During the Cold War, the Soviet missile systems with the loud names Malachite and Basalt were a real headache for NATO ships, each of which had its own unique characteristics. So the distinctive feature of the “Malachite” was the possibility of launching from a submerged position, while the “Basalt” had a significantly increased range of damage, and for quite a long time its cruise missiles remained the only ones in the world with supersonic speeds. The decision of the developers to combine the capabilities of the “Malachite” and “Basalt” in one complex was quite logical, and in 1983, the universal Granit missile system entered service in the Soviet Navy.
Despite the fact that Granit was developed at the end of the 70, the beginning of the 80 of the last century, it is still one of the best in the world. The winged anti-ship missile P-700, which forms the basis of the complex, has the capability of underwater and surface launch, range to 625 km, speed 2,5 times the speed of sound, and its missiles are capable of carrying a warhead of 750 kg and a kiloton. The P-500, like most modern cruise missiles, operates according to the “fired and forgotten” principle; after launch, it independently monitors the movement of the target, changes its trajectory and altitude, and is practically not vulnerable to air defense weapons.
Even more, this invulnerability is evident when launching a complex of several cruise missiles at once. After such a salvo is completed, the rockets interact with each other in every way, independently monitor, classify and select priority targets. When approaching the target, one of the missiles assumes the role of a leader and rises to a higher echelon, distracting the attention of air defense weapons. If the "leader" is shot down, then another rocket from the group takes its place. Such tactics significantly increase the chance of hitting selected targets.
Perhaps the only disadvantage of the Granit complex is its cumbersomeness, which does not allow placing it on small and medium sized submarines and vessels. At the moment, the Granit complex is installed on the Antey-type 11 nuclear submarines (24 has cruise missiles on each), the Peter the Great nuclear-powered cruiser (20 missiles), as well as on the only Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov ( 12 rockets). If we consider that for the destruction of one aircraft carrier 7-10 is necessary for precise hits of P-700 missiles, then the Granit complex can rightly be called a fighter of aircraft carriers. However, it is necessary to take into account the fact that, as a rule, all aircraft-carrying cruisers have powerful support and protection, and for the destruction of such a group it is necessary to have at least 50-60 missiles like P-700. Therefore, it is obvious that the Russian Navy clearly lacks the existing grouping of ships and it is necessary in the near future to begin construction of at least two or three cruisers similar to Peter the Great. And that turns out to be a typical Russian situation - we have a great rocket complex, but we don’t have ships to which it can be installed.