According to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, the Admiral Kuznetsov heavy aircraft carrier would enter a military service in the composition of a group of Russian ships in the eastern Mediterranean next month.
The Admiral Kuznetsov heavy aircraft carrier would enter a military service in the composition of a group of Russian ships in the eastern Mediterranean, Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting of the military department on Wednesday.
“Currently, the Russian naval group in the eastern Mediterranean includes not less than six warships and three or four support vessels,” the TASS news agency quoted his words. “We plan to incorporate into its composition a naval aircraft carrier group with the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft cruiser in order to increase combat capabilities of the grouping.”
At the moment, the aircraft carrier is being repaired. According to plans, it will be ready by October 2016. In August, a source in the Russian military-industrial complex noted that a crew of the vessel has already begun to prepare for shipment to the Mediterranean. In May, it was reported that after returning from the campaign in 2017, the carrier will be sent back for repairs – larger volume and complexity that should enable the cruiser to extend its life and adapt it for use of new and promising aircraft.
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. The aircraft carrier, which is the largest one in Russia and Eurasia, is able to carry up to 50 aircraft and helicopters. The Admiral Kuznetsov has a displacement of 61,390 tons, the flight deck of 306 meters long, and it is able to develop a maximum speed of 29 knots. The crew of the aircraft carrier is 1,980 people.