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Russian Navy should operate at least four aircraft carriers, expert believes

The US Navy currently operates 11 aircraft carriers

MOSCOW, July 26. /TASS/. The Russian Navy should operate at least four aircraft carriers, Scientific Head of the Krylov State Research Center Valery Polovinkin told TASS on Thursday.

The Russian Northern and Pacific Fleets "should have aircraft-carrying ships by definition," the expert noted.

"Simple arithmetic shows that a ship cannot constantly stay in operation and should undergo various types of maintenance, repairs and so on. So, even theoretically, there should be at least two ships per region," Polovinkin said.

Speaking about the US Navy, which currently operates 11 aircraft carriers, the expert noted that the United States had an excessive number of carrier-led groups but the availability of only one aircraft carrier was a "deadlocked situation."

This ship "won’t be able to accomplish the entire range of missions and a half of the fleet will only have to deal with protecting it," the expert said.

"As for the displacement of the future Russian aircraft carrier, I would give the figures of 60,000 to 100,000 tonnes. This range is easy to explain: the displacement choice directly depends on the type of the ship’s powerplant and the lineup of aircraft," the Krylov Center scientific head said.

Aircraft carriers in Russia

The Russian Navy currently operates the sole medium-sized conventional aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov (the heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser under the Russian classification). The Russian Navy has said it expects to get the promising nuclear-powered aircraft carrier by late 2030 and its displacement should be no less than 70,000 tonnes.

The Krylov State Research Centre has developed and presented to the public at large the conceptual design of an aircraft carrier for foreign customers, which was earlier offered for the domestic fleet as well. The Project 23000 was called Shtorm (Storm). The conceptual design envisages the aircraft carrier to displace 80,000-90,000 tonnes and feature a combined powerplant (a nuclear reactor and a gas turbine engine). The ship’s air group should comprise up to 60 aircraft.