(The National Interest) The Kremlin’s sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is set to make its combat debut in the eastern Mediterranean in November according to Russian media.
The 55,000-ton vessel was originally scheduled to depart for the Syrian coast in October, but the deployment has been pushed back. While the Russian government has not stated exactly why the Kuznetsov’s deployment is being delayed, one the of reasons is likely due to the lack of pilots qualified to takeoff and land from an aircraft carrier. […]
While the Russians might hope to use PGMs such as the KAB-500 and X-35 over Syria, more realistically, Kuznetsov’s MiG-29KRs will likely use a mix of guided and unguided weapons. “I would venture that the actual armament will include a mix of guided and unguided munitions,” said Dmitry Gorenburg, a senior research scientist specializing in Russian military affairs at Center for Naval Analyses.
Nonetheless, the new Fulcrum variant was supposed to be replacing the Flanker-D onboard Kuznetsov due to its multirole capabilities. “The main driver of the switch is that the MiG is better for airstrikes than the Su-33, which is primarily suited for aerial combat—a largely unnecessary mission since the end of the Cold War,” Gorenburg said. […]
Read More © The National Interest