Russian ship designers push ahead with a nuclear aircraft carrier design and a smaller non-nuclear aircraft carrier

The Nevskoye Design Bureau’s CEO, Sergey Vlasov, told TASS that the corporation was pushing ahead with research into an aircraft carrier of the future entirely of its own accord, without any terms of reference from the Navy to rely on.

Vlasov speculated there may be two projects:

1. a nuclear-powered ship with a displacement of 80,000-85,000 tonnes and some 70 aircraft on board
2. a non-nuclear aircraft carrier having a displacement of 55,000-65,000 tonnes which will be able to carry 50-55 aircraft.

Earlier, Admiral Viktor Chirkov, Russian Navy commander, mentioned plans for designing large amphibious assault ships of the future capable of carrying a dozen helicopters and 450 Marines. The Defense Ministry said the first new generation amphibious assault ship will be delivered by 2020. The ship’s displacement is estimated at 16,000 tonnes.

Japan, China and many other nations have the smaller flattop amphibious assault ships. They are in the 10,000 to 42,000 ton range. China is developing a 40000 ton helicopter carrier which is similar to the USA Wasp class ship. The USA has eight of those 40000 ton helicopter carrier ships.

China displayed the model of its 40,000-ton super large amphibious assault ship, known as M1, during the Sixth International Offshore Engineering Technology and Equipment Exhibition held in Beijing in April. Unlike the 28,000-ton Izumo-class, designed with five helicopter landing spots on its flight deck, the M1 has six. While the Izumo can carry a total number of 14 aircraft, how many the M1 can carry remains a mystery.

Japanese 28000 ton Izumo

Each Wasp class ship has a displacement of 40,500 long tons (41,150 t) at full load, is 831 feet (253.2 m) long, has a beam of 104 feet (31.8 m), and a draft of 27 feet (8.1 m). For propulsion, most of the ships are fitted with two steam boilers connected to geared turbines, which deliver 70,000 shaft horsepower (33,849 kW) to the two propeller shafts

US 40,000 ton Wasp class carriers

Nuclear power unit for aircraft carrier to be tested on Lider-class destroyer

In early July, a shipbuilding industry source told TASS that the nuclear power generating facility for the propulsion system of Russia’s future aircraft carrier will be worked out on the Lider (Leader) class destroyer.

The Russian Navy plans in the future to obtain new aircraft carriers, but the timeframe for the construction this class of vessel is unknown. The Navy has said that a prospective aircraft carrier will be built no earlier than in 2030.

Last week Russia and France agreed to discontinue the contract for the supply of two Mistral helicopter carriers ordered for the Russian Navy in 2011.

UK is close to finishing two non-nuclear 65000 ton aircraft carriers

HMS Queen Elizabeth’s diesel generator sets will provide sufficient electrical power to drive the ship at cruise speeds. However, when higher speed is required, two gas turbine alternators will also be used.

Together they will produce 109MW of power – enough to power a medium-sized town.

The two members of the Queen Elizabeth class (her sister ship being HMS Prince of Wales) are each expected to be capable of carrying forty aircraft, a maximum of thirty-six F-35s and four helicopters. The 2010 SDSR anticipated the routine deployment of twelve F-35Bs, but a typical warload will be 24 F-35Bs and some helicopters.