The U.S. Navy is not the only one requiring carrier upgrades.
Once on the verge of being sold for scrap, the Admiral Kuznetsov — the flagship of the Russian Navy — will be given new life and numerous upgrades in a five-year dry dock starting in 2012. The replacement of a defective propulsion unit tops the overhaul list. The steam turbines will give way to a gas-turbine,or perhaps even a nuclear propulsion unit.
The distinctive ski-jump will remain, but the carrier also will receive catapults. The hangar area will be expanded to accommodate more fixed-wing aircraft. In addition, anti-ship cruise-missile launchers will be dismantled, air defenses will be strengthened, short to medium-range SAM and anti-aircraft artillery weapons systems will be added and the Soviet’s top combat information and control system, the Sigma, will be installed.
Often called the “ship of a thousand names, the Admiral Kuznetsov entered service in 1991. You can get more details on its upgrades here.
Back on the homefront, the half-billion-dollar program to keep the aircraft carrier Enterprise in service so it could do one final float is 31 percent over budget, seven months overdue, and has stretched and pulled the deployments of other carriers. As such, many are wondering whether keeping ‘Big E’ is a Big Error. You can read about it here.
With the removal of ASMs, does the pretense of an “aircraft carrying heavy cruiser” finally fall away? Will she be able to transverse the Bosphorus?