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    Future russian aircraft carriers.

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    GarryB
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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  GarryB on Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:53 pm

    PAK FA is too big for smaller carriers like the new carrier for India, but for the Kuznetsov that currently operates the Su-33 the PAK FA is slightly smaller than the Su-33 so should be fine.

    Of course the Mig-29K of today will be obsolete in 2025, but by 2025 it will be upgraded with all sorts of new stuff that will make it competitive.

    Wort case scenario there is no reason why the PAK FA can't be both fighter and attack aircraft on a carrier.

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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  George1 on Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:26 pm

    The contract design of Russian navy’s new carrier will be developed by 2014

    The contract design of Russian navy’s new carrier will be developed by 2014 and the ship will be constructed after 2020, Lenta.ru reports with reference to Vladimir Visotskiy, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian navy.

    According to him, the new ship will not be like a traditional carrier. "It will be one step ahead. The ship must perform its mission in any environment", - Visotsky explained.

    The advanced carriers perform their duties in only two types of environment – “air and, at best, the lower space orbit group". "But we intend to go further – there is space, there is an underbody, there is an upperworks with uncontrolled and controlled vehicles. That is to say we intend to make an integrated carrier, which would be able to perform its mission in almost any environment", - Visotsky said, noting that the main emphasis will be put on aerospace element, able to provide the sea supremacy.

    The late launch of ship’s construction is connected with the necessity of careful elaboration of its project, Visotsky explained. If we start the construction today, we will have an upgraded “Admiral Kuznetsov” or degraded” Enterprise” or “Minsk” and “Kiev”. "That is what they have to offer today. But we need to make a quantum leap", - Visotsky said.

    The existence of plans for construction of the carrier has been confirmed for the first time by Anatoly Serdukov, Russian Minister of Defense, in mid-November 2011. According to him, the Ministry of Defense has ordered the elaboration of avant-project by United Shipbuilding Corporation. However, the financing of the carrier’s construction is not assumed by the State program in the area of arms for 2011-2020. As expected, the elaboration of ship’s avant-project will be completed in 2012.

    At present Russian navy operate only one carrier – aircraft-carrying heavy cruiser “Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov”. The ship was built in 1985 in the network of 1143.5 "Krechet" project and put into operation in 1991. 12 ka-27 helicopters and 33 Su-33 fighters form the carrier’s air grouping. It has been reported earlier that the modernization of the cruiser will be started this year and it will be completed in 2017.

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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  George1 on Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:17 am

    New Russian aircraft carrier to be blueprinted by 2017

    The blueprint of Russia's next-generation aircraft carrier will be ready in six years.

    The announcement was made by the state shipbuilding company working on the design.

    No details have been released yet. Earlier reports suggested it will be nuclear-powered, with a displacement of 80,000 tons. Soviet carriers had a maximum of 50,000 tons.

    It is not clear if the ship will actually be built, as the Defense Ministry is deciding whether Russia needs a second aircraft carrier at all. Anyway, the design bureau says, by the time the ministry makes a decision, the aircraft carrier’s price and design need to be blueprinted.

    If approved, the new carrier would be part of the Defense Ministry’s decade-long plan to upgrade the Russian military. The program is expected to cost Russia over 23 trillion rubles.

    Russia’s sole aircraft carrier, “Admiral Kuznetsov,” was built in 1985.

    http://rt.com/news/prime-time/russian-aircraft-carrier-blueprint-717/

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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  George1 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:19 am

    http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_11_26/Russia-is-developing-a-nuclear-powered-aircraft-carrier/

    Russia is developing a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier

    For the past two years Russia has been designing a prospective heavy nuclear-powered aircraft carrying cruiser, which should become one of the most important elementsof the country’s national security at sea, a source in the Military-Industrial Commission under the government of the Russian Federation informed journalists today.

    "The Russian Navy needs an airborne cruiser, which would be dozens of years ahead of his time, and not just an analogue of modern aircraft carriers existing in the United States or other countries," he noted.

    "The main requirement for this ship is its ability to act in all environments: space, air, water, land and underwater", the source emphasized.

    Voice of Russia, TASS

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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  GarryB on Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:05 am

    Good.

    To those that ask why Russia needs a carrier, I would ask why Russia needs an Air Force.

    An Army can fight without air support, just like a Navy can operate without carriers, but the Army becomes much more effective when it has air cover because the Intel alone, not to mention the strike capability multiplies the effectiveness of the land or sea based force by many times, while at the same time denying the enemy air component the opportunity to do the same to their sea and land forces.


