New training center for Air Wing Kuznetsov

Fighter jet Su-33 (Photo

Russia plans to establish its first training center for carrier plane pilots by the Sea of Azov. Building of the 2.7 million EUR center will start in 2010.


Pilots at Russia’s only air craft carrier, the Northern Fleet’s “Admiral Kuznetsov”, have till now been sent for training at the Crimea in Ukraine, but problems with Ukrainian authorities have complicated the situation and training has repeatedly been cancelled. Russia pays Ukraine $ 500,000 per year in rent for the center. According to some sources, Ukraine now plans to rent the facilities also to China, newspaper Kommersant reports.

The new training center will be located at an old airfield outside Yeysk in the Krasnodar territory. The project is already approved by President Dmitry Medvedev. The building is expected to take two years and 1500 persons will serve at the base.

The need for Russia to have its own training center for carrier plane pilots is connected with Russian plans for expansion of the carrier fleet. In July last year BarentsObserver quoted Commander of the Russian Navy, Vladimir Vysotsky, saying Russia intends to hold five or six aircraft carriers, which are to operate from both the Northern fleet on the Kola Peninsula and at the Pacific fleet in the Far East.