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Saturday, 29 October 2016

The Secret Underground Complex of Mount Weather



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Just 46 miles from Washington DC, a mysterious and secretive underground military base exists, located deep inside a mountain near the rural town of Bluemont, Virginia.

Here lies Mount Weather, also known as the Western Virginia Office of Controlled Conflict Operations.

In March, 1976, The Progressive Magazine published an astonishing article entitled “The Mysterious Mountain.”

The author, Richard Pollock, based his investigative report on Senate subcommittee hearings and upon “several off-the-record interviews with officials formerly associated with Mount Weather.”


His report, and a 1991 article in Time Magazine entitled “Doomsday Hideaway”, supply a few compelling hints about what is going on underground.

Ted Gup, writing for Time, describes the base as follows:
“Mount Weather is a virtually self-contained facility. Aboveground, scattered across manicured lawns, are about a dozen buildings bristling with antennas and microwave relay systems. An on-site sewage-treatment plant, with a 90,000 gallon-a-day capacity, and two tanks holding 250,000 gallons of water could last some 200 people more than a month; underground ponds hold additional water supplies. Not far from the installation’s entry gate are a control tower and a helicopter pad. The mountain’s real secrets are not visible at ground level.”
The mountain’s “real secrets” are protected by warning signs, 10 foot-high chain link fences, razor wire, and armed guards. Curious motorists and hikers on the Appalachian trail are relieved of their sketching pads and cameras and sent on their way. Security is tight.

The government has owned the site since 1903; it has seen service as an artillery range, a hobo farm during the Depression, and a National Weather Bureau Facility. In 1936, the U.S. Bureau of Mines took control and started digging.

Mount Weather is virtually an underground city, according to former personnel interviewed by Pollock. Buried deep inside the earth, Mount Weather was equipped with such amenities as:

  • private apartments and dormitories
  • streets and sidewalks
  • cafeterias and hospitals
  • a water purification system, power plant and general office buildings
  • a small lake fed by fresh water from underground springs
  • its own mass transit system
  • a TV communication system

Mount Weather is the self-sustaining underground command center for the Federal Emergency Management Agency – FEMA.

The facility is the operational center of approximately 100 other Federal Relocation Centers, most of which are concentrated in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. Together this network of underground facilities constitutes the backbone of America’s “Continuity of Government” program.

In the event of nuclear war, declaration of martial law, or other national emergency, the President, his cabinet and the rest of the Executive Branch would be “relocated” to Mount Weather.

What Does Congress Know about Mount Weather?

According to the Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights hearings in 1975, Congress has almost no knowledge and no oversight, budgetary or otherwise, on Mount Weather.

Retired Air Force General Leslie W. Bray, in his testimony to the subcommittee, said:
“I am not at liberty to describe precisely what is the role and the mission and the capability that we have at Mount Weather, or at any other precise location.”
Apparently, this underground capital of the United States is a secret only to Congress and the US taxpayers who paid for it. The Russians know about it, as reported in Time:
“Few in the U.S. government will speak of it, though it is assumed that all along the Soviets have known both its precise location and its mission (unlike the Congress, since Bray wouldn’t tell); defense experts take it as a given that the site is on the Kremlin’s targeting maps.”
The Russians attempted to buy real estate right next door, as a “country estate” for their embassy folks, but that deal was dead-ended by the State Department.

Mount Weather’s “Government-in-Waiting”

Pollock’s report, based on his interviews with former officials at Mount Weather, contains astounding information on the base’s personnel. The underground city contains a parallel government-in-waiting:
“High- level Governmental sources, speaking in the promise of strictest anonymity, told me [Pollock] that each of the Federal departments represented at Mount Weather is headed by a single person on whom is conferred the rank of a Cabinet-level official. Protocol even demands that subordinates address them as ‘Mr. Secretary.’ Each of the Mount Weather ‘Cabinet members’ is apparently appointed by the White House and serves an indefinite term. The facility attempts to duplicate the vital functions of the Executive branch of the Administration.”
Nine Federal departments are replicated within Mount Weather (Agriculture; Commerce; Health, Education & Welfare; Housind & Urban Development; Interior; Labor; State; Transportation; and Treasurey) as well as at least five Federal agencies (Federal Communications Commission, Selective Service, Federal Power Commission, Civil Service Commission, and the Veterans Administration).

The Federal Reserve and the U.S. Post Office, both private corporations, also have offices in Mount Weather.

