The deck aircraft of the Admiral Kuznetsov carrier will be used in the Russian operations in Syria in October 2016 – January 2017, the TASS news agency reported on Saturday, citing its military-diplomatic source in Moscow. According to the words of the source, the Admiral Kuznetsov ‘will have about 15 fighters Su-33 and MiG-29K/KUB and more than ten helicopters Ka-52K, Ka-27 and Ka-31’ that will strikes at militants in Syria from an eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea.
‘The General Staff has prepared a plan for involvement of the deck aircraft in delivering strikes on terrorist groups in the Syrian Arab Republic, where the crews will practice taking off the carrier to deliver strikes on ground targets,’ the source told TASS. ‘The aircraft carrier will come to the Mediterranean Sea roughly before end of January – early February, after that it will return home and in February-March it will undergo maintenance and modernization in Severodvinsk, supposedly at Sevmash.’
According to the source, pilots of the aviation group located at the Hmeymim Base in Syria and deck-based aircraft will work in close cooperation with each other. The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, which will be the head of a permanent grouping of the Russian Navy in the Mediterranean Sea, will stay close to the shore of Syria ‘so that the deck aircraft have enough fuel to complete the military tasks and return back,’ the source said.
TASS has not received official confirmation of this information. Earlier TASS reported that the Admiral Kuznetsov is due to arrive in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea in autumn. Now the aircraft carrier is being tested after repairs in the Barents Sea.