These are the 20 aircraft carriers in service today

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Length: 1,005 ft

Commissioned: 1991

Carries: 41-53 aircraft. 14 Su-33 fighters, 28 MiG-29K fighters (upcoming), 15 Ka-27 helicopters.

Crew: 1,960 sailors, 626 airmen, 46 command.

Propulsion System: Steam turbines. Eight boilers, two turbines, nine turbogenerators, six diesel generators, four propellers.

History: While the full name — Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov — is a bit of a mouthful,this ship is one of the largest carriers and the flagship of the Russian Navy.

Originally launched in 1985, the Kuznetsov wasn’t fully operational until 1995 after the fall of the Soviet Union. Her sister ship, the Varyag, was never commissioned and sold to China as a hulk by Ukraine.

Kuztnetsov became the first Russian aircraft carrier to ever see combat when it was sent to Syria’s Mediterranean coast in 2016 to assist in Russian combat operations. Its aircraft flew 420 missions and hit 1,252 targets.

Kuznetsov did, however, show its age by losing two aircraft due to technical malfunctions of the carriers arresting gear. The first incident was in November 2016 when a MiG-29K ran out of fuel while waiting for repairs to the arresting wire, and the second was just a month later, when an Su-33 crashed because the arresting wire failed to hold the aircraft.

Following these mishaps, Kuznetsov’s air wing was forced to operate from air bases in Syria until the issues were resolved.

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