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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  George1 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:20 am

    How many they need in numbers? 4? or more?

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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  GarryB on Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:28 am

    I would think 3-4 would be enough, though if they can be made cheaply and efficiently perhaps 6 might be ideal.

    Normally if you want to guaranteed have one carrier available all the time then you need three... one fully operational, one in training, but ready if needed, and one in overhaul/upgrade.

    That means in an emergency you might be able to have two carriers available for an incident.

    4 would mean two in the Pacific Fleet and two in the Northern Fleet.

    With a Mistral carrier assigned to each carrier group that would result in pretty effective airpower and pretty good power projection capability.

    Of course the upgrade of the K should unify propulsion, weapons and sensors, so it can count as one as well.


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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  NickM on Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:36 am

    The perfect aircraft carrier are the Elizabeth class carriers of the Royal Navy.

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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  TR1 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:41 am

    NickM wrote:The perfect aircraft carrier are the Elizabeth class carriers of the Royal Navy.

    What makes it better than the larger and more capable new American carriers?

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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  Cyberspec on Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:32 am

    It's British with the semi-divine aura of royalty...the Americans are just a bunch of crude peasants in comparison pirat




    "The Russian Navy needs an airborne cruiser, which would be dozens of years ahead of his time, and not just an analogue of modern aircraft carriers existing in the United States or other countries,

    Sounds ambitious, which is good. It's good to aim high

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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  George1 on Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:25 am

    GarryB wrote:I would think 3-4 would be enough, though if they can be made cheaply and efficiently perhaps 6 might be ideal.

    Normally if you want to guaranteed have one carrier available all the time then you need three... one fully operational, one in training, but ready if needed, and one in overhaul/upgrade.

    That means in an emergency you might be able to have two carriers available for an incident.

    4 would mean two in the Pacific Fleet and two in the Northern Fleet.

    With a Mistral carrier assigned to each carrier group that would result in pretty effective airpower and pretty good power projection capability.

    Of course the upgrade of the K should unify propulsion, weapons and sensors, so it can count as one as well.

    I would say 4, and the 5th the kuznetsov for training.

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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  Mindstorm on Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:20 pm



    The problems that the Navy find today with the selection of the cardinal technical requirements to include in the design of the new generation.... "aircraft carrier"..... are dictated almost entirely by the the enormous incertitude about the level of operations to assign to a similar asset two decades far from today.


    Aircraft Carriers are assets that cannot be renounced if you aim to expand military influence (mean of political and economic influence),but : areimmensely costly -requiring obviously also a big amount of corollary surface and submenrged units to operate - require more groups to obtain an effective expeditionary capability, need several years to achieve ,a among the crew, the professional "know-hows" to allow complex military operations to be conducted very far from friendly bases.


    Russia ,like URSS before, has obviously never aimed at achieve those offensive assets which find a place only in a strongly expansionist military doctrine ; moreover no other Nation at world is contemporaneously more aware than Russia that similar assets would represent nothing more than an immense, fearful waste of financiary resources in any conflict against a major enemies (for the near absolute impossibility to defend them ,in plain ocean, against the very sophisticated asymmetrical weapons that it had developed ,already since Cold War, to destroy them).


    Returning to the initial problem domestic strategists have argued that the enormous financiary resources for the realization of a 2030 and over "Carrier battle group" could be justified only commiting to them (through technical requirements very far from today aircraft carriers) a STRATEGIC ROLE, encompassing unique features capable to render the new "carriers" true mobile nodes and a C4 epicenters of the Russia Federation's future Air and Space Defense structure ; the final formulation of its requirements will, therefore, also wait the maturations and validation of some of the most important scientifical acquisitions (including also some true brekthroughs ) of some of the Institutes operating in the correlated fields.

    Capability to launch "aircraft", in the classic meaning of the term, will therefore NOT be its central and even less its defining feature.

    Of course a program with so a high degree of technical risks has also a commensurated probability to don't be even only initialized and ,in this optic, the extremely prudent behaviour adopted on the project is a wise position : it could allow to avoid to throw in a black hole hundreds of billions of rubles in the next decade SAP.



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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  Firebird on Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:55 pm

    I'm trying to figure all this out. I understand the Ru Navy wants designs for super-ambitious carriers that can provide a base for fighter planes, UCAVS, reconnaissance planes, underwater vessels (unmanned and manned), and perhaps even satellite launches. Who knows, perhaps laser/ energy weapons too.

