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Madurai

Rejected Weapons--Orel

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After the introduction of the Moskva-class helicopter cruisers, the Soviet Navy's first tentative steps towards an embarked aviation capability, the next step seemed obvious: a large American-style supercarrier. Defense Minister Marshal Grechko authorized design studies for such a ship, under the name Project Orel ("Eagle") around 1968.

By 1972, Project 1160 emerged as an 80,000-ton nuclear-powered ship with three steam catapults, deck-edge elevators, and short-ranged defensive weapons in sponsons. The massive island and heavy SSM armament would remain distinctively Russian design features for subsequent carrier designs as well. The initial carrier group was composed of notional conversions of the MiG-23 and -27 types for defense and attack, though as the designs progressed, navalized versions of newer planes were allowed for. An air group of 70 planes and helicopters was planned.

sov_1160_02.jpg

sov_1160_01.jpg

By 1976, Project 1153 had lost one of the catapults and gained more antiship missiles, over Grechko's objections, who wanted a western-style carrier. Grechko's death and replacement by Ustinov ended the Orel program, as many within both the navy and air force establishments had thrown in with the idea that VTOL aircraft operating from smaller ships would be more cost-effective.

A lot of the design work was preserved, eventually going into the post-Kiev work on a new CVN, which eventually became the non-nuclear Kuznetzov.

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You forgot the nuclear-powered "Ulyanovsk" and "Varyag", both scrapped by Ukraine after the fall of the USSR. "Varyag" was 70% ready (the hull), if I remember that right.

"Admiral Kuznetsov" itself was barely saved from the "parade of independence", as that was called in the USSR, pulled thru the turkish straights and classified as a "cruiser" to make that possible. She had many systems not yet operational too.

"Admiral Kuznetsov", now in miserable condition due to the lack of proper maintenance (no dry-docking is possible, as I heard and read, but much needed), is the only true carrier of the Russian Navy. Going to be the first and the last one, at least for a few decades, in my humble opinion.

"Varyag" and "Ulyanovsk" were sometimes considered to be "Kuznetsov" 's sisterships, but that was not true, "Ulyanovsk" was a completely different project. Just like "Kirov"-class cruisers, each ship was unique in design. Typical, for the USSR and its shipbuilding program. The number of different designs implemented was a very heavy burden, compare to more streamlined and standartized US Navy shipbuilding practice.

I could be wrong, writing this post completely out of the top of my head.

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You forgot the nuclear-powered "Ulyanovsk" and "Varyag"' date=' both scrapped by Ukraine after the fall of the USSR. "Varyag" was 70% ready (the hull), if I remember that right.[/quote']

Not forgotten, just beyond the scope of this particular entry. Ulyanovsk was being referred to as the "Kremlin"-class in the NATO assigned designation scheme for a while.

did you see the posts in the off-topic forums wherein they discussed a Russian VTOL carrier?

I did not, sadly.

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Not forgotten' date=' just beyond the scope of this particular entry. [i']Ulyanovsk was being referred to as the "Kremlin"-class in the NATO assigned designation scheme for a while.

I did not, sadly.

cc dig down, it's no more than two weeks old. There was a thread about a Soviet aircraft carrier; some theorized it was a helicopter carrier. There were even 'google earth' screenies on it. I forget the name of the thread. Do a search for threads that 'keitel66' has posted in and the name should jump out at you.

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cc dig down' date=' it's no more than two weeks old. There was a thread about a Soviet aircraft carrier; some theorized it was a helicopter carrier. There were even 'google earth' screenies on it. I forget the name of the thread. Do a search for threads that 'keitel66' has posted in and the name should jump out at you.[/quote']

Oh, right, the satellite photos thing. I was in on that one.

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Interesting.

Today no such thing will ever be feasible, or even needed I think.

I think "prestige" would not allow it but I think the Federation would be better served by selling off or placing all it's large, dated systems into reserve and focus on simply creating a good coastal defence force of small ships/aircraft/SSKs and also it's Ballstic submarine deterence force.

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