MOSCOW, July 26 (RIA Novosti)
- Russian defense minister denies plans to build aircraft carriers
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- Russia defense minister denies plans to build aircraft carriers
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Russia will begin building new aircraft carriers after 2020, Russian navy chief Viktor Chirkov said on Thursday, in a major boost to Moscow's ability to deploy air power abroad.
“At the moment, the construction bureau has received its assignment, the documents are being processed, and the money for the construction program has been allocated,” Chirkov said.
If the plans reach fruition, it would be a major boon to the Russian navy, which currently fields only one aging aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov.
The Kuznetsov, part of the navy’s Northern Fleet, was built in 1985 and has been scheduled to undergo a major overhaul.
Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov first announced a plan in November 2011 to construct new aircraft carriers, RIA Novosti reported, but he also said at the time that the state had not provided enough financing.
Another former Russian carrier, the Admiral Gorshkov, was sold to India in 2005, refitted and renamed the Vikramaditya. It is currently undergoing sea trials in the Barents Sea.
Russia is currently in the middle of a huge rearmament program, with $659 billion to be spent on arms procurement by 2020 according to the Defense Ministry.
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- shanksinhaRussian Navy needs air assets17:05, 27/07/2012Russian Navy needs to maintain intrinsic aviation assets of its own. There is also a need to maintain carrier operation experience, nurtured so painstakingly since mid 90s. Ideally there should be minimum three carriers eventually, so that two can be available at any given time for pacific and northern fleets (the third being in refit).
By the way, it is a habit by Russian press to add "aging" before any asset like in this case Kuznetsov. An aircraft carrier of such tonnage is meant for 40 years operation, and Kuznetsov has just reached its prime, not aging as the commentator puts it. After the scheduled mid life refit and new air fleet of MiG-29k it will evolve in to a much potent platform.
In light of the present situation in the Middle East, Russia and Israel find themselves facing common challenges. Under these newly emerging situations, Russia sees its partnership with Israel as a potential asset in resolving acute regional issues. From a Russian perspective, the compatibility of Israeli and Russian interests could contribute to such a partnership.