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New Sovietskiy Kuznetsov Multi-role Aircraft Carrier:

Between when the first Soviet Union collapsed and the second Soviet Union formed, there were several decades where the Russian government was nominally democratic but largely ruled by oligarches. During this time, the Russian Navy was allowed to decay until it was only a shadow of its former self.

One of the few vessels which the former Soviet Navy maintained during these decades was the carrier Kuznetsov. Even so, the carrier was really all that well maintained, especially when compared to the American Nimitz class carriers and the French carrier Charles de Gaulle that has been commissioned around the same time period. The Kuznetsov had been among the last warships of the old Soviet Navy to have been completed. Her sister, originally named Riga and later renamed Varyag, was sold to China.

As a result of neglect, the Russian carrier was in sad shape when the New Soviet Navy decided to refurbish her and reinforce her with high strength composites and alloys. The refurbishment actually might be considered almost a complete rebuilding and the Kuznetsov sailed from the refitting yard virtually a new ship. In total, the refitting / rebuilding of the carrier took a full six years, almost as long as it might have taken to build a new carrier.

Most of the other older warships which were refitted at the same as Kuznetsov were soon scrapped as new vessels entered service. However, the Kuznetsov was retained. Several reasons were suggested by naval experts. Initially the Kuznetsov was considered something of a symbol of the Soviet Navy. In addition, the first New Soviet carrier was not commissioned until the Twenty-Fifties. Finally, the Kuznetsov had been far more extensively rebuilt than any of the other older warships and had been quite costly.

At first the Kuznetsov was considered the flagship of the New Soviet Navy and was used to show the Soviet flag around the world. Over the next few decades, the New Soviet Navy added more carriers to their fleet starting with the Arkhangelsk. In comparison to the Kuznetsov, the Arkhangelsk class carriers were far larger and embarked a much larger air wing. While the New Soviet Navy only built six additional carriers, they were generally considered excellent vessels and highly capable.

Once the additional carriers started entering service, the Kuznetsov often was sent to hot spots which the Soviets did not want to risk any of their newer carriers. As well, the oldest carrier often was used to support amphibious operations. While kept extremely quiet, there is evidence that the Kuznetsov had been attacked several times and in fact had been damaged more than once. One of the most recognized incident, echoing what happened to the American destroyer U.S.S. Cole, a a group of terrorists sent a small boat filled with explosives to attempt to blow a hole in the hull. Unlike the American destroyer, the boat was destroyed by a missile fired from the carrier and the carrier was undamaged.

Before the Great Cataclysm, the New Soviet Navy had planned to have the Kuznetsov become a training carrier upon the commissioning of the first of a new class of carrier which had been under construction at the time. Eventually it was planned that the old carrier would decommissioned to reserve status although that was believed to still be about two decades away. When the Great Cataclysm struck, the Kuznetsov was out to sea. Since then, there have been no reports with respect to the Soviet’s first super carrier however there is potential that the Kuznetsov survived.

With respect to the rebuilding of the carrier, much of the original hull plating had to be stripped but the basic frame was retained. However, even at this level the frame was reinforced with super strong alloys in many places to strengthen the vessel. Afterwards, the hull of the carrier was refitted with high strength alloys and composites and are far stronger than they were when the ship was first laid down. In addition, these modern materials are virtually immune to corrosion.

Even when first commissioned, the steam turbines had a number of issues. The original plant was effectively the same as was fitted to the Kiev class aircraft cruisers. By the time that the Kuznetsov was being rebuilt, the propulsion plant was considered to not be worth rebuild and was completely replaced as a result. An incredibly involved project, the original steam plant was replaced by eight gas turbine engines. It has been suggested that in large part the replacement of the whole engineering plant is why it required so long in order to rebuilt the carrier.

The four shaft setup was retained and two gas turbines were tied to each shaft and the original propellers were replaced by variable pitch propellers. Otherwise, these gas turbines were of the same design as those carried on the Novik class destroyer and produced about forty percent greater power than the original power plant while having around the same fuel efficiency as the original steam plant even though they were gas turbines engines. With their greater power, these engines could drive the carrier at around two knots greater than the original steam plant. There has been much speculation from American naval engineers that these engines were close copies of the General Electric LM-2500 gas turbines.

During later refits, these gas turbine engines were replaced by even more powerful fusion turbines. Compared to the original refit, the replacement of the gas turbines was considered relatively easy. With the fusion turbines, top speed was further increased with the top speed with Kuznetsov able to reach a top speed of around 34.5 knots. In addition, the carrier’s endurance became effective unlimited with the fusion turbines. Later New Soviet carriers were built with four fusion reactors as their main power plant.

