Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
5th March, 2016
It is planned to send the only Russian heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser “Admiral Kuznetsov” into the Mediterranean sea in the summer, said a high-ranking source in the main command of the Russian Navy to TASS on Saturday.
“This summer we will move “Kuznetsov” to the Mediterranean sea, it will lead a permanent naval group in this region”, – said the interlocutor.
Currently, he said, the carrier is located at the 35th shipyard in Murmansk, where it is undergoing a restoration of technical readiness before the long sea trip. In particular, by early summer, the cellar of the aircraft carrier will need to be upgraded for new types of aircraft munitions.
The interlocutor did not specify what tasks the aircraft carrier will perform as the flagship of the Mediterranean grouping of the Russian Navy.
The formation of a permanent task force of the Russian Navy in the Mediterranean sea started in 2013. As a rule, there are more than ten ships in the region on a rotational basis.
Previously, the largest ships of the Russian Navy that led the group in the Mediterranean were the heavy nuclear missile cruiser “Peter the Great”, missile cruiser “Moskva”, and “Varyag”. “Varyag”, the flagship of the Pacific fleet, is now in the Mediterranean.
Repair of the carrier
It is also noted that “Admiral Kuznetsov”, after a long campaign in the Mediterranean, will return for repair for 2-2.5 years.
“At the end of the year, “Kuznetsov” will be in for repair for 2-2.5 years, the decision was already made,” he said.
As was explained by the interlocutor, updating the airgroup is necessary, especially “Kuznetsov”.
Earlier the head of Department of Shipbuilding of the Navy of Russia, Vladimir Tryapichnikov, said that in the course of modernization “Kuznetsov will have a new wing and new capabilities”. According to him, the aircraft carrier will be able to use the new MiG-29K and “other planes”.