Why "Admiral Kuznetsov" should lead the Russian squadron in the Mediterranean


If we believe the statements of USC Deputy Head Vladimir Korolev, the repair of our long-suffering last aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov will be completed at the end of next year 2023, and the ship will be handed over to the Russian Navy. After the upgrade, the life of the heavy cruiser will be extended for another 10 years. Let's hope it all works out. Where and how should the aged TAVKR spend the years allotted to him?


We called the long-suffering "Admiral Kuznetsov" not in vain. Troubles haunted the ship throughout its entire service life: problems with the power plant constantly appeared, during the Syrian campaign, the TAVKR lost two carrier-based aircraft not in battle, then it was almost drowned along with the PD-50 floating dock, and in the final repair it was almost burned in a fire . If the cruiser survives the modernization, then the main boilers will be replaced on it, the main turbo-gear units and the propeller-steering group, gas turbine and diesel generators will be repaired, after which it should stop “smoke”. Avionics, takeoff and landing control system are subject to update. The strike missile systems will be dismantled, and the naval version of the Pantsir-S1 air defense system will be responsible for air defense. After that, the TAVKR, which has actually turned into a light aircraft carrier, will last at least a decade.

The main question is where and how to benefit the country from this. Domestic "aircraft carriers" who swear by "hypersound" and unprecedented "stratospheric bombers" believe that Russia does not need ships of this class at all, pointing out, in particular, the not very unconvincing results of the Syrian campaign "Admiral Kuznetsov". Of course, they are deeply mistaken, and there are quite simple explanations for the unsuccessful TAVKR campaign.

At first, huge aircraft-carrying non-nuclear ships require the appropriate infrastructure for their regular maintenance. After the collapse of the USSR and the division of the Black Sea Fleet with Ukraine, Admiral Kuznetsov was hastily transferred to the Northern Fleet. There, for all the past decades, no coastal infrastructure was built for it, which is why in the harsh northern climate the cruiser wasted its resource ineptly, as if it was constantly dangling from a round-the-world trip to a trip. As a result, by order of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, the TAVKR went to Syria in a non-combat state.

Secondly, the crew of the aircraft carrier simply did not have the appropriate training. The carrier-based pilots are the elite of the elites, but later it turned out that even the commanders had only a few hours of flight time before the campaign. In other words, the fighter wing was not ready to carry out the combat missions assigned to it. It is simply amazing that only 2 aircraft were lost: due to a break in the arrester, one fell into the water from the deck, and the second fell into the sea not far from the ship, which he could not board, because in front of him, when another fighter landed, the arrester cable was torn and tangled. The pilot had to fly around the Admiral Kuznetsov until all the fuel was used up. Fortunately, there were no human casualties in both cases.

And we again return to the main question, is it worth it for our only aircraft carrier to return back to the Northern Fleet, where there is still no appropriate infrastructure for it?

Probably not, if the Russian Navy wants the ship to still serve usefully. Perhaps "Admiral Kuznetsov" should be relocated to the Black Sea Fleet, from where he originally came. Recall that the future flagship instead of the missile cruiser "Moskva" here should be the UDC project 23900 "Mitrofan Moskalenko" under construction in Kerch. This choice in favor of a universal landing ship says a lot about the far-reaching plans of the RF Ministry of Defense in the basins of the Black and Mediterranean Seas. But it is even more important that for the UDC in Sevastopol they have already begun to build the appropriate coastal infrastructure. Obviously, some conclusions about the fate of the TAVKR were made, and the UDC should not repeat old mistakes. The total displacement of the Russian helicopter carrier is 40 tons. There is reason to hope that a light aircraft carrier with a total displacement of 000 tons will also be able to use the infrastructure.

But what should "Admiral Kuznetsov" do in the "Black Sea puddle"?

Nothing in particular. Being assigned to Sevastopol, the former TAVKR could lead the Permanent Task Force of the Russian Navy in the Mediterranean Sea. Yes, the Russian aircraft carrier should go back to Syria, where he should take revenge. If the ship is permanently based at our naval base in Tartus, being repaired as necessary in Sevastopol, it will be able to bring real benefits to the country.

First of all, it is worth recalling the strategic importance of the Eastern Mediterranean. It was here that during the Cold War, a dozen American SSBNs of the formed 16th squadron of nuclear submarines of the US Navy grazed. From there, they could shoot nuclear missiles through the territory of the USSR to the Urals. The need to counter them led to the creation of the famous 5th OPESK (Operational Mediterranean Squadron of the USSR Navy), the successor of which can be considered the current Permanent Task Force of the Russian Navy in Tartus.

