Russian Su-33 in water: video from 2016 surfaces

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During its first and only deployment in war operations, the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov lost one of its Su-33 Flanker-Ds during a landing. Nearly seven years later, a video appeared on social media showing the Su-33 moments after the incident. A quick look back at the unlucky Russian Navy ship which, since this 2016 deployment, has accumulated numerous problems and incidents.

Video of the second crash

On November 16, 2016, after having completed a cruise from Severomorsk, the only Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov (Kuznetsov class) launched for the first time one of its MiG-29K or Su-33 for a combat operation on the Syria. However, this baptism of fire comes at a price:

  • On November 14, a MiG-29K Fulcrum, the navalized version of the MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter plane, crashed at sea while landing.
  • On December 3, a Su-33 Flanker-D, the navalized version of the Su-27 Flanker combat aircraft, crashed at sea after the landing strand system became defective.

No images of the second crash were then available… until October 2, 2023: a Russian sailor filmed the moment when the Flanker-D was in the water. The aircraft is clearly recognizable by its colors, the shape of the cockpit and its double tail. During the video, it is possible to see that Admiral Kuznetsov changed course and turned to port (left), probably to assist the rescue operations. At the end of the video, the Su-33 pilot is airlifted to one of the carrier’s helicopters (probably a Ka-27 Helix).

John Walker Avatar