Soviet aircraft carrier Ulyanovsk
Department of Defense artwork of a Soviet nuclear-powered aircraft carrier similar to Ulyanovsk, under construction.
|Builders:||Chernomorsky Shipyard 444|
|Preceded by:||Kuznetsov class|
|Succeeded by:||Project 23000E|
|Name:||Ulyanovsk (Russian: Улья́новск)|
|Ordered:||11 June 1986|
|Laid down:||25 November 1988 at Nikolayev 444|
|Struck:||1 November 1991|
|Fate:||Scrapped at 20% completion|
|Length:||321.2 m (1,054 ft) overall|
|Draught:||10.6 m (35 ft)|
|Speed:||30 knots (56 km/h)|
|Range:||Unlimited distance; 20–25 years|
|Endurance:||Limited only by supplies|
Ulyanovsk (Russian: Улья́новск, IPA: [ʊˈlʲjanəfsk]) was a ship that was laid down as the first of a class of Soviet nuclear-powered supercarriers, but was abandoned and scrapped after the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. It was intended for the first time to offer true blue water aviation capability for the Soviet Navy. The ship would have been equipped with catapults that could launch fully loaded aircraft, representing a major advance over the Kuznetsov-class ships, which could only launch high-powered aircraft from their ski-jumps.
Ulyanovsk was based upon the 1975 Project 1153 OREL, which did not get beyond blueprints. The initial commissioned name was to be Kremlin, but was later given the name Ulyanovsk after the Soviet town of Ulyanovsk, which was originally named Simbirsk but later renamed after Vladimir Lenin's original name because he was born there.
It would have been 85,000 tonnes in displacement (larger than the older Forrestal-class carriers but smaller than contemporary Nimitz class of the U.S. Navy). Ulyanovsk would have been able to launch the full range of fixed-wing carrier aircraft, as it was equipped with two catapults as well as a ski jump. The configuration would have been very similar to U.S. Navy carriers though with the typical Soviet practice of adding anti-ship missile (ASM) and surface-to-air missile (SAM) launchers. Its hull was laid down in 1988, but construction was cancelled at 20% complete in January 1991 and a planned second unit was never laid down. Scrapping began on 4 February 1992 and was completed by the end of October 1992.
The Ulyanovsk air group was to include 68 aircraft with the following planned composition:
- 44 fighter aircraft, combination of Sukhoi Su-33 (Su-27K) and Mikoyan MiG-29K fighters
- 6 Yakovlev Yak-44 RLD Airborne early warning aircraft
- 16 Kamov Ka-27 Anti-submarine warfare helicopters
- 2 Ka-27PS Air-sea rescue helicopters
The ship was equipped with two "Mayak" steam catapults made by the Proletarian factory, a ski-jump, and 4 arresting gear. For storage of aircraft, it had a 175×32×7.9-m hangar deck with aircraft elevated to the flight deck by 3 elevators with carrying capacities of 50 tons (two on the starboard side and one on the port). The stern housed the "Luna" optical landing guidance system.
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