The Kuznetsov Class heavy aircraft carrying cruiser, also known as
Project 1143.5 or Orel Class, was constructed at Nikolayev South
Shipyard on the Black Sea in the Ukraine. The Admiral Kuznetsov, was
launched in 1985. A second-of-class vessel, the Varyag, was launched
in 1988 but was never commissioned. Admiral Kuznetsov is the only
aircraft carrier in the Russian Navy. The hull design is based on
the earlier Admiral Gorshkov, launched in 1982, but it is larger
with a full load displacement, 58,500t as compared to 40,400t.
Admiral Gorshkov has not been operational since 1988 and India is
expected to sign an agreement to buy the refurbished vessel in March
The Admiral Kuznetsov supports strategic missile carrying
submarines, surface ships and maritime missile-carrying aircraft of
the Russian fleet.
The flight deck area is 14,700m? and aircraft take-off is assisted
by a bow ski-jump angled at 12°. The flight deck is equipped with
arrester wires. Two starboard lifts carry the aircraft from the
hangar to the flight deck.
The ship has the capacity to support 16 Yakovlev Yak-41M (NATO code
name Freestyle), twelve Sukhoi Su-27K (NATO codename Flanker)
fixed-wing aircraft and a range of helicopters including four Kamov
Ka-27-LD (NATO codename Helix), 18 Kamov Ka-27 PLO, and two Ka-27-S.
The ship has a Granit anti-ship missile system equipped with twelve
surface-to-surface missile launchers. The Granit missile (NATO
codename SS-N-19 Shipwreck) is reported to have a range greater than
400km and is capable of carrying either a nuclear or conventional
The Klinok air defence missile system, with 24 vertical launchers
and 192 missiles, defends the ship against anti-ship missiles,
aircraft and surface ships. The system has a multi-channel
electronically steered phased array radar and can achieve a firing
rate of one missile every 3s. Four targets can be engaged
simultaneously in a 60 x 60° sector. The range of the system is 12
The Kashstan Air Defence Gun/Missile System, supplied by the
Instrument Design Bureau and Tulamashzavod JSC in Tula, provides
defence against precision weapons including anti-ship and anti-radar
missiles, aircraft and small sea targets. Eight systems are fitted,
combining missile launcher, 30mm twin gun and radar/optronic
director. The range of the laser beam-riding missiles is from 1.5 to
8km. The gun can fire up to 1,000 rounds/min in the range 0.5 to
1.5km. Six AK630 AD 30mm air defence guns are also fitted.
The ship is equipped with an Udav-1 anti-submarine system with 60
anti-submarine rockets. Udav-1, supplied by the Splav Research and
Production Association in Moscow, protects surface ships by
diverting and destroying incoming torpedoes. The system also
provides defence against submarines and saboteur systems such as
underwater vehicles. The system has ten barrels and is capable of
firing 111SG depth charge projectiles, 111SZ mine laying projectiles
and 111SO diverting projectiles. The range of the system is up to
3,000m and the submarine engagement depth is to 600m.
The ship's radars include a D/E band air and surface target
acquisition radar, an F-band surface search radar, G/H band flight
control radar, I-band navigation radar, and four K-band fire control
radars for the Kashstan Air Defence Gun/Missile System.
The ship's hull-mounted search and attack sonar, operating in the
medium- and low-frequency bands, is capable of detecting torpedoes
and submarines. The anti-submarine warfare aircraft are equipped
with surface search radar, dipping sonar, sonobuoys and magnetic
The ship is conventionally powered and has eight boilers and four
steam turbines, each producing 50,000hp, driving four shafts with
fixed-pitch propellers. The maximum speed is 29 knots, and the range
at maximum speed is 3,800 miles. The ship provides a maximum range
of 8,500 miles at a speed of 18 knots.