Carrier-related topics from an interview with Sergey Vlasov from Nevskoye Design Bureau from February this year:
— In your opinion, in what direction will evolve carriers?
— First of all should improve the automation of the ship to improve its electronic equipment, should improve protection (e.g., anti-aircraft weapons), the habitability for personnel who will live on this ship. Will improve our aircraft fleet and all the necessary devices and mechanisms that this fleet would operate. Together with the development of our science and technology should "grow" and these ships.
Large or small they are — the question is not obvious. But whatever it was, seaworthiness of a small ship is much lower than a big. But seaworthiness is directly dependent restrictions on aviation.
— We are with you in previous conversations, talked about the fact that the desire of the fleet to "cram" in the ship as many features as possible, in General, indestructible...
The carrier must be a carrier. It is not necessary to dump all you can
And today, unfortunately, there are such trends. We are trying to resist them. Our opinion on this issue has not changed — the carrier must be a carrier. It is not necessary to dump all that you can. If the ship is large, this does not mean that it needs to carry everything. Usually by the aircraft carrier are a few ships that solve all the associated tasks. It's his business to run and to take back the aircraft. In addition, the saturation of the different systems and weapons will automatically lead to appreciation of the project. The hull, hardware is pennies compared to the cost of components, electronics, weapons. As soon as we start something at him to "push" the price begins to rise. This is the simple argument for those who wait on the aircraft carrier ship all at once.
— Last year, Deputy defense Minister Yuri Borisov officially declared about the establishment in Russia of the aircraft vertical takeoff and landing, and ships under them. You, as the designer, reported about such plans?
We have not seen any materials on this issue. The last aircraft vertical takeoff and landing Yak-141 was made in the late 80-ies of the last century for the "Admiral Gorshkov". Nothing new we haven't seen.
— Is it true that the first Soviet aircraft carrier could be created in 1950-e years? If the Bureau has completed this development, perhaps the appearance and capabilities of Soviet and Russian aircraft carrier fleet would be very different?
— Yes, the project 72 was developed in 1943 on the initiative of the then commander-in-chief of the Navy Nikolai Gerasimovich Kuznetsov. Our office conducted a study predescessor of the project, the Yakovlev design Bureau and the Tupolev was working on their own versions of the two types of carrier-based aircraft, and presented them to the people's Commissariat of the Navy. The review took place in August 1944, however; feasibility designs were not approved.
— When the idea of a nuclear aircraft carrier?
— In the 1960-ies, when were studied the project 1160 and 1153. Naval institutions have conducted scientific research proved that the carrier needed to create groups in remote areas of the World ocean. Work began on the project in 1160. There participated, besides shipbuilders, the firm Mikoyan, Sukhoi and Beriev, who worked on the aircraft anti-submarine defense. We considered eight variants of the ship of project 1160, with different tonnage from 40 thousand to 100 thousand tons, with different power plants. All this considered, the Ministry of defense, the Politburo.
Aircraft carriers have always been very expensive construction
But carriers have always been very expensive construction. In September 1973, Dmitry Ustinov suggested as alternatives to the project 1160 to build a modernized anti-submarine cruisers of the type "Kiev". In 1972, the first of them was launched.
— For the creation of the project in 1153 with nuclear power called himself Admiral of the fleet of the Soviet Union Sergei Gorshkov?
— Yes, but again at the top this case has been suspended, although such ships with a displacement of 70 thousand tons have already started to modernize the black sea plant in the Ukraine. Bought a 900-ton Finnish cranes, which stand there still.
It was suggested to revise the technical design of the ship 1143М. So there were four Soviet aircraft carrying cruiser, which became the "Admiral Gorshkov", and then "young Vikramaditja". And then there was the project 11435 "Admiral Kuznetsov" and "Varyag". Ideas that were laid in the project in 1153, and in some measure they used.
But still most sad fate of the seventh aircraft carrier "Ulyanovsk".
— Yeah, but there's certainly nothing could be done. (In 1992, fully formed body of an aircraft carrier due to the lack of funding was cut for scrap — approx. TASS)
— Sergey, in concluding our conversation, I ask you to speak on the topic one way or another are constantly discussing in the online space. Sad to read that we have lost all competence in shipbuilding, and can't afford a real aircraft carrier.
— My personal opinion is — we can normally, as the saying goes, slowly build ships of any size — aircraft carrier, amphibious assault, and any other, in the presence of desire and certain possibilities. Of course, it's not cheap, but the money is not being spent for six months, and spent 10-12 years. If the price of an aircraft carrier to sort by year, then, in principle, everything is possible.
Another thing is that today the mass of both supporters and opponents large ships. Whose point of view wins, to tell now difficult. But perhaps it is time to put the fundamental point in these differences.