The Russian MoD has released last January an official video of the flight operations aboard Admiral Kuznetsov.

Russian Mig-29K

In 2016 the Admiral Kuznetsov took part in a combat operation for the first time as the vessel was deployed to the Mediterranean to assist the ongoing Russian airborne campaign in Syria.

During the missions a Mig-29K and a Su-33 crashed. The first one for a technical problem to arrest system of the aircraft carrier and the second one for an error of the deck crew.

At the beginning of 2017 Russia has planned a reduction of its military presence in Syria starting from the Northern Fleet carrier group led by the Admiral Kuznetsov heavy carrier.

The Admiral Kuznetsov has a weight of over 67,000 tons for a length of 306 meters and can embark about forty aircraft.
The ship is classified in the west as aircraft carriers, but Russians defined it as a heavy cruiser aircraft carrier missile. This designation allows Russia to circumvent the Montreux Convention for vessels transiting the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus between the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea.

This unit is the only operational aircraft carrier in the world of STOBAR (Short Take Off But Arrested Recovery) type. It can embark naval versions of about 15-20 Sukhoi Su-33, 5 Mig-29K and 20-24 KA-27 helicopter.

The Kuznetsov differs from western aircraft carriers for the heavy armament of anti-ship missiles, including cruise missiles, which give high ability of self-defense that make it more of a defensive unit that attack, leaving that task to the powerful cruisers of the Kirov class.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
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