The Sukhoi Su-27KUB (Su-33UB) twin-seat naval fighter/trainer prototype has begun arrested landing and ski-jump take-off flight tests at Nitka in the Crimea. Facilities at Nitka include a representation of the deck of the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, including a ski jump and a four-wire arresting gear. Tests are being flown by Sukhoi pilots Victor Pugachev and Roman Kondratyev. Flight tests from the Kuznetsov are planned for later this year. The carrier is receiving powerplant and other repairs at the Murmansk shipyard. The Kuznetsov can carry up to 36 Sukhoi Su-33 naval fighters and 16 Kamov Ka-27 helicopters. The Russian navy now has only 12 squadron pilots fully qualified for carrier operations, however.

Source: Flight International