Russian MiG-29K from Adm. Kuznetsov aircraft carrier has crashed in Mediterranean sea

Pretty embarrassing incident for the Russian aircraft carrier at its debut in the air war in Syria. Fortunately, the pilot ejected safely according to the first reports.

As reported by Combat Aircraft a Russian Navy Mig-29KUBR embarked aboard Adm. Kuznetsov aircraft carrier has crashed on Nov. 13.

The aircraft is one of the four naval Fulcrums operated by the 100th Independent Shipborne Fighter Aviation Regiment.

According to our sources, the incident occurred around 14.30Z and involved a two-seater Fulcrum in a formation of three Mig-29s operating from the carrier in the eastern Mediterranean Sea off Syria: whilst one of the remaining aircraft recovered aboard the Kuznetsov the third one diverted for unknown reasons to Syria.

Footage allegedly showing Mig-29s in the skies over Aleppo had happered earlier on the same day.

The pilot of the doomed aircraft ejected safely and was rescued by a helicopter while the Russian Navy radioed all the nearby vessels to remain 5NM away from the crash point.

Needless to say the incident unfolded while several NATO aircraft and warships closely monitored the operations aboard Russia’s only carrier.




About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Naval aviation is hard, and must be practiced continuously to be safe and relevant. So this ship just lost 25% of it combat power, another illustration why small deck carriers (with 4-6 jets) are not a replacement for CVNs (take heed USMC.)

    • Would be valid if there were only 4 fixed winged aircraft operating off the Kuznetsov, you have your numbers wrong.

    • You clearly have no idea what you talking about. Kuznetsov carries 8 Su33 and 4 mig29 as well as 15 helicopters. What 25% ?

      • What’s the difference? That deck should be operating 80+ aircraft during simultaneous arming, landings, and launchings. Sorry, it’s been 30+ years for the Russians and they’re still operating at such a slow pace with such small numbers on such a large deck. They should be operating at least half the capabilities of the old USS Kitty Hawk.

        • The Russians don’t have much experience with operations like this. I guess that’s why they are there now. The ship also is a missile cruiser with large anti-ship weapons. A hybrid, so to speak.

          Effectively they’ve only become a real army again in 2008, when they got the wake up call in Georgia. So it’s not 30, but 8 years. Not a very long time.

          From 1990 to 1999 the country was plundered by oligarchs that were supported by “the west”. This is what our globalists want to have back. But Putin denied it to them and so he’s the big evil guy now for them. It took Russia some time to recover. So there’s a gap of at least 15 years when the military was on low flame. No wonder Chechnya was such a mess. That won’t happen again. Russia has done much since then and there’s still a lot to do and to come. New ships, planes, tanks and so on.

        • Actually, no. This is a missile cruiser designed for land attack from the days when the USSR might need to break out of the Baltic. Aviation was additional to its missile role. It is not a true carrier as we in the West know them.

      • the Mig-29K’s have been repeatedly identified in press reports as central to the Kuznetsov’s ground attack power, so yes, they did lose 25 percent of that. the Su-33’s are reported to have some ground attack capability but are optimized for air defense.

      • Yea but it’s not. Just like the America Class LHAs, they have the potential to operate more aircraft than they routinely carry, yet 4-6 is the standard compliment. And then consider that CVNs have 20 times the magazine stores and multiples of aviation fuels than small decks, and can operate a variety of heavy aircraft with useful load outs. Small carriers are prestige vessels for navies to show the flag, but lack endurance and combat power inherent to their displacement.

  2. While it’s a costly accident, For all we know they have some extra migs in Iran..if they want to restock, they have many options.

  3. ” … the incident unfolded while several NATO aircraft and warships closely monitored the operations aboard Russia’s only carrier.”

    Like I posted the other day, so much for the Russian NOTAM. The U.S. and NATO operates where it wants, when it wants.

    • Accept in Syria where the US needs to seek permission from the Russians before they fly any missions. Otherwise they get shot down.

      • ” US needs to seek permission from the Russians before they fly any missions. Otherwise they get shot down.”

        > Hahaha that is funny..

        Its called deconfliction. To decrease the chances of an military or international incident BOTH SIDES inform the other of their actions and whereabouts. Sometimes however this does not happen…

        • That’s what the US likes to call it to save face. The reality is the Russians have told the Americans, in no uncertain terms, you don’t do diddly squat in Syria without our permission.

          The facts are the Russians are operating in Syria with impunity. They are killing US backed terrorists and there is nothing the US can do about it.

          • No, we are definitely flying around Syria where we decide. We have a pretty complete air picture, the Russians don’t. There are agreements in place with how their aircraft interact with ours. They’ll fly fairly close to us, and we won’t budge. Thankfully their interactions with our HVAA have pretty much always been professional. But we definitely don’t need their permission to fly in Syria, lol.
            -Someone who’s flown over Syria

      • S400 shoot down an F-22? That’s laughable! The U.S. can defeat the S400/500 system – destroy it – as easily as Israel defeated Assad’s S300 system protecting that Syrian nuke plant under construction a few years ago. Russian SAMs are no match for U.S. fighters, especially stealth ones. American pilots know they have the equipment (ESM) and missiles needed to take them out.

