Frigates job is the same as Cruisers. A cruiser is just a bigger frigate with the frigate not supposed to have the number of missiles. That is also slowly changing too.
A cruisers job is long range long endurance escort of larger ships like helicopter carriers, landing ships and CVs and CVNs. The armament of a cruiser includes big SAMs... area defence SAMS like S-400 and S-500 for defending the water around the ship and everything on or under that water.
A frigate from the cold war could barely defend itself and was intended for littoral waters... ie it would operate with land based air power and coastal systems too, together with corvettes.
Newer Frigates have much better attack armament... but 16 or 24 launch tubes is not enough to do what a cruiser can do... even upgraded cruisers will have 80 main missile tubes and hundreds of SAM launch tubes... brand new cruisers might have 160 main missile tubes and an eye watering number of other SAM missile types.
A frigate will strike then what? It's like how US launched all those tomahawks at Syria and even with a cruiser or two launches, it didn't do squat. At that point if a ship wanted to strike it, it would have little to nothing to defend itself.
US cruisers are irrelevant here.... Syria is very close to Russia... they wont need cruisers for such operations... trying to do in Syria to help Assad they can use SSKs and Corvettes and Backfire bombers, but in Venezuela in a war there helping Maduro frigates and corvettes wont be worth squat.
If you are gonna have carriers, you are gonna need destroyers to escort them.
Russia is standardising its weapons and systems and intends to make its ships modular so starting with Corvettes and then making Frigates allows them to get experience with their brand new multirole systems, while avoiding potentially expensive mistakes like Zumwalt and Ford and LCS... or whatever it is called.
It is not a question of just production, Russia already has ships and also needs to develop infrastructure for brand new ships and some technologies might need work as well... for instance their new destroyers are going to be nuclear powered as will their cruisers and possibly new aircraft carriers.
There is no urgent rush, they are in no hurry to confront the US or the west, but they do want a viable blue water navy to replace their cold war destroyers and cruisers, so that they can trade with countries around the world without fear of blockade or sanction from the western navies.
China actually built up its destroyers and frigates before building up carriers. Right now China is sitting on 30 Type 054A frigates. That's significantly more than 5 Admiral Gorshkov and Admiral Grigorivich frigates. You need at least 6 frigates to escort a single carrier.
Frigates are short range coastal ships... during the cold war the only real frigates the Soviets had were the Krivak class which were mostly used by the MVD for border patrol and anti smuggling operations.
To escort a carrier you would want at least two Cruisers and probably 4-6 Destroyers to have a solid defence... and probably a few supply and support ships and a couple of SSNs sneaking around the place too.
Escorting carriers is an American thing... their carriers launch attacks and the ships operating with them defend the carrier.
Russian carriers defend the ships they operate with as mutual defence. Any likely attack on enemy surface fleets or ground targets will likely be done with ship and sub launched missiles rather than strike aircraft from the carriers.
This is mainly the reason Russia is retiring Admiral Kuznetsov and not building any large carrier, mainly due to lack of modern destroyers and frigates to escort large carriers, namely Russia has 0 modern destroyer and the 5 aforementioned modern frigates. As for weather Admiral Kuznetsov will be sold to China and refurbished in the next few years, time will tell.
The fact that it is in overhaul and they just bought new MiG-29KR fighters for it and they are planning upgrades to their Kirov class and Slava class cruisers suggests you might need to get better sources for your information.
They wont be building a new CVN any time soon, but they currently have two 30,000 ton helicopter landing carriers laid down and they have the Kuznetsov in dock undergoing upgrades and improvements.
They will likely want about 36 or so Frigates for their four main fleets... Northern, Pacific, Baltic, and Black Sea, which would mean about 8 in each... perhaps 6 in each and a couple of frigates in the Caspian Sea to launch missiles at Syria in greater numbers faster perhaps.
They would be plenty to defend the sea around Russia together with a similar or slightly larger number of corvettes.
Then they would probably want about 24 destroyers split amongst the four main fleets, which would be 6 ships each... and perhaps 8 - 12 cruisers split mainly between the Northern and Pacific Fleets. The two 30K ton helicopter carriers will end up being four with two at each of the Northern and Pacific Fleets, and of course if they make two CVNs then two at one and the Kuznetsov perhaps at the other or one each at the northern and pacific fleet and the K at one or the other.
Fyi, Kuznetsov was escorted by Grigorovich, gorshkovs and Russia's submarines.
It was in peace time, but hardly ideal I think you would agree.
Destroyers are necessary for escorting carriers.
The US uses AEGIS cruisers to escort their carriers... but countries will generally use what they have that is not busy doing other things.
With an AEW helicopter the Kuznetsov is quite capable of defending itself...
That's why China can build new carriers whereas Russia can't due to lack of modern destroyers.
China builds ships because it wants them.
Russia would break its budget to produce ships at the rate that China makes them, but that is fine, I am sure China knows what it is doing.
With its new islands it needs a bigger presence at sea, which is not confrontational or aggressive to Russia so why should Russia care?
Chinese destroyers have CJ-10 which is said to be superior to Kalibr in performance.
Long range missiles are easy to make. Having effective C4IR to use them is another matter.
Failed copies?? Why?? They have never been fired either.
Think he probably meant untested in the real world copies.
Let them fire these missiles at the Indians and Taiwanese. Then we can judge their effectiveness.
The best weapon is the one that does not need to be used.
China would not benefit from attacking Taiwan or India.... the US and the west on the other hand would love it... the more they damage each other and neighbours the more they will like it.
Then how is China exporting its missiles if they are duds like you are saying?
I remember an Asian customer explaining it to a western reporter... their products are cheaper.... if we buy 10 tanks and four don't work those 6 tanks are still much much cheaper than the two American tanks we could have bought for the same money so we end up ahead.
In fact, Russia's arms export has fallen drastic in recent years.
No it hasn't.
Indonesia and Bangladesh both rejected Russian planes out of fear of CAATSA from the US.
Could turn that around and say the US fears Russian weapons in foreign hands enough to risk relations with allies and potentially huge customers... they don't seem upset at Chinese sales of weapons that China claims are better...
And good for China, supplying affordable weapons as an alternative to the west... I honestly wish them all the best... the countries that buy their products probably couldn't afford Russian stuff these days anyway.
Certainly a bit of trade and growth and development of the rest of the world will help them improve their situations, and perhaps get China to custom make things tailored to their needs in the future too.
I see it as good for everyone... except the west.