Pollock writes that the “cabinet members” are “apparently” appointed by the White House and serve an indefinite term, but that information cannot be confirmed, raising the further question of who holds the reins on this Shadow Government.

Furthermore, appointed Mount Weather officials hold their positions through several elected administrations, transcending the time their appointers spend in office. Unlike other presidential nominees, these appointments are made without the public advice or consent of the Senate.

Is there an alternative President and Vice President as well? If so, who appoints them?

Pollock says only this:
“As might be expected, there is also an Office of the Presidency at Mount Weather. The Federal Preparedness Agency (precursor to FEMA) apparently appoints a special staff to the Presidential section, which regularly receives top secret national security estimates and raw data from each of the Federal departments and agencies.”
What Do They Do At Mount Weather?


1) Collect Data on American Citizens:

The Senate Subcommittee in 1975 learned that:
“[the] facility held dossiers on at least 100,000 Americans. [Senator] John Tunney later alleged that the Mount Weather computers can obtain millions of pieces of additional information on the personal lives of American citizens simply by tapping the data stored at any of the other ninety-six Federal Relocation Centers.”
The subcommittee concluded that Mount Weather’s databases “operate with few, if any, safeguards or guidelines.”

2) Store Necessary Information:

The Progressive article detailed that:
“General Bray gave Tunney’s subcommittee a list of the categories of files maintained at Mount Weather: military installations, government facilities, communications, transportation, energy and power, agriculture, manufacturing, wholesale and retail services, manpower, financial, medical and educational institutions, sanitary facilities, population, housing shelter, and stockpiles.”
This massive database fits cleanly into Mount Weather’s ultimate purpose as the command center in the event of a national emergency.

3) Play War Games:
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This is the main daily activity of the approximately 240 people who work at Mount Weather. The games are intended to train the Mount Weather bureaucracy to managing a wide range of problems associated with both war and domestic political crises.

Decisions are made in the “Situation Room,” the base’s nerve center, located in the core of Mount Weather.

The Situation Room is the archetypal war room, with “charts, maps and whatever visuals may be needed” and “batteries of communications equipment connecting Mount Weather with the White House and ‘Raven Rock’, the underground Pentagon sixty miles north of Washington, as well as with almost every US military unit stationed around the globe,” according to the Progressive article.
“All internal communications are conducted by closed-circuit color television (senior officers and ‘Cabinet members’ have two consoles recessed in the walls of their office.)”
Descriptions of the war games read a bit like a Ian Fleming novel. Every year there is a system-wide alert that “includes all military and civilian-run underground installations.”

The real, above-ground President and his Cabinet members are “relocated” to Mount Weather to observe the simulation. Post-mortems are conducted and the margins for error are calculated after the games. All the data is studied and documented.

4) Civil Crisis Management:

Mount Weather personnel study more than war scenarios. Domestic “crises” are also tracked and watched, and there have been times when Mount Weather almost swung into action, as Pollock reported:
“Officials who were at Mount Weather during the 1960s say the complex was actually prepared to assume certain governmental powers at the time of the 1961 Cuban missile crisis and the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963. The installation used the tools of its ‘Civil Crisis Management’ program on a standby basis during the 1967 and 1968 urban riots and during a number of national antiwar demonstrations, the sources said.”
In its 1974 Annual Report, the Federal Preparedness Agency stated that:
“Studies conducted at Mount Weather involve the control and management of domestic political unrest where there are material shortages (such as food riots) or in strike situations where the FPA determines that there are industrial disruptions and other domestic resource crises.”
The Mount Weather facility uses a vast array of resources to continually monitor the American people.

According to Daniel J. Cronin, former assistant director for the FPA, Reconnaissance satellites, local and state police intelligence reports, and Federal law enforcement agencies are just a few of the resources available to the FPA [now FEMA]for information gathering.
“We try to monitor situations and get to them before they become emergencies,” Cronin said. “No expense is spared in the monitoring program.”
5) Maintain and Update the “Survivors List”:

Using all the data generated by the war games and domestic crisis scenarios, the facility continually maintains and updates a list of names and addresses of people deemed to be “vital” to the survival of the nation, or who can “assist essential and non-interruptible services.”

In the 1976 article, the “survivors list” contained 6,500 names, but even that was deemed to be low.

Who Pays for All This, and how Much?

At the same time tens of millions of dollars were being spent on maintaining and upgrading the complex to protect several hundred designated officials in the event of nuclear attack, the US government drastically reduced its emphasis on war preparedness for US citizens.

