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SOVIET/RUSSIAN NAVY (USSR/RUSSIA)

AIRCRAFT CARRYING SHIPS

ADMIRAL FLOTA SOVETSKOGO SOYUZA KUZNETSOV heavy aircraft carrying cruiser (project 1143.5) (1990)

Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov 2010

Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comm Fate
Project 11435
Адмирал Флота Советского Союза Кузнецов <Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov> (ex-Тбилиси <Tbilisi>, ex-Леонид Брежнев <Leonid Brezhnev>, ex-Рига <Riga>) 063 105 Black Sea Yd, Nikolayev 1/9/1982 4/12/1985 25/12/1990 in service (2019)
Project 11436
Варяг <Variag> (ex-Рига <Riga>)   106 Black Sea Yd, Nikolayev 6/12/1985 25/11/1988 23/9/2012 // --- suspended 1992, to China 6/1998 (辽宁 <Liaoning>)

 

Displacement standard, t

46540

Displacement full, t

59100

Length, m

270.0 wl 306.5 oa

Breadth, m

35.0 wl 72.0 fd

Draught, m

9.76 hull 10.5 max

No of shafts

4

Machinery

4 sets GTZA-674 geared steam turbines, 8 KVG-4 boilers

Power, h. p.

200000

Max speed, kts

29

Fuel, t

oil

Endurance, nm(kts)

8000(18)

Armament

1 x 12 Granit SSM VLS (12 3M45), 4 x 6 Kinzhal SAM VLS (192 9M330), 8 x (8 Kortik SAM + 2 x 6 - 30/54) Kortik CIWS (256 9M311), 6 x 6 - 30/54 AK-630M CIWS, 2 x 10 RBU-12000 Udav-1 ASWRL, 50 aircraft (Su-33, Mig-29K fighters, Su-25UTG attackers, Ka-27, Ka-31, Ka-27PS helicopters)

Sensors

105: Mars-Passat radar suite, MR-750 Fregat-MA, 2x MR-350 Podkat, 2x MR-212/201 Vaygach-U, Nayada-M, 4x 3R-95, 3x MR-123 Vympel-A, Rezistor-K42, 2x Gazon radars, MGK-355TA Polinom-T, MGK-365 Zvezda-M1, MG-717 Amulet-1, Altyn, TK-146 Sozvezdiye-BR, MP-407 Start-2 ECM suites, 8x PK-2M, 4x PK-10 Smely decoy RLs, Lesorub-4342 CCS

106: Forum radar suite, MR-650 Podberiozovik, 2x MR-750 Fregat-MAT, 2x MR-350 Podkat, 2x MR-212/201 Vaygach-U, Nayada-M, 4x 3R-95, 3x MR-123 Vympel-A, Rezistor-K42, 2x Gazon radars, MGK-355TA Polinom-T, MGK-365 Zvezda-M1, MG-717 Amulet-1, Altyn, TK-146 Sozvezdiye-BR, MP-407 Start-2 ECM suites, 8x PK-2M, 4x PK-10 Smely decoy RLs, Lesorub-4342 CCS

Complement

2586

Aircraft facilities (fd - 14,800 m², ha - 3,978 m² / 28,642 m³): Flight deck: 306.5 x 72.0m. Hangar: 153.0 x 26.0 x 7.20 m. There are 2 deck-edge elevators (40t, 20 x 15m). There is a ski-jump. Aircraft fuel stowage: 2500 t of jet fuel.

Year fighters attackers helicopters
1996 15 Su-33 1 Su-25UTG 11 Ka-27
2003 24 Su-33 - 10 Ka-27, 1 Ka-29, 1 Ka-31
2014 14 Su-33, 10 MiG-29K, 2 MiG-29KUB 2 Su-25UTG 13 Ka-27, 2 Ka-27PS, 2 Ka-31
2016 10 Su-33, 5 MiG-29K/KUB - 2 Ka-52K, 1 Ka-31, 2 Ka-29, 5 Ka-27

Ship project history: Admiral Kuznetsov was laid down as Riga, launched as Leonid Brezhnev, ran some trials as Tbilisi (including aircraft operations). She was renamed on 4 October 1990 after the outbreak of anti-Soviet violence in Georgia. Variag was launched as Riga, but was renamed after the Baltic Stales demanded their freedom. She was caught unfinished at Nikolayev when the Soviet Union broke up, and in 1998 she was purchased from Ukraine (where she was built) by China officially for conversion to the floating hotel and tourist exhibit but in 2012 she was commissioned as the first Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning.

    Compared to the earlier Kiev class, these ships presumably represent a shift in Soviet naval policy. From the mid-1970s on Admiral Gorshkov advertised the Soviet Navy as a 'sure shield' against Western intervention in 'wars of national liberation' in the Third World, ie against US carrier battle groups. Soviet policy seemed to be to create forces which could be interposed between local revolutionaries and counter-insurgency (Western) forces. True carriers would make Soviet distant-water operations m such contingencies far more effective. As planning for this class proceeded, Soviet comments about carrier operations became markedly more respectful. The earlier Kiev class, formerly identified as 'large ASW ships' or 'ASW cruisers' were reclassified as 'air-capable ships' in Soviet terminology.

    While under construction, these ships were described as full-deck conventional carriers with steam catapults. It appears that Soviet attempts to develop such catapults (based in part on the steam catapults of the Indian carrier Vikrant) failed; the alternative chosen was a 12-degree ski-jump deck. That suffices to launch modern jet aircraft, which have thrust-to-weight ratios better than 1.

    Operations from such a deck broadly resemble those of pre-jet carriers, whose aircraft frequently made rolling take-offs. Unlike those carriers, these have jet-type angled decks (angle about 5.5 degrees). The disadvantage of the ski-jump are that it requires considerable wind over deck to function, that it may not support heavily-loaded aircraft, and that aircraft are not under positive control as they are launched (which may be significant in heavy seas).

All aircraft are normally stowed below decks in a closed hangar. Hangar length is limited by the unusual (for a carrier) nest of Granit SSMs under the flight deck, in launching tubes. This feature is reminiscent of the Kirov design. The Korall-BN satellite link serves these SSMs.

    The second ship was renamed Variag 19/6/1990 (by which time disturbances in Riga had made it clear that the original name was inappropriate).

Ship protection: Underwater protection consists of 3 longitudinal bulkheads (2nd bulkhead is armoured). Aviation fuel tanks and magazines have box protection.

Modernizations: Planned modernization of the Admiral Kuznetsov reportedly will include elimination of Granit SSMs (and lengthening of hangar), replacing of Kinzhal and Kortik SAM systems by new SAM with 80-120 missiles and 4 - 6 Pantsir'-M CIWS.

Naval service: No significant events.

Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov 1996

Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov 2011

 

© Ivan Gogin, 2016-19