    What I can't figure out is that an 80 or 100 000 tonne carrier is usually jammed with a big flight deck and the support for planes. So how does it cater for all these other possible uses. Now I can understand that the Typhoon subs could be converted to become underwater vessel "motherships", but how will this super-advanced aircraft carrier work? Will it be a huge vessel? OR will it have a flight deck but a sparse number of planes? Or will there be VTOL planes instead of skijumps?

    OR, perhaps it will literally be a floating base? American once planned for a giant carrier which could have airliner sized planes landing on it. Ofcourse plans never realised. It was called a JMOB or joint mobile offshore base.

    Then the question is, will there be a major chain in military doctrine as a result? Will there be a closer alliance with India, or CIS members? A little puzzling, but also very fascinating.

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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  GarryB on Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:42 pm

    Lets be clear. Russia doesn't want or need a Nimitz carrier.

    The purpose of Russian carriers is not to allow them to do what the US Navy did in Serbia or Iraq or Afghanistan.

    The purpose of the new Russian carriers is to provide air cover for the other Russian Naval units it will be operating with.

    In other words it is like the Russian Army having Frontal Aviation as a component of it... it can use it as a recon asset to monitor and control the airspace above the Army. It wont be used for deep strikes etc... a deep strike would be much more easily performed via long range cruise missile.

    Regarding:

    "The main requirement for this ship is its ability to act in all environments: space, air, water, land and underwater", the source emphasized.

    I would suggest they don't mean their new carriers will be part of the new SEA LAUNCH system with proton rocket launch facilities at one end of the vessel... I rather suspect they mean like an extension to Sigma that allows the carrier to monitor enemy activity underwater, on water, on land, in the air and in the space above, and share that information with other platforms and get information from other platforms including subs, ships, aircraft, and of course satellites.

    They might mount a launcher for the naval S-500 for instance, but that would largely be to defend the carrier from ballistic missile threats.

    I would say 4, and the 5th the kuznetsov for training.

    Right now they don't really need any... they still have a lot of rebuilding of their navy and its infrastructure to do. In 10 years time it will be useful to have something in production, which means they have to start designing it now.

    If they were designing a new rifle they wouldn't start by learning how to make a matchlock musket, so I equally think any work on steam cats should be put aside and EM catapults should be the main focus. Both would be difficult and expensive to develop, but if you spend the money on steam cats you end up with a perfected obsolete technology, whereas EM technology can be applied to other areas like EM guns and indeed the work on super magnets can also be applied to more powerful electric motors too... which would also be very valuable for the Navy and the Russian military in general.

    4 carriers would be a useful number without being excessive, the focus will be on maximising the number of aircraft per vessel.


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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  Firebird on Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:20 pm

    I suppose one potential "game changer" in all this, is if Russia decides its time to rigorously defend territory in the Arctic. Which ofcourse could be a VAST wealth of resoruces.

    America has just started on a new class of aircraft carrier, which is likely planned for the next few decades. So its interesting that Russia is planning something "dozens of years" ahead of rivals.
    What I wonder about is, why does the new ship need so many different purposes?
    Why not just have a carrier, destroyers, cruisers and underwater cruiser subs etc?

    I'm not knocking it. Its interesting why there is talk of leaping ahead of America.

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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  GarryB on Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:57 am

    The carriers will have little to do with American carriers... yet at the same time there are parallels.

    A carrier is the centre of a battle group... its aircraft extend the vision and reach of the vessels within the group and add a ring of protection that helicopters simply can't provide.

    The carrier also performs the role of battle management for the group.

    Very simply the US carrier is a strike carrier... a platform that allows the US navy to strike land based targets globally that can be repositioned within days without requirements for basing rights or setting up logistics lines.

    The main power of a US carrier is her strike aircraft... the fighters are there to protect the strike aircraft and the carrier and the naval group. The strike aircraft also have an anti ship role to also defend the carrier and surface group, but primarily it is a land strike function they are optimised for... and the rest of the aircraft on the carrier are there to support that mission.

    For the Russians any land strike can be carried out by cruise missile either of the subsonic or supersonic variety... Their previous carriers and carrier cruisers had a more limited role of carrying fighters and the role of attacking enemy ships was performed by their SS-N-12 in the case of the Kiev class and the SS-N-19 in the case of the Kuznetsov class carriers... both of which are anti ship only and have no land attack capability at all.

    The new carriers will likely have a few UKSK bin launchers for both land attack and anti ship but also importantly anti sub missiles.

