Vesti.ru has rebroadcast Interfaks information from a Main Navy Staff source who says, on 1 April, Naval Aviation (VMA) will begin transferring its land-based fighter and bomber aircraft to the Air Forces (VVS).
By year’s end, the VVS will get the Navy’s remaining Su-27 fighters, MiG-31 fighter-interceptors, long-range Tu-22 [sic] supersonic bombers, and also part of the VMA’s transport aircraft.
Russian Naval Aviation Tu-22M3
The Interfaks report will probably get garbled into all aircraft, or all land-based aircraft, going to VVS, which is not the case, as it makes its way into other Russian and English language news stories.
VMA will retain control of its Il-38, Tu-142, and Be-12 ASW aircraft, and its deck-based aircraft, the Su-33 fighter and Ka-27 helicopters, according to the Interfaks source.
According to the Vesti.ru article, missile-carrying naval aviation has deteriorated since the Soviet collapse, and only the Northern and Pacific Fleets have long-range ASW aircraft which, it claims, amount to only 25 Il-38 and 15 Tu-142. It says the Baltic Fleet has no ASW aircraft, and the Black Sea Fleet only four old Be-12 likely to be completely worn out by 2015.
The article notes that the Su-33, Su-25UTG trainer, multipurpose Ka-27 and Ka-29 combat-transport helicopters will remain in the air wing of heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser Fleet Admiral of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov. There are reported plans to procure 26 MiG-29K fighters for Kuznetsov.
Here’s a nicely done, data-filled Russian language Wiki article on Russian Naval Aviation.
VMA lost something else recently. A BMW-X5 used by VMA Chief, General-Colonel Igor Khozhin was stolen in Moscow on Friday, according to Interfaks.
ITAR-TASS also reported Friday that more than 80 RVSN aircraft — An-72, An-26, and Mi-8 helicopters — will also be going over to the VVS starting on 1 April.