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    Russia to have 5-6 aircraft carriers by 2060 - Navy commander

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    Russia is developing a new naval strategy which envisions the creation of 5-6 aircraft carrier joint task groups by 2050-2060, the Navy commander said on Friday.

    MOSCOW, April 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is developing a new naval strategy which envisions the creation of 5-6 aircraft carrier joint task groups by 2050-2060, the Navy commander said on Friday.

    "We should not separately build combat ships, aircraft or spacecraft - everything must work as an integrated system," Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky told a news conference in Moscow. "This applies to aircraft carriers as well. We are planning to build five or six naval aircraft carrier groups."

    These joint task groups will comprise combat ships, various aircraft, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), satellites and submarines.

    "The existence of these joint task groups will increase the combat effectiveness of the Navy by 60%, and in some respects up to 300%," Vysotsky said.

    The construction of new aircraft carriers is expected to begin in 2012-2013.

    At present, Russia has only one operational aircraft carrier, the Nikolai Kuznetsov, which was commissioned in the early 1990s and has recently re-entered service after a prolonged overhaul.

    The ship, also known as Project 1143.5 heavy aircraft carrier, is capable of carrying up to 26 fixed-wing fighters and 24 helicopters.

    The Nikolai Kuznetsov is currently deployed with Russia's Northern Fleet and has recently participated in a two-month tour to the Mediterranean as part of Russia's plans to resume its continual presence in different regions of the world's seas.

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