Russian Ministry of Defense calls British aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth 'a convenient naval target'

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that the new British aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth, which was recently sent to sea trials, is “just a convenient large-scale naval target.”

This was in answer to the British Defense Minister Michael Fallon, who criticized the Russian cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov, as reported by RBC news agency.

Earlier, Fallon told the Telegraph newspaper that in Russia they would “look with a little bit of envy” at the new British aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth after the “old, dilapidated” Admiral Kuznetsov “sailed across the Channel.”

He spoke about the new aircraft carrier in the context of possible surveillance from Russia.

“It's routine for the Russians to collect information about our ships, and we will take all necessary measures to make sure that they do not get too close to [the Queen Elizabeth]. But I think that they will admire her,” Fallon said.

Konashenkov, in turn, called Fallon's statement “rapturous,” and also accused him of being “ignorant of naval science.” According to the official spokesman of the Russian Defense Ministry, the British aircraft carrier is “only able to release airplanes” from its belly, surrounded by warships, support vessels and submarines, while the Admiral Kuznetsov is equipped with anti-aircraft, anti-submarine and Granit anti-ship missiles.

Konashenkov summed up by saying that “the British aircraft carrier is just a convenient large-scale naval target.”

In October 2016, the Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia’s only aircraft carrier, crossed the English Channel and headed for the shores of Syria as part of a naval group including the ships Pyotr Velikiy, Severomorsk, and Vice Admiral Kulakov. When the group passed through the Channel, black smoke could be seen coming out of the Admiral Kuznetsov, which caused quite a stir in the media and prompted statements about something being wrong with the vessel.

On November 14, a MiG-29 fighter aircraft crashed in the Mediterranean Sea shortly after taking off from the cruiser. The pilot managed to eject.

In December, an Su-33 fighter aircraft, during its approach to the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, ran off the deck and plunged into the sea.

Upon his return to Russia in February, the commander of Admiral Kuznetsov Sergey Artamonov said that the smoke coming from the vessel “is inherent in all non-nuclear ships” and this “is not a sign of any malfunctions.”

  aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth, Navy, Britain