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Project 1143 Krechyet
Kiev class

The 273 meter long Krechyet class aircraft carrier supports strategic missile submarines, surface ships, and naval aircraft of the Russian fleet. In compliance with the new ship classification system introduced in the Navy, these ships were categorized as heavy aircraft carrying cruisers. Krechyet class ships are capable of engaging in surface, antisubmarine, and anti-air warfare.

With a 14,700 square meter flight deck, arrestor wires, and a bow ski-jump, the carrier airwing consists of 14 Yak-41M (Freestyle) vertical launched interceptors, 8 Yak 38 (Forger) attack aircraft, 10 Ka-27 PLO (Helix), 2 Ka-27 PS (Helix) search and rescue helicopters, and 4 Ka-27 RLD (Helix) helicopters. Two starboard elevators lift the aircraft from the hangar deck to the flight deck. Equipped with the Bazalt anti-ship missile system, the ship has 8 [or 12] surface-to-surface missile launchers. The Krechyet class air defense system consists of 24 reinforced Klinok vertical missile launchers and 192 anti-air missiles.

The Project 1143 ships were built at the Chernomorsky Plant. Each ship featured somewhat different arrangements. In the second unit, launched as the Minsk, the aircraft capacity was increased by 50% a changing the arrangement of aircraft on the hangar deck. During refits the flight deck edges were rounded and wind deflectors were fitted forward. The third and fourth units were authorized following the decision in 1973 not to proceed with the construction of the Orel-class full-deck carriers.

They were designed to carry new-generation flying vehicles, such as Yak-36P (Yak-141) supersonic VTOL aircraft [subsequently cancelled ] and Ka-27 helicopters, in addition to Yak-38 airplanes and Ka-25 helicopters.

The 38,000 ton Kiev was the prototype of the second class of Soviet carrier. The Kiev passed the Turkish Straits on 18 July 1976, to international protests about possible infractions of the Montreaux Convention. Three more ships were later built in this class; Minsk, Baku (later renamed Admiral Gorshkov) and Novorossiysk; all three subsequently transited the Straits. A fifth unit of the class was approved in 1979, but not built.

The fourth unit of the Kiev-class, the Baku [later renamed Gorshkov], is sometimes considered a separate class. Improvements included a phased array radar, extensive electronic warfare installations, and an enlarged command and control suite. The flight deck was extended forward approximately 5 meters over those of the first three ships. Other modifications included the addition of four additional SS-N-12 SLCM launchers (for a total of 12), the deletion of the SUW-N-1 launchers for nuclear armed FRAS-1 anti-ship/anti-submarine ballistic rockets, and deletion of the SA-N-3 surface-to-air missile, and 10 21-inch torpedo tubes. The ship is equipped with an Udav-1 integrated anti-submarine warfare system with 60 anti-submarine rockets.

In 2004, Russia concluded a major agreement with India for the transfer, following modernization, of the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, together with 12 MiG-29K fighters, four MiG-29KUB training jets, as well as six to eight Ka-28 Helix-A and Ka-31 Helix-B helicopters for about $1.5 billion. It was originally estimated that the ship would be ready for delivery by 2008, but by the beginning of 2007 it appeared as though the date could be postponed until sometime in 2010.

In August 2000 it was reported that a shipyard in the Tianjin, China bought the retired aircraft carrier Kiev from Russia. The Kiev, which served in the Russian navy from 1975 to 1994, was said to be heading from Shanghai to Tianjin. China and Russia made the 70 million yuan (HK$66 million) deal in January 2000. The Kiev became an attraction for both domestic and overseas investors since it was introduced to Tianjin Municipality in 2001. The municipal government invested 5 billion yuan (602 million dollars) to build a large-scale theme park featuring the Kiev, which opened on 01 May 2004. The Tianjin International Amusement Port, designed by the Parsons Corp., attracted an investment of 1 billion yuan (120 million dollars) from companies in the United States, Singapore and Hong Kong, according to the municipal economic and trade commission.



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