The design started in the late 1960s, based around use of the P-500 Bazalt missile, and was intended as a less expensive conventionally powered alternative to the nuclear-powered Kirov-class battlecruisers. Moskva is armed with P-1000 Vulkan AShM missiles, developed in the late 1970s to late 1980's. Although the missiles are an older variant, they are still considered[by whom?] better than any AShM missile in the world with exception of the Russian P700/800s. It is not known which Slava-class cruisers carry P-1000s other than Moskva. There was a long delay in this programme, while the problems with the Bazalt were resolved. These ships acted as flagships for numerous task forces. All ships were built at the 61 Kommunar yard, in Mykolaiv (Nikolaev), Ukrainian SSR. The class was a follow up to the Kara-class cruiser which the Soviet Navy typed as a Large Anti-submarine Ship (Russ. BPK), constructed at the same shipyard and appears to be built on a stretched version of the Kara-class hull.
The Slava class was initially designated BLACKCOM 1 (Black Sea Combatant 1) and then designated the Krasina class for a short period until Slava was observed at sea. The SS-N-12 launchers are fixed facing forward at around 8° elevation with no reloads available. As there was nothing revolutionary about the design of the class western observers felt they were created as a hedge against the failure of the more radical Kirov class. The helicopter hangar deck is located 1/2 deck below the landing pad with a ramp connecting the two.
Originally 10 ships were planned, but with the collapse of the Soviet Union only three were completed. A fourth vessel was launched, but final construction remains incomplete and the ship has not been commissioned into service.
Following the collapse and the re-emergence of the nation of Russia, the three finished ships serve in the Russian Navy and the uncompleted fourth vessel, renamed Ukrayina, is owned by Ukraine. Efforts have been made to complete and update the unfinished ship; in 2010, Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych stated that Russia and Ukraine would work together on the project. Russia has also expressed interest in purchasing the vessel, which Ukraine had previously offered for sale. However, as of early 2011 no final agreement has been concluded between the two countries, on this matter. The Russian navy has plans for extensive upgrades of all their Slava-class vessels during the 2010s; completing work on Ukrayina may serve as a test-bed for this.