Russia is building a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to meet the requirements of Russian Navy. Last month, Russia unveiled a new maritime strategy that called for increased presence in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. A spokesman for the state-run United Shipbuilding Corporation told TASS news agency that the country’s next aircraft carrier will be nuclear-powered.
Russia has only one aircraft carrier
Russian navy current operates only one aircraft carrier: Admiral Kuznetsov. The spokesman said the new aircraft carrier project was in the design phase. Nevskoye Design Bureau, which has been working on the project since 2007, said the only way to meet Russian navy’s requirements for sea endurance, power generation, and voyage-range was to equip it with a nuclear power plant.
However, the aircraft carrier is unlikely to enter service before 2025. The state-run shipyard has determined the main sub-contractors, delivery date and cost of the project. Earlier, Nevskoye Design Bureau chief executive Sergey Vlasov had told TASS that the firm was pushing ahead with two projects. One is a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a displacement of 80,000-85,000 tons and capable of carrying 70 fighter jets. Another is a non-nuclear vessel with a displacement of 50,000 tons and 50-55 aircraft on board.
Russia also planning to develop amphibious assault ships
Sources told TASS that the nuclear power facility for the aircraft carrier will first be tested on the Lider-class destroyer. Last month, Russian Navy’s commander Admiral Viktor Chirkov revealed plans to build large amphibious assault ships capable of carrying 450 marines and 12 helicopters. The assault ship could enter into service by 2020.
Last week, France and Russia agreed to terminate the controversial deal under which France was supposed to deliver two Mistral-class vessels to the Russian Navy. France has agreed to pay Moscow $1.3 billion for canceling the contract. Russia is modernizing its military to counter NATO. Later this month, Russia and China will conduct joint naval exercises in the Sea of Japan.
In July, Russia inducted into navy a spy ship called Admiral Yury Ivanov that is capable of tracking “all elements of the U.S. missile defense system.” The vessel also has electronic warfare capabilities.