By James T. McKenna | July 18, 2016
Russia's navy is deploying the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov to the Mediterranean Sea near Syria to support air strikes with aircraft that include Kamov KA-52K helicopters, according to a report from the UPI news service.
That flagship of the Russian navy is slated to join the Syrian campaign in October, according to the report, which said the deployment will test the operational and technical capabilities of the air carrier strike group. In addition to the KA-52Ks, the Kuznetsov’s air wing includes 15 Sukhoi Su-33 and MiG-29K/KUB fighters and Ka-27 and Ka-31 helicopters.
The carrier strike group is charged with supporting Syrian troops battling militants opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.
The deployment will give the shipborne version of the Ka-52 the opportunity to test its capabilities under fire. The land-based version already has been used in Russia’s air campaign in Syria.
The Ka-52K, dubbed the Katran, has folding blades to facilitate storage on the carrier's hangar deck. It also has an upgraded navigation system for maritime operations.
Photo courtesy of Vlsergey / CC BY-SA 3.0