A 1989 FEMA brochure entitled “Are You Prepared?” suggests that citizens construct makeshift fallout shelters using use furniture, books, and other common household items.

Officially, Mount Weather (and its budget) does not exist. FEMA refuses to answer inquiries about the facility; as FEMA spokesman Bob Blair told Time magazine:
“I’ll be glad to tell you all about it, but I’d have to kill you afterward.”
We don’t know how much Mount Weather has cost over the years, but of course, American taxpayers bear this burden as well. A Christian Science Monitor article entitled “Study Reveals US Has Spent $4 Trillion on Nukes Since ’45” reports that:
“The government devoted at least $12 billion to civil defense projects to protect the population from nuclear attack. But billions of dollars more were secretly spent on vast underground complexes from which civilian and military officials would run the government during a nuclear war.”
What is Mount Weather’s Ultimate Purpose?

We have seen that Mount Weather contains an unelected, parallel “government-in-waiting” ready to take control of the United States upon word from the President or his successor.

The facility contains a massive database of information on U.S. citizens which is operated with no safeguards or accountability. Ostensibly, this expensive hub of America’s network of sub-terran bases was designed to preserve our form of government during a nuclear holocaust.

But Mount Weather is not simply a Cold War holdover. Information on command and control strategies during national emergencies have largely been withheld from the American public.

Related: When Elites Go Into Hiding, It's Time to Pay Attention

Executive Order 11051, signed by President Kennedy on October 2, 1962, states that “national preparedness must be achieved as may be required to deal with increases in international tension with limited war, or with general war including attack upon the United States.”

However, Executive Order 11490, drafted by Gen. George A Lincoln (former director for the Office of Emergency Preparedness, the FPA’s predecessor) and signed by President Nixon in October 1969, tells a different story.

EO 11490, which superceded Kennedy’s EO 11051, begins:
“Whereas our national security is dependent upon our ability to assure continuity of government, at every level, in any national emergency type situation that might conceivably confront the nation…”
As researcher William Cooper points out, Nixon’s order makes no reference to “war,” “imminent attack,” or “general war.” These quantifiers are replaced by an extremely vague “national emergency type situation” that “might conceivably” interfere with the workings of the national power structure.

Furthermore, there is no publicly known Executive Order outlining the restoration of the Constitution after a national emergency has ended.

Unless the parallel government at Mount Weather does not decide out of the goodness of its heart to return power to Constitutional authority, the United States could experience an honest-to-God coup d’etat posing as a national emergency.

Like the enigmatic Area 51 in Nevada, the Federal government wants to keep the Mount Weather facility buried in secrecy. Public awareness of this place and its purpose would raise serious questions about who holds the reins of power in this country.

The Constitution states that those reins lie in the hands of the people, but the very existence of Mount Weather indicates an entirely different reality. As long as Mount Weather exists, these questions will remain.

Mount Weather’s Russian Twin On April 16, 1996, the New York Times reported on a mysterious military base being constructed in Russia:
“In a secret project reminiscent of the chilliest days of the Cold War, Russia is building a mammoth underground military complex in the Ural Mountains, Western officials and Russian witnesses say.

“Hidden inside Yamantau mountain in the Beloretsk area of the southern Urals, the project involved the creation of a huge complex, served by a railroad, a highway, and thousands of workers.”
The New York Times article quotes Russian officials describing the underground compound variously as a mining site, a repository for Russian treasures, a food storage area, and a bunker for Russia’s leaders in case of nuclear war.

It would seem that the Russian Parliament knows as little about Russian underground bases as the Congress knows about Mount Weather in the United States.
“The (Russian) Defense Ministry declined to say whether Parliament has been informed about the details of the project, like its purpose and cost, saying only that it receives necessary military information,” according to the New York Times.

“We can’t say with confidence what the purpose is, and the Russians are not very interested in having us go in there,” a senior American official said in Washington.

“It is being built on a huge scale and involves a major investment of resources. The investments are being made at a time when the Russians are complaining they do not have the resources to do things pertaining to arms control.”
Where’s the Money Coming From?

The construction of the vast underground complex in Russia may very well become a cause of concern to the Clinton Administration.

The issue of ultimate purpose for the complex, whether defensive (as with Mount Weather) or offensive (such as an underground weapons factory) is not the only issue Mr. Clinton has to worry about.

