ударного вооружения на крейсере не будет
So no offensive weapon.
Just like AEGIS ASHORE, perhaps a UKSK-M launcher that is intended to only carry self defence anti sub ballistic rockets and perhaps some large SAMs and other more exotic loadouts... maybe long range hypersonic drones based on Zircon that can remove the warhead and reduce the solid rocket component and increase the scramjet fuel so perhaps it only reaches mach 9 at its last stages of flight but can fly about it a bit more and use its kinetic energy to destroy lighter targets while distracting air defences from other weapons intended to kill them...
No offensive weapons suggests no land attack cruise missiles but does it suggest no anti ship missiles if it is an air control carrier and not a strike carrier.
If it was a strike carrier then anti ship missiles would be part of its strike capacity, but as an air defence carrier anti ship missiles would be like anti sub rockets... self defence weapons to allow it to continue doing its air defence job.
They also say that the air composition won't change - but that is open for interpretation. I do agree with Gary though - it would take a lot of effort to cut out everything for rather limited extra space.
It would be much simpler and cheaper to add Tsirkons and other strike elements instead, but we'll see I guess.
The easiest cheapest solution would be to take out the Granits and do nothing else.
Not a great use of a very large volume of space however.
Plan B might be to replace the Granit tubes with UKSK tubes and carry anti sub rockets to defend the ship from sub attack together with some helicopters onboard and nearby ships as well of course all using modern capable sonar sets looking for threats.
Plan C might be to store munitions there for aircraft with a lift so aircraft can be armed on deck just before takeoff.
Plan D might be to just remove everything, firewalls and all and just use it for other things instead, but the location makes me think it might be too far away from the Hangar deck and it would go 4-5 decks down and right up to deck level, so maybe put a fixed roof on top and carry extra stores or material in there to increase the endurance of the ship... so dry stores or cold stores or whatever.
Maybe a tiny new hangar area for drones?
It is hard to say without seeing the plans showing where existing ordinance is stored and where the hangar is in relation to these former missile tubes... what we can be sure of is that the firewalls between where the Granits sat and the rest of the ship will be substantial in every direction.
No mention to defensive weapons and I am pretty sure they would never intend to turn the Kuznetsov into some easy target, quite the opposite.
The Redut systems they have shown with the 10km and 28km range missiles for export is exactly the sort of systems they will be loading onto their new helicopter carrier, though the Russian models might be 15km range and 60km range but they wont bother with the bit 9M96 missile at 150km range because these are for self defence.
They still have the TOR guidance systems in each corner of the Island so they will still be there and they used to have 192 missiles in the four corners of the deck... the current TOR missiles are half the size and pack twice as many missiles in the same area... ie the Klintok are based on the 1980s TOR with 8 per vehicle while the current TOR missiles are 16 per same vehicle so even without any modification of the area they take up they should be able to carry 384 missiles ready to fire and that does not include the new mini missiles they are developing for engaging targets that don't require a 50kg HE warhead to destroy.
They do not need to use the space of the Granits for hangar, it can be a weapons magazine for the airwing for instance. The existing armour would help and the capacity as aircraft carrier would be increased.
Well an important point is that so far the Kuznetsov has been an air defence carrier so I am not sure it was intended to carry a lot of unguided dumb bombs to begin with.
Adding this area to allow dumb iron bombs and unguided rockets perhaps like the large calibre S-25s would be a useful addition to allow the safe storage of such ammo without eating into the available space for air to air ordinance which has been the primary air weapon load so far.
Now they have upgraded their Su-33s and have fully multirole MiG-29KRs the variety of guided munitions should be able to be expanded dramatically.
The two seat MiGs allowing the Su-25s to be retired from the training role.
Installing the UKSK is a major change...
After removing Granit tubes and replacing them with UKSK launch tubes on two Kirovs and how many Oscars and Oscar IIs, they should be able to work out a few tricks to make it easier and faster and cheaper I suspect.
They might not change it this time there might be other things they want to test that they think are more important like the SAM load-out and new sensors and electronic equipment.
Yeah, I am not even talking about the advantage of being launched at high altitude and speed, I assume simply the booster would be made much smaller to save space and weight on the aircraft and increase the amount of missiles available on board. What I mean is that the launching point is say 1000 km away from the fleet, or maybe even more if IFR is used. That is the flexibility air power contributes with and about which I write all the time.
By making it air launched I would say changing the design quite dramatically by reducing the solid rocket to a minimum but also adding more scramjet fuel, because in essence with a scramjet the scramjet is a rocket motor that can burn for much much longer than a solid rocket motor and put out comparable levels of thrust... you could seriously improve performance and also make it rather more suitable for loading onto aircraft... it has enormous potential and its high speed means reducing the warhead size can dramatically reduce the size and weight of the weapon too... a warhead optimised to start fires rather than just explode would be ideal because at mach 9-10 it is going to be moving faster than some types of explosives explode at.
See above. The Kuznetsov would have a disadvantage if an enemy does have actually effective air launched AShM and can stay away of the fixed range of the ship based AShMs of the VMF while launching their missiles, or force the Russian subs to operate under surveillance of their own ASW. It is pretty clear I think.
With a proper AWACS aircraft eventually flying with them there are no HATO anti ship missiles that look especially dangerous... launching them in enormous numbers just means the enemy ship force will be carrying more anti ship missiles than SAMs because they can't fill them up with both, which would make them horribly vulnerable to a sneaky sub attack from an unexpected direction.
The Russian Navy needs to defend itself from enemy carrier groups but it does not need to worry about being able to send off carrier based planes to hunt them down... it is pretty obvious who the aggressor is and that is unlikely to change any time soon.