Among naval officers there is such a sad joke: "Deck aviation Russia! - whispered the young Nakhimovets and wept bitterly and bitterly ... "But seriously - against the background of the best domestic automatic machines in the world, tanks and missiles, aircraft carriers and carrier-based aircraft were really out of luck. The British had full-fledged aircraft carriers already in the First World War, the Japanese and Americans built them in large numbers since the 20s. In the USSR, only in the 60s it was decided to create aircraft carriers. The Soviet fleet then only went to the oceans, and it was necessary to confront the probable enemy, primarily submarines.
Anti-submarine helicopters appeared at that time. For their use in the USSR, the first two anti-submarine cruisers, the Moscow (1967) and the Leningrad (1969), were built. Each was based on 14 Ka-25 helicopters, there were anti-submarine missiles "Whirlwind", SAM "Storm", 57-mm artillery systems. With the advent of new vertical take-off and landing aircraft, a series of larger aircraft-carrying ships were built: Kiev (1975), Minsk (1978), Novorossiysk (1982) and Baku (1987) ). The X-NUMX attack aircraft of the Yak-20 and 38 Ka-2 helicopters, the Uragan missile system (Bazalt cruise missiles), the Storm-M and Osa-M missiles, 27-mm and 76-mm were already based on each. art installation. However, the Yak-30 aircraft remained "raw", requiring revision, so the Kremlin decided to build a series of aircraft carrying cruisers armed with conventional aircraft. Planned a series of 38 ships, including several nuclear. However, only one aircraft-developed cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov developed from the Kiev project became real. Founded as "Riga", it was renamed "Leonid Brezhnev", then - "Tbilisi", and in October 10 g received the longest name "Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov". All the others, including Varyag, were unfinished cut into scrap metal due to the collapse of the USSR.
The fate of the rest of the "airborne" was also unenviable. The coastal infrastructure has hardly been modernized since the war. There were no convenient moorings, coastal electrical substations. As a result, the ships of the type "Moscow" and "Kiev" were forced to support the operation of their power plants around the clock and demanded a major overhaul in 7-10 years (although they were designed for 20-25)!
And there was no money for repairs. "Moscow" rusted in the bay of Sevastopol 5 years, until it was sold for scrap to India. The same happened with "Leningrad". "Kiev" and "Minsk" were sold for the price of scrap, now they are Chinese entertainment centers. Novorossiysk was also given for scrap metal to South Korea.
"Baku" was the newest of the ships of the type "Kiev", so he was lucky. He served in the Northern Fleet, in 1990, he was renamed "Admiral Gorshkov". The ship is currently under refurbishment.
Not all is well with Kuznetsov. In December 1991, he was transferred from the Black Sea Fleet to the North. In the year 1998 went to military service in the Atlantic, after which he was put to repair. And only very recently, in the fall of 2004, he entered military service for the second time. The main weapons Kuznetsova remains cruise missiles, and the air group is a kind of appendage. It is not clear that they should cover the deck Su-33, because there are no ships left capable of making an operative connection headed by Kuznetsov. Moreover, these Su-33s are not sufficiently equipped to combat ships and ground targets.
The problem with the pilots. Able to take off and sit down - we have, alas, a little. It seems that the most beloved "son-in-law" remains only as a symbol of the power of the state.