- - Monday, November 28, 2016

Russia is preparing to use other options if the aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, has to leave its station in the Mediterranean, Russia’s upper house of parliament’s defense committee chair said recently.

“The necessity to use the airfield of the airbase in Hamadan could emerge if Admiral Kuznetsov carries out another operation and [Russia] will not be able to use it for airstrikes against terrorists in Syria,” Viktor Ozerov told RIA Novosti.

The most likely reason for the carrier being pulled off station is the need for maintenance downtime. The vessel has a long history of mechanical problems and the recent deployment is a first of its kind for the Russian navy. Long term operations may not be in the cards for the Admiral Kuznetsov at the moment, or perhaps new operational issues have arisen that Russia would like to take care of as the carrier comes into a normal operation cycle for such a ship.

Either way, it seems the Iranian air base is a natural fall back position for Russia; although, Iran voiced displeasure at Russia gloating over the use of the base after the previous deployment of Russian bombers.

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