Russia Unveils Light Aircraft Carrier Concept

Russia Unveils Light Aircraft Carrier Concept

 Nevskoye Design Breau has unveiled its conceptual lightweight aircraft carrier design for helicopters and UCAVs. The design is minimal in terms of displacement at 50000 tons. Despite the Russian Navy asking for a 90000-ton carrier, the bureau developed a smaller design with gas turbine propulsion to operate helicopters and UCAV platforms, EDR reports. 

The design is very early, so there is no decision on the exact type of takeoff. Despite that, the very short takeoff distance would require a catapult system with which Russia has no experience. On the other hand, the landing clearance is inadequate for fixed-wing platforms with a small distance. 

Despite the multiple problems with design, it isn’t hard enough to see that Russian design bureaus are headed towards more manageable carriers to succeed the Admiral Kuznetsov (063) carrier, which is inoperable because of its malfunctions and accidents. The same design bureau had previously proposed a similar design named Varan with CATOBAR operation, but it didn’t go beyond the conceptual stage. 

Nikolai Anatolyevich Yevmenov, former commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, said in an interview in January 2024 that having an aircraft carrier strategically reinforces the country’s maritime strength.