A Glavkomat source has told Izvestiya the Navy plans to send a draft plan for a 60,000-ton displacement nuclear-powered aircraft carrier back to the designers for revision.
The Krylov TsNII and Nevskiy PKB have been on the task for 2 and 1/2 years, and have not received official word back from the Navy, according to the paper.
The source said:
“They essentially proposed the old Soviet ‘Ulyanovsk’ aircraft carrier to us, which wasn’t built due to the USSR’s collapse. At the end of the 1980s, it was a modern carrier, a worthy answer to the American ‘Nimitz,’ but today it’s literally last century.”
This is the same complaint made by at least some generals and defense officials and commentators — the OPK is proposing (or providing) Soviet- or 1990s-era weapons systems to the military. By the same token, that may be about all it can do in its current condition. The Russians don’t seem to have an answer for breaking this vicious circle.
The Russian carrier design is half the size of the future Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), envisions steam rather than electromagnetic catapults, and lacks AWACS aircraft. But the designers claim the Navy gave them little to go on.
Izvestiya recalled former Navy CINC Vladimir Vysotskiy saying last year he hopes for one carrier strike group each for the Northern and Pacific Fleets by 2027.