Russia seems to be continuously looking to upgrade its military arsenal with new vehicles and weapon systems. This time, the country has revealed it will be supplying its Navy with 100 new aircraft by year 2020.
The move to upgrade the Russian Navy is all part of the country’s modernization and rearmament program.
New fighter jets coming in.
According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, it will upgrade its ship and attack aviation units with MiG-29KUB and MiG-29K fighter jets.
These brand new, fourth-generation fighter jets will reportedly have better maneuverability. They will also reportedly have improved performance in high-precision weaponry. Most importantly, both fighter jets should be able to hit targets accurately regardless of weather conditions.
Russian Navy capability questioned.
In recent months, however, the MiG-29K has faced scrutiny after suffering a crash in the Eastern Mediterranean last November. According to a report from USNI News, the said fighter jet suffered from a “technical fault.” It crashed as it tried to land in the Russian carrier Admiral Kuznetsov. The Russian Ministry of Defense said the incident occurred during the course of their “exercise flights.”
According to naval analyst Eric Wertheim, the incident with the fighter jet only implies that there may be weaknesses in the carrier aviation capability of the Russians. He explained, ” Carrier aviation is a dangerous business but one of the big challenges the Russians have is they don’t have a wide pool of people with these skills.”
Unmanned aerial drones part of future plans.
According to a report from RT, the Russian Defense Ministry will modernize its Navy further with unmanned aerial vehicles. These will deployed on its ships.
Furthermore, Russian Navy’s Major General Igor Kozhin explained, “One of the prospective directions for specialists of leading design bureaus is research and design aimed at creating an unmanned ship-based aircraft.”
On the other hand, the Russian Navy is also looking to upgrade its helicopters. It also announced that it is replacing Ka-29 helicopters with the new Ka-52K Katran reconnaissance and combat helicopter. According to Naval Technology, this helicopter is designed for target acquisition, convoy escort missions, maritime patrol and combat.
Meanwhile, it remains unclear how soon the Admiral Kuznetsov, will receive the aircraft upgrades. It is currently deployed to assist Russian operations in Syria.