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November 23, 2012 16:01

Development of new aircraft carrier for the Russian Navy will be completed by 2020 - commander-in-chief (Part 2)

MOSCOW. Nov 23 (Interfax-AVN) - The Russian Navy needs modern aircraft carriers and the appearance of the new vessel is already being developed, Admiral Viktor Chirkov, commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, said.

"My personal opinion is that we really need [the construction of a new aircraft carrier]," Chirkov told reporters on Friday.

"We need to understand what the aircraft carrier should be like and, most importantly, the need to have vessels of such class," Chirkov said.

Chirkov specified that the work on the aircraft carrier project is to be completed under the state armaments program through 2020.

On Thursday, Admiral Chirkov accompanied Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on a working visit to the Eastern Military District, where the defense minister visited Pacific Fleet objects.

In July, Chirkov reported that appropriate research institutes had been commissioned to develop the appearance of the aircraft carrier and that funding had been provided for the project.

In 2009, the Main Headquarters of the Russian Navy said the policies of the Russian Navy development for the period until 2050-2060 envisioned the creation of 5-6 carrier-borne groups. The construction of the aircraft carriers was expected to begin in 2012.

The Russian Navy has the heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov. In the USSR, the only aircraft carrier construction base was located at the Black Sea Shipbuilding Plant in Mykolayiv (Ukraine). Five aircraft-carrying cruisers (Kyiv, Minsk, Novorossiysk (Project 1143), Baku (Project 1143.4) and Tbilisi (Project 1143.5)) were built there. The first three ships were removed from the fleet after less than 15 years of service and were later sold abroad. The two latter vessels were named Admiral Gorshkov and Admiral Kuznetsov after the collapse of the USSR (the Admiral Gorshkov was sold to the Indian Navy and the Admiral Kuznetsov is now serving in the Northern Fleet).

The other two cruises, Varyag and Ulyanovsk, were never finished: the hull of the former was sold to China, where it became the first national aircraft carrier, and the latter was cut on a staple.

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