According to reports, the Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia's only aircraft carrier, will join the Northern Fleet by the end of the year after modernization, the Navy's chief said Wednesday.
The ship, also known as Project 1143.5 heavy aircraft carrier, was commissioned in the Russian Navy in 1991 and became fully operational in 1995. But it was plagued by technical problems, including faulty arrester gear, and was put into dock earlier this year for a technical overhaul.
The Navy commander said that several Su-33 Flanker-D fighters assigned to the aircraft carrier would return to the ship after a brief technical overhaul. The vessel is capable of carrying up to 26 fixed-wing fighters and 24 helicopters.
Russia's military leadership is considering building several modern aircraft carriers after