George1 wrote:Su-33 Northern Fleet Navy Flankers Enter Into Kola Arctic Service
The fleet of aircraft entered into service in defense of the air borders of the Kola area of the Arctic region following a ceremony on August 1; the aircraft is a naval fighter jet based on the Su-27.
A fleet of Su-33 navy flankers have entered service in the Kola zone of the Russian Arctic, the Northern Fleet of the Russian navy announced on Monday.
"Pilots of the shipborne fighter aviation regiment of the Northern Fleet have begun service guarding the air borders of the Kola Arctic region using the deck-based Su-33 fighter jet – the naval equivalent of the multi-role Su-27 fighter jet," stated a spokesman for the Northern Fleet on Monday.
"The aircraft were introduced into service in a ceremony held on August 1."
According to the statement, the navy flankers had been employed in defense of Northern Fleet warship units on long campaigns. From now on, in between campaigns, the Su-33 aircraft will be employed in the air defense of the Kola area of the Russian Arctic.
The Su-33 is a single-seat ship-based fighter, designed to defend naval ships from aerial threats; the aircraft were brought into service on board the heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov.
The aircraft are manufactured in Komsomolsk-on-Amur and first entered into official service in 1998.
A naval derivative of the land-based Su-27 fighter jet, it has a reinforced undercarriage and folding wings for landing on navy aircraft carriers, and is equipped with probe-and-drogue refueling capabilities.
Read more: http://sputniknews.com/russia/20150803/1025335094.html#ixzz3hkgLVGxw
I predicted this scenario for some time as only logical. I think, when Kuznetsov carrier will return from repairs, MiG-29K/KUB will be stationed there and Su-33 will take defensive duties as ground based fighters. Considering Su-33 were built in mid nineties and have low number of carrier operation hours as Kuz went rarely on the sea, Su-33 could still serve for 15 to 20 years as ground based fighter, considering it have stronger undercarriage and structure for carrier operations and better anti corrosion protection. I think NAVY should modernize them with new Zhuk-MS or N001VEP radar and new displays in cockpit and bring it to Su-27SM3 standard.