    As mentioned the new Russian carriers will be optimised to see and fight threats from space, air, land, and sea surface and subsurface... their aircraft can deal with underwater, surface (sea and land), air, and space based targets using depth charges, torpedoes, antiship missiles, land attack cruise missiles, AAMs, and air launched missiles to take out low flying satellites and incoming ballistic threats. For the carrier itself simply fitted a UKSK launcher would allow it to engage subsurface, sea surface and land surface targets, and a SAM system would enable air and near space threats to be dealt with too.

    With the standardisation of systems and weapons and propulsion the design should be pretty modular, so it would be a case of designing a stealthy outer shell and then filling the insides with bits you want/need.

    This is not about leaping ahead of the US or UK... Russia has no global empire to maintain and is running a different race.

    Having said that of course when PAK FA is modified for carrier use I suspect Russia will have a rather better naval carrier jet than the west.


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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  George1 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:08 am

    Carriers are not only big ships with strong advantages, they are also vulnerable and costly. And Russia has a lot of Kh-22/32 missiles "carrier killers" Smile

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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  GarryB on Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:03 am

    Carriers are not only big ships with strong advantages, they are also vulnerable and costly. And Russia has a lot of Kh-22/32 missiles "carrier killers"

    That is like saying the Russian Air Force is not needed because its airfields are vulnerable.

    Russia does have a lot of carrier killer missiles, but it is hardly going to use them on their own ships.

    The west has relied on its carrier groups and large numbers of Harpoon missiles to defeat surface vessels, and the best defence against a mass attack is a layered defence with long sight and long reach... and therefore the best defence starts about 1200km around the ships which is where the Mig-29K2s should be able to patrol to to look for threats and targets. Without a carrier you are limited to the radar horizon.

    Very simply the logic that a carrier is vulnerable is hogwash, because the presence of a carrier and her aircraft actually make naval surface and subsurface vessels much much safer than they would be on their own.

    Carriers are big targets, but they are big very very well defended targets.

    Look at the British in the Falklands... without their carrier they would not have even bothered going because without air power their ships would have been sitting ducks to land based fighters... which was the main threat.


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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  Mindstorm on Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:07 pm



    and therefore the best defence starts about 1200km around the ships which is where the Mig-29K2s

    GarryB no aircraft at world can offer an effective air screen for an aicraft carrier group ,against enemy ASM-delivering intruders ,even only equal to half of this range.



    Like you well know one the most common attack profile and organization in attacking a CVBG foresee the splitting of the long range attacking aircraft units in ,at least, two-three squadrons (or part of them) organized to coming-in following very different vectors of attack ; each of them travel at very low altitude near the maximum possible boundary of the E-2 AWACS detection range footprint using ,in this phase, low intensity noise jamming near sea surface to furtherly reduce the detection range by part of the high altitude radar platforms ; just after the penetration of this potential CVBG's surveillance area, all aircraft accelerate at maximum gaining ,contextually, also altitude at maximum rate allowed by the payload while jamming platforms separate from main group in a random direction ,"masking" the main group with maximum jamming signal radiated power up to theirs missile's delivery.
    Just near the correct delievery altitude each aircraft of the squadron initialize the banking and deliver its payload, at this point it complete the U-turn and egress from area at maxium supersonic speed.

    You can easily realize that capability to execute and useful interception of high supersonic intruder groups coming from two-three vectors of attack ,following the up-described flight profile and tactics (for remain silent of the chance of the presence of an OCA escorts for the strike groups ....) and armed with ASM with astounding stand-off ranges is practically NEAR TO ZERO.


    Already in plain Cold War the same US. Navy was perfectly aware that CVBG, far from NORAD ,was not survivable when the same Admiral Hyman Rickover declared that in a conventional WWIII scenario against URSS them expected theirs carrier battle groups fleets to last no more than two days.

    I repeat one more time: CVBG are not conceived and even less optimized to fight a conflict against a sophisticated enemy ; the stellar costs of the carriers itself ,of all the aircraft them carry and of the ships that are forced at the mere role to defend them , could be employed dozen of times better for construct a much greater amount of incomparably more survivable and lethal ships moreover relieved from the slaving task to defend a frail whale.



    Very simply the logic that a carrier is vulnerable is hogwash, because the presence of a carrier and her aircraft actually make naval surface and subsurface vessels much much safer than they would be on their own.