Unchanged on the Kuznetsov was the flight deck although reinforced with new materials as with the rest of the vessel. This includes retaining a ski-jump style ramp. However, the Arkhangelsk class carrier uses catapults for aircraft operations. Originally the carrier was designed to be able to embark fifty-two aircraft but that was downgraded to forty-six. Normal fighter compliment is thirty six fighters and ten support aircraft. At the time of the Great Cataclysm, the air group considered of two squadrons of Sukhoi Su-47D fighters, a single squadron of Yak-244 VTOL fighters, and ten Yak-228 tilt rotors. Four of the tilt rotors were radar aircraft while six were anti-submarine warfare aircraft.

When the Kuznetsov was rebuilt, virtually all of the electronics were considered obsolete. As a result, almost every system was replaced by new systems. Included in the rebuilding was the replacement of the original Mars-Passat/Sky Watch phased array with the “Pod Hunter” active phased array which used diamond shaped panel. To augment this, a rotating active single phased array system know as “Morning Star” was mounted, replacing the original conventional radar system. The mounting of these systems virtually completely changed the configuration of the carrier’s island. One of the few major systems which was retained was the hull sonar although the electronic components used in the system have been upgraded.

Compared to the original weapon suit, the number of weapon systems carried aboard the Kuznetsov is actually reduced. As originally fitted, the carrier originally mounted six single 30 mm anti-aircraft mounts in addition to the eight CADS-N-1 Close In Weapon System mounts. The six single 30 mm mounts were removed when the ship was refitted although the CADS-N-1 mounts were initially retained. Later, the original CADS-N-1 point defense mounts were replaced by the same number of CAD-N-6 Mounts which used a pulse laser in place of the 30 mm cannons although retained the missile launchers.

With respect to missile launchers, the Kinzhal octuple rotary vertical launch systems were retained. However, the launchers were refitted to fire conventional medium range missiles instead of SA-N-9 Gauntlet missiles which the launcher was originally fitted for. Initially, the engineers in charge of the refit considered completely removing the cruise missile launchers but the decided instead to replace the twelve P-700/SS-N-19 Granit / Shipwreck missiles with twice as many smaller cruise missiles. As with the original launchers, the new cruise missile launchers are flush decked and barely visible.

The two anti-torpedo launchers were replaced with “Killer Dart” interceptor short range torpedo launchers. These launchers are identical to those mounted on other New Soviet warship classes. While mainly used to intercept incoming torpedoes, they can also be used against underwater power armors and divers.

With regard to later carriers, the Kuznetsov was used as a basis for the weapon layout. However, the medium range missile launchers aboard the Arkhangelsk class carriers were of a modified design and were slightly more compact. As with the Kuznetsov, there was quite a bit of debate whether cruise missile launchers would be carried however in the end it was decided to maintain a large cruise missile battery.

Originally the Kuznetsov displaced about 67,500 tons when fully loaded. During the refit, this was substantially increased, with the displacement when fully loaded increasing by around five thousand tons. As rebuilt, the carrier’s displacement increased to around 72,500 tons when fully loaded.

An important feature of the refit of the Kuznetsov was the addition of automation to reduce the crew the ship required. With the gas turbine engines replacing the original steam plant, the engineering crew could be reduced greatly. In addition, the new alloys and composites enabled the crew to be further reduce. In total, the ship’s crew could be reduced by around thirty percent and the air crew could be reduced by around ten percent. As built, the officer quarters were extremely luxurious. This was somewhat toned down when the carrier was rebuilt.

For shipboard defense, the Kuznetsov generally carried a small troop compliment. Later this compliment also included a number of cyborg troops. Most of the cyborgs embarked were light cyborgs but the carrier also carried heavy cyborgs equipped with flight packs. This filled a similar role to flight power armors on United States and other Western warships. As the Kuznetsov was designed as a flag ship, it had extensive flag facilities. Over the course of the carrier’s career, these facilities had been upgraded a number of times.

Author Note: With respect to time line, these designs may or may not reflect our modern time line. The time line of these writeups diverged from our time line starting around 1999. Consider the universe that these designs are created for to be an alternate universe not bound by ours.

Model Type: Project 1143.5.

Class: Nuclear Aircraft Carrier (Tyazholiy Avionosnyy Kreyser (TAKR); heavy aviation cruiser).

Crew: Ship’s complement 1,420, air crew 565, and flagship staff 40 (when acting as a flagship).

Troops: 160 normal soldiers (including partial conversions and light cyborgs), 40 heavy cyborg soldiers (with jet packs.)

Vehicle Compliment:



Sukhoi Su-47D Foxfire Multi-Role Fighters.



Yak-244 Firedancer VSTOL Fighters.



