To revive the "aircraft-carrying" power of Russia is a long-standing desire of both the military command and the inhabitants. Therefore, there is nothing surprising in the fact that for two decades there have been attempts to develop appropriate projects. One of the latter is the "Manatee" - the concept of a modern domestic aircraft carrier, which will have to provide the Russian Navy with a flagship made according to the latest technology. And if the developers' plans come true, then in a few years the Russian fleet will receive the first, but not the last, newest nuclear aircraft carrier.
To date, of the nine aircraft carriers that were in combat service in the Soviet Union at the time of its collapse, only one of them remained in Russia - Admiral Kuznetsov. Therefore, from the very beginning of the twenty-first century, when production and the economy more or less strengthened a stable position, and there was a potential for modernizing the military-industrial complex, there was talk that it was time to increase the number of aircraft carriers in the Russian Navy. A fairly well-known attempt to replenish the Russian army with aircraft carriers was the Storm project, a concept for a heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser, which was presented in 2015. However, despite the fact that the development on it has been going on for several years, no serious progress is yet expected.
And just recently, the International Maritime Salon IMDS-2019 was held in St. Petersburg, within the framework of which the concept of another nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was presented. The project has a working title "Lamantine", index - 11430. The development of the concept is carried out by specialists from the Nevsky Design Bureau (NPKB). Given the fact that the new project was presented even before work on the "Storm" ended, a number of military experts came to the conclusion that the "Manatee" is a more affordable modification of the first.
Together with the layout, the design characteristics of the future aircraft carrier were also published: displacement - 90 thousand tons, length - 350 meters, speed - 30 knots, navigation autonomy - about 120 days. The planned service life is 50 years. The Manatee will be able to accommodate 60 heavy fighters and airborne early warning aircraft, aviation ammunition - 1600-2000 tons. The aircraft carrier will be propelled by a nuclear power plant, and the takeoff and landing of aircraft will be ensured by two electromagnetic catapults, four aerofinishers, and a springboard.
The functionality of the future aircraft carrier is also known - it will roughly coincide with the ships of the Storm project: the ship is supposed to be used both in the ocean and sea spaces, and in the coastal zone. The application of "Manatees" can be different - ensuring the combat stability of naval groupings of the Navy, firing at air, ground, sea and underwater targets, covering amphibious assault forces from strikes and attacks of enemy air attacks.
The exact timing of the completion of work on the project has not yet been said, but today it is known for certain that the creation of a new aircraft carrier for the Navy was laid down in the second program period of the state armament program for 2018-2027. In addition, a contract with NPKB for the development of "Manatees" was signed until 2025. And a number of sources claim that by about 2030 at least one ready-made aircraft carrier will be delivered to the service of the Russian Navy.
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