    Sorry but i can't say to agree with you on that GarryB, and i am in good company:


    Gates also referred, in veiled terms, to China’s increasingly sophisticated near-shore surveillance-and-missile defense complex. “At the higher end of the access-denial spectrum, the virtual monopoly the U.S. has enjoyed with precision guided weapons is eroding — especially with long-range, accurate anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles that can potentially strike from over the horizon.”
    The sum of these innovative and low-cost threats is the looming obsolescence of the U.S. Navy carrier force. Against a clever enemy, “a Ford-class carrier plus its full complement of the latest aircraft would represent potentially a $15-to-$20 billion set of hardware at risk,” Gates said.



    A group of US cruiser ,destroyer and submarines -any of which perfectly capable to disperse or to reunite themselves in an integrated group) with same value of an aircraft carrier with all its fighter aircraft,AWACS and its escort ships against a powerful opponent would represent a naval force dozen of times more survivable ,lethal and ductile than a CVBG ; naturally if your goal is to move war against a nation of the opposite part of the planet, devoid of any mean to defend its airspace or to put in any peril your ships....well then your aircraft carriers are very cost efficient.

    Simply ,at now,in the world the second instance is much more likely than the first.


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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  Firebird on Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:58 pm

    Any naval battlegroup can expect to get ship losses. But the chances are that you can take out more or a similar number of their ships.
    But if someone advanced concentrates resoruces on a US carrier, it can be taken out quickly.
    Can a Russian carrier be taken out quickly? With S-500 and S400, I suspect this may be impossible in most, or MAYBE all cases ( if there is no mass saturated attack).
    Ofcourse, the balance of power mnight change over the course of a carrier's lifespan.

    Garry is right. Whilst a carrier IS a target, it helps the rest of the fleet massively. And ofcrouse land forces. It also helps submarines that will naturally give their locations away once a conflict starts. In short, I think its an essential constituent of a naval battle group.

    Something I wonder about is the possibility of modularised carriers eg 2 or 3 smaller ships join to form a carrier. Individually, these ships could be stealthy and its a case of "not putting all your eggs in one basket".

    I also saw some (very old!) and newish plans for a submarine which could act as a launch for planes.
    Ofcourse for UCAVs this would be pretty easy. I wonder how much it would cost to be done for fighter planes?

    eg 2 subs surface ( or perhaps a smaller surface ship+ a sub) join and become a launch platform for planes. Ofcourse this would be a seriously complex project. But there's no reason why it cant happen.

    The Nimitz work well in controlling low level militaries. But not so well against advanced opponents.
    My question is, does Russia plan on defending places like Venezuela and assisting India? Or is it just concentrated on neighbours and the Arctic?

    Its these factors that dictate what Russia really needs.

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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  GarryB on Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:48 pm

    GarryB no aircraft at world can offer an effective air screen for an aicraft carrier group ,against enemy ASM-delivering intruders ,even only equal to half of this range.

    Let me clarify.

    An S-400 can engage targets at 400km range. That does not mean that all aircraft inside 400km range are dead, or indeed that all aircraft at 401km are safe.

    If you are a group of ships and you get some information from another platform about enemy activity 1,000km to your south... if you have no carrier you wonder what the enemy is up to. If you have a carrier with 80 fighter aircraft you send some fighters and perhaps some UCAVs to investigate.

    Being able to do this is tremendously useful as one of the greatest problems in war is uncertainty.

    If the USS Vincennes was operating as part of a carrier group instead of launching a Standard SAM at the Iranian airbus it could have sent a few F-14s to investigate.

    The point is that aircraft extend vision and have claws too... they add an extra layer that makes defeating a surface group harder... not impossible, but much much harder.

    You can easily realize that capability to execute and useful interception of high supersonic intruder groups coming from two-three vectors of attack ,following the up-described flight profile and tactics (for remain silent of the chance of the presence of an OCA escorts for the strike groups ....) and armed with ASM with astounding stand-off ranges is practically NEAR TO ZERO.

    A very carefully coordinated and planned attack that needs critical timing and very specific knowledge and assets to be successful. Not many militaries around the world could perform such an attack successfully... either because they don't have all the components, they don't have the skill or both.

    In comparison an attack against a group of ships with no carrier air cover is much easier and requires far fewer assets/planning/skill.

    Carriers make naval groups much more effective and also much safer, though it doesn't make them perfect or invincible.


    Already in plain Cold War the same US. Navy was perfectly aware that CVBG, far from NORAD ,was not survivable when the same Admiral Hyman Rickover declared that in a conventional WWIII scenario against URSS them expected theirs carrier battle groups fleets to last no more than two days.

