Aircraft carrier left Murmansk, heading towards Syria
The vessel, Russia’s only aircraft carrier, is better equipped than ever. On board are several MiG-29KR/KUBR, the new carrier-based multirole fighter aircraft. In addition comes a series of Su-33 fighters, and the new reconnaissance and combat helicopter Katran.
The «Admiral Kuznetsov» has left the shipyard No 35, where it has been undergoing upgrades, and set course toward the west, TV21, a regional news channel, reports.
The powerful vessel will join the Russian Navy vessels currently located in the Mediterranean. From before «at least six» other navy vessels, as well as 3-4 support ships, are in the area, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu recently said.
The aircraft carrier will help protect the Syrian base town of Tartus, and take on a series of new tasks.
When not sailing, the vessel stays at port at naval yard No. 35 in Murmansk, next to the country’s homeport of nuclear powered icebreakers.
The ship this summer underwent modernization in shipyard No 82. in Roslyakovo, Murmansk Oblast. A longer and more extensive modernization is likely to 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».