- We doubt Russia is about to start construction of an aircraft carrier any time soon
- On the contrary, there is every reason to believe Russia is for the time-being focused on increasing its defensive naval capabilities
- That said it makes every sense for Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation to continue to draw up designs for such ships, both to stay in shape and to try to sell the Russian defense ministry and the public on the idea of building one
This article originally appeared at International Business Times
Russia is developing its own aircraft carrier that will run on nuclear power, a report said Monday, citing a spokesman for the country’s United Shipbuilding Corporation. Ahead of the failed Mistral warship deal with France, the Kremlin claimed in May that it would build its own warships that would be better than the French-made vessels.
“The project of a future Russian aircraft carrier, or as it is sometimes referred to as naval aircraft carrying complex, is in the design phase,” the spokesman told the state-run Tass news agency on Monday. “Research conducted by the Nevskoye Design Bureau indicates that the sole way of meeting the Navy’s requirements, such as power generation, sea endurance and voyage range is to equip the ship with a nuclear power plant.”
Nevskoye Design Bureau, Russia's primary designer of large surface vessels, designs heavy aircraft carriers and large landing ships. It also builds civilian tankers and bulk cargo carriers.
According to Sergey Vlasov, CEO of Nevskoye Design Bureau, there may be two types of Russian aircraft carriers -- a nuclear-powered ship with a displacement of 80,000 to 85,000 tons and nearly 70 aircraft on board, and a non-nuclear aircraft carrier with a displacement of 55,000 to 65,000 tons, with a capacity to carry about 55 aircraft.
The nuclear-power generation facility for the future aircraft carrier is expected to be tested on the Leader class destroyer, Tass reported, adding that the construction of the warships is not likely to be completed before 2030.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Francois Hollande agreed on cancelling the controversial deal, under which France was expected to deliver two Mistral-class aircraft carriers to the Russian navy. France decided not to go ahead with the deal, and instead agreed to pay Russia 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) for terminating the contract.