    Russia wont be facing the USSR or the US with its ships/carriers. It will be facing small countries and pirates and carriers make a naval force more powerful and more effective.

    CVBG are not conceived and even less optimized to fight a conflict against a sophisticated enemy ;

    And explosives were conceived as entertainment to scare away bad spirits and ghosts.
    Air Power can't be ignored. It is not the be all and end all that the west thinks it to be, but the comparison of an Army fighting while controlling the air over the battlefield, compared with an Army fighting without air control and I know which I would choose. It is no different for the Navy.

    the stellar costs of the carriers itself ,of all the aircraft them carry and of the ships that are forced at the mere role to defend them , could be employed dozen of times better for construct a much greater amount of incomparably more survivable and lethal ships moreover relieved from the slaving task to defend a frail whale.

    Carriers and aircraft are pieces of the same puzzle that complete a naval force. A naval force with its own air component is far more potent than the same naval force without aircraft. Even just helicopters and UAVs make an enormous difference.

    And carriers are not cheap, but they don't have to be 100,000 ton white elephants either.

    Nothing will ever be cheap again now that Russia has decided to go high tech, but there is no reason for these carriers to be super expensive.

    [Sorry but i can't say to agree with you on that GarryB, and i am in good company:

    They are not invincible, but they are not sitting ducks either. Their aircraft give them better vision and better weapons reach than any capital ship like a Kirov. In many ways they compliment such vessels. I rather suspect a Russian carrier will have plenty of SAMs and cruise missiles... unlike US carriers.

    The sum of these innovative and low-cost threats is the looming obsolescence of the U.S. Navy carrier force. Against a clever enemy, “a Ford-class carrier plus its full complement of the latest aircraft would represent potentially a $15-to-$20 billion set of hardware at risk,” Gates said.

    Reminds me of people who claim tanks are obsolete. He is looking for costs to cut and carriers is an obvious target. The question is... how do you replace that capability?

    With a tank what you do is you put a very powerful gun in a heavily armoured chassis... and you have another tank.

    Imagine what effect a Russian carrier group in the Med when NATO was bombing the crap out of Serbia and Kosovo might have had...

    Russia has said it wants a global presence, now if it wants to learn from British experience in the Falklands where very small aircraft carrying bombs could fly low using cover from the islands and attack ships close to the shore providing fire support for troops on the ground... well the best way to control the airspace in such a situation is carrier based AEW aircraft and fighters. There are thousands of islands in Indonesia alone and plenty of civilian shipping too... would you prefer to sit in your robocruiser and decide what is a threat and what isn't based on the blip on a radar screen, or would it be useful to send aircraft to find out in a few minutes.

    Going the robocruiser way ended in the deaths of over 200 civilians and certainly didnt make US ships safer.


    Last edited by GarryB on Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:57 am; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  Mindstorm on Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:07 am



    In comparison an attack against a group of ships with no carrier air cover is much easier and requires far fewer assets/planning/skill.

    You mean that if from a today CVBG someone remove the carrier with its entire air wing complement that naval group will be more vulnerable ?
    The response to that hypothesis is: yes of course.

    If you mean instaed that if from a today CVBG someone remove the carrier with its entire air wing complement and.....replace the carrier/airwing/fuel/crew with an equal value in destroyers, frigates, and submarines
    The response to that hypothesis is: no way on the Earth.

    The same notion that a carrier's air wing could offer any real defensive capability against attacks conducted with sophisticated stand-off anti ship missiles (deliverable from high supersonic aircraft, ships, land or submarines) is wronged in its most elementary foundation.
    Even today the most modern aircraft on Nimitz class wouldn't get that very slim chances ( for hard, unavoidable temporal reasons) to reach an useful interecept point for engage a 1980 supersonic bomber before it would deliver its long range missiles payload.
    In reality almost the total sum of defensive capabilitites of US CVBGs is constituted by its "Aegis" system and almost the totality of the weapons conceived to engage and destroy modern CVBG are designed to try to overcome IT, not its air wing .


    The attestation of the quick obsolescence experimented by "aircraft carriers" ,in its classic shape and CONOPS, for the effect of the proliferation (also among nations not frozen, like URSS in the past and Russia today,in the thermonuclear MAD balance) of advanced ASCMs and anti-access weapons , is not only a concern of Russian experts tasked to develop a future concept of "carrier" but it is a concept ,by now, strongly rooted also among a big share of US Navy insiders.


    http://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2011-05/twilight-uperfluous-carrier



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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  GarryB on Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:29 am

    If you mean instaed that if from a today CVBG someone remove the carrier with its entire air wing complement and.....replace the carrier/airwing/fuel/crew with an equal value in destroyers, frigates, and submarines
    The response to that hypothesis is: no way on the Earth.

