Large Russian Aircraft Carrier Design Unveiled

A design for a large, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was unveiled at the seventh maritime and defense show held in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Krylov State Research Center—a government-owned scientific institute specializing in marine technologies—showed a scale model of a “multipurpose aircraft carrier” that was comparable in size to the U.S. Navy Nimitz class. The Russian ministry of defense is funding Krylov’s work under Project Shtorm.

The carrier measures 95,000 to 100,000 metric tons by displacement, with a length of 330 meters and a width of 40 meters. It has a “twin island” layout similar to that found on the new British Queen Elizabeth-class carriers. In addition to the big ski jump in the bow, characteristic of previous Russian carriers, the Shtorm comes with a second, smaller, one at the end of the angled deck. According to Krylov’s leaflet, the carrier is outfitted with two catapults. The scale model showed four. Other visible characteristics include four arrestor wires, four aircraft elevators, two cranes and several multi-tube rocket launchers.

The carrier would have a crew of 4,000 to 5,000, and an air wing of 80 to 90 aircraft. The scale model included combat aircraft on the flight deck that were reminiscent of a navalized version of the Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA fifth generation fighter with folding wings and empennage; AWACS aircraft that resembled a single-tailed American E-2C Hawkeye; and Kamov Ka-27 series helicopters. The Shtorm is roughly 1.5 times larger the Kuznetsov, and twice the size of the INS Vikramaditya that Russia delivered to India in November 2013.