If this ship ever went to sea, the Soviet supervisees “Ulyanovsk” would be a real sea monster. He would have reached a length of about 300 meters and had a displacement of 85 tons, and would be able to carry air group of 70 aircraft and helicopters.
Equipped with nuclear propulsion aircraft carrier sailed the oceans in connection with other Soviet surface ships and submarines with one goal.
Namely, in order to keep the American fleet away from the shores of the Motherland.
But the story of the “Ulyanovsk” — it is tantalising almost. Moscow never finished the project, not having any money. With the end of the cold war, Russia was faced with economic problems that made the construction of new ships is impossible.
“Ulyanovsk” died in 1992 at the shipyard, where it was dismantled for scrap. But today the Kremlin is spending billions of roubles on modernization of the armed forces and plans to build a new supervisees able to compete with the US.
“Ulyanovsk” was laid in 1988, when the Soviet Empire began to fall apart. The project was so grandiose that the construction of the ship would have ended no earlier than the mid 1990-ies.
Construction was carried out at the black sea shipyard in Ukraine, known as the southern shipyard No. 444 in Nikolayev. It’s an old factory that was founded in the late XVIII century, when Prince Grigory Potemkin signed in 1789, a decree to repair the docks in the new Russian ships, damaged during the Russian-Turkish war.
The famous Russian battleship “Potemkin”, which was an uprising of sailors in 1905 and who is dedicated to the film by Sergei Eisenstein, was built at this shipyard.
At the beginning of the Soviet era, the shipyard built battleships. In the 1960s and 1970-ies workers built on the southern shipyard № 444 the class helicopter carrier “Moskva” and aircraft carriers class “Kiev”.
But none of these ships could not be compared with “Ulyanovsk”.
Named after the hometown of Lenin, this ship was truly huge, even by Russian standards.
Its power plant consisted of four reactors KN-3. This model was used in huge heavy cruiser class “Kirov”, for example, the heavy missile cruiser “Frunze”. “Ulyanovsk” was to develop a speed up to 30 knots.
The aircraft carrier would carry on Board at least 44 fighters su-33 and MiG-29, modified for carrier-based aircraft. Two steam catapult take-off ramp and four sets of brake cables created on “Ulyanovsk” the busy deck.
The designers have planned for “Ulyanovsk” three elevators, each of which could lift 50 tons to deliver and remove from the upper deck of the aircraft in a spacious hangar deck. In addition, the ship had to carry helicopters for search and rescue operations and for anti-submarine tasks.
In the project team that a Soviet ship was to consist of 3400 sailors. This is about half of the crew of a U.S. aircraft carrier class “Nimitz”, but more than any other Soviet ships.
The USSR wanted this supervisees was noticeable. In the Soviet or Russian naval shipbuilding huge ships did not occupy a large space.
At the moment Russia has one aircraft — carrying ship “Admiral Kuznetsov”, launched in 1985. Since then, the ship suffered from numerous technical failures and would not go anywhere without escort tug.
But the construction of the “Ulyanovsk” was dictated by a certain logic. James Holmes (James Holmes), Professor of strategy at the naval war College, USA, says that the Soviet Union wanted to create a “blue” defensive zone in marine waters.
“Blue belt” consisted of land, sea and air units designed to discard American submarines and aircraft carriers. Russia could defend its territory, leaving the safe zone patrolling for submarines with ballistic missiles, has the task of nuclear deterrence.
© WikimediaРисунок in the American journal of 1984, the supposed Soviet aircraft carrier on the slipway
“These nuclear submarines had to disappear for weeks, hiding at a safe depth,’ said Professor Holmes. — The Soviet Supervisory along with surface ships and aircraft would components blue defensive zone, driving American ships from the Eurasian waters.”
However, the pride and national pride also played a role in the decision on the construction of “Ulyanovsk”.
“In the construction of aircraft carriers was also an aspect of “Joneses”. The US was the world superpower, and if the Soviet Union not wanting to be outdone, the Soviet leaders needed the same toy, to prove that they are not alone,” — continued Holmes.
“Not everything was connected with the tasks and roles of aircraft carriers, he said. — National pride also played its role.”
But in 1990-ies the Russian ships are rusting at the piers, sailors served, not getting paid, and the USA rushed to help with the deactivation of the Soviet nuclear submarines and with the security of the Russian nuclear Arsenal.
“Soviet leaders were not idiots,’ said Holmes. They would not have to spend all that he had, just to not be worse than others. They, being the land great power, used a large part of their resources to Finance the army and air force. There has been much discussion about the “luxury” projects in the fleet”.
“In short, if you can’t maintain the already existing fleet in the sea, where you’ll get the money to complete the construction of the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier ship, requiring more human resources than you can afford?”
But today it appears Russia has decided to revive to life the dream of supereminence. “Aircraft carrier the Navy will. Work carried out by relevant research organizations,” said Admiral Viktor Chirkov, commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy.
Other reports in Russian media suggest that the projected new class of aircraft carriers, which will be the size a little to exceed the “Nimitz” and should be able to carry about 100 aircraft and helicopters.
But economic problems including threatening a recession, and the costs required to maintain and modernize aging ships, forced to doubt that Russia can actually build such an expensive ship.
Holmes estimates the cost of construction of the new Russian aircraft carrier in the 8.5 billion dollars. He believes that the construction will last seven years. But the Professor believes that Russia is seriously determined to build an aircraft carrier.
Great powers have aircraft carriers, Russia considers itself a great power, so the aircraft carrier will become a symbol of national Renaissance and dignity. In other words, the new carrier will be one more reason to forget the bad old days of the Soviet collapse.
“We believe the USSR grim place, but the Russians remember that he had great strength — continued Holmes. An effective memory.”
For the Moscow fleet failure the project “Ulyanovsk” has become the largest of all the unpleasant memories.