Following modernization, Russian aircraft carrier might head towards Syria in October
A source in the Russian military-industrial complex says to RIA Novosti that the aircraft carrier at the moment is undergoing a second stage of modernization in shipyard No 35 in Roslyakovo, the yard in the Kola Bay. That will be completed by late September, and the ship will then be ready for mission, the source adds.
According to Kommersant, Russia might deploy its new fighter jets MiG-29K and the «Admiral Kuznetsov» in a new offensive against ISIL. The offensive will be part of operation «Vozmezdie» (Revenge), a response to ISIL’s shoot-down of a Russian Mi-35M attack helicopter last week.
As previously reported, the aircraft carrier, Russia’s only, is also up for a longer and more extensive modernization which includes replacement of the flight deck covering, tailhooks, aircrafts arresting gear and other modernization work. That upgrade might start early 2017.
The 43,000 tons «Admiral Kuznetsov» was commissioned in 1990. It can carry up to to 41 aircrafts. It is built at the Nikolayev South Shipyard in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, and was originally named «Riga». The name was then changed three times, from «Leonid Brezhnev», «Tbilisi», before it became the «Admiral Flota Sovetskovo Soyuza Kuznetsov».