Russia Is Working On Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier

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Russia Is Working On Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier

Andrei Luzik/Russian Navy Northern Fleet Press Office/TASS

The Russian state-run news agency TASS reports (source):

The Russian Navy has launched work to develop a nuclear propulsion system for a next-generation aircraft carrier and is already working on the warship’s project, Navy Shipbuilding Chief Rear Admiral Vladimir Tryapichnikov told Zvezda TV Channel on Friday.

“This is a very complex issue. It is, indeed, being worked out today by the design bureaus of the United Shipbuilding Corporation. It is also being decided by shipyards as capacities are needed to create such a warship,” the rear admiral said, replying to a question about whether the Navy needed a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

The Russian Navy’s research institutes are also working on this issue, he said.

“Today, an engine has been launched [the research work on its creation has been launched] and today we are working precisely on this issue. Some concept will be approved in the near future. Of course, this is expensive but such a ship should be built,” the rear admiral stressed.

The Navy’s shipbuilding chief also said that a new-generation aircraft carrier “should be modern and be able to accomplish its assigned missions.”

“Such a decision will be made in the near future,” the rear admiral said.

The Russian Navy currently has the sole conventional medium aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov (the heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser according to the Russian classification).

As the Russian Navy said earlier, the Fleet expects to get a next-generation nuclear-powered aircraft carrier displacing no less than 70,000 tonnes by late 2030. The Nevskoye design bureau is Russia’s sole research institute designing aircraft carriers.

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  • testera

    This looks like maskirovka to me. :)
    Now USA must spend even more money on showing that they make the greatest sitting ducks in the world. :)

    • I had to look up maskirovka only to discover how brilliantly this was executed in major WW2 battles. How unusual to find military strategy being effective and repeatedly! I had not appreciated how central this is to Russian military strategy.

  • frankly

    Seems impractical to make it submersible. Ultimately surface ships seem fated to submerge, just that once. Aircraft Carriers seem like an offensive weapon, I thought Russia was oriented more for defense? Perhaps this is something they learned in the cold war. Carriers suck up resources so lets force them to compete.

    In an real war the sinking of a carrier would be an awful blow. So in a decisive battle they would probably not engage? A 60 year old diesel boat with new torpedoes and a crew of less than a hundred could generate a pretty nasty headline. Carrier sunk, 6000 lost. In a lot of war games they sail away unscathed. The sub that is!

    • Daniel Castro

      Yes, Carriers are offensive weapons, and they are worthless if we’re talking war between major powers, all of them will get nuked in the 1st hour of conflict…

      But, if we’re not talking about direct conflict between major powers, but proxy wars against irregular terrorist forces in the “colonies”, then they are very useful as a mobile airbase and command center in these colonial wars.

      In this context one doesn’t need dozens of carriers, as in modern world even a major power can barely sustain one conflict at a time, let alone several, so one or two carriers can be useful, more than that is a waste of resources.

  • Ivan Freely

    No mention if catapults will be used. If so, steam or EMALS with IEPS? I wonder if the Russians had contacted the Chinese for assistance.

  • putinbeater

    I knew so, that only stupid countries like UK, F, US invest money in so much obsolete weapons like aircraft carriers …

    • J Ramirez

      The proper oder would be- F,UK,US

  • georgeking

    I think that they should consider a new hybred design idea of my own. Where a very large a ship like this is reall two ships. The main large ship and a smaller ship thst can attach or unattach fron its core. This smaller ship would carry the main power plants and drive engines. These could be either conventional or nuclear. And switched,Docked in or out in one day.

    • frankly

      It just comes down to the huge dimensions involved. Radar/Sonar/Infrared signatures. At a time when drones can fly around the world why all this urgency to put human pilots in vulnerable spots. I don’t care if the mission is just to throw some crappy little country against a wall.

      Carriers main mission is to instill a delusional sense of invulnerable omnipotence in politicians so they commit trillions for a fleet of sexy shark feeders. Oh the emotional rush of standing on the deck of a carrier during launch and recovery operations. Compare that to the drudgery of shadowing a carrier task force for months without so much as a close encounter with ASW “forces”. With one round shot over your shoulder all that is needed. Yeah somewhere back there, you’ll find them, the sum of your fire control solution.

      So like testera said, “This looks like maskirovka to me. :)”

  • Hrky75

    No need – no money to burn – no expertise and no way in hell Russia is that stupid to build a super carrier in the era of hiper-sonic missiles, drone subs and 3.000kms ranged ASBMs. Even when global warming melts both polar caps, Russia will still be a land-locked country/continent controlling 15% (or even more % since sea levels will rise) of Earth. You don’t defend it with CVs.

  • Suppose the aircraft carrier goes to the Mediterranean. It extends Russia’s ability to support conflicts around this blue sea. Think Libya. Syria is within reach of Russia. A conflict in Libya or Yemen might require a portable airport. Remember Russia’s detection capacity, area denial and layers of air defence and maybe underwater defence too. Putin would not do it without risks (totally) minimized.

  • frankly

    All the tension in Syria now, where is the nearest US Carrier? If the image of a Nuclear powered Aircraft Carrier Task force screams Power Projection, what would sinking one with a little boat that looks like a floating turd tell us? Don’t judge a book by it’s cover!

    It’s sexy, huge, expensive, complicated, hell even romantic, but mostly it’s vulnerable.