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Russia to feature new aircraft carrier concept at Army-2019 arms show

The new aircraft carrier may have a gas turbine power unit, according to designers
A model of an aircraft carrier on display at the Army-2018 military and technical forum Marina Lystseva/TASS
A model of an aircraft carrier on display at the Army-2018 military and technical forum
© Marina Lystseva/TASS

KUBINKA /Moscow Region/, June 25. /TASS/. Russia’s Krylov State Scientific Center will display at the Army-2019 military and technical forum a principally new concept of an aircraft carrier that will outshine the UK’s flattop Queen Elizabeth by its operational characteristics, Center Scientific Head Valery Polovinkin told TASS on Tuesday.

"This year, we will demonstrate a full-fledged aircraft carrier from our viewpoint with a displacement of about 60,000 tonnes and with a very substantial and balanced pool of aircraft," the Krylov Center’s scientific head said, noting that "this is a fundamentally new solution for the aircraft carrier project."

"An aircraft carrier with a conventional propulsion unit is the distinctive feature of the version offered to the Navy. It features a gas turbine power unit. To a certain extent, it can be compared to the UK’s aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth. They are about equal by their displacement but the conceptual project of the Krylov Center has an advantage by the number of aircraft, sea endurance and, most importantly, by the number of take-off places," Polovinkin said.

This advantage has traditionally been achieved through the developer’s concentrated work on the hull form and the efforts to increase the deck area, he said. "The latter factor will allow housing parallel take-off positions and we are attempting to boost supplies, in the first place, aircraft fuel supplies," the Center’s scientific head said.

"This is a full-fledged aircraft carrier but with certain restrictions," Polovinkin stressed.

Alternative to nuclear-powered aircraft carrier

The aircraft carrier conceptual project offered by the Krylov Scientific Center is an alternative to the current plans of designing a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier from 2023, he said.

"In any case, this is an alternative proposal with the conventional power unit. Moreover, a standardized range of gas turbines has been created thanks to the successes of Saturn [manufacturer] and our gas turbine producers. We believe it is quite possible to hope that serial-produced turbine generators will appear in the near future and they will be used to power this ship [aircraft carrier]," Polovinkin said.

"Such an aircraft carrier will be four-six times cheaper than its nuclear-powered version," the Krylov Centre scientific head stressed.

The first version of the conceptual project of a large aircraft carrier with a nuclear-powered propulsion unit and the ability to carry up to 100 aircraft and displace about 100,000 tonnes was demonstrated at the Army-2017 forum. Last year, the conceptual project of a light aircraft carrier was presented at the forum, he said.

The Army-2019 military and technical forum will run at the Patriot Congress and Exhibition Center outside Moscow on June 25-30. According to preliminary estimates, more than 1,500 enterprises and organizations will take part in the form and feature over 27,000 products and technologies.