The real cause for concern is that the US is currently sending hundreds of millions of dollars to Russia, supposedly to help that country dismantle old nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, the Russian parliament has been complaining to Yeltsin that it cannot pay $250 million in back wages owed to its workers at the same time that it is spending money to comply with new strategic arms reduction treaties.

Aviation Week and Space Technology reported that:
“It seems the nearly $30 billion a year spent on intelligence hasn’t answered the question of what the Russians are up to at Yamantau Mountain in the Urals. The huge underground complex being built there has been the object of U.S. interest since 1992. ‘We don’t know exactly what it is,’ says Ashton Carter, the Pentagon’s international security mogul. The facility is not operational, and the Russians have offered ‘nonspecific reassurances’ that it poses no threat to the U.S.”
U.S. law states that the Administration must certify to Congress that any money sent to Russia is used to disarm its nuclear weapons. However, is that the case?

If the Russian parliament is complaining of a shortage of funds for nuclear disarmament, then how can Russia afford to build the Yamantau complex?

Are the Russians building an underground city akin to Mount Weather with American taxpayer’s money? Could American funds be subsidizing a Russian weapons factory?

Hopefully Congress will get a firm answer to these questions before authorizing further funding to Russian military projects
 Animated photo


Sunday, 23 October 2016

Inside the Russian Aircraft Carrier Admiral Kuznetsov


Image result for inside admiral kuznetsov



History
Soviet Union → Russia
Name: Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza N.G. Kuznetsov (Russian: Адмира́л Фло́та Сове́тского Сою́за Н.Г. Кузнецо́в)
Namesake: Nikolay Kuznetsov
Ordered: 3 March 1981
Builder:
Laid down: 1 April 1982 [1]
Launched: 6 December 1985 [1]
Commissioned: 25 December 1990[1][N 1]
(Fully operational in 1995)
Refit: May – August 2015[3]
Status: in active service
General characteristics
Class and type: Kuznetsov-class aircraft carrier
Displacement:
  • 43,000 tons (Standard-load)[1]
  • 55,200 tons (Full-load)[1]
  • 61,390 tons (Max-load)
Length:
  • 305 m (1,001 ft) o/a[1]
  • 270 m (890 ft) w/l
Beam:
Draft: 10 m (33 ft)[1]
Propulsion:
  • Steam turbines, 8 turbo-pressurised boilers, 4 shafts, 200,000 hp (150 MW)
  • 2 × 50,000 hp (37 MW) turbines
  • 9 × 2,011 hp (1,500 kW) turbogenerators
  • 6 × 2,011 hp (1,500 kW) diesel generators
  • 4 × fixed pitch propellers
Speed: 29 knots (33 mph; 54 km/h)[1]
Range: 8,500 nmi (15,700 km) at 18 kn (21 mph; 33 km/h)[1]
Endurance: 45 days[1]
Complement:
  • 1,690 (total); 1,690 ship's crew[1]
  • 626 air group
  • 40 flag staff
  • 3,857 rooms
Armament:
Aircraft carried:
  • Approx. 41 aircraft[4]
    • Fixed Wing;
    • Rotary Wing;
      • 4 × Kamov Ka-27LD32 helicopters
      • 18 × Kamov Ka-27PL helicopters
      • 2 × Kamov Ka-27PS helicopters
Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov (Russian: Адмира́л фло́та Сове́тского Сою́за Кузнецо́в "Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov") is an aircraft cruiser (heavy aircraft-carrying missile cruiser (TAVKR) in Russian classification) serving as the flagship of the Russian Navy. She was built by the Black Sea Shipyard, the sole manufacturer of Soviet aircraft carriers, in Mykolaiv within the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The initial name of the ship was Riga; she was launched as Leonid Brezhnev, embarked on sea trials as Tbilisi, and finally named Fleet Admiral of the Soviet Union N.G. Kuznetsov.[6]
She was originally commissioned in the Soviet Navy, and was intended to be the lead ship of her class, but the only other ship of her class, Varyag, was never completed or commissioned by the Soviet, Russian or Ukrainian navy. This second hull was eventually sold to the People's Republic of China by Ukraine, completed in Dalian and launched as Liaoning.[7] Kuznetsov was named after the Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Nikolay Gerasimovich Kuznetsov.

