Soviet aircraft carrier Ulyanovsk

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United States Department of Defense artwork of a Soviet nuclear-powered aircraft carrier similar to Ulyanovsk, under construction.
Department of Defense artwork of a Soviet nuclear-powered aircraft carrier similar to Ulyanovsk, under construction.
Class overview
Name: Ulyanovsk class
Builders: Chernomorsky Shipyard 444
Operators:  Soviet Navy
Preceded by: Kuznetsov class
Succeeded by: Project 23000E
Planned: 2
Cancelled: 2
Soviet Union
Name: Ulyanovsk (Russian: Улья́новск)
Ordered: 11 June 1986
Laid down: 25 November 1988 at Nikolayev 444
Launched: 1995 (planned)
Struck: 1 November 1991
Fate: Scrapped at 20% completion
General characteristics
Type: Aircraft carrier
  • 65,800 tons standard
  • 75,000 tons full load[1]
Length: 321.2 m (1,054 ft) overall[1]
  • 83.9 m (275 ft) overall[1]
  • 40 m (130 ft) at waterline[1]
Draught: 10.6 m (35 ft)[1]
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h)
Range: Unlimited distance; 20–25 years
Endurance: Limited only by supplies
Complement: 3,400 total[1]
Aircraft carried:

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.[2] 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[3] 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.[1] Scrapping began on 4 February 1992 and was completed by the end of October 1992.

Air group[edit]

The Ulyanovsk air group was to include 68 aircraft with the following planned composition:[1]

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.

Yak-44 and Su-33 on the deck ATAKR Ulyanovsk

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Yu.V. Apalkov, "Korabli VMF SSSR", Galeya Print, Sankt-Peterburg 2003
  2. ^ "Moscow set to upgrade Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier". sputniknews. 6 April 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  3. ^ Rochlin, G. I.; La Porte, T. R.; Roberts, K. H. (Autumn 1987). "The Self-Designing High-Reliability Organization: Aircraft Carrier Flight Operations at Sea". Naval War College Review. LI (3). Archived from the original on December 13, 2006.
  • Saunders (editor), Stephen (2006). Jane's Fighting Ships 2006-7. Coulsdon, Surrey: Janes Information Group. ISBN 978-0-7106-2753-7.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)

External links[edit]