With the Russian Navy currently possessing only one heavy aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, the country’s military has repeatedly called for the construction and development of a new vessel.
The commissioning of a new state-of-the-art Russian aircraft carrier would help the country’s navy successfully compete with that of the US, the German newspaper Handelsblatt reports, claiming that such a vessel may enter service by 2030.
“The dimensions are breath-taking: more than 300 metres long and over 65 metres high. A draft of almost eleven metres and a water displacement of 80,000 tons. Powered by four nuclear reactors with an output of 305 megawatts each, capable to accelerate the ship to 55 kilometres per hour. This is how a new nuclear powered aircraft carrier that Russia wants to build could look”, the newspaper asserts.
According to the media outlet, the new vessel will be capable of carrying up to 70 warplanes and helicopters, including sophisticated MiG-35 and Su-57 fighter jets.
Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich
The aircraft carrier will reportedly be armed with what Handelsblatt described as “wonder weapons”, referring to the advanced hypersonic missiles Kinzhal and Zircon.
The new vessel is “specifically designed for firing the state-of-the-art cruise missiles Kalibr, which Russia wants to massively develop over the next few years after US President Donald Trump’s termination of the INF Treaty”, the newspaper said.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed by the US and the then-Soviet Union in 1987, was terminated on 2 August, 2019 at Washington’s initiative after the White House formally suspended its INF obligations six months earlier.
The Admiral Kuznezov is currently the only aircraft carrier in Russia.
“The warship, which was commissioned in 985 with a water displacement of 60,000 tons, is significantly smaller than the planned new vessel and is not nuclear powered”, said Handelsblatt.
Russia Considers Building New Aircraft Carrier
In December, a source in Russia’s military-industrial complex said that the estimated cost of the country’s new heavy aircraft carrier is expected to be as much as 400 billion roubles ($6.2 billion).
The source noted that the cost of the new warship is not included in the State Armament Plan for 2018-2027.
The Russian Navy has yet to decide on what concept proposed by planning and design bureaus will form the basis for the development of the new vessel, the source added.