Contents

Role

While designated an aircraft carrier by the West, the design of Admiral Kuznetsov-class implies a mission different from that of either the United States Navy's carriers or those of the Royal Navy. The term used by her builders to describe the Russian ships is tyazholyy avianesushchiy kreyser (TAVKR) – "heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser" – intended to support and defend strategic missile-carrying submarines, surface ships, and naval missile-carrying aircraft of the Russian Navy.

The deck configuration has three launch positions for fixed-wing aircraft.
Admiral Kuznetsov's main fixed-wing aircraft is the multi-role Sukhoi Su-33. It can perform air superiority, fleet defence, and air support missions and can also be used for direct fire support of amphibious assault, reconnaissance and placement of naval mines.[8]
The carrier also carries the Kamov Ka-27 and Kamov Ka-27S helicopters for anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, and small transport.
For take-off of fixed wing aircraft, Admiral Kuznetsov uses a ski-jump at the end of her deck. On take-off aircraft accelerate toward and up the ski-jump using their afterburners. This results in the aircraft leaving the deck at a higher angle and elevation than on an aircraft carrier with a flat deck and catapults. The ski-jump take-off is less demanding on the pilot, since the acceleration is lower, but results in a clearance speed of only 120–140 km/h (75–85 mph) requiring an aircraft design which will not stall at those speeds.[9]
The cruiser role is facilitated by Admiral Kuznetsov's complement of 12 long-range surface-to-surface anti-ship Granit (SS-N-19) (NATO name: Shipwreck) cruise missiles. As a result, this armament is the basis for the ship's Russian type designator of "heavy aircraft-carrying missile cruiser".

History

1990s


Kuznetsov in the waters south of Italy with USS Deyo, foreground, steaming off her port side.
Admiral Flota Sovetskovo Soyuza Kuznetsov, constructed at Chernomorskiy Shipyard, also known as Nikolayev South Shipyard, in Nikolayev, now Mykolaiv, Ukrainian SSR, was launched in 1985, and became fully operational in 1995. An official ceremony marking the start of construction took place on 1 September 1982; in fact she was laid down in 1983. The vessel was first named Riga, then the name was changed to Leonid Brezhnev, this was followed by Tbilisi. Finally, on 4 October 1990,[10] she was renamed Admiral Flota Sovetskovo Soyuza N.G. Kuznetsov, referred to in short as Admiral Kuznetsov.[6] The ship was 71% complete by mid-1989. In November 1989 she undertook her first aircraft operation trials. In December 1991, she sailed from the Black Sea to join the Northern Fleet. Only from 1993 on did she receive aircraft.
From 23 December 1995 through 22 March 1996 Admiral Kuznetsov made her first 90-day Mediterranean deployment with 13 Su-33, 2 Su-25 UTG, and 11 helicopters aboard.[11] The deployment was to allow the carrier, which was accompanied by a frigate, destroyer and oiler, to adapt to the Mediterranean climate and to perform continuous flight operations until 21:00 each day, as the Barents Sea only receives about one hour of sunlight during this time of year.[12] This cruise marked the 300th anniversary of the Russian Navy celebrated in 1996. During that period the carrier lay at anchor off the port of Tartus, Syria.[13] Her aircraft often made flights close to the Israeli shore line and were intercepted by Israeli F-16s.[13] During the deployment, a severe water shortage occurred due to evaporators breaking down.[12]
At the end of 1997 she remained immobilized in a Northern Fleet shipyard, awaiting funding for major repairs, which were halted when they were only 20% complete. The overhaul was completed in July 1998, and the ship returned to active service in the Northern fleet on 3 November 1998.

