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Russia aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov to be armed with Pantsir-M CIWS.

| 2023

According to information published by Izvestia on April 26, 2023, the Russian Navy's heavy aircraft carrier, "Admiral Kuznetsov," is set to receive upgrades to its air defense system and ammunition for its onboard aviation, thereby increasing its combat capabilities.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Russian Navy's aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov. (Picture source: VK)

The ship's air defense system will integrate the latest "Pantsir-M" anti-aircraft missile and artillery systems, capable of fending off massed attacks from planes, helicopters, anti-ship missiles, and drones.

The cruiser's air defense will also feature a new integrated air defense management system that automatically recognizes and differentiates targets and allocates them to the appropriate anti-aircraft systems for destruction.

Admiral Kuznetsov will also be equipped with new storage and preparation facilities for advanced aviation weapons such as air-to-air cruise missiles and guided bombs that can strike both surface and ground targets.

These new ammunition and precision-guided bombs can hit stationary and moving targets with exceptional accuracy, including armored ones. The precision-guided bombs are cheaper than guided missiles with comparable accuracy and can carry a larger explosive payload, making the cruiser even more formidable.

The "Pantsir-M" system will replace the older "Kortik" systems and is currently the most advanced ship-based air defense system. She can shoot down any type of target in the close zone and has eight missiles and two six-barreled 30-mm rapid-fire automatic guns in its arsenal.

The crew for Admiral Kuznetsov is currently being formed, comprising over 1,000 sailors, warrant officers, and officers, including specialists in the operation and maintenance of aviation equipment and machinery. After undergoing training and teamwork exercises, the crew will conduct all the ship's tests and return it to the combat fleet by 2024.

Admiral Kuznetsov has a long history, having been launched in 1985 and serving as the only heavy aircraft carrier in the Russian Navy for many years.

She has led a squadron of ships on missions to the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea and has carried out combat missions off the coast of Syria, striking more than 1,200 terrorist targets.

Despite undergoing repairs and modernization in recent years, the cruiser has faced several incidents, including the sinking of the floating dock PD-50, a fire onboard that caused casualties, and another fire that was quickly extinguished. The aircraft carrier is now at its permanent repair location and is expected to return to the combat fleet next year.

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