Together with the beginning of the development of aircraft-carrying cruisers, the creation of new aircraft was launched. Along with deck modifications of the Su-25 attack aircraft and the MiG-29 light fighter, the aircraft manufacturers developed the ship version of the heavy Su-27 fighter. He received the name of the Su-33. The main differences from the base model were folding wings and the presence of horizontal tail. The first allowed to save a lot of space on the deck and in the hangar. The second contributed to better handling of the aircraft at low speeds.
The first landing of the Su-33 on the deck of the "Admiral Kuznetsov" (at that time still "Tbilisi") occurred on November 1 of the year 1989. On the same day, the MiG-29K and Su-25UTG landed on the aircraft-carrying cruiser.