Project 1143.7 Orel Ul'yanovsk class
Initial design work on a full-deck nuclear-powered aircraft began in 1973 under Project #1153 "Orel", which envisioned catapult-launched aircraft such as the MiG-23K fighter and Su-25K attack aircraft. The ship would have displaced 80,000 tons and carried as many as 70 aircraft. Following the death of Defense Minister Marshal Grechko, who had sponsored the project, the Defense Ministry was taken over by Marshal Ustinov, who did not share his predecessor's priorities. This Project 1153 effort was terminated in 1983.
Plans for a large-deck carrier were subsequently revived under Project #1143.7, which was undertaken at the Nevskoye Planning and Design Bureau beginning in 1984. The carrier was laid down in November 1988, but with the end of the Cold War the project was cancelled in November 1991. At that time construction was about 45% complete, and scrapping began in February 1992. The metal prepared for building the second ship of this class was also scrapped.
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