Then you will need to discuss again the price and the ability of Russians to build true carrier and we will have the same discussion as we can found in every thread of this part of the forum. Not my intension.
Part of the problem is that everyone wants solutions now.
Russia has no use for four medium carriers right now... it does not have the port facilities nor the support ships needed to operate two or three carrier groups.
They will need time to put together a properly balanced fleet, with two new helicopter landing ships in the water by 2022-4 and maybe operational 2-3 years later they will have the core of two carrier groups so a second fixed wing carrier class could be started in 2020 to be ready by 2025 for initial trials and testing together with the Kuznetsov as their two fixed wing carriers.
My idea as you understood is to add the speed of fighter in small numbers to power-up your forces for a very small price and for somme situtation, clearly not WW3. At the end true carrier is of course better than a small ship lunching a few fighters maybe 4 time every day.
You get what you pay for... if you could do it cheaper the UK would already be doing it.
I gotta say Garry you definitely seem exceptionally critical of VTOL aircraft and they do have dodgy track record but these are not 70s. Technology moved on.
Not really. To save a small amount by building a 20K ton ship instead of a 40-60k ton ship is actually very limiting.
Taking the British example, if the Argentines had had access to better IR guided missiles the British would have been in the shit. More importantly if the Argentines even just had access to medium fighters with BVR missiles the British would have been in real trouble.
Even MiG-23s with R-24R and R-24T AAMs, which would not have been state of the art at the time, the British would have been in serious trouble... a Harrier is a horrible IR target... for most aircraft the direct rear portion makes for an easier shot but with a Harrier every angle except directly from the front is dangerous.
A MiG-29 with R-73s would have massacred the British.
As I have mentioned, I don't like VSTOL aircraft... they are a one trick pony and for that trick they are expensive, complicated, delicate, and prone to terminal crashes...
For a small extra cost you can use a proper sized carrier with better range and better capacity and aircraft that are not unique to the navy.
The Yak-38 was tested in Afghanistan as a CAS and it was found to be a poor option... expensive, fragile, prone to damage.
Sure the Yak was not the best example of VSTOL aircraft, but its problems are shared by all VSTOL aircraft... there are none that have solved them... even the VTOL F-35 is what is making the F-35 a poor performer... and more expensive than it needs to be.
It could be a stealthy F-16... instead it is a stealthy Buccaneer... while will likely make it a useful strike aircraft, but a crap light fighter.... and that is half the job.
Fact is that Russia is building these helicopter carriers and they will be in production and use. That is their primary purpose.
Agreed. But the idea of making a few extra that can haul other loads like MiG-29s makes sense too... but restarting the Yak line of VSTOLs would be counter to the whole concept of a cheap support for a full carrier that carries extra airframes to make up numbers without being expensive.
Now, to theorize, we know that UAE have ordered new light 5th gen fighter jet. If it ends up having standard configuration then there will be no effect on this topic.
But in stealth mode a light stealth fighter should have excess thrust to make takeoffs from ships a piece of cake as low drag internal weapons storage and light air to air weapon load means little take off weight requirement...
However if UAE ended up being less than frugal and decided to go for VTOL config then it will mean that Russia will have both:
The UAE have no carriers... so VTOL makes no sense for them... on land VSTOL aircraft are a total failure.
And those two roles are pretty much only reason Russia has for acquiring aircraft carriers.
Those two requirements don't just go away if UAE does not want a jack of all trades fighter...
The russians are talking about a CAT system for their new design carriers... it would be a total waste on a helicopter carrier but refitting it on the K could allow a heavier tanker aircraft to be carried that could top up aircraft taking off from the smaller carriers as they take off with full weapon loads...
the addition of a EM CAT system on K would mean heavy AWACS type to be developed... a cargo plane and a tanker on the same airframe would make sense but would reduce the number of deployed aircraft on the K... the extra carriers become rather more useful and sensible to support operations.
UAE are not going to be field aircraft carriers of any sort. So why would they need VTOL?
Agreed... VTOL adds weight and complexity... most of which is deadweight in normal flight. It also makes the aircraft horribly vulnerable to damage/faults.
Skyjump is more efficient the VTOL.
Skijumps allow aircraft to get airborne easier from shorter takeoff runs. Thrust vectoring also helps a lot even on no VSTOL aircraft.
With VTOL you don't need airfield anymore. You can operate them anywhere and lunch them from basicly anywhere.
That was the sales pitch for Harrier... but in actual practise it was a pain in the ass... anything that was not concrete needed pierced steel planking for takeoffs, which shows up on radar. The idea they could take off from shopping mall carparks is nice but all the rubbish they ingest on takeoff they don't last very long operationally.
With the introduction of hypersonic and very low observable cruise missiles, airfield are more and more in danger. I know there is little to no chance they go for VTOL but who knows.
Actually even with modern very capable weapons it is still easier to repair a runway than disperse all your resources all over the place. Note your air defence unit protecting your base wont disperse like your aircraft so they will operate without air defences...
VTOL didn't improve a lot. For F-35 US bought legally Yak-141 plans and technical data so it's still 70's 80's technology. Russian stop research since then. There isn't successor to Harrier.
Don't get me wrong... I find the Yak-141 impressive, as is the Harrier for what they are, but the amount of investment needed to make them useful... you can fit a bigger better radar and more weapons in a MiG-29K and operate it from bigger sized ships with more aircraft on board.
The MiGs are faster, longer ranged, cheaper, and more effective... and also used by the Air Force.
I meant it is rocket assisted !! Sorry for the mistake. And yes you still need a runway for landing while for true VTOL you don't need.
Landing is actually the easy part... arrester wires will pretty much land anything... it is the getting airborne that is the issue.
Again for the Russians the solution will be different from the west because they want fighters, not bombers/strike aircraft.
Fighters already have a high thrust to weight ratio, good lift, low max weight... AAMs are light payload stuff.
Harriers and F-35s wont land vertically or take off vertically unless there is something wrong. More conventional takeoffs and landings use a lot less fuel and are actually safer.