The Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov on orders of Putin went into action in support of Assad. 3 MIG-29 fighters were taken for an air mission against ISIS. The mission led to much embarrassment as one plane coming in for a landing had a technical failure and crashed in the Mediterranean Sea. A search and rescue team picked up the pilot. This was day 1 of the campaign and created a sorry spectacle.

Operations

The plane was accompanied by 2 other planes. Only one of the MIG-29 could land on the carrier while another (unable to land) flew off to Syria and landed at a friendly air base. The Kuznetzov is the lone carrier of the Soviet fleet. Compared to the American carrier it's a puny warship and has just 29 warplanes on board. The carrier also is easily detectable with the black smoke it generates.

Russian carrier

The carrier was supposed to be an advertisement of the power of the Russian fleet. It had sailed from the northern fleet to the Mediterranean with a view to helping Assad give a knockout blow to his opponents and ISIS. It has created a poor picture of its capability by losing an aircraft on the first day of its operations. The Russians would be embarrassed and Putin won't be happy.

The Russians have not perfected the carrier technology which appears to still be primitive. With just one carrier to nearly a dozen of the US fleet the present warship is a poor exponent of Russian naval power. In addition, operating aircraft from a moving platform in the deep ocean requires practice, training, and experience.

Limitations

The Russian #navy has to still learn the art of conducting aircraft carrier operations. The Admiral Kuznetsov carries just 4 MIG-29 and effectively it lost 50% of its force of MIGs without achieving much. It appears Russian pilots still have a lot to learn about carrier operations. No wonder the Chinese aircraft carrier (despite being in service for 4 years) is still a dud and used mainly as a training ship.

Assessment

The Kuznetzov is powered by conventional diesel engines. It has limitations of range and speed as well. With a crew not yet fully ready for carrier operations, the Russian warship is more a show piece than anything else. #war #Russia