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Soviet aircraft carrier Ulyanovsk
United States Department of Defense artwork of a Soviet nuclear-powered aircraft carrier similar to Ulyanovsk, under construction.
Department of Defense artwork of a Soviet nuclear-powered aircraft carrier similar to Ulyanovsk, under construction.
Career (Soviet Union)
Name: Ulyanovsk (Russian: Улья́новск)
Ordered: June 11, 1986
Laid down: November 25, 1988 at Nikolayev 444
Launched: 1995 (planned)
Struck: November 1, 1991
Fate: Scrapped at 20% completion
General characteristics
Type: Aircraft carrier
Displacement: 65,800 tons standard
75,000 tons full load[1]
Length: Overall: 321.2 meters (1,030 feet)[1]
Beam: Overall: 275.3 ft (83.9 m)[1]
Waterline: 131.2 ft (40.0 m)[1]
Draught: 10.6 meters (34.8 feet)[1]
Propulsion: 4 × KN-3 nuclear reactors
4 × steam turbines, four shafts, 280,000 shp
Speed: 30 knots (55 km/h)
Range: Unlimited distance; 20–25 years
Endurance: Limited only by supplies
Complement: 3,400 total[1]
Armament: 12 P-700 Granit SSMs,
Buk SAMs,
8 AK-630 rotary anti-aircraft cannons
Aircraft carried: 68 aircraft total
44 Sukhoi Su-33
and/or Mikoyan MiG-29K
6 × Yak-44 radar picket aircraft
16 Kamov Ka-27 ASW helicopters
2 Kamov Ka-27PS SAR helicopters[1]

Ulyanovsk (Cyrillic: Улья́новск) was the first of a class of never-completed Soviet nuclear-powered supercarriers[2] which for the first time would have offered true blue water aviation capability for the Soviet Navy. This was based upon the 1975 Project 1153 OREL (which never went beyond blueprints). The initial commissioned name was to be Kremlin, but was later given the name Ulyanovsk[3] after the Soviet town of Ulyanovsk, which was originally named Simbirsk but later renamed after Vladimir Lenin's original name because he was born there.

It would have been 85,000 tons in displacement (larger than the older Forrestal-class carriers but smaller than contemporary Nimitz-class carriers of the U.S. Navy). Ulyanovsk would have been able to carry the full range of fixed-wing carrier aircraft, as opposed to the limited scope in which Admiral Kuznetsov launched aircraft, by way of a ski jump. The configuration would have been very similar to U.S. Navy carriers though with the typical Soviet practice of adding anti-ship missile (ASM) and surface-to-air missile (SAM) launchers. Its hull was laid down in 1988, but construction was cancelled at 20% complete in January 1991 and a planned second unit was never laid down.[1] Scrapping began on 4 February 1992 and was completed by the end of October 1992.

The People's Republic of China is expected to build two nuclear aircraft carriers based on the Project 1143.7 Ulyanovsk-class design for some of the PLAN future Chinese aircraft carriers.[4]

Air Group[]

The "Ulyanovsk" air group was to include 68 aircraft with the following planned composition:[1]

The ship was equipped with two "Mayak" steam catapults made by the Proletarian factory, a ski-jump, and 4 arresting gear. For storage of aircraft, it had a 175×32×7.9-m hangar deck with aircraft elevated to the flight deck by 3 elevators with carrying capacities of 50 tons (two on the starboard side and one on the port). The stern housed the "Luna" optical landing guidance system.

Yak-44 and Su-33 on the deck ATAKR "Ulyanovsk"


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Yu.V. Apalkov, "Korabli VMF SSSR", Galeya Print, Sankt-Peterburg 2003
  2. "Moscow set to upgrade Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier". Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  3. "The Self-Designing High-Reliability Organization: Aircraft Carrier Flight Operations at Sea." Rochlin, G. I.; La Porte, T. R.; Roberts, K. H. Footnote 39. Naval War College Review. Autumn, 1987, Vol. LI, No. 3.
  4. Aviation Week, "China Has Plans For Five Carriers", 5 January 2011, Richard D. Fisher, Jr.
  • Saunders (editor), Stephen (2006). Jane's Fighting Ships 2006-7. Coulsdon, Surrey: Janes Information Group. ISBN 978-0-7106-2753-7. 

External links[]

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