As the Russian Navy prepares for the largest drills in decades (to be held in the Caucasus and Mediterranean areas towards the end of January), with warships from all of Ivan’s fleets, some amazing footage of Russia’s flagship Admiral Kuznetsov has emerged.
The Sukhoi Su-33 Flanker-D is an all-weather carrier-based air defence fighter based on the Su-27 “Flanker” and initially known as Su-27K. It has larger (folding) wings, upgraded engines, twin nose wheel, strengthened undercarriage for blue waters ops.
The aircraft was tested aboard Kuznetsov in 1995, and officially entered service with the Russian Navy in August 1998. Only 24 examples were produced when the Varyag was sold to China.
The “heavy aircraft-carrying missile cruiser”, equipped with an air wing of Sukhoi Su-33s (as well as a dozen long-range anti-ship missiles) is a frequent presence in the Mediterranean Sea off Syria, where the ship deployed towards the end of 2011, as a show of support for the Assad regime facing an uprising.