On the context of building large nuclear powered vessels, and the percieved "lack of efficiency" of Russian yards, the following is interesting:
The latest British SSBN submarines of the Vanguard class took roughly 7 years on average from laying down to commissioning.
One of the the smaller British SSN's of the Astute class, the HMS artful, took 11 years from laying down to commissioning.
Even the non-nuclear carriers of the Queen Elizabeth class are going to average 11 or 12 years from when steel was cut to commissioning.
The French Charles de Gaulle took 12 years from laying down to commissioning.
The US navy Seawolf class SSN's took between 7 to 8 years from laying down to commissioning.
the Gerald Ford class nuclear carriers look like they will average out at about 7 years between laying down to commissioning. Impressive, but then remember that to all intents and purposes, the US keeps what amounts to basically a production line of carriers going.
The new, relatively simple 40 000t Indian carrier, Vikrant, was laid down in 2009, and it is intended for commissioning in 2018, but there are acknowledged delays, and I don't think anybody is expecting it remotely to be ready by then. Think more 2020 to be very optimistic, and probably well after.
Bearing in mind the shambles that followed the breakup of the USSR, it's no surprise that some of the earlier vessels of the new designs took longer to complete.
But look at the more recent nuclear vessels.
The most recent Borei SSBN vessel took 8 years from laying down to commissioning. And the more recent ones look like they will take 4 to 5 years from laying down to commissioning.
The same applies to the Yasen class SSN.
Although it isn't strictly a naval vessel, the Arktika nuclear powered icebreaker, the largest ever constructed, was launched only 2 and a half years after laying down, with a commissioning date set at between 3 and a half to 4 years after laying down.
So, that suddenly doesn't look too bad all of a sudden.
Like I said, if it is nuclear powered, and there is the new reactor design for the Arktika that will be used, and the programme is well conceived and managed, with indigineous components instead of relying on wishy washy "partners" subject to pressure, then there is no reason at all it can't be built efficiently and on time.
I would think that the catapults and their design would be one of the main things that governs the time it is built. And in this regard, it would be better to simply go for an EMALS catapult. It's not exactly rocket science. Westinghouse had a very earlier version called the Electropult all the way back in 1945. Obviously, aircraft have got bigger, but then, electric technology has improved out of sight in those 70 years. And the architecture onboard is much simpler for EMALS than a steam catapult.
And Russia has begun the design of one:
MOSCOW, September 16. /TASS/. Russia has started developing an electromagnetic catapult for new-generation aircraft carriers, a defense industry source told TASS on Wednesday.
"The electromagnetic catapult development is under way, and a mockup has been made," the source said.
According to the source, the prototype of the advanced catapult has been brought to the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute. The catapult needs no big steam boilers and is powered by a battery.
As is known, the United States is working on an electromagnetic catapult too. The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) is essentially a linear induction motor with a number of coils generating a travelling magnetic field. The magnetic field accelerates the object. The EMALS has a 100,000-hp (73.5MW) motor affording the catapult-launched manned and unmanned aircraft a takeoff speed of 333 km/h. Electromagnetic technologies offer a sizeable reduction in the catapult’s maintenance cost, an increase in its reliability and effectiveness, much higher launch power and more accurate control of the aircraft’s final acceleration speed during takeoff. In addition, the electromagnetic catapult allows smoother acceleration and less stress on the aircraft.
The EMALS is designed to equip advanced heavy nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in the CVN-79 Gerald R. Ford class.