Kiev, Project 1143, NATO 'Kuril' Class, 1975
My alternate RN needs suitable threats to face and so here is the 'Kuril' Class carrier.
The first of three Pr.1173 aviation cruisers were laid down in 1973 at South Yard, Nikolayev. Designed to support Soviet ASW groups these ships offered far superior capabilities to the two Pr.1123 Moskva Class ships completed during the 1960s. The ships combined a powerful air defence capability through medium-range SAMs and the Yak-36M V/STOL fighters carried along with a useful anti-submarine armament comprised of Ka-25 helicopters supported by ship-launched missiles and rockets. Each was equipped as a flagship. The three ships completed were; Kiev, Minsk and Kharkov.
Displacement: 40,000 tons
Dimensions: 281m (long), 60.9m (beam, including flightdeck)
Armament: 2x SA-N-3 SAM launchers, 3x SA-N-4 SAM launchers, 1x SUW-N-1 ASW missile laucher, 6x2 57mm guns, 8x2 30mm guns, 2x RBU-6000 ASW rocket mortars
Airgroup: 25x Yak-36M 'Freehand' V/STOL fighters and 25x Ka-25 'Hormone-A' helicopters
Speed: at least 30kts
Real World: The Kuril was a misidentified Kiev Class. In 1973 DOD analysts only had satellite photos of the hull of Kiev then under construction and they supposed the Kiev would combine the features of the Moskva with a larger flight deck. The drawing above is based on the artists impression republished in The Hybrid Warship
and a line drawing produced by Janes around the same time, presumably based on the same artwork. This was reproduced in the 1976 novel A Game of Titans
the only time the Kuril made its appearance in fiction. Quite soon however the real armament of the Kievs became clear and NATO dropped the 'Kuril' designation. The analysts for some bizarre reason assumed a gun armament of 28 57mm guns, the mounts in Janes looking like the older ZiF-31 mounts. I decided to make more use of the 30mm.
The Yak-36 is all-new (I've included a basic version in case anyone wants it) and I've touched up the old Ka-25 a bit too. Golly is fully credited here, because although the ship is 90% mine, I've ripped several elements from Golly's excellent Novgorod and Soviet carriers.