"Admiral Kuznetsov" could play an important role in deterring potential US aggression in the region. Instead of using it for air strikes against terrorists, a light aircraft carrier can act as the core of an anti-submarine search and strike group, together with Project 22350 frigates and Project 1155 BODs. This ship can simultaneously carry 28 aircraft and 24 anti-submarine helicopters. Carrier-based fighters are capable of providing anti-aircraft cover for the Russian squadron, and helicopters are capable of searching for and tracking NATO submarines in the Eastern Mediterranean. If necessary, the pilots would be able to practice strikes from it against terrorist positions in the Middle East, gaining real combat experience. "Admiral Kuznetsov" would also be able to carry out the task of escorting the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet "Mitrofan Moskalenko" in his campaigns, which, of course, are already planned.

In this capacity, the former TAVKR would really benefit more than he ingloriously freezes in the Northern Fleet. This would make it possible to preserve carrier-based aviation as a class until better times, when the Russian Navy can be replenished with modern aircraft carriers. After the development of the resource, "Admiral Kuznetsov" can be transferred to the Black Sea as a training ship for pilots of Russian carrier-based aviation.
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  1. gunnerminer Offline gunnerminer
    gunnerminer (gunner miner) 25 January 2022 21: 28
    -6
    Provided that the TAVKR is based in Tartus, it will be necessary to create a kind of guarantee reliability group there. With an appropriate repair base, RTB, tugboats and others.
    1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
      Marzhecki (Sergei) 26 January 2022 08: 02
      +1
      Of course you will.
      1. Alex777 Offline Alex777
        Alex777 (Alexander) 26 January 2022 10: 52
        +2
        And how will the Straits aircraft carrier pass?
        There is nothing for him to do in SPM.
        Bombing Barmaleev from him is too expensive.
        If there are numerous NATO air force bases in the region, there will be little sense from it in the PLO.
        And in the Far East it could come in handy.
        And cover Vilyuchinsk, and the Kuriles. Yes, and just strengthen KTOF.
        But the infrastructure for 10 years of service is not even there.
        Although various rumors are circulating about the naval base on one of the islands ...
        1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
          Marzhecki (Sergei) 26 January 2022 11: 37
          -1
          And how will the Straits aircraft carrier pass?

          It is necessary to put several universal launch cells instead of Granites, then it will be a cruiser without problems with the straits.

          There is nothing for him to do in SPM.
          Bombing Barmaleev from him is too expensive.
          With numerous NATO Air Force bases in the region,
          There will be little sense from him in PLO.

          If we talk about the war with NATO, then there is nothing. If we talk about it as a platform for training carrier-based aviation in conditions as close as possible to combat, that's it. This is exactly what is required of Kuzi. To teach pilots how to bomb barmaley, hunt submarines, and perform other combat missions. Deck workers simply have no experience. It won't come from nowhere.

          And in the Far East it could come in handy.
          And cover Vilyuchinsk, and the Kuriles. Yes, and just strengthen KTOF.
          But the infrastructure for 10 years of service is not even there.

          Could. I already wrote about it. But there really is no infrastructure. And in Sevastopol they are already building for the UDC. So, based on our realities, it’s best for him to return to the Black Sea Fleet and be a training ship, hanging out in the Mediterranean. .
          1. gunnerminer Offline gunnerminer
            gunnerminer (gunner miner) 26 January 2022 12: 01
            -2
            With the aggravation of relations between the TAVKR, the straits will not pass. Even with all the assistance of the Turkish government. The depths of the Bosphorus are convenient for minefields. It will be impossible to break through the Dardanelles. Even with the use of nuclear warheads. Even with universal cells.
            How the training base is suitable in its tervods. Since in the event of a breakdown, it will be necessary to transport sets of spare parts to Tartus by air. Which makes them very expensive. The training base is operated very intensively. , qualified.
            You can also learn how to apply primitive BSHU at the training ground. Moreover, the opposition does not even have primitive air defense, with electronic warfare equipment. BSHU on ground targets is far from the main task for the TAVKR air group.
          2. Alex777 Offline Alex777
            Alex777 (Alexander) 26 January 2022 14: 20
            0
            Quote: Marzhetsky

            It is necessary to put several universal launch cells instead of Granites, then it will be a cruiser without problems with the straits.

            Nothing is heard about new missiles. Granites were removed so that there was more space, including for aircraft ammunition.

            Quote: Marzhetsky
            And in Sevastopol they are already building for the UDC.

            So one of the UDC will go to KTOF. So there will be something there too.

