Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) has a design for an advanced aircraft carrier in the works, while conveying its own position to the Russian Navy command, USC CEO Alexey Rakhmanov said in an interview published on the corporation’s website. Meanwhile, the CEO underscored that the corporation has its own opinion on “what a future aircraft carrier is, how it should be built, and with what technological specifications. Tass reported that Rakhmanov also confirmed that the heavy aircraft cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov will be commissioned in 2024. According to the CEO, this particular order involves over 2,000 people.
“This is a question for the Navy – whether an aircraft carrier should or should not be built, and what kind of carrier. This discussion has been going on for as long as I have worked in the company, for 8 years now. We are proactive in design, and we regularly convey our position to the Navy. We have to know, and know precisely, what our enemy thinks and what it does. Repairs did not stop for even a single minute of the cruiser’s time in the dock,” Alexey Rakhmanov said.
Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov is an aircraft carrier (heavy aircraft cruiser in Russian classification) serving as the flagship of the Russian Navy. It was built by the Black Sea Shipyard, the sole manufacturer of Soviet aircraft carriers, in Nikolayev within the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) and launched in 1985, becoming fully operational in the Russian Navy in 1995. She was originally commissioned in the Soviet Navy, and was intended to be the lead ship of the two-ship Admiral Kuznetsov class. The second hull was eventually sold by Ukraine to China, completed in Dalian and commissioned as Liaoning.
In June 2021, Vladimir Korolev, Vice President of the United Shipbuilding Corporation announced that the overhaul and upgrade of Admiral Kuznetsov was expected to be completed by the first half of 2023. The avionics, flight deck with the ski jump, electric equipment, and the power plant are expected to be replaced as part of this process. The carrier would also receive a new fully domestic takeoff and landing control system, with the onboard airpower remaining the same. The ship was finally dry-docked on 20 May 2022. Current projections are that the overhaul of the carrier will last into 2024.