Russian Navy heavy aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov to return at sea in 2022

According to information published by the Russian Press agency TASS on December 4, 2020, Russia’s aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is ready to return at sea and to undergo sea trials in 2022 after the fire aboard the aircraft carrier in December 2019, a source in the national shipbuilding corporation told TASS on Friday, December 4, 2020.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Russian Navy Project 11435 heavy aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov. (Picture source Twitter account Rob Lee)

A source in the shipbuilding industry said," Next summer, the Admiral Kuznetsov will be docked again and will be then set for sea trials, namely in 2022".

The Project 11435 heavy aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov entered in service with the Russian navy in 1990. The design of the Admiral Kuznetsov class implies a mission different from that of the United States Navy's carriers. The term used by her builders to describe the Russian ships is Tyazholyy Avianesushchiy Kreyser (TAVKR) – "heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser" – intended to support and defend strategic missile-carrying submarines, surface ships, and naval missile-carrying aircraft of the Russian Navy.

The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier has a 14,700m² flight deck area and she uses ski-jump technology to assist the aircraft during the take-off. The ship can carry a total of up to fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft including 18 Su-33 carried-based twin-engine fighter aircraft, 6 MiG-29K all-weather carrier-based multirole fighter aircraft, four Ka-31 naval helicopter, and two Ka-27 naval helicopters. The flight deck is equipped with arrester wires. Two starboard lifts carry the aircraft from the hangar to the flight deck. The ship has a crew of 1,690 sailors and an air group including 626 people.

The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier is armed with 6 AK-630 mm CIWS (Close-In Weapon Systems), eight CADS-N-1 Kashtan CIWS each equipped with 2 30 mm Gatling AA and 32 3K87 Kortik surface-to-air missiles, twelve P-700 Granit SSM anti-ship cruise missiles, 24 × 8-cell 3K95 Kinzhal VLS (Vertical Launching Systems) for surface-to-air missiles and RBU-12000 UDAV-1 ASW anti-submarine rocket launchers.

The is powered by eight turbo-pressurized boilers and four steam turbines, each producing 50,000hp, nine 2,011 hp (1,500 kW) turbo generators, six 2,011 hp (1,500 kW) diesel generators driving four shafts with fixed-pitch propellers. She can reach a top speed of 29 knots (33 mph; 54 km/h) with a maximum cruising range of 8,500 nmi. (15,700 km) at 18 knots (21 mph; 33 km/h). The Russian aircraft carrier has an endurance of 45 days.