            Quote: Marzhetsky
            To teach pilots how to bomb barmaley, hunt submarines, and perform other combat missions. Deck workers simply have no experience. It won't come from nowhere.

            His main task with the Su-33 was air defense. PLO cover and KUG.
            All of the above is easy to do at KTOF.
            Reassure the Japanese and others.
            The main confrontation, in the future, is shifting to the East. So none of our strengthening there will be superfluous.
            1. gunnerminer Offline gunnerminer
              gunnerminer (gunner miner) 26 January 2022 14: 41
              -5
              Granites were removed so that there was more space, including for aircraft ammunition.

              The granites were removed due to their uselessness on board the TAVKR. The complexes rotted after being repeatedly flooded with sea water. And they didn’t bother to rinse with fresh water after the exercises.

              The Su-33 is outdated like a mammoth. Especially avionics and ammunition. PLO with a helicopter outdated for 30 years cannot be provided. Only if for fraud.

              Everything you listed is easy to do at KTOF

              Where, to whom, by what means? And how to maintain technical readiness in the current state of the Amur Plant? The Japanese sleep peacefully. They are well aware of the state of ship repair and shipbuilding in Primorye. And about their prospects.

              The main confrontation, in the future, is shifting to the East. So none of our strengthening there will be superfluous.

              As the practice of recent days shows, everything goes like in a fairy tale about Tsar Saltan. Threats from all sides, at the same time.
          3. Boa kaa Offline Boa kaa
            Boa kaa (Alexander) 26 January 2022 21: 07
            -1
            Quote: Marzhetsky
            I already wrote about it.

            A few words about the writing.

            by order of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the TAVKR, he went to Syria in an incapacitated state.

            This is an incorrect statement. The MO ordered, the navy prepared the ship as best they could. Aviators (people themselves are heroic!) With a raid, which was - they went with that. And it's not their fault, but their misfortune that there was nothing to fly from. NITKA, no matter how it is praised, all the same, the coastal complex: the sensations are not the same when there is water all around and 2 km down!

            what is the strategic importance of the Eastern Mediterranean. It was here that during the Cold War they grazed a dozen American SSBNs formed by the 16th squadron of nuclear submarines of the US Navy.

            She left the Spanish Naval Base Rota in Keynes Bay and today is based there along with the 20 Squadron of the US Navy. 16th Esq. now commanded by William Patterson and includes two SSGNs and one SSBN: USS Florida, USS Georgia, and USS Rhode Island. Therefore, she cannot put up a dozen buildings. But even in the years of the KhV, 2 SSBNs went out on combat patrols in the Eastern SRM. There were never dozens.

            the former TAVKR would really benefit more than him to freeze ingloriously in the Northern Fleet.

            According to the combat mission, Kuzya, during the threatened period and with the beginning of the database, was supposed to provide air defense / anti-aircraft defense for the deployment of the submarine forces of the Northern Fleet in a 500-mile zone. He would have no time to freeze: from such combat work he would have to sweat bloody sweat ... And you - "freeze ..." (MRAK !!!)

            After resource development "Admiral Kuznetsov" can be transferred to the Black Sea as a training ship for Russian carrier-based pilots.

            After the resource of the main mechanisms has been exhausted, no one will release the ship into the sea. Especially to ensure flights from the deck. Naval and aviation LAWS will not allow this. Not a single naval commander will sign the BP Plan for such a ship to go to sea. Not a single flagship will put "READY" in the Certificate of admission of the NK to go to sea. The ship just won't get a "D" on the way out. --- ALL ! Finita la comédi, as the Italians say.
            Sincerely. hi
            1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
              Marzhecki (Sergei) 27 January 2022 13: 39
              -1
              This is an incorrect statement. The MO ordered, the navy prepared the ship as best they could. Aviators (people themselves are heroic!) With a raid, which was - they went with that. And it's not their fault, but their misfortune that there was nothing to fly from. NITKA, no matter how it is praised, all the same, the coastal complex: the sensations are not the same when there is water all around and 2 km down!

              There are no complaints about sailors and pilots. Only to those who sent them in such a state. There was a detailed analysis on VO about who sent it.

              But even in the years of the KhV, 2 SSBNs went out on combat patrols in the Eastern SRM. There were never dozens.

              Not dozens, but ten. Cumulatively.

              She left the Spanish Naval Base Rota in Keynes Bay and today is based there along with the 20 Squadron of the US Navy. 16th Esq. now commanded by William Patterson and includes two SSGNs and one SSBN: USS Florida, USS Georgia, and USS Rhode Island. Therefore, she cannot put up a dozen buildings.

