Not impossible, but larger ships offer larger ship capabilities... smaller ships with smaller radars and smaller weapon loads actually require larger crews per bang per buck.
I rather suspect the problem is the Redut system with the new S-400 missiles and large AESA antenna arrays and of course the Morfei missile.
Also keep in mind that the Yakhont and Brahmos are 300km range weapons because of treaty obligations... there are rumours that the Oniks has a range of 700km or more and with Brahmos II in development with a flight speed of mach 7-8 I think you can comprehend the potential of 80 tubes in one ship.
The UKSK is ready and working and installed on Corvettes already.
It is the Redut and Morfei that will likely need till 2012-2013 or even 2014 to be ready, but the point is that most of the guts will be taken out of these vessels anyway, and they need a new nuclear propulsion system too, so it is not going to be cheap or fast, but the result will be worth it.
Whatever, it smells bad, as with the Lada subs, nothing are completed, just postponments.
Except that the Project 677 is in operational testing and based on that the two Project 677s laid down already will be completed as improved Project 677Ms.
It has been 20 years of neglect... throwing cash and expecting instant results is totally unreasonable.
Or just maybe, by 2020 they could have new destroyers in the water for less money.
They plan to build fixed wing carriers, and destroyers are simply not good enough escorts for fixed wing carriers.
They need their AEGIS like cruisers and a combination of ex Kirovs (Orlan class) and ex Slava class vessels should be sufficient for the job. Even if they end up with two Kirovs and 4 Slavas for the role each Kirov can be a flagship for the northern and pacific fleets respectively and form the core of a carrier group.
""New Destroyer Project. The most desirable Proposed Project. Up to 192 Surface to Air(Air Defense) Missiles(+32 Kashtan missiles at 10km range). 16 Modular Klub missile VLS(Vertical Launch) cells. This Destroyer could do anything. It could likely install the newest S-400 missiles giving it total control of the air to around 200km away. Horizontal Klub or Torpedo launch tubes(8 total) allow for varying types of anti-submarine(or anti-ship) weapons to be used in the rear of the ship, the Fire Control system for the Klubs/Torpedoes also controls anti-torpedo rockets. This ship would give the Russian Navy real firepower, the aging "Sovremennyy"(Project 956) and "Udaloy"(Project 1155) type Destroyers along with many of the Cruisers could be retired if even 6 of these ships were to be built."
First of all instead of a Kashtan mount with 32 x 10km range missiles why not a Pantsir-S1 mount with 32 x 20km range missiles and much better multi target engagement capability?
BTW Late model S-300s can hit targets at 250km. The late model S-400s are two small missiles with 40km range, 120km range, and large missiles with 200km range and one in development with a 400km range.
The control system on board the destroyer is the same Sigma battle management system installed on all new and converted Russian vessels from Corvette right up to carrier and includes communication and datalink capability to share the air, sea and undersea picture amongst all vessels in the group... very much like AEGIS.
The point of the frigate having 2 UKSK systems means that with 8 Oniks missiles and 8 anti submarine rocket torpedos, the new frigate has 8 anti ship missiles better than the 8 Sunburns carried by the Sovremmeny class vessels, and 8 anti sub torpedoes delivered to targets 40km away at mach 1.5, compared to the SS-N-14 Silex missile that delivered a torpedo to a target a similar distance away on a subsonic missile.
This frigate is not an either/or it could perform both missions without rearming, or carry twice the weapon load of primary weapons on the same mission.
In terms of SAMs it is very well defended too.
The volume provided by the Kirovs hull however offers an even more impressive expansion potential...
Very simply if you want carriers you need large ships to support them and if you are building new carriers you have no place to build large ships. The result is you either get carriers with no large ships to operate with them which makes them white elephants, or you build large vessels and delay the carriers... or you do what they are doing and update existing large vessels and crack ahead with new frigate and new destroyer programs and work their way up to get ready to make carriers.
Whether you upgrade the Kirovs or scratch build new replacements they will take 5-10 years... building them from scratch will likely take longer which means you are trying to build your Kirov replacement at a time when you should be laying down your first carrier in 2022-2025.