Crucişătorul greu purtător de avioane Amiral Kuzneţov, 1996

Sursa: Defense Industry Daily

Amiral Kuzneţov (55 000 tone) urmează să fie tras pe dreapta încă o dată, prin 2012, pentru rezolvarea unor bube. To în 2012 se vor apuca vecinii şi prietenii ruşi să-şi deseneze viitorul portavion, nuclear de data asta şi ceva mai grăsuţ. Pe Kuzneţov îl aşteaptă şi un up-grade care îl va ţine la mal până prin 2017, dar cumulat reparat + modernizat, va mai putea fi folosit până în 2030.

Printre îmbunătăţiri:

  • Replacement of the defective steam turbines and turbo-pressurized boilers. Source have mentioned both gas turbine and nuclear propulsion options. The expense, upkeep, and reliability issues that a nuclear refit would present, all serve to make it a very high-risk choice. In effect, the decision would turn the Kuznetsov into a technology demonstrator for Russia’s next aircraft carrier class, and raise the odds that the ship would never become a reliable fleet asset.
  • Another is the fact that the MiG-29Ks which are supposed to make up its future air wing do not require catapults, and will deploy from several Indian carriers that lack them. That adds up to huge risk, for little benefit. Again, not impossible, but certainly risky.

  • Removal of the ship’s 3M45 P-700 Granit (SS-N-19 Shipwreck) supersonic, long-range anti-ship cruise-missiles
  • New communications and combat system.
  • Enlargement of the aircraft hangar, and possibly new aircraft. There are reports that the Russian Navy’s SU-33s could be replaced by smaller navalized MiG-29Ks. They would still be accompanied by Ka-27 anti-submarine helicopters, and radar-carrying Ka-31 AEW helicopters. The current SU-25 close support fighters have no naval counterpart or exact replacement; at present, their long-term fate remains a question mark.
  • Upgraded air defenses. Existing 3K95 Kinzhal (SA-N-9 Gauntlet) vertically-launched medium-range missiles and Kashtan (SA-N-11 Grisom) short range gun/missile systems would be replaced with a more modern medium-range system, backstopped by a navalized 9M111 Pantsir-S1 (SA-22 Greyhound) gun-missile combination.

There are also reports that the ship will receive aircraft catapults. Cataults are not an impossible choice, especially if Kuznetsov becomes a nuclear carrier prototype/ technology demonstrator. Nevertheless, these reports must be seen as more speculative, for several reasons. One is that steam catapults would require a very extensive, space-consuming, and expensive ship refit. the state of Russian shipyards and industry at the moment is poor, and adding that level of risk to the refit project would be a very questionable move.

Amiral Kuzneţov pe doc plutitor, Pacific 2006

Sursa: Defense Industry Daily