My two cents on this issue. Also I am feeling brave today to share a couple of crazy ideas here, I would appreciate if you could point out if they are not feasible and why
> I do not see that a CVN is currently needed to fight-off an enemy carrier group both near Russian shores or even far from them, due to the capabilities of current and planed Russian weapons systems. Therefore the defensive capabilities of such a ship, even when they would constitute an advantage, would only come at a huge cost so that it would not be an optimal solution, as far as the RF maintains its lead in missile technology.
> That would leave the offensive role as a possible justification for Russian carrier group or groups. While there is no present or foreseeable need for the RF to emulate the US, a commensurate power projection capability (say two to four CVN) in the long term would be legit and useful, and may even be affordable if the RF continues developing amidst more balanced relations between the big powers. All efforts in making allies are of no use if these can be taken out with impunity by rivals like until very recently, lets not forget that significantly affects the capacity of the RF to develop economically.
> An optimal economic solution IMHO would be a new kind of ship encompassing the tasks of an amphibious assault ship and an aircraft carrier with a very robust AD capability and additional land attack / ASW resources, in order to allow for several types of deployment missions in different theaters without multiplying the size of the fleet. Essentially a self-contained, pocket carrier / amphibious group, if even remotely possible, would save billions compared to a conventional solution and make feasible supporting interests under complex basing circumstances.
> Would a multi-hull design be capable of delivering on all those requirements? It would at least provide the internal volume needed without compromising the speed needed for a carrier. It would allow a reduced length without reducing sea worthiness. Would it make sense to build such a ship? Since nobody is apparently going this way, I assume there must be substantial issues with it but I do not know which ones are so big that would no compensate the benefits, apart from very high risks after some many decades building and operating carriers as they are now. Can only speculate that maybe building technology and shipyard equipment / layout are significant hurdles here and deck operations are complex enough to start from scratch with a new concept.
> A major possible advantage would be use the increased width of the ship to split the flight deck in two separate lanes or areas, possibly allowing take-off and landing to happen in parallel and using the full length of the deck. This would in turn reduce the required length / displacement / cost of the ship as well as increase the tempo of air operations and hence its military value. Middle section between both flight decks could house hangars, bridge and equipment as well as launcher cells for AD and land attack. In essence, many layouts would be possible due to the increased space available.
> Regarding air-wing: why is it that among so many UAV solutions like are being currently developed, no "take-off assistant" for fixed-wing aircraft has been suggested? Is it not possible even with current technologies? Essentially a big, flat UAV with very high thrust to weight ratio that would push (vertically and/or horizontally) the aircraft by its undercarriage until it reaches required speed to fly alone and then detaches and lands automatically on the ship. Range needs would be minimal so weight would be essentially devoted to propulsion. This, if possible, would allow to use aircraft with full load from small and simple sky-jump carriers allowing small ships to match effectiveness of bigger ones. By decoupling the requirements of the take-off and those from other flight phases, it would put to rest all those IMHO crazy STOVL requirements that end up badly compromising the performance during the 99% of the flight just for the sake of take-off circumstances. Such planes are apparently still being suggested among Russian military even after seeing how badly the STOVL has burdened the JSF program.
Look forward to getting your feedback!