It appears inevitable that the Russians, once innovators of naval aviation but, lately, merely witnesses to the carrier’s hot and cold war potential, will themselves take air power to sea in the not-too-distant future. Their carrier may be a lineal descendant of the Moskva, or it could be a design closer to the familiar flattop.
In January 1916, the Turkish port of Zonguldak on the Anatolian coast of the Black Sea was subjected to one of the world’s first bombing raids by shipborne aircraft. Ten seaplanes from the Russian carriers Nikolai I and Aleksandr I dropped some 40 bombs in the harbor area, badly damaging the steamer Irmingard, as well as hitting Port facilities. Thus, the Russians, whose lack of aircraft carriers today causes speculation, were pioneers in developing naval aviation.