New Launch Systems in Works for Russia’s Aircraft Carriers

  • Our Bureau
  • 02:24 PM, July 4, 2018
  • 4469
New Launch Systems in Works for Russia’s Aircraft Carriers
Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier: Russian Navy Photo

Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) is developing a new launch system for warplanes to take off from aircraft carriers.

"Work is currently underway to develop systems that can also be used on modern aircraft carriers. For example, we are working on special modifications of new aircraft launch systems," USC President Alexei Rakhmanov was quoted by TASS as saying on Wednesday.

The United Shipbuilding Corporation president did not specify the characteristics of these systems or the timeframe of their creation.

Current generation Russian aircraft carriers use the ‘Ski-jump’ system wherein the aircraft taxies over an elevated runway to have the nose pointing upwards and gain height rapidly. However, carriers built in the US and France use an electro-magnetic system to catapult the aircraft upwards.

The electromagnetic catapult system technology is complex and has never been exported by the United States. According to reports,  talks are on between the US and India to help build such a system for India’s under-construction carriers.

The St. Petersburg-based Nevskoye Design Bureau has started work on an electromagnetic aircraft launch system for aircraft carriers, according to TASS reports. A catapult launch system is needed to accelerate planes with the thrust/weight ratio insufficient for taking off from the ski-jump ramp on the carrier’s fore end.

A steam catapult is a mechanism driven by high pressure steam. A special channel is arranged under the deck for a shuttle to move along it. The shuttle takes hold of the aircraft’s nose gear and pulls the plane. The catapult gives the plane the necessary speed for the take-off.

An electromagnetic catapult is a mechanism, which accelerates an aircraft by linear induction motors instead of steam shuttles. This principle is used on monorail railroads, the TASS report said

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