Russia to deploy aircraft carrier to Mediterranean Sea
The only functioning Russian aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, will be deployed to the Mediterranean Sea in the summer of 2016 as reported by TASS citing a high-ranking source in the main command of the Russian Navy.
As the agency’s representative noted, while in the Mediterranean Sea, the cruiser will head a permanent grouping of the Russian Navy in the region.
He added that after a trip to the Mediterranean Sea, the Admiral Kuznetsov will be out of service for 2 – 2 ½ years for repairs beginning at the end of 2016.
In mid-January, the Chief of Central Shipbuilding for the Russian Ministry of Defense, Vladimir Tryapchinnikov, said that the modernization of the cruiser will start as expected at the end of this year. "The ship needs to undergo technical restorations, so during 2016, it will perform missions according to its design," explained Tryapchinnikov; adding that the renewed ship’s air wing will include new MiG-29K fighters and other aircraft.
The cruiser was built at the Back Sea Shipyard in 1982. It has made repeated trips to the Mediterranean Sea. The ship is armed with Granit winged anti-ship missiles, Klinok zenithal missiles, Kashtan gun-missile systems, 30-mm ZAK AK-630 automatic naval artillery capabilities, as well as a complex system of anti-submarine defenses.