Russia to modernise sole aircraft carrier in 2017
Russia's aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is set to be refitted in 2017
The process is likely to take at least 2-3 years, leaving the Russian navy without an aircraft carrier for some time
Russia's sole aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov , will undergo an extensive overhaul and re-fit from early 2017, sources within Russia's defence industrial complex have told the Russian news agency TASS.
The sources said a contract was due to be signed soon with Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) and that the overhaul work will involve a top-to-bottom modernisation of the carrier.
"Work on this vessel will begin after its returns from a long-distance and endurance voyage in the Mediterranean in the first quarter of 2017 and will last for two to three years," one source was quoted as saying.
Admiral Kuznetsov , which was launched in what is now Ukraine in 1985, has not undergone a major refit since a two-year lay-up in 1996-98. In the middle of 2015 the carrier spent three months in dry dock having a minor overhaul at the 82 Shipyard floating dockyard at Roslyakovo.
The modernisation of the carrier will take place in two phases, according to the reports. The initial contract will be for the configuration development that dictates which of the carrier's systems will be upgraded or replaced. "The Ministry of Defence [MoD] contract with USC on the aircraft carrier's repair and modernisation is worth several billion roubles, is carried out under the technical oversight of the Nevskoye Design Bureau, and is now ready - it will be signed in June," the source stated.
Prior to this, modernisation work for servicing and periodic maintenance on the carrier was carried out under a separate agreement between the design bureau and the Northern Fleet command. This contract has reportedly already been completed.
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