Admiral Kuznetsov will be out of action for 5 years


Senior Member
Dec 17, 2009
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The only Russian aircraft carrier will be upgrading

Aircraft carrier of the Northern Fleet of Russia "Admiral Kuznetsov" will be a full-scale modernization at a shipbuilding company Sevmash, Interfax reported citing a source in the military-industrial complex. Repair and maintenance to improve the aircraft carrier will begin in 2012. Updated ship will be re-launched in 2017.

As part of modernization on the "Admiral Kuznetsov" will be completely replaced weapons systems and obsolete electronic equipment. As expected, will be increased wing craft. As the aircraft carrier to scale replacement of equipment, work can be completed later in 2017. In particular, the modernized for the Indian Air Force aircraft carrier "Admiral Gorshkov" work began in 2004, and the ship is scheduled to surrender in 2008. In 2010, the date has been moved to the 2012-2013 year.

According to the source agency, the modernization of the "Admiral Kuznetsov" is open to engineers Ukrainian Black Sea plant where the aircraft carrier was launched in 1985. However, specific agreements on joint work has not been achieved.

As part of the Soviet Navy "Admiral Kuznetsov" bore the names of the "Soviet Union", "Riga", "Leonid Brezhnev" and "Tbilisi". Total displacement carrier is about 60 thousand tons. The ship can reach speeds of 29 knots, and his stock of progress amounts to 12 thousand miles. On board the cruiser can be based 26 deck fighters Su-33 and MiG-29K, and 24 anti-submarine helicopters - 18 Ka-27 or Ka-29, two Ka-27PS and four Ka-31.

"Admiral Kuznetsov" is armed with anti-ship missiles, anti-torpedo missile defense, air defense and anti-aircraft artillery system. It is expected that the modernization of the aircraft carrier will get the marine version of the anti-aircraft missile and gun complexes "shell".


Senior Member
Oct 5, 2009
Upgrading the Admiral: Russia’s Kuznetsov

Russia’s “heavy aircraft-carrying cruisers” have received a lot of unfavorable attention from India’s snake-bit deal to refurbish the Admiral Gorshkov; in fairness, however, the Russians haven’t had much more luck with their own ship. Launched in 1985, it was not commissioned until 1995 – and since then, it has endured extremely long dockings and seen only limited deployment. When it’s operational, the The 55,000t Admiral Kuznetsov is a big step up from the smaller Kiev Class’ combination of Yak-38 Forger V/STOL (Vertical/Short Take Off and Landing) jets and naval helicopters, flying navalized SU-25 close air support fighters, multi-role SU-33s, or MiG-29K jets.

Natural resource exports have eased Russia’s budget woes, and the country wants to maintain carrier capabilities as it tries to rebuild its damaged defense industrial base. The current plan intends to begin designing a new carrier class in 2012 – and to dock the Kuznetov once again, in order to make major design changes and fix some long-standing issues.

The Proposed Upgrades

Russian carrier doctrine is different, as the chosen name for these ships suggests. They are typically equipped with long-range anti-ship missiles, as well as aircraft. According to a RIA Novosti article, changes will bring Kuznetsov more in line with standard carrier configuration, while fixing some long-standing technical issues and improving the ship’s air defenses.

The program is reportedly set to begin with a docking in 2012, followed by refits that will last until her re-launch 2017. The hope is that the resulting ship would be fit for service until 2030 or so. Key components of the refit supposedly include:

* Replacement of the defective steam turbines and turbo-pressurized boilers. Source have mentioned both gas turbine and nuclear propulsion options. The expense, upkeep, and reliability issues that a nuclear refit would present, all serve to make it a very high-risk choice. In effect, the decision would turn the Kuznetsov into a technology demonstrator for Russia’s next aircraft carrier class, and raise the odds that the ship would never become a reliable fleet asset.

* Removal of the ship’s 3M45 P-700 Granit (SS-N-19 Shipwreck) supersonic, long-range anti-ship cruise-missiles

* Enlargement of the aircraft hangar, and possibly new aircraft. There are reports that the Russian Navy’s SU-33s could be replaced by smaller navalized MiG-29Ks. They would still be accompanied by Ka-27 anti-submarine helicopters, and radar-carrying Ka-31 AEW helicopters. The current SU-25 close support fighters have no naval counterpart or exact replacement; at present, their long-term fate remains a question mark.

* Upgraded air defenses. Existing 3K95 Kinzhal (SA-N-9 Gauntlet) vertically-launched medium-range missiles and Kashtan (SA-N-11 Grisom) short range gun/missile systems would be replaced with a more modern medium-range system, backstopped by a navalized 9M111 Pantsir-S1 (SA-22 Greyhound) gun-missile combination.

* New communications and combat system.

There are also reports that the ship will receive aircraft catapults. Cataults are not an impossible choice, especially if Kuznetsov becomes a nuclear carrier prototype/ technology demonstrator. Nevertheless, these reports must be seen as more speculative, for several reasons. One is that steam catapults would require a very extensive, space-consuming, and expensive ship refit. the state of Russian shipyards and industry at the moment is poor, and adding that level of risk to the refit project would be a very questionable move.

Another is the fact that the MiG-29Ks which are supposed to make up its future air wing do not require catapults, and will deploy from several Indian carriers that lack them. That adds up to huge risk, for little benefit. Again, not impossible, but certainly risky.

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