    Then we will have to agree to disagree.

    A carriers worth of frigates and destroyers will not add any of the capabilities that make carriers useful... the extra frigates and destroyers will just add a few more targets without greatly extending the vision or reach of the group... except by moving those extra vessels to picket radar positions and then they become sitting ducks.

    Having a carrier means AEW aircraft can fly hundreds of kms from any surface vessels at very high altitudes and scan for threats without giving away the precise location of the carrier. Real time information can be relayed back to the surface group without revealing their location... even at the very least in the mission against enemy subs you need more than the odd individual helo carried by Frigates and Destroyers and the odd cruiser. Having dozens of helos available for an anti sub mission is as valuable as having fighters able to fly out and recon potential threats or targets. A surface group without fixed wing aircraft will not be able to distinguish a civilian crude oil carrier from an enemy aircraft carrier without getting dangerously close. Aircraft can do the job much faster and more efficient.

    Suggesting the Navy doesn't need an Air Force, is like suggesting the Army doesn't need air power... and strictly speaking it doesn't, but I think you will agree that an army fighting under an enemy controlled sky is going to get badly mauled in this day and age.

    Going back to the Falklands... if the Argentines had been better prepared... if they had bought Mig-23s with R-24 BVR missiles and R-60MK missiles and most importantly built a runway and airfield on the islands the British would have had a much more difficult time of it.

    In reality almost the total sum of defensive capabilitites of US CVBGs is constituted by its "Aegis" system and almost the totality of the weapons conceived to engage and destroy modern CVBG are designed to try to overcome IT, not its air wing .

    The CAP is part of AEGIS and represents a major part of its data collection (AWACS) and its interception performance (F-14s were designed to fly to meet the incoming bombers and intercept them and any missiles they would launch as an outer layer. The next layer was Standard SAMs and the inner layer was Phalanx and jammers and decoys to stop the leakers. No one layer was expected to be perfect. No one layer was expected to do all the work.

    As with the Soviet ground based equivalent AD network the aircraft are supposed to intercept everything they can as early as possible, while long and medium range SAMs do the same, then finally short range SAMs are used near targets to kill leakers. Claiming the Air Force is too expensive with their large fixed vulnerable air fields and that the extra money could be used to make more targets so the enemy will run out of ammo before it is all destroyed just doesn't make sense in my opinion.

    This is not a case of lets spend 14 billion US per carrier and make 6 new carriers for Russia.

    Most importantly I would think that 4 carriers with Pak Fa stealthy naval fighters will actually be a real threat to US carriers with F-35s on board, and for any third world country they would be a formidible threat if they need to be.

    There have always been factions within the US Navy... the submariners wanting carriers cut and the carrier crew wanting subs cut, both claiming they are not replaceable but the other is too expensive... to be honest the fact that both the US Navy and the USMC both have carriers of different types that they claim they can't do without suggests they do find them useful.


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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  Firebird on Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:07 pm

    I think Russia needs carriers, there can be no doubt.
    BUT also the Ru Navy is right to say that RADICAL designs need to be developed.

    I read up on the WW2 work that was done for submarine aircraft carriers. And also a declassified CIA report drooling ( and worried) over the incredible size and ingenuity of the Typhoon subs vs their own.

    Maybe we could have gone down a parallel path of more stealthy aircraft carriers eg if Japan succeeded in sub carriers in WW2.

    I know a more stealthy carrier sub would be expensive, as would a multi-ship modular carrier. But imagine if a "lucky strike" causes a carrier loss v a low level nation on day 1 of a conflict?
    It would be a huge catastrophy. And have many billions of knock-on cost losses.

    There are so many options - STOL aircraft, even planes modified for water landing/ takeoff. Perhaps a fighter could be carried up in a "cradle" that would look like a huge rocket man pack, but that would leave the difficulty of landing. The reality is that a sub carrier WOULD be possible.
    After all, even a bog standard carrier, for all its limitations, isnt exactly cheap.
    Stealthy carriers could mean huge savings in other areas.

    Airpower is absolutely vital in conflict. But carrier vunerability is an issue.

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    Re: Future russian aircraft carriers.

