29 Dec 2017 19:27

Russian Navy successfully upgrading hardware as scheduled - naval aviation head Kozhin

MOSCOW. Dec 29 (Interfax) - The Russian naval aviation is stepping up efforts to modernize its potential, Russian naval aviation chief Maj. Gen. Igor Kozhin said in an interview with the Russian Defense Ministry's official newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda on Friday.

"Upgrading was proceeding in several areas in 2017. We are thus continuing to work on rearming coast-based operational tactical aviation force to Sukhoi Su-30SM aircraft. We have received six aircraft this year. We will further replace almost the whole of the operational tactical aviation fleet to Su-30SM, which is a basic plane," Kozhin said.

The naval aviation is also continuing substantial efforts to refurbish the fleet of aircraft, which have already served for a long time.

"This is Il-38 and its modernization in the Il-38 Novella modification, and Ka-27, which will lay foundations of the submarine forces and aiming equipment for ship groups in the immediate future. We have received over ten new Ka-27M helicopters in 2017. Besides, we are modernizing the air defense: our major air defense formations, which are incorporated in the Navy, will get new S-400 systems," the Russian naval aviation chief said.

Almost the entire radio-technical equipment fleet applied at the airfields was renovated, Kozhin said.

"The technical flight control system was also changed at all operational airfields. We are planning to accept this year and to commission two airfields, namely Chkalovsky and Severomorsk-1, next year. They are completely repaired and fitted out for basing naval aviation," the general said.

Putting Beriev Be-200 amphibious planes into service of the Russian naval aviation in future is being considered, Kozhin said. "We are preparing for operating them as rescue and fire-fighting aircraft. Besides, we are planning to modernize Be-12 amphibious planes for new antisubmarine weapon systems," the general said.

The training of specialists for the Russian Navy is prioritized, Kozhin also said. "The center for combat use and advanced training courses for pilots of the Russian naval aviation in Yeisk plans to train over 300 military pilots and technical engineers at 50 training groups of central officer courses in 2017 and 2018 inclusively," the Russian naval aviation chief said.