Admiral N.G. Kuznetsov aircraft carrier. Photo: NAVY.ru
Today, the Tula nuclear submarine test-fired a Sineva ballistic missile to gauge its maximum range during the North Fleet's training. The missile broke all previous records for ballistic missiles, reaching the Pacific Ocean from the Barantsev Sea.
President Dmitriy Medvedev personally observed the training sessions. He arrived by helicopter to the Soviet Admiral N.G. Kuznetsov aircraft carrier. After touring the ship, Medvedev listened to a report by chief naval commander Vladimir Vysotskiy and spoke and photographed with the crew.
"During the training sessions, the navy launched a Sineva ballistic missile to gauge its maximum range," RIA Novosti reported Medvedev as saying. "The successful launch resulted in a distance of 11,574 kilometers. This is the best result ever for a ballistic missile. What we saw today with the Sineva is a serious step forward. No one has demonstrated such a range before."
After thanking the carrier's crew for their service and performance, Medvedev said: "At first glance, everything looks absolutely fine [...] This is a job well done. Everything worked out as planned."
In the near future, Russia's Defense Ministry will develop a state program to construct aircraft carriers. The first projects are expected to be implemented around 2013-2015.
"We need to build new aircraft carriers," Medvedev said. "This is an important area of progress for our navy. All large nations do so when developing powerful fleets. Energy facilities must be nuclear. This also creates a range of other possibilities. Electronic equipment and arms must change as well."
The main obstacle for such wide-scale plans isn't the financial crisis, but rather searching for an appropriate territory to build the aircraft carriers.
"The issue of money isn't important for us despite the crises on the international financial market. The real issue is where to build. The country has decreased in size since the fall of the Soviet Union, and we have fewer places where we can construct these kinds of ships," Medvedev said.
Russia’s next submarines will be the Yuriy Dolgorukiy and Aleksandr Nevskiy. One of them will hit the manufacturing line next year.
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