2000–2010


Sukhoi Su-33 aircraft aboard Kuznetsov during exercises in the Barents Sea in 2008
Kuznetsov remained in port for about two years before preparing for another Mediterranean deployment scheduled for the winter of 2000–2001. This deployment was cancelled due to the explosion and sinking of the nuclear-powered submarine Kursk. The Kuznetsov participated in the Kursk rescue and salvage operations in late 2000. Plans for further operations were postponed or cancelled. In late 2003 and early 2004, Kuznetsov went to sea for inspection and trials. In October 2004, she participated in a fleet exercise of the Russian Navy in the Atlantic Ocean.[14] During a September 2005 exercise, an Su-33 accidentally fell from the carrier into the Atlantic Ocean.[15] On 27 September 2006, it was announced that Kuznetsov would return to service in the Northern Fleet by the year's end, following another modernization to correct some technical issues. Admiral Vladimir Masorin, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, also stated that Su-33 fighters assigned to her would return after undergoing their own maintenance and refits.
From 5 December 2007 through 3 February 2008 Kuznetsov made its second Mediterranean deployment.[11] On 11 December 2007, Kuznetsov passed by Norwegian oil platforms in the North Sea, 60 nautical miles (110 km) outside Bergen, Norway.[16] Su-33 fighters and Kamov helicopters were launched from Kuznetsov while within international waters; Norwegian helicopter services to the rigs were halted due to the collision risk with the Russian aircraft. Kuznetsov later participated in an exercise on the Mediterranean Sea, together with 11 other Russian surface ships and 47 aircraft, performing three tactical training missions using live and simulated air and surface missile launches.[17] Kuznetsov and its escorts returned to Severomorsk on 3 February 2008. Following maintenance, she returned to sea on 11 October 2008 for the Stability-2008 strategic exercises held in the Barents Sea, during which the President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev visited her on 12 October 2008.
From 5 December 2008 through 2 March 2009, Kuznetsov made its third Mediterranean deployment.[11] On 5 December 2008, she and several other vessels left Severomorsk for the Atlantic for a combat training tour, including joint drills with Russia's Black Sea Fleet and visits to several Mediterranean ports.[18][19] On 7 January 2009, a small fire broke out onboard Kuznetsov while anchored off Turkey. The fire, caused by a short-circuit, led to the death of one crew member by carbon monoxide poisoning.[20] On 16 February 2009, she, along with other Russian naval vessels, was involved in a large oil spill while refuelling off the south coast of Ireland.[21] On 2 March 2009, Kuznetsov returned to Severomorsk. In September 2010 Kuznetsov left dry dock after scheduled repairs and preparations for a training mission in the Barents Sea later that month.

2011–12 Mediterranean deployment


Kuznetsov is shadowed by the British destroyer HMS York off the British coast en route to her 2011 Mediterranean cruise
The Russian Main Navy Staff announced that Kuznetsov would begin a deployment to the Atlantic and Mediterranean in December 2011. In November 2011, it was announced that Kuznetsov would lead a squadron to Russia's naval facility in Tartus.[22][23] A contrary statement was made by a Russian naval spokesman to the Izvestia daily that "The call of the Russian ships in Tartus should not be seen as a gesture towards what is going on in Syria... This was planned already in 2010 when there were no such events there" noting that Kuznetsov would also be making port calls in Beirut, Genoa and Cyprus.[24] On 29 November 2011, Army General Nikolay Makarov, Chief of the Russian General Staff, said that Russian ships in the Mediterranean were due to exercises rather than events in Syria, and noted that the Kuznetsov's size does not allow it to moor in Tartus.[25]

Kuznetsov (right) at anchor in Severomorsk, alongside the new Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya in 2012
On 6 December 2011, Kuznetsov and escorting ships departed its Northern Fleet homebase for the Mediterranean deployment to exercise with ships from the Russian Baltic and Black Sea Fleets.[26] On 12 December 2011 Kuznetsov and its escorts, were spotted northeast of Orkney off the coast of northern Scotland, the first such time she had deployed near the UK. HMS York shadowed the group for a week; due to severe weather, the group took shelter in international waters in the Moray Firth, some 30 miles from the UK coast. The Kuznetsov then sailed around the top of Scotland and into the Atlantic past western Ireland, where it conducted flight operations with her Sukhoi Su-33 Flanker jets and Kamov Ka-27 helicopters in international airspace.[27] On 8 January 2012, Kuznetsov anchored near shore outside Tartus while other ships in its escort entered the port to use the leased Russian naval support facility to replenish their supplies, after which all ships continued their deployment on 9 January.[28] On 17 February 2012, Kuznetsov returned to its homebase of Severomorsk.[citation needed]

2013–14 deployment


With HMS Dragon off the UK in May 2014
On 1 June 2013, it was announced that the ship would return to the Mediterranean by the end of the year.[29] On 17 December, Kuznetsov departed her homebase for the Mediterranean.[30] On 1 January 2014, Kuznetsov celebrated New Year while at anchor in international waters of the Moray Firth off northeast Scotland. The anchorage allowed replenishment of ship's supplies and respite for the crew from stormy weather off the southwest coast of Norway. She then proceeded to the Mediterranean Sea,[31] docking in Cyprus on 28 February.[32]
In May 2014, the ship and its task group: the Kirov-class nuclear-powered cruiser Petr Velikiy; three tankers; Sergey Osipov, Kama and Dubna; one ocean-going tug Altay and the tank-landing ship Minsk (a Ropucha-class landing ship part of the Black Sea Fleet sailed home and approached the UK.[33]
Although financial and technical problems have resulted in limited operations for the ship,[34] it is expected that Admiral Kuznetsov will remain in active duty until at least 2030.[35]

