Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov service return delayed to late 2024

Credit: Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

After a series of delays, Russia’s sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov could re-enter service at the end of 2024, state-owned news agency TASS reported. 

The return of the warship was scheduled for early 2024, but the date had to be shifted according to a TASS source in the shipbuilding industry as per “the adjusted plan.” 

“Factory sea trials of the aircraft carrier should begin in the spring of 2024, state trials – in the autumn of the same year,” the source said. “If the tests pass without comment, then the ship can be handed over to the fleet at the end of 2024. If something goes wrong during the tests, then a shift to 2025 is inevitable.” 

Admiral Kuznetsov entered service in 1990 as the flagship of the Russian Navy. The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was last deployed back in 2016 when it was used to support Russian operations in Syria.  

In 2017 it underwent a significant repair phase aiming to extend its service life by 25 years alongside updating electronic warfare, communication, propulsion, and combat systems.  

Though the initial predictions expected the repairs to be completed by 2020 or 2021, various factors have led to an extension of the maintenance timeline. 

On December 12, 2019, the warship caught fire for the first time due to the misfunction of power cables. It was damaged by fire a second time on December 22, 2022, for an unknown reason. 

TASS source stated that this time the delay was “due to the problems of untimely deliveries of equipment by the cooperation enterprises and constant changes in customer requirements.” 

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