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In Photos: Current State Of Admiral Kuznetsov Heavy Aircraft Carrying Missile Cruiser

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Russia’s Admiral Kuznetsov heavy aircraft carrying missile cruiser is undergoing repairs and modernization at shipyard No. 35 in Murmansk. Most recently, President of the United Shipbuilding Corporation Alexey Rakhmanov said that the work of the warship will be finished in 2021.

In Photos: Current State Of Admiral Kuznetsov Heavy Aircraft Carrying Missile Cruiser

Click to see the full-size image

In Photos: Current State Of Admiral Kuznetsov Heavy Aircraft Carrying Missile Cruiser

Click to see the full-size image

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  • Barba_Papa

    Hopefully Russia will decide what it wants to do with this relic of the Cold War. Some actual catapults would be nice, so it can actually launch its aircraft with a decent payload in order to project power. And I define projecting power as in parking a floating airfield off the coast of some brown country in order to threaten to bomb it. As it stands its only good for sinking NATO ships while providing aircover to the Russian fleet. Good to have in a defense role, of little to no use for everything else. As was shown during its cruise towards Syria.

    • occupybacon

      For sure it can have some catapults, they will throw stones and fiery material, like the roman ones

    • Stinky Man

      Can the USA launch a hypersonic weapons.
      Oh yea they haven’t quite developed one yet.
      Maybe in a few years US technology will catch up to the advanced Russian Technology.
      Can the USA currently mount a defense to a hypersonic weapon? Maybe the US can work on that first. Blind faith is for fools.
      Signed, US Vet

      • Barba_Papa

        Hypersonic weapons are irrelevant for an aircraft carrier. The point of an aircraft carrier is to project power against countries which cannot defend themselves against that. The Kuznetsov cannot project power with its aircraft, they don’t carry enough payload and fuel due to the ski ramp. Now the Russians could launch some kalibr missiles, but the thing is that A: those things aren’t cheap. It’s cheaper to launch some aircraft and drop bombs on a target then to use some expensive cruise or hypersonic missiles at them, and B: you can carry a lot more bombs and rockets for your airgroup on board a carrier then you can carry large cruise missiles. And they are harder to replenish at sea. That is why its cost ineffective to fire lots of cruise missiles at a brown country rather then just bomb them with aircraft.

        The Kuznetsov was built and designed during the Cold War, when the purpose of the Soviet fleet was sea denial. Stop the NATO fleets from attacking the USSR, sink as much of the NATO fleet as possible and sink as much NATO convoys carrying American reinforcements to Europe. They were going to try to do come WW3 what the Kriegsmarine failed to do in WW1 and WW2.

        The Kuznetsov class sole purpose was to sink NATO ships with its heavy missile batteries and use its airgroup to provide air cover as the Soviet Northern Fleet sailed forth into the Atlantic. At no point whatsoever was power projection part of this game. Therefore, Kuznetsov as is is useless for power projection and henceforth why the Russians need to really think over what they want to do with the damn thing. Do they need a heavy missile cruiser with some aircraft to protect Russian ships as they sally forth into the Atlantic, sinking NATO ships like a modern day Bismarck? And we all know how that ended. Or do they have enough missile carrying ships to deter NATO ships from coming near Russia and could they use some power projection capabilities when bombing headchoppers and other crazies? After all, the Chinese have the other ship of the same class and have come to the conclusion that they prefer to have the Western style CATOBAR carriers as the mainstay for their carrier fleet.

    • Jens Holm

      Kuznetsov is a missile cruiser, which CAN use jets as well. I dont know their plans at all, but they could send out a lot of bigger armed drones and refuel them from there too.

      • Barba_Papa

        The point remains, the sky jump ramp limits what kind of payloards you can send up into the air and for what range. Even defensively, because a fully fueled and loaded Flanker could defend the carrier for longer and at greater range away from the carrier then one who has to take off not fully fueled and loaded out.

        It’s a cost saving measure, because ski jump is cheaper to build then catapults. This is why the Royal Navy carriers also use the ski jump instead. Using catapults would have added two more billion to the cost. But it comes at a price, limited range and payloads. Short term gain, long term costs.

        • Jens Holm

          I agree on Your reflexions about skijumper versus catapult.

          Those ships are very difficult to defend whatever they are armeed with.

    • Justin

      catapults would be useful if your intent was to invade countries! lol
      Because you would be carrying much more bombs etc!
      I think the REAL use of this aircraft was intended for air superiority or air protection with an armada of other ships in transit with it!

