The Russian Navy’s Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier damaged in fire last year, will embark on its sea trial in 2022.
"Next summer, the Admiral Kuznetsov will be docked again and will be then set for sea trials, namely in 2022,” a source in the national shipbuilding corporation was quoted as saying by TASS today.
The warship was damaged in a fire a year ago that was caused by welding slag coming into contact with an oily rag discarded in the hold, from which the fire spread to power cables. Two persons were killed while 14 others were injured in the inferno. Earlier, the ship had suffered a collision with a 70 ton crane.
In 2017, Russia said it will modernize aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov with electronic warfare, communication and aviation network at a cost of about $715 million.
Alexey Rakhmanov, president of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) in an interview to Interfax in June revealed that the vessel will receive an upgrade to its boilers and fuel system to drastically reduce its exhaust smoke. "Given that all boilers installed on an aircraft carrier will be replaced, there will be no more black smoke (after that). Actually, there was a technical problem with regulating the supply of fuel, at that time they did not pay attention to it. At the moment, the problem is completely resolved," said Rakhmanov.
Detailing the repairs and additions to the carrier, Rakhmanov said that the aircraft carrier can carry more than 50 aircraft. During the modernization, Admiral Kuznetsov will receive a marine version of the Pantsir air defense complex, new boilers, pumps and new flight and communication systems.
The Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia’s sole aircraft carrier, was commissioned in 1990 and has not undergone any major overhauls following a two-year refit between 1996 and 1998. It has conducted 420 sorties destroying 1,252 terrorist targets in Syria during a three-month deployment.
Admiral Kuznetsov's main fixed-wing aircraft is the multi-role Sukhoi Su-33. It can perform air superiority, fleet defense, and air support missions and can also be used for direct fire support of amphibious assault, reconnaissance and placement of naval mines. The carrier also carries the Kamov Ka-27 and Kamov Ka-27S helicopters for anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, and small transport.