        The U.S. and NATO do not ask Russia for permission to do anything. Both countries deconflict, but that’s so Russian planes don’t get shot down as happened with that pitiful Su-24 when a Turkish F-16 shot it out of the sky like it was a slow scared pidgeon. Russian pilots fear U.S. air dominance and everyone knows it. Su-30 is no match for F-15, F-16, F/A-18 and F-22. That’s the God’s honest truth!

        • LOL! You are a troll. Syria only received its s300s in 2013. The Israeli strike took place in 2007. Syria also recently shot down an Israeli F16.

          The only reason the US has not imposed a no fly zone in Syria to protect the moderate terrorists is because of the Russian anti aircraft systems operating there.

          • WRONG! S300 was guarding the Syrian nuclear complex under construction by NORK engineers, and Israel flew right by them. You research it yourself.

            • For those who want the truth, the bombing of the alleged Syrian nuclear facility took place in 2007. Russia did not deliver S300s to Syria until 2013.

              Moderators, I can understand fanboism but please stop such blatant lies from being posted.

          • “Syria also recently shot down an Israeli F16.”

            I haven’t heard about this incident. Can you provide sources, please?

              • “According to Sputnik…”

                A state-run and operated “news” outlet that targets pro-Russian propaganda to audiences outside of Russia running a “story” of the S300 shooting down a Western fighter.

                “An SA-9 from the Iftiraas Air Defense Base and an SA-2 near the Khalkhaala AB were fired. But, the technical wizardry was most on display when an S-300 (SA-10 “Grumble) super-air-defense missile”

                That’s not a news story, that’s an attempt to market a weapon system to potential clients. “Hey, buyers, all those old SA-9s and SA-2s you’ve been hanging on to for decades ain’t gonna cut it any more, but these SA-10s are the shit!”

                Any time a western aircraft is downed, the other side goes out of their way to broadcast images and video of the incident or the wreckage for propaganda purposes.

                We have seen pix and video of Syrian MiGs shot down by opponents of Assad. We have photos of the Su-24 that was shot down by the Turkish AF, as it was going down. We have photos of the F-117 that was downed over Serbia in the late 1990s. The proliferation of phone cameras has made this easier and faster than ever before.

                So there is NO way that the Syrians wouldn’t be flaunting pix of the wreckage of a Viper they shot down?

                Oh, that’s because, “The S-300 vaporized the Israeli bomber.” Well now, isn’t that convenient that any evidence was vaporized; as in it no longer physically exists?

                Which is a really weird claim to make since the S300 utilizes a 100 kg (220 lb) High Explosive (HE) warhead triggered by a proximity fuze. That means the missile doesn’t even physically hit the aircraft, it just gets close enough for the warhead to detonate, converting the missile’s casing and parts into shrapnel to tear into the target aircraft, resulting in breaking the plane and – if lucky – igniting the fuel. That’s nothing new; that’s how SAMs have worked since, well, forever. The fuel igniting won’t vaporize the aircraft, so there will always be debris. In other words, S300 can shoot you down, but it’s not going to vaporize *anything.*

                Sorry, but their claim doesn’t pass even the most basic of smell-tests.

        • Oh my bad – I forgot to add F-35. It would easily destroy Su-30 or Su-35 in air-to-air combat. Su-XX would never even get a shot off because they’d have no idea that they’re being targeted. I doubt the U.S., in air combat with Russia, would lose even a single 5th gen fighter. No – I take that back. I KNOW we wouldn’t lose a single 5th gen fighter. Neither the U.S. or our NATO allies who will fly them. Pak FA? It’s invited to the party! Just as long as Mama Svetlana knows her boy Ivan isn’t coming home.

      • Hahahhahahahahh. Do some research before posting next time superstar.

        BTW “Jon”, it’s except, not accept.

    • Shall I laugh? Of course NATO is interested in what the Russians are doing, trying to assess their abilities. But please, stop acting like you know what the Russians are up to and like NATO can stop it without risking to spark a chain of events that could lead to a major conflict. Russians are also flying over US ships in the Black Sea or Baltic Sea (Donald Cook anyone?), they escort surveillance aircraft and so on. Just like NATO does with Russian planes when they are flying close to the British islands or elsewhere. Nothing new, nothing special. But of course, for you it is.

      I’ve read a statistic somewhere else that there are 2 accidents with NATO planes and helicopters per week. Maybe not total losses as in a crash, but still… It’s normal, nobody makes a big deal about it. There can be technical failure and humans also make mistakes, no matter which flag they have sworn allegiance to.

      You often sound like you are heavily indoctrinated, leaving aside any reason and realism.

      • Russia lacks the military capability to engage in a “major conflict.” Russia has very little projectable offensive power and completely antiquated logistics capability. Not to mention a small economy and no global allies. Russia is not the Soviet Union. They are a poor and marginalized nation trying to cling to some semblance of their former power, but ultimately failing to maintain the facade.

          • Latest videos are showing a Bastion coastal defense system firing rockets at targets on the ground. And the Russians have brought seven S-300 to Syria.

      • Please tell me you’re not referring to that absolute idiocy about SU-24s shutting down radars and prompting sailors to “resign” on the Donald Cook. That’s been debunked in a million ways. Even RT refused to support that. If you think that happened you should probably go see the same shrink Leroy does.

        • No, I’m just pointing out an incident that has been recorded on video and used as “proof for Russian aggression” in our media (which is total BS).

  4. I am rooting for the Kuznetsov to break down and require a tow. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come!

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