Yes it was. You can hardly do anything else than kill with bombs and missiles.
True, but you can use those bombs and missiles to help or to subjugate and steal... ie Russian forces in the Crimea killed no one and let them vote and decide for themselves... imagine the situation if the Orcs had got there in much larger numbers and asked the US to bring in "peacekeepers"?
It would be like Georgia invading South Ossetia... they didn't care about the South Ossetians on Georgian territory... they wanted the land but not the people... they would probably be most happy if all the South Ossetians and Abkhazians had moved over the border to Russia and left Georgia with all that extra land... I am sure the Serbs would have been happiest if all the oppressed and the non oppressed Albanians in Kosovo went back to Albania too... but neither was ever going to happen.
That's not happening.
Understandably the Granit launchers are fully isolated and firewalled from any aviation fuel or ammo or aircraft storage areas because of the fire risk, so while they wont be carrying Granits, which are out of production, there are not that many other options available to use that space for other things.
As I mentioned they might use it for storing AAMs with a small lift, but most likely they will put a couple of UKSK launchers in there... which means they could load it with Zircon or indeed anti submarine or land attack missiles... They could even load S-400 missiles it seems with the upgrades and improvements...
If your Zirkon is so good that you need only two destroy a US carrier, why do you need hundreds of them.
Because the combined forces of the US and HATO have hundreds of ships... sure most will run away after the first few erupt in flames or the nuclear flash, but it would be better to pick off as many as you can initially because you might not be in a very good position to get them the next time you come across them...
Use few of them to destroy the carriers and the airports and use the planes to bomb the enemy with dumb bombs.
Planes will be busy forming CAP for the surface group of ships... a few Zircons to take out enemy surface ships, but land attack cruise missiles with a range of 5,000km would also be valuable too along with anti sub missiles too.
Russia is also getting those helicopter carrier and they will face new anti ship missiles of west that is also working on hypersonic missiles. They are also a waste of time according to your logic.
Not at all, Russia has VDV and they have naval infantry... suggesting they don't need helicopter landing ships is like suggesting they don't need cargo planes because they can be vulnerable too... and of course they both can... anything can... there is nothing on the battlefield that is safe and it is silly to think otherwise.
That's true for russian ships too... and looking at how their athm failed miserably durig an expo, they certainly don't have the Pk they say fir their AD systems.
Russian ships and modern Soviet ships have focussed on air defence and protection from missiles more than any other country on the planet... of course they are not invulnerable either, but an aircraft carrier with AWACS aircraft and fighters that can move around the place at high speed with long range missiles of their own makes them better protected and more capable and not less so.
If the sub is really attacking the carrier, your carrier will be already dead if it has to launch a torpedo missile 40km away...
From an enemy perspective a torpedo could be launched to sink a carrier or an anti ship missile could be launched to sink a carrier... but the carrier wont be alone and there will be other ships and lots of anti sub helicopters present as well as enemy subs.
If a HATO sub launches a torpedo then the Russians have anti torpedo weapons, and if it launches a subsonic cruise missile or a supersonic cruise missile air cover is improved by AWACS platforms and fighter CAP...
If you need missiles in huge number you use a SSGN or an arsenal ship.
After they have made their fourth helicopter carrier to be used as a helicopter carrier they might decide that a few more could be made as hospital ships... and after they have made 2-3 of those they might decide that with its roll on roll off capability and enormous internal volume that a few extra as arsenal ships might be useful too...
Which means not spending half of your money on a monstruosity like US carrier but also giving that carrier a good amount of real fighters.
The problem with the US carriers is that they are attack helicopters and so half their planes are F-18s and the other half will be F-35s... what they could have done was upgraded their F-14s and used those as both interceptor and attack aircraft with much better range than either of the two current aircraft.
If they wanted stealth then a stealthy cruise missile... in fact if you have two then you effectively have an aircraft launched F-117 with better range, comparable speed and a similar payload for a fraction of the development costs and no need for escorts.
The new missiles the Russians are developing... essentially R-37s with mini-missiles so for instance a single missile can be launched 300km to a target area over an enemy airfield... the missile would cruise all the way there at high altitude and as it approached the target area it could release 4-6 small self contained missiles that could be released to attack 4-6 different targets autonomously... what better escort could there be for low flying stealthy missiles... any enemy fighters launched will be scanning for low level targets... launch an R-37X and have them clear the way to the target without risking any crew.
K is more a helicopter carrier than a real aircraft carrier as of now.
The MiG-35 is fully carrier capable, but they do need helicopters too... those new high speed helicopters they are developing should be quite useful.
The CAT would have to be emals of course unless they go with nuclear propulsion. EMALS uses centrifugal accumulators so you really do not need a massive generator, you only need to provide for the cycle time you desire.
Most EMALS I have seen need large amounts of energy to throw a 20 ton aircraft from standing start to 200km per hour in 100m.... they don't need it all at once but a conventionally powered small ship would seriously struggle to keep a high launch tempo without nuclear power.
The plan is to have HELOs on the ship, is a jet fighter going to some how take up 10x the space of a HELO? I would never propose mixing STOVL Planes and CATOBAR, you pick one, and go with it. If they can develop an EMALS, then its possible, if not STOVOL Is the only option.
