Russian defense minister: No plans to build aircraft carriers before 2020

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Nov. 18, 2011, 9:45 a.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine

No money has been allocated as part of the Russia weapons procurement program for the period up to 2020.

The Russian Defense Ministry does not plan to build aircraft carrying cruisers and support vessels for them before 2020, and no money has been allocated for these purposes, Russia's Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov told journalists on Friday. "So far, no money has been allocated as part of the [state weapons procurement] program for the period up to 2020. [United Shipbuilding Corporation general director Roman] Trotsenko's announcement that we are about to start building aircraft carrying cruisers is not true, to put it mildly," Serdyukov said.

"We have no such plans until 2020. No funds have been earmarked,' the minister said.

So far, the Russian Defense Ministry "does not have a clear vision" of its future aircraft carrier's appearance and its technical capabilities, he said.

"We have ordered a preliminary design project. The industry, the United Shipbuilding Corporation to be precise, will have to show it to us. If it suits us, and if we understand that the ship itself and its support vessels will have some potential which we do not have today and which cannot be created by other ships, the chance of building it is not ruled out," Serdyukov said.

However, this construction will not be possible earlier than 2020, he said.

The preliminary design project should be ready in 2015, after which these issues can be discussed, he said.

The minister said he did not rule out that the aircraft carrier project could become obsolete.

"We need to understand how to assess all this. When we learn its technical capabilities and parameters, we will immediately begin thinking how to apply them. But, so far, it is empty talk," Serdyukov said.
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