Russian Aircraft Carrier Destroys Target in Barents Sea

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

 

Russia’s aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov successfully destroyed a target using a Kinzhal missile system.

Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, fired surface-to-air missiles as part of exercises in the Barents Sea, the Russian Defense Ministry’s Northern Fleet spokesman said Monday.”The heavy aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov has completed a combat exercise destroying a sea target with a Kinzhal missile system [NATO reporting name: SA-N-9 Gauntlet]. The firing by the cruiser took place in the waters of the Barents Sea. The naval target was successfully hit,” Capt. 1st Rank Vadim Serga stated.

The Admiral Kuznetsov was constructed at the Mykolaiv South Shipyard, the sole manufacturer of Soviet aircraft carriers, and launched in 1985.

It became fully operational in 1995.

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China Building Two Aircraft Carriers, According to Taiwanese Intelligence

Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning cruises for a test in the sea. (File)

 

China is building two aircraft carriers, according to a new report by the Taiwanese Defense Ministry, as Beijing nears what some experts say is its goal of deploying domestic-built carriers by 2020.

The report on the capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, says the two new carriers will be the same size as China’s only carrier, the Liaoning. China purchased the 60,000-ton Soviet-era vessel from Ukraine in 1998.

China has since refitted the Liaoning, which has participated in military drills, including in the disputed South China Sea, but it is not fully operational. Some military experts believe having an operational Liaoning is the first step to deploying Chinese-built carriers by 2020.

The report did not give an estimated date for when the new carriers would be completed. But as carriers are commissioned for service into China’s navy, a command unit would be set up with “the goal to unify power and accelerate combat capabilities,” the report added.

Taiwanese intelligence agencies closely monitor Chinese military developments because Beijing has never renounced the use of force to reclaim what it deems a renegade province, Reuters reported.

According to the report, of China’s 1.24 million-strong ground forces, 400,000 could be used in combat against the island.

The Taiwanese Defense Ministry’s report adds that Beijing is at least preparing for some kind of conflict with Taipei. The PLA and Chinese special forces have held mock battles, featuring full-scale models of a Taiwanese airport, actual roads, government buildings, and even the president’s office, the report said.

Ties between the countries have improved under Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou. Still, China has threatened to use force to take back Taiwan if the island ever declares its independence.

Taiwan has been self-ruled since 1949 when Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taiwan with his Nationalist forces after losing a civil war with Mao Zedong’s Communists.

Russia’s Admiral Kuznetsov Aircraft Carrier is Back in Service!

The Admiral Kuznetsov, file photo.

The Russian Navy’s only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, undergoing three months of refit and repair work at a floating dock in Russia’s northwest region of Murmansk, is getting set to head back to its Northern Fleet base, Navy spokesman and Captain 2nd Rank Andrei Luzik told Russian media on Thursday.

Undergoing repairs at the 82nd Shipyard in Roslyakovo, Murmansk region since May, the flagship of the Russian Navy is now set to return to its home port in Severomorsk, outside the port city of Murmansk.

“Logistical support forces of the Northern Fleet and workers of the 82nd Shipyard in Roslyakovo (Murmansk region) launched a joint operation to bring the flagship of the Russian Navy, the heavy aircraft-carrying missile cruiser, Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov, out of the floating dock. The bulk of the repair work on the aircraft carrier has been completed,” Luzik reported, according to Russia’s RIA Novosti.

The Navy spokesman explained that during the three months of servicing and repairs, the Admiral Kuznetsov saw repairs to equipment of its electro-mechanical combat section, and to the ship’s drive components, while its hull saw the removal of marine sediments and received fresh paint. Further work aimed at the ship’s modernization will later be carried out at the ship’s regular dock near the port city of Murmansk, with crews making preparations for the resumption of regular flights by the Northern Fleet’s fighter wings.

Aboard the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft-carrying heavy cruiser in the Barents Sea
Aboard the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft-carrying heavy cruiser in the Barents Sea

The Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia’s only carrier, is presently the only aircraft-carrying Navy ship in the world whose pilots regularly perform flights at polar latitudes. Last May, the ship finished its seventh long-range voyage, which lasted nearly six months.Constructed at the Mykolaiv South Shipyard (present day Ukraine) in the mid-1980s, the Admiral Kuznetsov only became fully operational in 1995, as the result of severe budget cutbacks to the Russian military following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The ship, designed to engage large surface targets and to protect maritime routes from enemy attacks, is capable of carrying between 41-52 fixed and rotary wing aircraft, including Su-25UTG and Su-33 fighter aircraft, as well as Ka-27 and Ka-29 anti-submarine and assault transport helicopters.

Russia’s future aircraft carrier will be nuclear-powered

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Russia’s future nuclear carrier will have to be equipped with a nuclear power plant, a spokesman for the United Shipbuilding Corporation has told TASS.

“The project of a future Russian aircraft carrier, or as it is sometimes referred to as naval aircraft carrying complex, is in the design phase. Research conducted by the Nevskoye Design Bureau indicates that the sole way of meeting the Navy’s requirements, such as power generation, sea endurance and voyage range is to equip the ship with a nuclear power plant,” the source said.

