Russia’s Giant Aircraft Carrier to Join Anti-ISIL Operations in Syria

Russia’s Giant Aircraft Carrier to Join Anti-ISIL Operations in Syria
Russia's Giant Aircraft Carrier to Join Anti-ISIL Operations in Syria

“The Russian navy will dispatch the aircraft carrier to Syrian waters in autumn. Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier will be deployed to Eastern Mediterranean Sea between the months of October 2016 and January 2017,” a Russian diplomat was quoted by media sources as saying.

“Chief Staff of the Russian Army has prepared a plan based on which the aircraft carrier’s crew will exercise the processes of the fighter jets’ take off from the their landing on the carrier,” the diplomat said, adding, “The bombers on the board of aircraft carrier will cooperated with those in Humeimim airbase in Syrian coasts.”

“The carrier will be deployed to the nearest distance to Syrian lands to have enough fuel for long-distance combat flight over the country,” the sources further added.

“The carrier is projected to host at least 15 Sukhoi-33, Sukhoi-27 and Mig-29 and 10 choppers of K52, K27 and K31 in Syrian mission,” the source went on to say.

Reports said on Sunday that a huge cargo vessel of Russia, carrying a large volume of arms, ammunition and other advanced types of military equipment for the Syrian Armed Forces, entered waters of Mediterranean Sea.

The huge Russian vessel of Grigori Bobidovich, which left the port city of Novorossiysk in Russia a couple of days ago, passed Bosphorus strait and entered the Mediterranean sea waters en route to Syria.

The Russian vessel’s final destination is Syria’s Tartous port, the main logistic center of the Russian Navy in Mediterranean sea, to unload its cargo and deliver them to the Syrian armed forces.

In last two week, at least four huge cargo vessels of Russia have left Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits, carrying military consignments for the Russian fighter jets and Syrian army.

Media reports said on Thursday that the Russian warship, BSF Saratov, sailed through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles in the Black Sea and entered the Mediterranean Sea.

According to Syria al-Aan, the Turkish websites have released some photos of the warship sailing through the Bosphorus strait.

They reported that Saratov left Novorossiysk port in the Black sea towards Tartous port in Syria.

They also claimed that the warship was carrying a big cargo which has been covered.

This was the sixth voyage of Saratov warship in the current year.

Russian warships and naval vessels, often two at a time, have been seen passing through the Straits en route to Syria from Russia’s Northern Black Sea ports with increasing frequency this year.

Most of the military supplies, weapons, ammunition, and equipment that Russia supplies to the Syrian government are shipped from ports on the Black Sea, primarily Sevastopol and Sochi, through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, to the two Syrian ports, Tartous and Lattakia.

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Why Russia May Not Need Hmeymim Base to Continue Crushing Daesh in Syria

In this file photo from 2004, the Russian Navy's Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier is seen in the Barents Sea, Russia

 

Russia has withdrawn the bulk of its forces from Syria and agreed with Washington a ceasefire in the country. However, Moscow would have to return its aircraft to the Syrian battlefield since Washington continues to supply arms to terrorist groups, an article on the foreign affairs analysis website Voltaire Network read.

Russia may reconfigure its aerial task force and deploy the country’s only aircraft carrier The Admiral Kuznetsov to the Syrian coast, the author suggested. The deployment may take place in July.

Starting February 27, Russia pulled out 46 aircraft of its task force from Syria, including Su-24, Su-25, Su-30, and Su-34 jets. They were deployed to the Hmeymim airbase.”At the same time, Washington has continued to ship advanced weapons to terrorists in Syria. As a result, after Palmyra was liberated the Syrian Army could not continue its advance on Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor,” military expert Valentin Vasilescu wrote.

Within a month the Syrian Air Force lost three jet fighters. They were shot down by terrorists from the ground. Currently, the Air Force cannot provide enough support for the Syrian Army. Moreover, Russian airstrikes have been limited since President Vladimir Putin ordered a withdrawal from Syria.

“The only solution to help continue the anti-terrorist offensive would be to deploy Russia’s The Admiral Kuznetsov to the Syrian coast,” he wrote.

Earlier, this possible scenario was voiced by French political analyst Alain Rodier.

“In fact, Vladimir Putin doesn’t seem to be ready to leave Syria without a Russian military presence. Rumors are going around that in summer Russia may send its only aircraft carrier – the Admiral Kuznetsov – to Syria. Putin may replace the airbase with an aircraft carrier,” Rodier told Atlantico.

Currently, the air-wing of the Russian aircraft includes Su-33 and MiG-29K/KUB jet fighters. Last year, Russian pilots underwent special training in Crimea, learning to take off and land on the deck of an aircraft.

The Su-33 and MiG-29K jets are designed to taking air supremacy. This is why the deployment of the Admiral Kuznetsov to Syria would allow control over the Syrian airspace to be strengthened and aerial surveillance capacities to be increased.Despite the fact that Su-33 and MiG-29K jets can carry the same amount of ammunition as Su-24 and Su-34 bombers, in the context of a ceasefire they would be still effective in combat. An additional group of jet fighters would increase control over the airspace and improve aerial reconnaissance missions.

In addition to aircraft and helicopters, the Admiral Kuznetsov carries a number of different weapons, including air defense systems, Granit anti-ship missiles, artillery guns, and anti-submarine bombs.

“The Russian aircraft carrier would be sufficient to continue the fight against terrorists in Syria, with the same efficiency as one of the 11 US aircraft carriers,” Vasilescu wrote.

 

Old Dog Learns New Tricks: Russia’s Only Aircraft Carrier Keeps Evolving

The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier

 

Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, will be modified in order to better accommodate the new aircraft it will be carrying, a representative of the Russian Navy said.

The Russian Navy will continue developing the capabilities of its only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov. The vessel will be retrofitted to accommodate new aircraft, Russian Navy Commander Assistant for Military and Research Work, Captain 1st Rank Andrey Surov told the media.”We’ll keep Admiral Kuznetsov operational at all times. Right now we’re preparing the carrier for active duty. The vessel will be further developed, adapted and retrofitted to accommodate the new aircraft,” he said.

According to Surov, the carrier’s appearance is likely to remain the same, but its capabilities will be adapted and augmented “in accordance with the development of the new aircraft it will be carrying.”

Admiral Kuznetsov recently underwent several months of refit and repair work at a floating dock in the Murmansk Region near the Arctic Circle in Russia’s northwest. In November the carrier took part in a military exercise in the Barents Sea.