Yak-228B“Minstrel” ASW / Utility Tilt-Rotor Aircraft.



Yak-228C “Minstrel” Radar Tilt-Rotor Aircraft.

M.D.C. by Location:


CADS-N-6 Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems (8, hull /flight deck):

225 each.


SS-N-40 Cruise Missile Vertical Launchers (24, forward flight deck):

150 each.


SA-N-9 Gauntlet Octuple Rotary Vertical Launch Systems (24, hull /flight deck):

80 each.


Killer Dart “Interceptor” Torpedo Launchers (2):

80 each.


[1] Chaff / Decoy Launchers (8, hull / superstructure):

10 each.


[2] “Pod Hunter” Soviet AEGIS Phased Array Radar Panels (4, superstructure):

200 each.


[2] “Morning Star” Active Phased Array Radar (1, superstructure):



[3] Arrester Cables (4):

40 each.


[4] Exterior Elevators (2):

300 each.


Hanger doors (2):

300 each.


[5] Flight Deck:



[6] Bridge / Command Tower:



Outer Hull (per 40 foot / 12.2 meter area):



[7] Main Body:



[1] These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a “called shot,” but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.

[2] Destroying “Pod Hunter” AEGIS active phased array panels will disable primary long range search and fire control systems. However, the “Morning Star” rotating active phased array radar acts as medium range radar but does not have the ability to track as many targets. In addition, standard robot sensors for the time period, not needing large antennas to be effective, were installed in well-protected points in the hull as secondary systems. As well, “Pod Hunter” phased array radar panels can partially compensate for each other.

[3] If arrester cables are destroyed, non VTOL or STOL aircraft cannot land until arrester cables are replaced.

[4] If both elevators are destroyed, no aircraft can be moved from the hangers to the flight deck, meaning that they cannot be launched unless already on the flight deck.

[5] If the flight decks are destroyed, only VTOL aircraft can be launched or land. VTOL aircraft are at -15% to piloting.

[6] If the bridge/ control tower is destroyed, the ship can still be piloted from engineering but with a -15% to piloting rolls. Communication and sensor equipment are not concentrated on the bridge to reduce the effectiveness of bridge hits.

[7] Destroying the main body causes the ship to lose structural integrity, causing the ship to sink. There are enough life preservers and inflatable life boats to accommodate everyone on the ship.


Surface: 39.7 mph (34.5 knots/ 63.9 kph).

Range: Effectively unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 10 years and requires maintenance as well). Ship carries six months of supplies on board.

Statistical Data:

Draft:    34.4 feet (10.5 meters) including sonar dome.

Length:  885.8 feet (270 meters) waterline and 1,005.6 feet (306.5 meters) overall.

Width:   116.1 feet (35.4 meters) waterline and 237.2 feet (72.3 meters) flight deck.

Displacement: 58,200 tons standard and 72,500 tons fully loaded.

Cargo: Can carry 4,000 tons (3,630 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies. Each enlisted crew member has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Ship’s officers have more space for personal items. Most of the ship’s spaces are taken up by extra ammo, armor, troops, weapons, and engines.

Power System: Original steam turbine with eight gas-fired boilers and four steam turbines. Later replaced by eight gas turbine engines. Finally converted to eight nuclear fusion turbine reactors with an average life span of 10 years.

Black Market Cost: Not for sale but costs around 1.2 billion credits to construct. If found and sold on the black market would probably cost 3 to 6 billion credits. Cost does not include embarked craft and power armors.


  1. Eight (8) Kashstan CADS-N-6 CIWS Systems: Combination Anti-Missile Defense Systems which combines both a rapid fire laser and a short range missile launchers. While mounted in one system, both defense systems have separate tracking systems. Short range missiles are designed to be able to track and target multiple missiles simultaneously. Laser system fires four blast bursts and is capable of destroying missiles and inflicting serious damage on aircraft. Laser is similar to the S-500 Cyclone Pulse Laser Rifle with extended range. System can be targeted against surface targets and ground targets.

    Maximum Effective Range: Laser Cannons: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters). Short Range Missiles: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega Damage: Laser Cannons: 1D6x10 for four blast burst. Short Range Missiles: As per short range missile type - Usually fragmentation warheads (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Laser Cannons: Six (6) attacks per melee. (+2 to strike aircraft; +3 to strike missiles.) Short Range Missiles: can fire short range missiles one at a time or in volley of two (2), three (3), or four (4) short range missiles per launcher. Can fire up to two (2) times per melee round in place of gun fire.

    Payload: Laser Cannons: Effectively unlimited. Short Range Missiles: Thirty-two (32) short range missiles per mount.

