Soviet/Russian Aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov

Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov (originally named Riga, renamed Leonid Brezhnev then Tbilisi) is an aircraft carrier (heavy aircraft carrying cruiser (TAVKR) in Russian classification) serving as the flagship of the Russian Navy. She was originally commissioned in the Soviet Navy, and was intended to be the lead ship of her class, but the only other ship of her class, Varyag, has never been commissioned and was sold to by Ukraine under the condition she would never be refitted for combat. 

While designated an aircraft carrier by the West, the design of the Admiral Kuznetsov class implies a mission different from that of aircraft carriers of either the United States Navy or those of the Royal Navy. Rhe Kuznetsov is intended to support and defend strategic missile-carrying submarines, surface ships, and maritime missile-carrying aircraft of the Russian fleet. 

Admiral Flota Sovetskovo Soyuza Kuznetsov, constructed at Nikolayev South Shipyard in Nikolayev, was launched in 1985, and became fully operational in 1995. An official ceremony marking the start of construction took place on September 1, 1982 though she was laid down in 1983. The vessel was first named Riga, but in November 1982 the name was changed to Leonid Brezhnev, in August 1987 to Tbilisi, and finally on October 4, 1990 to Admiral Flota Sovetskovo Soyuza Kuznetsov, referred to in short as Admiral Kuznetsov. In November 1989 she undertook her first aircraft operation trials. In December 1991, she sailed from the Black Sea to join the Northern Fleet. Only from 1993 on did she receive aircraft. 


Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1985
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Russia (USSR) 1995 2008 View

Ordered: 3 March 1981

Laid down: 22 February 1983

Launched: 5 December 1985

Commissioned: 21 January 1991

Displacement: 43,000 t (42,321 long tons) light 

53,000-55,000 t (52,000-54,000 long tons) standard 

66,000-67,500 t (65,000-66,000 long tons) full load

Length: 1,000 ft (300 m) o/a 

900 ft (270 m) w/l

Beam: 240 ft (73 m) o/a 

125 ft (38 m) w/l

Draft: 36 ft (11 m)

Propulsion: Steam turbines, 8 boilers, 4 shafts, 200,000 hp (150 MW) 

2 x 50,000 hp (37 MW) turbines 

9 x 2,011 hp (1,500 kW) turbogenerators 

6 x 2,011 hp (1,500 kW) diesel generators 

4 x fixed pitch propellers

Speed: 32 knots (37 mph or 59 km/h)

Range: 3,850 nmi (7,130 km) at 32 kn (37 mph or 59 km/h)

Endurance: 45 days

Complement: 1,960 crew 

626 air group 

40 flag staff 

3,857 rooms

Armament: 8 x AK-630 AA guns (6 x 30 mm, 6,000 round/min/mount, 24,000 rounds) 

8 x CADS-N-1 Kashtan CIWS (each 2 x 30 mm Gatling AA plus 16 3K87 Kortik SAM) 

12 x P-700 Granit SSM 

18 x 8-cell 3K95 Kinzhal SAM VLS (192 missiles; 1 missile per 3 seconds) 

RBU-12000 UDAV-1 ASW rocket launchers (60 rockets)

Aircraft carried: 12 x Sukhoi Su-33 fighters 

5 x Sukhoi Su-25UTG/UBP aircraft 

4 x Kamov Ka-27LD32 helicopters 

18 x Kamov Ka-27PLO helicopters 

2 x Kamov Ka-27S helicopters

End notes