Monday, October 10, 2016

"Admiral Kuznetsov" & Friends to Deploy Soon

SU-33 Flanker and MIG-29K Fulcrum on board "Admiral Kuznetsov" -- August 2016

It now appears certain that the Russian Navy's sole aircraft carrier, "Admiral Kuznetsov", along with the nuclear-powered cruiser "Petr Velikiy" and destroyer "Severomorsk", are preparing to deploy within the next week.

"Petr Velikiy" -- May 2016

According to social media, "Petr Velikiy" was scheduled to transfer to a mooring position near Severomorsk today and depart from there on October 15 for a six- to eight-month deployment.

"Admiral Kuznetsov" performing final preparations -- October 8, 2016

"Admiral Kuznetsov" will arrive at a similar mooring position near Severomorsk on October 11. Interfax, citing an anonymous source, earlier reported the aircraft carrier would depart on October 15-20.

"Severomorsk" at 35th Shipyard -- July 8, 2016

"Severomorsk" is also scheduled to depart on October 15, based on social media.

Auxiliary support for the deployment will likely include salvage tug "Nikolay Chiker" and oiler "Sergey Osipov". "Nikolay Chiker" is currently moored near Severomorsk Naval Base. "Sergey Osipov" was noted underway near Severomorsk Naval Base on October 8.

KA-52 Hokum on board "Admiral Kuznetsov" -- August 29, 2016

The aircraft carrier is expected to deploy with a mixed inventory of KA-27/KA-29 Helix and KA-52 Hokum helicopters, as well as SU-33 Flanker and MIG-29K Fulcrum fighters.

Repairs of "Admiral Kuznetsov" began last spring, and it appeared they would continue until the end of this year; however, the repairs were completed earlier than scheduled. Following a number of underway combat drills and carrier flight operations, "Admiral Kuznetsov" returned to Rosta for final preparations before it transfers to its Severomorsk mooring position this week.