 mm thick with an 18° slope, the sides and roof are 75 mm thick and the back is 150 mm thick for the counterweight.
So… where should I even start… The guns have basically everything going for them. They reload fast, have an amazing ballistic and on top of that, 19 km of range.
The ship is also very fast with 36 knots top speed but at least, it’s compensated by the battleship-like turning radius. She has on top of that a great armor scheme so the bad turning radius isn’t even that big of an issue.
Now… Now, there is the cherry on top of everything. With a full concealment build, the ship with her VERY strong guns can get a 10.4 km surface detection range with her 12 km radar. Against destroyer, this is just brutal, unlike the Ochakov that is fine due to her rather weak firepower.
Funnily enough, the anti-air is quite disappointing since Wargaming decided to artificially nerf it. It’s quite… questionable for a ship that was planned as an AA cruiser if you ask me.
I definitely expect a concealment nerf so that she cannot stealth radar. Outside of this, I don’t think that there will be anything like a fire chance nerf since, with the new IFHE mechanics, the fire chance will be halved and if you want to damage battleships effectively, you just need IFHE on this ship.
I’m silently hoping for an anti-air buff but I think that Christmas in April is more likely to happen.