The Nevskoye Design Bureau has worked on the project since 2007, the corporation’s official said. At the Defense Ministry’s request it has proposed the image of the ship and its air wing and determined the list of research and development works and requirements for its future base.

Lockheed Martin and Rosoboronexport to work on India’s Second Aircraft Carrier

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The Indian Navy has sent requests for proposals to four potential foreign contractors to assist it in constructing its second indigenous aircraft carrier, Indian media reported last week.India’s Navy has outlined some of the ship’s specifications in a letter of request to global shipbuilders.

The four companies that received the letter are the US-based Lockheed Martin; Britain’s BAE Systems, French shipbuilder, DCNS; and Russia’s Rosoboronexport state arms exporter.

India has requested a 300-meter long aircraft carrier that displaces 65,000 tons. The Navy also said that the ship should be able to travel at 30 knots and carry 30-35 fixed wing combat aircraft and about 20 rotary wing aircraft.

India to Build Second Homegrown Aircraft Carrier

Indian Navy's aircraft carrier INS Viraat is anchored off Mumbai harbour after an operational demonstration as a pre-cursor to the upcoming President's Fleet Review ( PFR-11) on November 14, 2011

The Indian Navy has sent requests for proposals to four potential foreign contractors to assist it in constructing its second indigenous aircraft carrier, Indian media reported last week.

India’s Navy has outlined some of the ship’s specifications in a letter of request to global shipbuilders.The four companies that received the letter are the US-based Lockheed Martin; Britain’s BAE Systems, French shipbuilder, DCNS; and Russia’s Rosoboronexport state arms exporter.

India has requested a 300-meter long aircraft carrier that displaces 65,000 tons. The Navy also said that the ship should be able to travel at 30 knots and carry 30-35 fixed wing combat aircraft and about 20 rotary wing aircraft.

Unlike India’s existing aircraft carriers, which utilize ski-jump launch systems, the new one, expected to be called INS Viraat, will have a catapult launched but arrested landing (CATOBAR) system, The National Interest wrote on Monday.

It might also use an advanced electromagnetic system to launch fixed-wing aircraft.

Responses to the letter of request are expected by July 22, with potential contractors due to provide technical and costing proposals for the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier-2 (IAC-2), which is likely to be named INS Vishal (Grand).

Lockheed Martin and Russia’s Rosoboronexport are seen as the frontrunners to win the contract.

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New Russian ‘Storm’ Supercarrier Design Wows Chinese Media

Russia's new Supercarrier project, the 23000E Storm.

 

The prospective new supercarrier 23000E ‘Storm’ project demonstrates Russian designers’ ability to fuse heritage and innovation in aircraft carrier design, according to Chinese newspaper People’s Daily.

The article, published in the Russian edition of the official organ of China’s Communist Party, which is said to provide direct information on the policies and viewpoints of the Chinese government, states that the prospective supercarrier was shown off at the Army 2015 military expo in Kubinka outside Moscow last month.People’s Daily notes that the Russian Navy’s scientific-technical departments, Russian research institutes and the defense industry as a whole united their efforts toward creating the new supercarrier design.

The paper notes that designers took account of Soviet experience in designing the Admiral Kuznetsov, while accounting for the technical and scientific progress made by Russian designers since then, and an analysis of the next generation of Western aircraft carriers, resulting in a project which “possesses a continuity of design, originality, as well as features which are discernably Russian.”

The newspaper takes note of four peculiarities of the ‘Storm’ design. To begin with, it points to the supercarrier’s multifunctional character as an “airport at sea,” which is a step away from Soviet-era carrier designs, whose anti-submarine, anti-ship and air defense focus effectively made them aircraft carrying cruisers instead of full-on aircraft carriers. The 330 meter-long, 40-meter wide 23000E, with a draught of 11-meters, is designed to be capable of carrying 80-90 aircraft, including the new T-50 PAKFA, as opposed to the Kuznetsov’s 41-52 fixed and rotary wing aircraft.Secondly, People’s Daily points out the aeronautics capabilities’ focus of the design. “For example, the maximum width of the flight deck exceeds 80 meters; the design includes a double deck composition taken from British designs, along with plans for the creation of a smooth flight deck.” Here too, according to the paper, the ‘Storm’ shows “Russian scientists’ innovative ability to use their country’s [design] inheritance and to borrow from past experience.”

Thirdly, the paper notes that the hull design of the new carrier is designed in such a way as to reduce drag resistance by 20 percent, allowing the ship to sail faster (up to 30 knots) while reducing fuel consumption and increasing the carrier’s independent seafaring ability (up to 120 days).

Finally, the newspaper makes note of the design’s ability to carry early warning aircraft onboard, another innovation for Russian carrier design.

The People’s Daily article concludes with a note of guarded optimism, stating that there are still many questions yet to be resolved with regard to the future of the ‘Storm’, including technical and design questions (such as whether the ship will receive gas turbine or nuclear powered engines) and financial concerns. Citing Russian media and accounting for construction time, the article’s author believes that from further design to construction to commissioning, the new Russian carrier is unlikely to emerge before the year 2030.

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