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Claims that the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov will be deployed to Syria to fight Islamic State have been met with scepticism.

According to TASS, a military-diplomatic source in Moscow said on Saturday:

“The General Staff has prepared a plan for involvement of the deck aircraft in delivering strikes on terrorist groups in the Syrian Arab Republic, where the crews will practice taking off the carrier to deliver strikes on ground targets.

The Admiral Kuznetsov, will be close to the Syrian shore so that the deck aircraft have enough fuel to complete the military tasks and return back.”

According to War is Boring here:

“Admiral Kuznetsov has never seen combat, nor would she be of much practical military use. The 55,000-ton carrier has a bow ramp, not steam catapults, requiring her aircraft to shed weight before taking off. This means her planes will go into combat with less fuel or bombs than the ground-based fighters Russia has already deployed to Syria.”

The author adds:

“Recent activity surrounding the Admiral Kuznetsov may indicate an upcoming combat deployment.”

During the voyage the Admiral Kuznetsov reportedly “will have about 15 fighters Su-33 and MiG-29K/KUB and more than ten helicopters Ka-52K, Ka-27 and Ka-31.”

While designated an aircraft carrier by the West, the design of Admiral Kuznetsov implies a mission different from that of either the United States Navy carriers or those of the Royal Navy.

The term used by her builders to describe the Russian ship is “heavy aircraft-carrying missile cruiser”.

There is no official confirmation of this, indeed, the Russian navy denied a similar report in 2015. So, let’s believe it when we see it but I don’t think we’ll be seeing it.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Just because their carrier uses short take off and arrested landing rather than the techniques used by British & American carriers, in no way implies that the Russian ship has “a mission different from that of either the United States Navy carriers or those of the Royal Navy”.

    That’s hogwash.

    And US land based aircraft have longer ranges than US carrier jets, so what? The US uses both.

    • The original design featured several heavy antiship missile launchers.

      These have been removed.

      Given the type of aircraft this carrier carries and the way the Russian fleet functions as a whole its reasonable to assume that the CONOPS ( concept of operations ) is different slightly.

      The RN and USN have shared a carrier usage lineage in a lot of ways, but their modern CON OPS are miles apart.

      The Russians have some very different Naval tech, some of it very very good ( heavy supersonic anti ship cruise missiles ) I would wager they leverage this in their flagship.

  2. I am a little confused why having less range is an issue. The F35B has less range than the Typhoon/Tornado, so does that mean that the QE class are not carriers?

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