From what LMFS has posted the Kuznetsov is getting some test EMALS cats, but that is for heavy planes, they don't need it for their fighters.
EMALS requires only 134 KWh to launch the heaviest plane, but that has to be delivered in under 3 sec. The net total power is really not that much.
It will need some way of storing and building up that level of power and the efficiency means they will likely need to generate 10 times more because it as sure as hell will not be a 100% efficient system of power management.
You would also need a power reserve... one of the advantages of EMALS is it can adjust mid launch, so it it realises the object is not accelerating fast enough it can boost acceleration to give it a better chance of not going straight into the drink... with steam no chance.
The US went with this technology for very good and sound reasons (unusual for them I know) even though like most US projects it was a really botched development.
EMCATS make a lot of sense if you can get them to work... all the new electricity manipulation and management stuff is all a serious bonus too when it is working, but it requires a lot of new materials and new technology, but everything is going to electric vehicles anyway so that stuff will be enormously useful...
Ok its clear you don't like the French.
I have no problem with the French generally... I have a lot of respect for LSOS too, but why should that influence what Russia buys in terms of an aircraft carrier?
Half are saying they don't need one at all, because they see what I am suggesting as somehow copying or trying to outdo the US.
Others agree they do need air power but a mini carrier and VSTOL fighter can do it all... in fact this thread about a helicopter carrier is a good example of what they think they should have.
I think if they manage it properly they could build their own CVNs from scratch for about 5 billion each and I think a naval version of the Su-57 is their best choice of carrier based fighter because it is their best.
Their new MiG 5th gen fighter might be even better suited to the job but we have no idea at the moment... a carrier aircraft is going to be expensive, because you don't need hundreds unless you are already deploying them to land like the MiG-35 or Su-57... the rugged undercarriage is good for ships and short airstrips.
The problem I have with the current French carrier is that it is too small, it does not carry more fighters than the Kuznetsov carriers and the Russians have experience with carriers.... Kiev class VSTOL carriers and then the Kuznetsov which are bigger with much much better fighters in the form of MiG-33s and Su-33s... and their plans were to go slightly bigger and heavier with more planes and catapults and therefore also AWACS aircraft in the Ulyanovsk in the 70-80K ton weight range... that was always the plan and testing in Syria with the K showed them they were on the right tracks.
After all this experience and work, why would they now throw it all away and safe nothing making carriers to small to defend themselves let alone anything else and spend 15-20 billion developing a brand new VSTOL 5th gen stealth fighter that might be worse than useless... the Yak-38, Yak-38M and the Yak-41 all were.
The Yak-41 on paper was in the same class as the MiG-29, but in every regard inferior. It was slower, shorter ranged, had pathetic payload capacity that could not be increased because of the small wing and the inability to carry any ordinance on the belly because of the hot jet exhaust from three after burning jet engines.
Its radar was smaller and it was in every way inferior to the MiG-33 that was rejected in favour of the bigger longer ranged Su-33 that was essentially an Su-27 with folding wings and a tail hook and stronger undercarriage.
The MiG-33 was fully multirole and able to carry R-77 ARH missiles, but they didn't buy any and the sophisticated electronics just made it almost as expensive as the Su-33... vastly more capable but shorter ranged.
Skyhawk has much less capability then Rafale, and no value in fleet defence either.Just a bomb truck.
In 1980 the Skyhawk was vastly superior to the Mirage 4000 concept that had not even had its first flight yet...
Why would you load up the Rafale with fuel if the mission does not demand it.
You were talking about the Rafales enormous payload capacity... I am pointing out to you that most fighter planes can't carry anywhere near their max payload in weapons for air to air roles. The only way they can approach their max weapon weights is with large 2 thousand kilo fuel tanks carried in pairs often, or bombs and other heavy air to ground ordinance.
The Russian use of fighters for air defence renders its capacity to carry bombs irrelevant... most fighter planes might carry 8 air to air missiles all being less than 400kgs each for long range missiles and less than 150kgs for short range missiles... meaning even the Su-33 would struggle to carry more than 2.5 tons of weapons on a mission with a heavy air to air weapon load...
The Russians could deploy MIG-35 on these, very useful 7T of payload. Really 3T of payload with modern weapons and good radius is extremely useful. 10 planes 30T in one strike. 4 sorties if its close enough, then you have 120T of ordinance on target. That is 3 TU-160 payloads.
If the Russian Navy wanted strike aircraft they would have picked the MiG-33s over the Su-33s years ago.
Rafale also enjoy a much small rcs, more hardpoints and better ones because they can put 3 guided bombs on 1. Bad point is that it carries only 1 exocet.
With 9.5 tons of external equipment I am sure the RCS is tiny...
Mig 35 isn't a bad aircraft either but it's still not produced and is just an improved mig-29.
The Rafale started life as a twin engined Mirage 2000 called the Mirage 4000... has it really moved that much far ahead?
In fact the most efficient thermal power stations are combined cycle gas turbine plants. COGOG is propulsion, such as on the Udaloy class.
The propulsion for the Udaloy class was because it needed bursts of speed because it is a sub chaser...
The Sovremmeny is a similar sized destroyer with different main armament and propulsion...