Aircraft Carriers of Soviet Union - Machtres Fighters

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Aircraft Carriers of Soviet Union

Aircraft Carriers > Historics
Kiev class aircraft carrier

The Kiev class carriers (also known as Project 1143 or as the Krechyet (Gyrfalcon) class) were the first class of fixed-wing aircraft carriers built in the Soviet Union.

First laid down in 1970 the Kiev class was partially based on a design for a full-deck carrier proposed in Project Orel. Originally the Soviet Navy wanted a supercarrier similar to the American Kitty Hawk class. However, the smaller Kiev class design was chosen because it was considered to be more cost effective.

Unlike American or British carriers, the Kiev class is a combination of a cruiser and a carrier. In the Soviet Navy this class of ships was specifically designated as a heavy aviation cruiser rather than just an aircraft carrier. Although the ships were designed with an island superstructure to starboard, with a 2/3 length angled flight deck, the foredeck was taken up with the heavy missile armament. The intended mission of the Kiev class was support for strategic missile submarines, other surface ships and naval aviation, it was capable of engaging in anti-aircraft, anti-submarine and surface warfare.

A total of four Kiev class carriers were built and commissioned, serving in the Soviet and then Russian Navy. The first three were decommissioned, of which, one was scrapped and two were sold as recreational pieces to China. The fourth ship, Admiral Gorshkov, was sold to the Indian Navy in 2004, and is currently being modernized.

Designer: Nevskoye Planning and Design Bureau
Builder: Nikolayev South (formerly Chernomorsky Shipyard 444)
Power Plant: 8 turbopressurized boilers, 4 steam turbines (200,000 shp), four shafts
Length: 273 meters overall (283 m for Vikramaditya)
Flight Deck Width: 53 meters
Beam: 32.6 meters
Displacement: 43,000-45,500 metric tons full load
Speed: 32 knots (59 km/h)
Aircraft: 26-30
12-13 Yak-38 VSTOL
14-17 Ka-25 or Ka-27/29 helicopters
Crew: 1,200-1,600 (including air wing)
Kiev and Minsk:

4 × twin P-500 Bazalt SSM launchers (8 missiles)
2 × twin M-11 Shtorm SAM launchers (72 missiles)
2 × twin 9K33 Osa launchers (40 missiles)
2 × twin 76.2 mm AA guns
8 × AK-630 30 mm CIWS
10 × 21" torpedo tubes
1 × twin SUW-N-1 FRAS Anti-Submarine Rocket launcher
4 × twin P-500 Bazalt SSM launchers (8 missiles)
2 × twin M-11 Shtorm SAM launchers (72 missiles)
2 × twin 76.2 mm AA guns
8 × AK-630 30 mm CIWS
1 × twin SUW-N-1 FRAS Anti-Submarine Rocket launcher
6 × twin P-500 Bazalt SSM launchers (12 missiles)
24 × 8-cell 9K330 Tor vertical SAM launchers (192 missiles)
2 × 100 mm guns
8 × AK-630 30 mm CIWS
10 × 21" torpedo tubes

Date Deployed: 1975 (Kiev)
ShipsKiev (1975–1993) Sold to China
Minsk (1978–1993) Sold to Korea ? China
Novorossiysk (1982–1993) sold to korea(Scrapped)
Baku (1987–1991), Admiral Gorshkov (1991-1995), now Vikramaditya (Entering Indian service in 2011-12)

Soviet aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov- Baku Class

Admiral Gorshkov was a modified Kiev class aircraft carrier of the Russian Navy, originally named Baku. Sometimes Gorshkov is considered a separate class due to its improvements including a phased array radar, extensive electronic warfare installations, and an enlarged command and control suite. In 2004, she was sold to India for conversion into a STOBAR carrier to be named INS Vikramaditya.

The ship was laid down in 1978 at Nikolayev South (Shipyard No.444) in Ukraine, launched in 1982, and commissioned in 1987. The delay in commissioning was largely caused by software bugs in the new command and control system.

The ship was renamed Admiral Gorshkov after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, as the city of Baku was now in independent Azerbaijan. Sergey Gorshkov was responsible for the expansion of the Soviet Navy during the Cold War.

In 1994, following a boiler room explosion, the ship was docked for a year of repairs. Although she returned to service in 1995, she was finally withdrawn in 1996 and offered for sale.

