Russia has started working on the concept of a new non-nuclear aircraft carrier that will house a future naval version of the Su-57 Stealth fighter jet.
“The new concept of a non-nuclear aircraft carrier for the Russian Navy provides for over 40 aircraft, jets and sea drones to be placed on it,” Pavel Filippov, director general of Krylov State Research Centre said in an interview to Sputnik.
The research centre has developed a new concept of a multipurpose non-nuclear aircraft carrier for the Russian Navy, with a displacement capacity of 40,000 tonnes. The cost of the new carrier is estimated at 200 billion roubles ($3.13 billion), and construction is expected to take five years.
According to our concept, the aircraft carrier will be able to house around 40 or more aircraft," Filippov said adding that the aircraft carrier could also possibly house Russia's newest Okhotnik type sea drones and a naval version of Russia's Su-57 fighter jet.
This is the first time that news of a naval version of the Su-57 jet has emerged from Russia. The United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) which is developing the Su-57 has only talked about an air-force version. In fact, a UAC source had earlier denied that a naval version was in the offing.
To compete with the US Navy’s F-35B, the proposed naval version of the Su-57 should have short take-off and vertical landing, a feature that makes the US Navy jet safe to land on carriers and the short runway requirement enables it to operate from helicopter carriers such as the Japanese Izumo.