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Russian Navy to adopt new carrier fighters after 2016

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Old September 11th 08, 11:38 PM posted to rec.aviation.military.naval,rec.aviation.military,sci.military.naval
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Default Russian Navy to adopt new carrier fighters after 2016

Russian Navy to adopt new carrier fighters after 2016
13:12 | 07/ 09/ 2008

GELENDZHIK (South Russia), September 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's new
carrier-based fighters will replace the Su-33 naval fighter in service
with the Russian Navy after 2016, a senior military official said on Sunday.

The Su-33 (NATO reporting name 'Flanker-D') is a carrier-based
multi-role fighter, which can perform a variety of air superiority,
fleet defense, air support and reconnaissance missions. The aircraft
entered service with the Russian Navy in 1995 and are currently deployed
on board the Nikolai Kuznetsov aircraft carrier.

"The Russian Navy will adopt new carrier-based aircraft after 2016,"
said Maj. Gen. Nikolai Kuklev, the deputy commander of Russia's naval

"At present, we are considering modernization and extension of service
life for the Su-33 aircraft. It will certainly stay in service until
2015," the general said.

He said the Navy will hold a tender on the new carrier fighter after
2010, which will involve the Su-27KUB Flanker and MiG-29K Fulcrum fighters.

"Both aircraft have advantages and disadvantages. For instance, the
Su-27KUB is heavier, but has a longer flight range. MiG-29K is lighter
but its combat range is shorter," Kuklev said, adding that a "golden
average" has to be chosen.

At present, Russia has only one operational aircraft carrier, the
Nikolai Kuznetsov, which was commissioned in the early 1990s and has
recently re-entered service after a prolonged overhaul.

The ship, also known as Project 1143.5 heavy aircraft carrier, is
currently deployed with Russia's Northern Fleet and has recently
participated in a two-month tour to the Mediterranean as part of
Russia's plans to resume its continual presence in different regions of
the world's seas.

"We are considering extending the service life of the carrier. It will
stay in service until 2020 and may be even until 2025," Kuklev said.

The general also confirmed that a decision to build new aircraft
carriers for the Russian Navy had been adopted.

Russia's Navy commander, Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky, said in July that the
Navy command had decided to form in the future 5-6 aircraft carrier task
forces to be deployed with the Northern and Pacific fleets.


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