On January 20, 2004, Russia agreed to sell the Admiral Gorshkov to India, though payment details are still being worked out. The original price was $947 million.

The upgrade would be undertaken by Russia’s major shipyard, Sevmash Enterprise. As of 2009, Russia is upgrading the ship by stripping all the weaponry from the ship's foredeck to make way for a Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery configuration, with a ski-jump on the bow. The carrier will be named INS Vikramaditya in Indian Navy service. Russia would also change the boilers to diesel fuel.
On December 17, 2009, it was reported that India and Russia ended the stalemate over Gorshkov price deal by agreeing on a price of USD 2.3-billion.
The fourth of the Project 1143 aircraft carrying cruisers, Baku had many differences to the rest of the class, trialing technologies to be used on the Admiral Kuznetsov. The most obvious is the massive planar array above the bridge. This was the antenna for the Mars-Passat ("Sky Watch") 3D air search radar, comparable to the US SCANFAR radar if not the AN/SPY-1 used by the Aegis combat system. Like SCANFAR, Sky Watch proved troublesome and was probably never operational.

The biggest change to the weapon systems was the replacement of the SA-N-3 Goblet and SA-N-4 Gecko SAM launchers with four SA-N-9 Gauntlet VLS launchers. This allowed room for another two SS-N-12 Sandbox launchers. The two AA guns of the Kievs were replaced with 100 mm guns, and the SUW-N-1 launcher was removed.

The air wing was the same as the other Kievs, consisting of a squadron of twelve Yak-38 'Forger' V/STOL aircraft (until they were retired in 1992), twelve Ka-27 'Helix-A' ASW/SAR helicopters and two Ka-31 'Helix' AEW helicopters. Flight operations were assisted by the distinctive new Cake Stand TACAN radar.
Baku was used for trials of the Yak-141 Freestyle supersonic VTOL fighter.


45,000 tons full load
Length: 273.1 m overall
31.0 m
8.2 m
4 shaft geared steam turbines, 200,000 shp
Speed: 32 knots (59 km/h)
Endurance: 13,500 nautical miles (25,000 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h)
6 × twin SS-N-12 Sandbox SSM launchers (12 missiles),
24 × 8-cell SA-N-9 vertical SAM launchers (192 missiles),
2 × 100 mm guns, 8 × AK-630 30 mm CIWS,
10 × 533 mm torpedo tubes,
2 × RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers
Aircraft carried:
12 Yak-38M fighter aircraft
20 Kamov Ka-25 or Kamov Ka-27 helicopters


Ulyanovsk  was the first of a class of Soviet supercarriers which for the first time would have offered true blue water aviation capability for the Soviet Navy. This was based upon the 1975 Project 1153 OREL (which never went beyond blueprints) and the initial commissioned name was to be Kremlin, but was later given the name Ulyanovsk after the Soviet town of Ulyanovsk, which was in turn named after Vladimir Lenin's original name.

It would have been 85,000 tons in displacement (more than the older Forrestal-class carriers but smaller than contemporary Nimitz class carriers of the U.S. Navy). Ulyanovsk would have been able to carry the full range of fixed-wing carrier aircraft, as opposed to the limited scope in which Admiral Kuznetsov launched aircraft, by way of a ski jump. The configuration would have been very similar to U.S. Navy carriers though with the typical Soviet twist of adding ASM and SAM launchers. Its hull was laid down in 1988, but the project was cancelled at 40% complete along with a sister ship in 1991. Scrapping began on 4 February 1992.


60,000 tons empty
79,758 tons full load
324.6 meters (1,065 feet)
Beam: 75.5 meters (248.5 feet)
11 meters (35.4 feet)
4 × KN-3 nuclear reactors
4 × steam turbines, four shafts, 200,000 shp
30 knots (55 km/h)
Range: Essentially unlimited distance; 20 years
Limited only by supplies
Complement: 2,300, 1,500 Air Group
12 P-700 Granit SSMs,
Buk SAMs,
8 AK-630 rotary anti-aircraft cannons
Aircraft carried:
70 aircraft total
27 × Sukhoi Su-33
or 27 × Mikoyan MiG-29
10 × Sukhoi Su-25
4 × Yak-44 radar picket aircraft
15–20 Kamov Ka-27 ASW helicopters

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