An air craft carrier as a littoral combat ship?
No, but as an air-superiority & ASW platform operating with other surface units to protect Russia's SSBN bastions, (a) interdiction of HATO ASW aircraft and any escort fighters, and (b) carrying out helo-based ASW against HATO SSNs.
IIRC it was this mission for which the Kuznetsov (and her Pr 1143 predecessors) were originally designed, and for which an absolute need is still required today.
In fact an Aircraft Carrier and its scort is an advanced mobile military base:
- To provide air superiority in an important area.
- To provide advanced air defense in an important area.
- To provide advanced anti-ship armament in an important area.
- To provide advanced anti-submarine armament in an important area.
- To provide advanced maritime patrol in an important area.
All that is very useful specially in the Artic Ocean.
The question about the size of the Aircraft Carrier, is in reality a question about the strenght of this mobile military base:
- Which types of aircrafts are allowed. Weaker aircrafts means lower capacity of air superiority.
- Which types of air defense systems are carried
- Which types of anti-ship armament are carried.
- Which types of anti-submarine armament are carried.
- Which types of maritime patrol tools are carried
- Which kind of aircraft carriers of the adversary can face without a need to retire. In fact is military base vs military base by strentght.The main question is. With haw many of its current Aircraft Carriers (including scort) Russia will allow the domination of the Arctic Ocean to the US?
In other words:
Which type of aircraft carrier and of what size needs Russia to deny to the US the domination of the Arctic Ocean with 1 of its big Aircraft Carriers deployed in the Arctic?
Which type of aircraft carrier and of what size needs Russia to deny to the US the domination of the Arctic Ocean with 2 of its big Aircraft Carriers deployed in the Arctic?
How many of its big aircraft carriers can afford the US to deploy in the Arctic Ocean in peace time without seeing damaged its domination in other oceans?
PS: The argument of Russia lack of scort for a big Aricraft Carrier is not right. The entire Nothern Fleet is basically a battle group designed to work under the command of its Aircraft Carrier. Obviously the scort of the A Kutznesov aircraft carrier moved not to the Mediterraneum with the ship, but this is because the scort of the A Kutznetsov is not designed to be mobile, and neither the mission of the A Kutznesov is mobile. The campaign of Syria was more a test than of the ship than a model to operate Aircraft Carriers.