MOSCOW, May 16. /TASS/. The United Ship-Building Corporation will present several finalized preliminary designs of a new domestic aircraft carrier to the Defense Ministry by the end of this year, a source in the defense sector told TASS on Wednesday.
If one of the designs is approved, the experimental design work on the new aircraft carrier may begin in 2019, the source said.
"The United Ship-Building Corporation has been instructed to submit its finalized proposals [on the new aircraft carrier] to the Defense Ministry for examination by the end of the year. One of the versions envisage, in particular, building an aircraft carrier with a displacement of 75,000 tonnes," the source said.
If one of the designs is approved, "the ship’s technical designing and the preparation of the design documentation may begin from 2019 and the aircraft carrier may be laid down in 2021-2022 and its construction will last about 10 years, according to preliminary estimates," the source explained.
Russia’s state armament program for 2018-2027 stipulates "initial financing" under the new carrier’s program.
The United Ship-Building Corporation did not comment for TASS on the information provided by the source.
The Russian Navy currently operates the sole medium-size oil-fueled aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov (the heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser according to the domestic classification). As the Russian Navy stated before, the fleet expects to get a cutting-edge nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a displacement of no less than 70,000 tonnes by late 2030.
The Krylov State Research Center earlier designed and unveiled a preliminary design of an aircraft carrier for foreign customers, which was also offered for the domestic Navy. Project 23000 was named Storm. Its sketch design suggests the aircraft carrier will displace 80,000-90,000 tonnes and feature a combined powerplant (both the nuclear reactor and the gas turbine engine). The carrier’s air group is expected to comprise up to 60 aircraft.