The Russian Pacific Fleet naval aviation division is happy to receive a bunch of new and updated aircraft: consisting of AN-140-100s and IL-38s.
The first new Ukrainian designed but locally produced Antonov AN-140-100 joins the force this December, with a second machine in the first half of 2016, the Russian Ministry of Defence writes in a statement.
“Dolphin” detecting targets
During 2015 four modernized Ilyushin IL-38Ns made it back to operational duty with the Asian maritime force of “the Motherland”. Now on anti-submarine and maritime patrol duties the IL-38Ns are able to detect targets up to 49 nautical miles (90 km) and track them within a 173 nautical miles (320 km). The “Dolphin” – as the NATO-reporting name for the type goes – is even able to carry out attacks independently, carrying up to 9 tons of torpedoes or depth charges.
The Russian Ministry of Defence boasts the IL-38N has an increased capacity of four times the original aircraft. The Pacific Fleet’s IL-38s – old and new – operate from Yelizovo and Nikolayevka airbases.
Antonov AN-140-100 by Aviacor
The origin of the new AN-140-100s transport aircraft is not clear. Russia reportedly stopped production after its forces collided with the military of Ukraine inside Ukrainian borders supporting pro-Russian rebel forces. Ukraine is home of the Antonov aircraft factory and design bureau of the type. The new delivery may mean that Russia’s Aviacor is able to fulfill at least half of the latest full order of six aircraft with the machines that were believed not to make to the end of the production line before manufacturing was ended.
The Russian Defense Ministry signed a contract with the Irkut aircraft manufacturer for eight Sukhoi-designed Su-30SM multi-role fighters for the Russian Navy on Monday 7 September 2015.
Russian Defense Minister Yuri Borisov himself confirmed the deal to the press. The aircraft will be supplied in 2016 and 2017, bringing the total number of Russian Navy Flankers of this type to at least 20.
In July 2014 Irkut delivered three of the five Sukhoi Su-30SMs of the first batch ordered in late 2013. Designed by the famous Sukhoi bureau the Su-30SM has a phased-array radar, thrust vectoring engines and canards to increase its manoeuverability.
Double Su-30SM has super-maneuverability, equipped with a radar with a phased antenna array, engines with thrust vectoring and canards. The aircraft has a range of 1864 miles (3,000 km), can fly up to speeds of Mach 2 and up to 57,500 feet of altitude. Apart from the standard gun, the aircraft can be fitted with guided missiles and bombs.
The Russian Air Force flies the Su-30SM – known to NATO as Flanker – as well, having ordered at least 60 so far. Apart from the dozen planned Su-30SMs the Russian Naval Aviation also operates MiG-29K carrier-borne fighters, with the last 10 of 24 planned for delivery in 2015.
The Russian Ministry of Defence decided to give the Russian Naval Aviation’s carrier based fighters a frontline task between the cruises of the Navy’s sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.
Starting this week the Northern Fleet’s Sukhoi Su-33 (“Flanker-D”) jets fly regular all-weather patrol duties of the Russian Kola peninsula, the Arctic part of mainland Russia bordering with Norway and Finland.
The roughly 12 to 16 operational jets (out of an official strength of 24) of the 279th Shipborne Fighter Aviation Regiment fly the missions mainly from Severomorsk-3, their home base 15 miles (24 km) east of the city of Murmansk; a short flight of roughly 80 miles (135 km) to the Norwegian border.
Earlier the fighter jocks that operate from the heavy aircraft carrier Kuznetsov flew training missions in between cruises.
The Russian Navy is to receive the last of 20 MiG-29K Fulcrums this year, the Ministry of Defense in Moscow reported on Sunday 26 July. The final delivery will conclude a contract signed in 2012. The Fulcrums are meant to operate from Russia’s aircraft carrier Admiral Admiral Kuznetsov.
In Russia, the MiG-29K is seen as a replacement for older Sukhoi Su-33 Flankers operating from the Kuznetsov. The type was developed in partnership with India, which has ordered a total of 45 MiGs for its navy. Among these are MiG-29KUB two-seater variants.
The Russian ministry of Defense has stated the MiG-29K will be used to equip a new unit within the Northern naval fleet.
The Russian Northern Fleet is sending five inexperienced pilots without carrier qualification together with regular staff to the Crimea. For decades the peninsula was part of Ukraine, but Russia annexed it with military force in February/March 2014. Flying out of former Ukrainian Saky Naval Aviation Base the cadets will prepare for their deployment on board the sole Russian Navy aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, according to a Northern Fleet’s press statement.
Over the course of several weeks Northern Fleet cadets and more senior flight crews will operate three Sukhoi Su-33 (“Flanker”) carrier-borne jets and three Sukhoi Su-25UTG (“Frogfoot”). The Su-25UTGs are especially adapted to train pilots in carrier operations, while using land-based simulated set-ups. A maximum number of 10 of the UTG versions are reportedly still in use with the Russian Navy.
The Northern Fleet plans to have its training deployment of a total of 70 personnel including ground crew make a total of 10 flights daily and perform practice runs on the NITKA carrier simulation range on the Crimea. No real deck landings are planned to be executed.
Although Russian forces did have an agreement with Kiev earlier to operate from Saky Naval Base and the NITKA range but the deal ended even before the Russian take-over of the Crimean facilities started. Last year a Ka-27, three Mi-14s, two AN-26s and one Beriev Be-12 of the Ukrainian Naval Aviation were seen fleeing the place under pressure, as caught on video somewhat down in our extensive Overview: Air Forces of Ukraine.