Russia trying to sell 100,000 ton heavy aircraft carriers

Russia’s Krylovsky State Research Center (KRSC) has developed a new multipurpose heavy aircraft carrier design called Project 23000E or Shtorm (Storm).

A scale model of the ship is going to be demonstrated for the first time at the International Maritime Defence Show 2015 in St Petersburg from 1-5 July, Valery Polyakov, the deputy director of KSC, told IHS Jane’s .

“The Project 23000E multipurpose aircraft carrier is designed to conduct operations in remote and oceanic areas, engage land-based and sea-borne enemy targets, ensure the operational stability of naval forces, protect landing troops, and provide the anti-aircraft defence,” Polyakov said.

The design has a displacement of 90-100,000 tons, is 330 m in length, 40 m wide, and has a draft of 11 m. It has a top speed of 30 kt, cruising speed of 20 kt, a 120-day endurance, a crew of 4-5,000, and designed to withstand sea state 6-7. Currently it has been designed with a conventional power plant, although this could be replaced by a nuclear one, according to potential customers’ requirements.

KRSC’s design for a future Russian supercarrier. The model features a split air wing comprising navalised T-50 PAKFAs and MiG-29Ks, as well as jet-powered naval early warning aircraft and Ka-27 naval helicopters. Source: Nikolai Novichkov

NBF – India and China are the main likely customers for 100,000 ton supercarrier. China could buy one in order to learn the technology. However, Russia has never built a carrier of this size. Russia also had a lot of problems with an aircraft carrier project they performed for India.

The 45,000 ton aircraft carrier project was an upgrade of a mothballed Soviet carrier. The project ending up costing $2.2 billion instead of $974 million and it was years late. The builder Sevmash spent a few years extorting more money for the project.

The ship carries a powerful air group of 80-90 deck-based aircraft for various combat missions. The model features a split air wing comprising navalised T-50 PAKFAs and MiG-29Ks, as well as jet-powered naval early warning aircraft, and Ka-27 naval helicopters.

The carrier’s flight deck is of a dual design, features an angled flight deck, and four launching positions: two via ski-jump ramps and two via electromagnetic catapults. One set of arrestor gear is included in the design. The design also features two islands; a feature only previously seen on the latest UK design.

Protection against air threats will be provided by four anti-aircraft missile system combat modules. An anti-torpedo armament suite is available.

The electronic support complex includes integrated sensors, including a multifunction phased array radar, electronic warfare system, and communications suite.

Polyakov pointed out that these specifications are subject to change, correction, and modification during the ship’s design and development at every stage of work, once potential customers come up with a demand to change the weapons package and equipment.