Admiral Kuznetsov is a inactive and only aircraft carrier of the Russian Federation. The aircraft carrier is undergoing refit and modernisation process since the last five years. The Admiral Kuznetsov is serving the Russian Navy since 1995, the carrier has the maximum displacement of 58,600 tons and carry a fleet of 24 fighter aircrafts and six multirole helicopters. In this article, i will tell you six interesting facts about this highly-capable but inactive russian aircraft carrier.
1) The Soviet Union actually had planned to built a total of 2 aircraft carriers, but only the lead ship of the Kuznetsov-class got commissioned with the Russian Navy, the sister ship of Admiral Kuznetsov, Varyag was abandoned until 1998, when Ukraine sold the uncompleted ship to China for use as a floating casino, and china modified and converted the ship into a full-functioning aircraft carrier, the second ship of Kuznetsov-class is now known as the Liaoning.
2) Although the russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is known in general as a aircraft carrier, but according to russian classification of warships this ship is actually a Heavy missile carrying guided missile cruiser or aviation cruiser. One of the main reason for this classification is the deployment of offensive weapons like the P-700 long-range naval anti-ship land-attack missiles on the Admiral Kuznetsov. The ship carries a weapon load of 12 units of P-700 missiles, that are fired from below the front flight deck of the ship.
3) The Russian Navy Flagship, Admiral Kuznetsov is a very unique and only aircraft carrier in the world that has additional heavy strike capability/primary attack capability, basically the main or primary weapon of any aircraft carrier is its fleet of fighter aircrafts that it carries during its deployment, but the addition of the P-700 long-range heavy anti-ship missiles on the Admiral Kuznetsov give it a very powerful and devastating attack capability, the P-700 are very heavy anti ship missiles which has the weight of 7,000 kg (15,400 lb) per unit, these missiles has the operational range of 625 km (388 mi) and travels faster than the speed of sound.
These missiles packs a very heavy punch and can even sink a aircraft carrier with its salvo fire, basically to maximize the missile performance, russians fire these missiles in the salvo of 4 or 6 or 8 from different directions and different altitudes, this tactic makes these missiles extremely deadly and it also makes the interception and tracking of these missiles by enemy missile defence systems extremely difficult.
4) The russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is the only carrier in the world, that carries anti-ship missiles during its regular deployments, no aircraft carrier other than this, either the american ones or the British or French carries this type of heavy armament.
The aircraft carriers of the other nations carries only defensive weapon systems such as torpedo and anti-ship missile decoys, close-in weapon systems, and anti-aircraft missiles systems. No aircraft carrier in the world carries the type of weapons which the Admiral Kuznetsov carries, this makes the russian carrier very unique and powerful.
One thing should be noted that because the aircraft carriers of other nations like USA, Britain, India carry only defensive weapons, so they are always deployed under the protection of various types of warships, such as destroyers, frigates, submarines, etc.
These warships always escort the aircraft carrier providing the warship with anti-air/air-defense, anti-submarine, and some other types of protection.
But since, the Russian Aircraft Carrier himself is a combination of a heavy missile cruiser and a aircraft carrier, so it is the only aircraft carrier in the world, which if required, can easily operate without any warship escort, this is something which makes this ship unique.
5) Along with the massive 12 launchers of P-700 anti-ship missiles, the Admiral Kuznetsov also carries some worth-mentioning weapon systems, the ship carries six AK-630 30mm Anti-aircraft guns, this CIWS has the rate of fire of 5,000-10,000 rounds/minute.
This CIWS is the counterpart of the american PHALANX CIWS.
The ship also carries eight CADS-N-1 Kashtan air defense gun and missile system, this CIWS is loaded with twin 30mm guns plus 32 3K87 Kortik Surface-to-Air Missiles.
Along with these weapon systems, the ship is also equipped with 24 × 8-cell 3K95 Kinzhal SAM VLS, the system has 192 missiles and has the capability of launching 1 missile per 3 seconds.
The Admiral Kuznetsov is also equipped with a unique weapon, that is RBU-12000 UDAV-1 ASW rocket launchers. This weapon system is a anti-submarine warfare weapon, the weapon fires a number of different types of rockets, which in addition to attacking submarines provide a multi-layer defense against torpedoes and frogmen. The system operates in conjunction with the ship’s sonar.
Along with its usage as a anti-submarine weapon, this multiple rocket launching system can also be used as a shore bombing weapon.
The system which is installed on Admiral Kuznetsov has a total of 60 rockets.
6) Beside these impressive above-mentioned weapon systems, the primary weapon of the Admiral Kuznetsov is its fleet of fighter aircrafts, although comparing with american aircraft carriers, the number of aircrafts which Kuznetsov carries is very less, but still these jets packs a powerful punch.
The ship carries a total of 18 Sukhoi Su-33 “Sea Flanker” and 6 Mikoyan MiG-29K aircrafts. The Sukhoi Su-33 and the MiG-29K are very capable carrier-based weapons. Obviously, the Su-33 is more capable than the MiG-29, both of these fighters are air dominance fighters and are highly maneuverable in dogfights, the Su-33 is the navalised version of the Su-30 Fighter which was designed as the successor of the Su-27, and as a competitor of F-18 Super Hornet and F-15 Eagle.
Like the Su-30, the Su-33 is a long-range, heavy air superiority fighter. Compared with its counterpart, the American F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet, the Su-33 is superior in some areas if compared with the Super Hornet, including the maximum speed, service ceiling and the rate of climb.
Su-33’s two AL-31F3 turbofans generate a dry thrust of 74.5 kN, each while the maximum thrust with afterburner is 125.5 kN for each engine. Top speed is 2 300 km/h at the altitude of 10 kilometers.
It should be noted, that the F-18 Super Hornet is a multirole fighter and the russian Su-33 is a dedicated Air Superiority Fighter.