There is no smoke without fire: results of the first military campaign, “Admiral Kuznetsov”

Alexander Khrolenko, MIA browser “Russia Today”

On the roads of Severomorsk Feb. 9 ceremony of a meeting of crews heavy nuclear missile cruiser “Peter the Great” and the heavy aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” with the participation of Russian Navy Commander Admiral Vladimir Korolev, and Commander of the Northern Fleet, Vice-Admiral Nikolai Evmenova. A day earlier naval strike group returned to the Kola Bay, breaking four months of 18 thousand nautical miles, performing tasks of combat duty in the Mediterranean.

The first in the history of combat use of deck-based fighters TARKR “Admiral Kuznetsov” in the military operation took place on 15 November 2016. Vladimir Korolev said that the Russian Navy has received considerable combat experience, which enables to adjust the training and naval action groups (including the composition of interspecific forces), will form the basis of requirements for new aircraft carriers.

Trek ship of the Russian Navy group to the shores of Syria confirmed the readiness of the fleet and its ability to operate in the far field independently and in cooperation with the inter-branch groups. And he confirmed the relevance of the doctrine of the sea state.

Tasks performed a long voyage. Personnel is healthy. Warships and auxiliary vessels are normal.

And yet, what are the visible results?

Goals achieved

The long voyage, which began on October 15, 2016, naval aircraft carrier battle group of TARKR “Peter the Great” aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” BOD “Vice-Admiral Kulakov” and “Severomorsk” tanker “Sergey Osipov” and “Kama” rescue tug “Nikolay Chiker”, operated in the regions of northern, north-eastern Atlantic and in the Mediterranean sea. BOD “Severomorsk” continues to bear the combat watch in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.

The ships have come to the Syrian shores on November 8, and the efforts of Russian air group, based at the airfield Hmeymim Deck-based fighters MiG-29K and Su-33 began flying over Syria on 10 November. During this period, there was fighting in the east of Aleppo, which was later released by terrorists.

Deck fighters attacked the headquarters of militants and points management, firing positions and reference points from 15 November. Within two months of the pilots, “Admiral Kuznetsov” performed 420 sorties (including 117 – at night), destroyed more than a thousand objects of the group “Islamic State” (banned in Russia) and other terrorist groups.

Su-33 and MiG-29K on the deck of the heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser “Admiral Kuznetsov” in the Mediterranean Sea. Archive

Russian ships have successfully integrated into interspecific combat management system, formed in Syria. “Admiral Kuznetsov” has fulfilled the task to destroy ground targets at a considerable distance precision-guided weapons with the help of his wing and provided air defense ship shock connection.

The tactics in the campaign will be analyzed and used to develop a promising application of system of aircraft carrier naval forces of Russia in various areas of the oceans.

Note: Severomorsk participated in the operation at the request of the President of the Syrian Arab Republic Bashar al-Assad – against the backdrop of the illegitimate use of force in the region, a number of Western countries. That is the Russian Navy at the same time demonstrated the effective combat readiness, high sea, and political culture.

Identified deficiencies

Aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” was created primarily for anti-ship missiles strikes on large surface targets and enemy air defense solutions naval strike group. That is, initially in the project might impact missile cruiser predominated over combat capabilities wing.

That is why the application of carrier-based aircraft, “Admiral Kuznetsov” aircraft carrier US yields. Krylovskiy correct to compare the conceptual project of Russian aircraft carrier with a displacement of 100 thousand tons with a nuclear power plant.

“Clean aircraft carrier” of the Russian Navy will carry on board up to 90 aircraft. Build it will start no earlier than 2025.

In the campaign on board the aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” is 10, Su-33, three MiG-29KR and one MiG-29KUBR, 18 helicopters of various types. As a result of accidents lost two deck-based fighters MiG-29K and Su-33 – in the sea, out of the combat zone of application. This is evidence of the imperfection of individual systems of aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” and the lack of experience of combat use of carrier-based aircraft.

US Navy Aircraft Carriers also have a loss.

Identified deficiencies aircraft carrier can be eliminated by correction of combat training and technical improvements in the overhaul with a deep modernization. It is planned that the aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” will stand in the dock in the first half of 2017, the modernization will take about two years.

One of the notable features of the ship strike group of the Northern Fleet was the thick black smoke from the chimney of the aircraft carrier in the English Channel.

Smoke has been the subject of discussion and ridicule in the Western media. So, Bloomberg has noted: “” Admiral Kuznetsov “should have stayed at the Russian coast. Or, better yet, go to a landfill. As the pile of scrap metal, he will be much more useful than a Russian power projection tool. ”

However, in the Mediterranean sea smoke disappeared and no longer appeared. The visual effect was associated with the calibration of the power plant cruiser – without any political meaning.

Projecting power it held quite successfully. And in the West were forced to acknowledged: “” Kuznetsov “is still wiped his nose,” the pride of the US Navy “- the newest destroyer Invisible Zumwalt, who completely lost the fighting capacity and mobility as a result of damage during the passage through the Panama Canal.”


Global resonance

With all due respect to the attracting the most public attention and “full of symbolism” aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov”, the flagship of the group was still heavy nuclear missile cruiser “Peter the Great” – the most armed and protected surface ship in the world. It is no coincidence the Norwegian edition called appearance in the region of Northern Fleet’s largest demonstration of Russian military power in the last few years.


Hike carrier battle group to the Mediterranean attracted attention of NATO and the Western media, which pointedly did not notice the successful return of Russian ships in Severomorsk. Probably hooked. But before the United Kingdom spent 1.4 million pounds on naval tracking heavy aircraft carrying cruiser.

For ships of Strike Group 9 November 2016 tried unsuccessfully to keep the Dutch diesel-electric submarine, but BOD “Severomorsk” and “Vice-Admiral Kulakov” zapelengovali submarine at 20 km distance and pushed her out of the area.

Perhaps the “Admiral Kuznetsov” no longer young, and “Peter the Great” was not able, fortunately, to show all their combat capabilities. But Russia is back in the world’s oceans with a qualitatively new fleet – the long haul.


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