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    Russia to Send Aircraft Carrier to Mediterranean Before 2017 for Up to 4 Months

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    Russia will deploy its aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea before the end of 2016 for a period of up to four months.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia will deploy Admiral Kuznetsov, the country's only aircraft carrier, in the Mediterranean Sea before the end of 2016 for a period of up to four months, Adm. Igor Kasatonov, the former head of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, said in an interview.

    Earlier in July, a source familiar with the matter told RIA Novosti that the aircraft carrier would be deployed in the Mediterranean no sooner than October.

    "The ship will set off [for the Mediterranean] at the end of the year. The carrier battle group, which will include several screening ships, will be formed. Allegedly, a nuclear multi-role submarine will be [in the group]. The ship's deployment is designed to last for 3-4 months," Kasatonov, who also was the first deputy commander of Russia's Navy, told RIA Novosti.

    He added that up to a certain point, the group would be escorted by IL-38 anti-submarine aircraft and Tu-142 long range aircraft and possibly the carrier battle group could work with Tu-160 strategic bombers.

    The Admiral Kuznetsov was constructed at the Mykolaiv South Shipyard, the sole manufacturer of Soviet aircraft carriers, and launched in 1985. It became fully operational in 1995.

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    Tags:
    deployment, submarine, aircraft carrier, aircraft, Admiral Kuznetsov, Russian Black Sea Fleet, Russia
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