SEVEROMORSK --- The long voyage of Russia’s sole Project 11435 aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov to Syria has shown its good working condition and combat readiness, Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Vladimir Korolyov said.
"The mission was unique in terms of working condition. All of the ship’s eight boilers and the main propulsion unit are in good working order. The ship is ready to accomplish missions, which was reported to me by the commander," Korolyov said.
According to the Navy’s commander, the aircraft carrier’s crew can accomplish any mission.
"There was no problem with crew members during the voyage. Their morale deserves profound respect," the commander said.
The task force comprising the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, the heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky, the large antisubmarine warfare ships Severomorsk and Vice-Admiral Kulakov and support vessels began their voyage to Syria on October 15, 2016.
On November 1, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the aircraft carrier strike group had arrived in the Mediterranean Sea.
Over the two months of their operation, shipborne aircraft performed 420 sorties, including 117 of them at night, and destroyed more than 1,000 terrorist facilities in Syria.
At the same time, during the voyage, the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov lost two shipborne aircraft, a Mikoyan MiG-29K (NATO reporting name: Fulcrum-D) and a Sukhoi Su-33 (Flanker-D) fighter jets. The pilots were not injured.
On February 8, the ships Admiral Kuznetsov and Pyotr Veliky returned to Severomorsk in north Russia. They have anchored in a roadstead in Kola Bay.
Earlier, shipborne Su-33 and MiG-29K planes and Kamov Ka-52 (Hokum-B), Ka-29 (Helix-B) and Ka-27 (Helix) helicopters took off from the aircraft carrier to fly to their home airfield.
The aircraft carrier strike group performed such a large-scale mission for the first time in the history of the Russian Navy.