Mid-life refit

In April 2010, it was announced that by the end of 2012 the ship would enter Severodvinsk Sevmash shipyard for a major refit and modernisation,[36] reportedly to include upgrades to obsolete electronics and sensor equipment, installation of a new anti-aircraft system and increase of the air wing by the removal of the P-700 Granit anti-ship missiles; it was thought possible that the refit would also include exchanging the troublesome steam powerplant to gas-turbine or even nuclear propulsion and installation of catapults to the angled deck.[36]
According to the newspaper Bulletin Reports, the Russian Navy expected to buy the Mikoyan MiG-29K aircraft for Admiral Kuznetsov by 2011; this intent was confirmed by the general designer of one of the defence enterprises which produces sub-assemblies for these aircraft.[37][38] These would replace the 19 carrier-based Su-33 fighters, a resource set to expire by 2015. Producing more Su-33s is possible but not cost-effective for such small volumes; the MiG-29K is more convenient as the Indian Navy placed an order a total for 45, reducing development and manufacture costs. India paid $730 million for the development and delivery of 16 MiG-29Ks; 24 more for the Russian Navy would cost about $1 billion.[37]
The carrier will reportedly start an overhaul and modernisation in the first quarter of 2017. This is expected to extend its service life by 25 years.[39]

2016 deployment

In early July 2016, upon completion of a refit, it was reported by Russian media that Admiral Kuznetsov would be deployed in the Mediterranean in October that year to serve as a platform for carrying out airstrikes in Syria.[40] This would be the first time a Russian (or Soviet) aircraft carrier has seen combat.[41] On September 19, 2016 it was announced that the deployment would be delayed due to unspecified reasons. It is thought that Russia suffers from a lack of carrier-qualified pilots for the new MiG 29KR.[42] On October 17, the Admiral Kuznetsov and seven other Russian navy vessels including the nuclear powered battlecruiser Pyotr Velikiy were reported passing the Norwegian island of Andøya, en route to the Mediterranean Sea for operations in the war in Syria,[43] passing through the English Channel on October 21.[44] The carrier is accompanied by an ocean-going tugboat as it is plagued by technical problems.[45]


See also

Notes


  1. According to Defense Daily, the ship was commissioned on 21 January 1991.[2]

References





  • Yu.B. Apalkov, Korabli VMF SSSR, Tom 2, Udarnye Korabli, Galeya Print, Sankt Peterburg, 2003

  • External links

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  • "Soviet Naval Aviation increasing - U.S. Navy spy chief; Kutzenow carrier should deploy this year". Defense Daily. 11 March 1991. Retrieved 8 August 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)).
  • "Russia's Admiral Kuznetsov Aircraft Carrier is Back in Service!". Sputnik. 20 August 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  • Admiral Kuznetsov the only aircraft carrier in the Russian Navy
  • flotprom.ru http://flotprom.ru/news/index.php?ELEMENT_ID=170929. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • Sovetskii Avianostsy, S.Balakin & V.Zablotskiy, Moscow 2007
  • "China's Aircraft Carrier Ambitions: Seeking Truth from Rumors." Storey, I.; Ji, Y. Naval War College Review. Winter 2004, Vol. 57, No. 1. Archived 12 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  • KnAAPO. "The Su-33 single-seat carrier-based fighter".
  • Gordon, Yefim & Davidson, Peter. 2006. "Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker", p. 54. Warbird Tech Series, vol. 42. ISBN 978-1-58007-091-1.
  • Korabli VMF SSSR" (USSR Navy Ships), Yu.V. Apalkov, Galeya Print, Sankt Peterburg, 2003
  • http://www.mil.ru
  • Almond, Peter (11 January 1996). "U.S. Poised to Rescue Russian Sailors". Washington Post. Retrieved 8 May 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)).
  • Encounters of the Russian Kind, IAF journal no. 145., June 2002 (Hebrew)
  • Pavel Felgenhauer, "A Foolhardy Naval Exercise", Moscow Times. Critical article about the fall 2004 exercise in which Kuznetsov participated.
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