  2. Twenty-four (24) SS-N-40 Cruise Missile Vertical Launchers: The ship originally carried twelve launchers for P-500/SS-N-19 Granit “Shipwreck”heavy cruise missiles but these launchers were replaced by launchers for smaller cruise missiles. The launchers are located flush with the forward part of the carrier’s flight deck. Later carriers carry a smaller number of cruise missile launchers. The cruise missiles can be fired be fired at either ground or surface targets but cannot be targeted on air targets. The launchers can launch at multiple targets simultaneously.

    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with cruise missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega Damage: Varies with cruise missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire cruise missiles one at a time, or volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or twelve (12) cruise missiles per melee round.

    Payload: One (1) cruise missile per launcher for twenty-four (24) cruise missiles total.

  3. Twenty-Four (24) SA-N-9 Gauntlet Rotary Octuple Vertical Launch Systems: These launchers were originally designed to launch RZ-130 Kinzhal/Klinok/SA-N-9 Gauntlet missiles but have been refitted to launch standard medium range missiles. Each launcher has eight medium range missiles in a rotary launcher. Normal role for the missiles is to act as medium defense of the vessel. They can launch on either ground, surface, or air targets. The launchers can launch at multiple targets simultaneously.

    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega-Damage: Varies with medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Each launcher can fire a single medium range missile at a time. Combined, the launchers can fire medium range missiles one at a time or in volleys of any amount of medium range missiles up to twenty-four (24) medium range missiles total in any combinations and can be fired at multiple targets at the same time. Can be fired up to twice (2) per melee round.

    Payload: Has eight (8) medium range missiles per launcher for one hundred and ninety-six (196) medium range missiles total.

  4. Two (2) Killer Dart “Interceptor” Short Range Torpedo Launchers: These so called “Killer Darts” are a Russian interceptor torpedo, designed primarily for intercepting and hitting incoming torpedoes, with a secondary function against small submersibles and submersible power armors. They mount in a similar position to the ASW Rail launchers carried on late Twentieth Century Soviet vessels. In contrast, American and European designers prefer to fire interceptor torpedoes from their standard torpedo tubes. Launcher is primarily designed to intercept incoming torpedoes but can be used against other vessels, against large submarines, and even against underwater troops. Other torpedoes can be used but are very rarely used.

    Maximum Effective Range: 2,000 feet (609.6 meters) using interceptor torpedoes, other torpedoes use standard rules (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

    Mega-Damage: By light torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Each launcher can fire salvos of up to eight (8) light interceptor torpedoes per melee round.

    Payload: Sixty-four (64) interceptor torpedoes each launcher for one hundred and twenty-eight (128) interceptor torpedoes total.

  5. Eight (8) Chaff / Decoy Launchers: Located on the sides of the hull of the ship, they are designed to confuse incoming missiles. All eight launchers must be operated or effects will be reduced. Rifts Earth decoys systems are assumed to not be effective against Phase World / Three Galaxies missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles) and reduce effects of launchers by 10% per launcher not used (Add +10% to rolls per launcher not used.) Only useful against missiles, not useful against torpedoes underwater.

    Range: Around Ship.

    Mega Damage: None.



    Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.



    Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)



    No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.

    Payload: Twenty-four (24) each for a total of one hundred and ninety-two (192) canisters.

Special Systems:

The ship has all systems standard on a robot vehicle plus the following special features:

[ Altarain TM, Bandito Arms TM, Brodkil TM, Chipwell Armaments TM, Coalition States TM, Cyber-Knight TM, Federation of Magic TM, Free Quebec TM, Golden Age Weaponsmiths TM, Horune TM, Iron Heart Armaments TM, Kankoran TM, Kittani TM, Kydian TM, Larsen’s Brigade TM, M.D.C. TM, Mechanoids TM, Mega-Damage TM, Megaversal Legion TM, Millennium Tree TM, Mutants in Orbit TM, Naruni Enterprises TM, Naut’Yll, New Navy TM, New Sovietskiy TM, NGR TM, Nog Heng TM, Northern Gun TM, Phase World TM, Psyscape TM, Rifter TM, SAMAS TM, S.D.C. TM, Shemarrian TM, Splugorth TM, Stormspire TM, Sunaj TM, Tolkeen TM, Triax TM, Wellington Industries TM, Wilk’s Laser Technologies TM, Xiticix TM, and Zaayr TM are trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

[ Beyond the Supernatural®, Heroes Unlimited®, Nightbane®, Ninjas & Superspies®, Palladium Fantasy®, and Rifts® are registered trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

Image drawn and copyrighted by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa).

Mischa has no art home page at present but many other items on my site.

Initial Concepts by Marina O'Leary ( ).

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2002 & 2017, Kitsune. All rights reserved.