              Did we talk about the past tense in the article? Cold War 2 has not yet reached this level of intensity. The easier it would be to carry out combat missions.

              According to the combat mission, Kuzya, during the threatened period and with the beginning of the database, was supposed to provide air defense / anti-aircraft defense for the deployment of the submarine forces of the Northern Fleet in a 500-mile zone. He would have no time to freeze: from such combat work he would have to sweat bloody sweat ... And you - "freeze ..." (MRAK !!!)

              Nevertheless, Kuzya did not really fulfill such a task, but stood, froze, exhausted the resource without use. In fact, it was a non-combat ship.

              After the resource of the main mechanisms has been exhausted, no one will release the ship into the sea. Especially to ensure flights from the deck. Naval and aviation LAWS will not allow this. Not a single naval commander will sign the BP Plan for such a ship to go to sea. Not a single flagship will put "READY" in the Certificate of admission of the NK to go to sea. The ship just won't get a "D" on the way out. --- ALL ! Finita la comédi, as the Italians say.

              I did not mean to use a technically faulty ship as a training one. I hope you correctly understood the idea that I was trying to convey, and you are simply being ironic.
              1. Boa kaa Offline Boa kaa
                Boa kaa (Alexander) 27 January 2022 13: 47
                -1
                Quote: Marzhetsky
                Not dozens, but ten. Cumulatively.

                Sergey, take my word for it, as once involved in the topic:
                in the SPM, there were a maximum of 4 SSBNs on patrol, of which 1 was French, 3 were Am. "Ten" did not fit there according to "operational" standards. yes
                And the second. About ships that have exhausted their resource. If there is no solution for their repair and modernization, they are disposed of (sent to pins and needles, as we say).
                Yours faithfully, hi
                1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
                  Marzhecki (Sergei) 27 January 2022 13: 59
                  -1
                  Sergey, take my word for it, as once involved in the topic:
                  in the SPM, there were a maximum of 4 SSBNs on patrol, of which 1 was French, 3 were Am. "Ten" did not fit there according to "operational" standards. yes

                  OK. So, the sources I turned to are lying. Learn for the future.
                  IMHO, that 10, that 4 is still not good.

                  And the second. About ships that have exhausted their resource. If there is no solution for their repair and modernization, they are disposed of (sent to pins and needles, as we say).

                  I repeat. I did not mean to turn a completely technically faulty ship into a training ship. Do not take too literally my proposal to use the old TAVKR on the Black Sea as a training one.
                  But I think you understood me correctly. smile
                  PS
                  In general, I will be grateful if you continue to correctly correct me where I made an inaccuracy. I am not a military expert, but I have been interested in the topic of the fleet for a long time, one might say, my hobby. Sincerely. hi
                  1. Boa kaa Offline Boa kaa
                    Boa kaa (Alexander) 27 January 2022 14: 02
                    0
                    Quote: Marzhetsky
                    But I think you understood me correctly.

                    I always understand and respect smart people who do not persist in "heresy" and agree with the weighty arguments of their opponents.
                    drinks
  2. Alexander K_2 Offline Alexander K_2
    Alexander K_2 (Alexander K) 27 January 2022 00: 08
    -1
    So can sell to China as well as the same type for scrap? And "frighten" NATO with all sorts of "Maces", yes, "CheKMaTa" mi?
    1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
      Marzhecki (Sergei) 27 January 2022 17: 58
      -1
      Yes you would sell hi
  3. Every Offline Every
    Every 22 February 2022 14: 07
    0
    In general, the idea has its place. But there are certain - BUT.
    He will not be able to base himself in Tartus, the places there are shallow. We'll have to keep him on a distant roadstead, and not at the pier. Hence the problems with the supply, everything will have to be delivered, and not loaded from the shore.
    Now work is underway to deepen the bottom, but it will only be enough for such a large ship - the question is.
    UDC with PLO helicopters, plus guards, can also drive NATO submarines.
    Another option is TOF. As a light (escort) aircraft carrier, it would greatly help in the deployment of APRKSN. It is no secret that American multi-purpose submarines land on the tail of our submarine cruisers almost at the exit from bases. And if coastal aviation can drive them off the coast, then at a distance (1000 km from the coast and more), our missile carriers are left to their own devices. This is where the Kuznetsov with its air wing would come in handy. He could accompany the submarine in the ocean zone and, with the help of fighters, drive away or destroy the Poseidons.
    Moreover, sufficient conditions have been created in the Far East for the repair of such ships. I'm talking about the Zvezda Shipyard on the Big Stone. True, infrastructure will have to be created for maintenance and parking.