      • Barba_Papa

        You don’t to invade countries after bombing them. You can just bomb them to ‘make them see reason’. It’s called gunboat diplomacy. And the point remains, its not cost effective to use stand off missiles as a means of power projection. Bombs are cheap, cruise missiles aren’t. The carrier is the principle means for that role. Not any of the other ships its protecting. Frigates don’t power project effectively. Missile cruisers don’t power project effectively, amphibious assault carriers only help send troops ashore. And can you remember the last time that happened?

        Kuznetsov is just not optimised for the one role it would be most useful for and kinda useless in the role that it is designed for.

        • Justin

          bombs mean fuel to get there, risk of being shot down, innocents dead, 50k per smart bomb, extreme maintenance for the catapult system and if it fails to work, no planes takeoff, longer flight times = more 10’s of thousands per sortie!
          US carriers and naval jets are made for far away invasions for ground support and air superiority!

          Russian carriers are made for very light bombing but more so for air to air combat at sea!

          This is the point i am trying to make here!

          • Barba_Papa

            When you bomb brown countries or headchoppers, you’re not going to have to worry about air defenses. And the cost per sortie of a carrier strike aircraft in fuel, ordnance and maintenance is still lower then a cruise missile. Remember, the US blew away almost a billion U$D on its last cruise missile strike on Syria alone. Not a lot of return for those few destroyed buildings.

            As for air to air combat at sea, that’s only against peer to peer navies. Meaning NATO. Which means WW3. Which means nukes. Which means not very likely.

            The chances of the Russian navy getting to bomb another brown country or some headchoppers are way more likely of happening again then going toe to toe with the US Navy in the North Atlantic. So optimizing your ship for the latter role is not as good investment as optimizing it for the former. This is why I keep saying that the Russians should ask themselves what it is they want that ship to do, and then optimize it for that role. Because as it is its just of little value to Russia.

  • kraaiiii

    The only keeping it alive for research and test developed for future aircraft carriers Project 23000E

    • namulit emperor

      I always thought the same; they just keep it alive so that they know how to operate a carrier and keep/expand their capability and knowledge of the matter, but don’t expect that western ‘experts’ can fathom that…

      • kraaiiii

        The world laugh when the when the Admiral Kuznetsov went to Syria, thinking it was just a failed show of power and Russia let them, but in reality is it was to gain experience for a future projects.

        Aircraft carriers are a huge financially investment and not something build ore develop on trial and error like the US has done like the Zumwalt destroyer.

  • James

    I love the simplicity of aircraft to launch straight off the deck under their own power, no need for maintenance intensive catapults. Hopefully though the engines are a lot more reliable after the refit.

    • occupybacon

      lel

  • grumpy_carpenter

    Bolt an S-350 on her, landing pad for a couple of ASW helicopters and load up the deck with those sea cans missile launchers you see on youtube and send her out to sea.

    Then contract China to build a series of smaller carriers while Russia concentrates on aircraft and weapons systems for them. China builds aircraft carriers for Russia and Russia builds the aircraft and defensive missiles for China.

    Then put Russian shipyards to work building vessels they are already good at building …. corvettes, frigates and destroyers bristling with missiles and submarines.

    • Fred Nurf

      I’d guess that in a real war, carriers would be ‘take off only’ facilities, after which they’d be of lesser value than the Bismarck was with a damaged rudder.

  • Stinky Man

    Carriers are big targets. Carriers are only effective when invading and occupying weak third world countries like the US has been doing for a couple or decades. Most if not all carriers will be sunk in the first few hours of a actual war with Russia or China. Unless a country has billions of dollars to waste there are more effective weapon systems that can be developed.

    • Jens Holm

      I am sure all already know, those might sink in the first hours.

      By that You wish to conclude thye are all stupid having some. Well, then relate to there are not such war and most of the can be very usefull in the ones, which actually are.

      I see no waste here. Much like we also could save firebrigades, because we only have fires now and then.

    • Sean

      It also depends on where those carriers are located, China plans to have six aircraft carriers by 2035.

      • Fred Nurf

        on land -plenty of places to hide. eg. with missiles, aegis.

  • Dick Von Dast’Ard

    Having small carriers has it’s advantages…

    Would have thought Russia’s main requirements for a Russian naval carrier is to protect SSBN’s and provide air defense to the surface fleets, so a carrier that carries anymore than x20 fixed wing jets or helicopters is excessive.

    I’d say 30,000 tonnes is optimum.

  • LaRata

    Very Bad for one,s the Bigger Navy in the World… Russian Shipyards are finishes. At 2021 China will have 3 x Carrier 1 x of then nuclear …

  • AJ

    Maybe they should retire the old girl shes been around long enough & seen better days.