    Post  Mindstorm on Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:49 pm


    A carriers worth of frigates and destroyers will not add any of the capabilities that make carriers useful

    Absolutely true GarryB : if your opponent has no mean to render any of your carriers ,with its whole air wing, a single multibillionaire target , the capabilities to project military power offered by CVBG are perfect.

    And that is exactly the reason for which US strategists have mantained a similar force structure for theirs Navy : MAD element during the whole Cold War had effectively rendered the fraility of carriers a factor totally ininfluent against the only enemy with the required technological level to capitalize it ,while the capabilities offered by the carrier Air Wings against "small player" in bringing sustained military force on any spot of the planet was simply unreplaceable with different fleet's unit composition.


    Having a carrier means AEW aircraft can fly hundreds of kms from any surface vessels at very high altitudes and scan for threats without giving away the precise location of the carrier.



    Is best to reason in terms of number of units and figures for ranges in those instances ,otherwise similar hypothesis begin to detach very quickly and dangerously from reality.

    A Nimitz class has ....at best.... 4 air-worthy E-2 at anytime, this mean that....at best....2 of them could be used contemporaneously for area reconnaisance missions (and naturally at this rate several hours at day will be totally devoid of airborne sensor coverage !!).

    Now we must try to give a number for the "fly hundreds of kms from any surface vessels" and a vector of separation from fleet position ,taking into account that :

    1) The more those 2 E-2s move away from fleet the more widen the gap angular projection ,from fleet's actual position, not covered by theirs sensor footprint.
    2) The more those 2 E-2s move away from fleet the more will shorten theirs persistence time on the selected area (increasing hours/day not covered by airborne sensors at all).
    3) The more those 2 E-2s move away from fleet the less defensive coverage them will get from carrier tactical air wing .(becoming targets even more trivial for any aircraft escorting enemy strike group ...for not say theose armed with modern LRAM )
    4) The more those 2 E-2s move away from fleet the more time them will require to return under "Aegis" protective umbrella if an engaging enemy squadron is detected.

    How anyone can easily realize, at worsen furtherly the picture, none of those relations are linear....


    Now some easy exemplificative numbers for scrambling aircraft and interception of a Cold War menace, at 10000 m of altitude (TPS) an aircraft traveling at an average speed of Mach 1 cover almost 17,6 km at minute; therefore this aircraft, mantaining constant this speed of Mach 1 for 20 minutes ,will reach a point about 350 km far and could enage a no receding target at this moment placed at about 400 km with an AIM-120C5 (420-430 with C7).
    Naturally we must add to that also the time necessary for the crew (alerted by the Air Wing command ,receiving and processing ,at its own time, the data coming from the E-2) to man the scrambling aircraft ,the time for preparation of the aircraft for the take-off and the time to reach the speed of Mach 1 and 10000 m of altitude.

    The only role ,at this point, that could play carrier air wing in this situation (and that could prevent an entire multi-bilionaire air wing, to be entirely lost witht the sinking of a single mulit-billionaire ship. will be the prevention that enemy bombers squadrons will delivery theirs missile cargo -obviously highly concentrated on this single immnensely "paying target"-.

    Cold war era Kh-22M has an effective engagement range ,when delivered at high altitude by supersonic TU-22M3, greater than 550 km .
    From the first second of detection..if any detection ever happen (several vectors of enemy attack and sensor assets moving far from the central area to protect are concepts which don't stand well toghter) the only factor that could transform the presence of a carrier in a resource instead of a liability, would be.....to have AAMs hitting ,in useful time, those supersonic TU-22M3 at.... 560-570 km of distance from the carrier Laughing Laughing

    I image that my previous "near to zero" can appear now even a bit optimistic.



    The CAP is part of AEGIS and represents a major part of its data collection (AWACS) and its interception performance

    Obviously not.

    "Aegis" can receive informations by external assets (land/sea/air/space based) but none of them is a part of Aegis Combat System .
    ACS is designed to opearate totally authonomously in a very precise and compartmentalized way, founded on the basis of well defined ellipse of integrated systems the two focus of which are AN/SPY-1 radar and SM-3 missile



    but I think you will agree that an army fighting under an enemy controlled sky is going to get badly mauled in this day and age.

    GarryB how one of the most important Soviet conceiver of the capablity degradation theory said :
    "On this planet ,at today,don't exist airborne targets ,but only momentarily flying ground ones"

    Until a war against a very strong enemy nation will happen (and this could be a very dangerous sistuation for the entire world) those words will not appear very clear ; probably by then somoeone could realize why longe range missiles are highly limited in weapon control treaty while tactical aircraft are not....







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