Russia is expected to send an aircraft carrier battle group through the English Channel later this month.

The Royal Navy plans escort up to eight Russian warships sailing to join the Russian campaign in Syria.

It was reported that the Kremlin will use the voyage as an opportunity for a show of strength as it passes Britain, with the vessel expected to launch aircraft off the British and French coasts.

A Royal Navy spokesperson:

“UK and NATO assets routinely monitor warships from other nations when they enter our area of interest and this will be no different.”

The carrier Admiral Kuznetsov’s main fixed-wing aircraft is the multi-role Sukhoi Su-33. The carrier also carries the Kamov Ka-27 and Kamov Ka-27S helicopters for anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, and small transport.

Claims that the Admiral Kuznetsov will be deployed to Syria to fight Islamic State had 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”.


  1. Prepare the OPV’s.

    Hopefully we will escort it with a Type 45, since an air defence destroyer seems to be a good counter balance to the Russian potential show of strength.

  2. Movements like the current Russian deployment, once again show the lack of resources that the RN has to put in place to do even the basic of tasks, It is about time that the UK Government gets off their arses and massively rebuild the British Armed Forces, we need at least double the current commitment to boost the RN, another 6 Type 45’s, a minimum of 24 Type 26’s and up to 30 Type 31’s, people may say where will we get the money for this, well the bigger built amount will reduce the Pound amount for each vessel and will regenerate the British ship building industry and hopefully get thousands off the dole, The Army needs more Regiments not less, better equipment, maybe a Challenger 3 to be designed and the ability to employ better battlefield technology, the RAF need more of everything like the RN, for far to long the UK and the rest of the Western World has been lulled into a false sense of security believing that Russia wasn’t rebuilding their armed forces, surely even to the lay-person the fact that China’s military expansion was so great, Russia would NEVER sit back and allow this expansion to go unrivalled. UK bring back National Service and rebuild your Armed Forces.

    • Couldn’t agree with you more, there’s no denying the increasing lack of assets and capability in the armed forces. The UK has a foreign aid budget of over £12 billion, and those countries spend it on space programs and improving their own armed forces etc – while our own security is diminished and poverty is still prevalent on UK streets. It’s the equivalant of helping other kids but neglecting your own, stupidity is rampant among UK leadership. At least 90% of the aid budget should be cut and put towards the armed forces.

      Still, they’re sending 2 Type 45’s and 1 Type 23 to meet these ships so it could be worse.


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