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Project 72

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Project 72.gif

Type aircraft carrier
Flag state USSR
Accessory Soviet Navy
Preceded by Soviet aircraft carrier Krasnoye Znamya
Succeeded by Soviet aircraft carrier Ship X

Nikolayev South Shipyard, Nikolayev, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, USSR

Admiralty Shipyard, Leningrad, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, USSR

Put into operation 1941-1949
The current status of In service

29,000-30,755 tons (standard)

37,390 tons of the maximum

Length 255 m

28 m waterline

45 m flight deck


7,0 m (standard displacement)

8,5 m (full load displacement)

Technical data
Power plant boiler-turbine unit shaft 8
Screws 4
Power 150,000 hp (Total)
Rate 30 knots (maximum)
Endurance 45 days
Crew 2,100
Anti-aircraft weapons

8 × 2 dual 130 mm guns

8 × 2 dual 85 mm guns

8 × 2 dual 37 mm K-37 AA-guns

Aviation 62-70 aircraft

The Project 72 (Russian: проектов 72) is a class of large Soviet aircraft carriers displaced 29,000 tons being built for Soviet Navy (Red Navy/Red Fleet) during World War II and Post-World War II period. During the 1930s, Joseph Stalin called for a major fleet build-up of the Red Fleet under the Third Five Year Plan (1938-1942), that was to include large battleships, battlecruisers, improved destroyers, light cruisers, long rander submarines, and finally a pair of aircraft carriers (Project 71 and Project 72).

Project 72's designs was based on the Nazi German aircraft carrier KMS Graf Zeppelin. She would be 812 feet long, comparable to the American Essex class aircraft carriers, and displace 29,000 tons. Like Project 71, she drew heavily on the Nazi German Graf Zeppelin design, and like the Nazi German ship was projected to carry a very small air group for her size, 60 aircraft.

Four incomplete ships, the battlecruisers of the Borodino class, were converted as aircraft carriers a part of Project 72. It different alot from the earlier Komitern carriers with introducing the british-type "amoured box" concept for the hangar. This was tought to be neccerical for the more agressive role of the new carrier arm. This however reduced the airgroup to similar size as in the alot smaller pr.71. Armament was also heavy, 8 twin 122 mm dual-purpose guns as well as 8 twin 76 mm and 20 single 45 mm AA guns. 4 units were planned and laid down between 1939-41 to which the first two, Baku and Tbilisi were given priority in construction in the gloom of new world war. They were completed in only a two year both commisioned late 1941 despite the heavy toll of the operation Barbarosa to the whole nation. Second pair, Volgograd and Nikolayev remained unfinished untill work continued in 1943 when Odessa pocket is released. Both ships were again given high priority (at this point, carriers were promoted to the main striking unit of the whole fleet) to complete and they were in commission in november and december 1944.

Later in the late 1940s, another two incomplete battlecruisers, Kronstadt and Sevastopol, were also converted as aircraft carriers in 1949.

Ships in class[]

  • Izmail (former planned battlecruiser Izmail)
  • Borodino (former planned battlecruiser Borodino)
  • Kinburn (former planned battlecruiser Kinburn)
  • Navarin (former planned battlecruiser Navarin)
  • Kronstadt (former planned battlecruiser Kronstadt)
  • Sevastopol (former planned battlecruiser Sevastopol)
  • Tbilisi
  • Baku
  • Volgograd
  • Nikolayev