For me, it is quite obvious that WMF is of secondary importance for Russia, and has two goals only.
The VMF in the past has been of secondary or even tertiary importance to Russia, but looking forward it is pretty clear there is no stable development or growth trading with the west because the west does not tolerate other countries developing past their level... they have been showing it for a good period against Russia and are showing it now against China too.
If Russia can't trade with the west then they need to trade with the rest of the world, but as we have also seen that the West is happy to crush other countries and regime change them if they show any trade links or even interest in trade with Russia or China... or any other country that is not the west.
This means that Russia not only has to be able to trade with other countries but also needs a navy that will allow her to actually do so without interference from the west who will actively sabotage and interfere every chance they get.
We will not see any massive buildup of the Russian Navy in a way some of the folks here want to see.
They have laid down two 40K ton helicopter landing craft... that alone means they expect to operate anywhere in the world and will need other ships to support them... frigates and Corvettes can barely defend themselves let alone other ships so they will need destroyers and cruisers for that job.
They are not going to build the US Fleet and they certainly wont do it overnight... it will be a steady build up over the next few decades, but it is inevidable.
Unless they think the USN will suddenly start to impartially police the worlds oceans and will ignore its own interests for the greater good...
Or maybe the British or French Navies might help them...
Ruskies has always the same disadvantage, no matter how powerful its navy actually was. It was separated and divided, so could not match mighty opponents on the same level.
Oh please... when they have some destroyers and cruisers with the IADS of their level on a ship along with aircraft carriers with Su-57s operating from them... who exactly should they be worried about?
Their Corvettes are better equipped than most countries destroyers... the exception being the USN, but what other navy is going to challenge Russia?
Especially not knowing what might be under the water supporting those ships...
Trying to build a fleet capable of winning general battles with the mightiest opponents was a delusion. Still, the fleet was capable of sea denial strategy and winning secondary powers like Sweden or Turkey.
Russia does not need a fleet to sink all other fleets, they don't need to invade every country on the planet... most of the time one destroyer will be enough to tell most navies on the planet to **** off.
If they escalate and try more than a little arse play then they should be able to get enough muscle there to get the result they desire.
Usually this sort of shit does not just fall from the sky... there are hints and suggestions... a US court order to seize Russian property leads to a Canadian ship trying to board a Russian transport ship... well one Russian corvette is all that is needed to say no you cannot board.
When they notice other Russian ships in the region start converging on that location they will get the point not to escalate... that corvette can defend itself long enough to launch an attack powerful enough to sink half a US carrier group before it goes down, and who knows what is on its way above and below the water line?
A decent navy does not need to be thousands of ships, but modern and multirole and they seem to be smashing that so far.
It will have little to no value in WWIII, but during peace time it will ensure trade for both Russia and its potential trading partners... who is going to trade with Russia if Russia has corvettes and Frigates and nothing else and a US carrier group parks offshore and regime change is part of the medias first comments...
Russia has to be a viable alternative to the west in terms of both presence but also selling military products... they already can achieve the latter...
They ceased to pretend, that will be able to sink the whole USN in big battles along the Pacific or Atlantic. Or put any actual naval superpower in place of "USN".
With Zircon entering service they are closer to achieving that than ever before, but it was mostly via submarines like the Oscars that they were expecting to achieve that.
The rest of their ships were always defensively orientated... something the west will never admit publicly... if they were going to invade Europe as the HATO bullshit suggests then they lacked the logistics to do so and would have run out of steam well before reaching the English Channel.
But for the first time in the Russian fleet being, we are witnessing growing abilities to concentrate a real force, in one fist.
It is archived with small USKS carriers.
The problem of the anti carrier weapons was that they were so big that only the biggest ships and subs could carry them in useful numbers, but with scramjet propulsion the new missiles are much smaller and can be carried by anything in significant numbers. Those same launchers can also carry a variety of other useful weapons too making them fully multirole too.
The biggest problem for the Soviets was their single use designs... the Sovremmeny destroyers were surface ship hunters with only secondary anti sub capability, while their Udaloy class destroyers were anti sub with only minor anti surface ship capabilities.
A modern equivalent can do either job at the same time and other jobs as well so instead of balancing your forces with this or that ship you can decide for each mission what threats you will deal with... much better... because instead of making x number of one and y number of the other you can make x + y of one ship that can do both jobs... much cheaper and more efficient.
Those can easily relocate via waste Russian river canals - practically undetected and completely safe. It allows concentrating the desired firepower in the desired area, mostly unnoticed. In a few days, the Russian Navy can accumulate lots of missile carriers, with decent missile capacity. And that applies to most of the theatres, even more as we see a massive military build-up of the Russian Arctic.
Which is fantastic for self defence during WWIII, but does not contribute to the economy like a naval force that can go to other countries and exercise and promote Russian ties and Russian weapons sales abroad to protect them from predatory western commerce practises.
Hell, they can even park up in Caspian, totally safe, and just pump the Calibres all over the Middle East...
This is why those small corvettes are of real importance. Those give them attributes they never had, in the whole history.
Indeed, but once they have built 30-40 or more Corvettes and a few Frigates which are essentially long range corvettes or long endurance corvettes they are going to have to look at operations further afield beyond the reach of ground based aircraft and air defence, perhaps near some of their foreign bases or allies around the world... they don't need 40K ton helicopter carriers to support their corvettes launching long range cruise missile attacks.
40K ton helicopter carriers provide a humanitarian capability around the world... floods or earthquakes happen in countries the west does not get on with... being able to assist while maintaining a capability to intervene around the world is a useful thing.
Hell... even promoting there floating nuclear power stations they could send these things to third world countries to provide reliable electrical power supply and fresh water... island nations of the Pacific.... countries in Africa and central and south america... even places in Asia could use such things.
No need to pump the cash into 50 destroyers, because there is no point in it.
They don't need 50 destroyers... 24 or so would be fine... along with 8-12 new cruisers... using all the same weapons as the corvettes and frigates but in larger numbers and of course S-500 based missiles and perhaps longer ranged cruise missiles too, as well as the bigger radar and sonar systems to more effectively use such systems.
Russia is a land power, that needs to protect its boomers, economic zone and north sea route.
Russia was a land power, but needs a global reach if it is to grow and develop further without the west trying to isolate and restrict it like it does with every other country.
The easiest way to become a global power is by sea and global warming means opening the arctic along with icebreakers improving access to the world.
An 800dwt missile carrier hidden in a fjord, is much better for this job than a supercarrier
When it comes to aircraft carriers bigger generally is better because size means capacity and endurance and potential, but Russia is not planning 120K ton super carriers in a penis measuring contest with the US, they have plenty of their own experience with aircraft carriers and they have openly said they plan new carriers in the 70-90K ton weight range... which is no surprise... after experience with the Charles De Gaul they are talking about a 75K ton nuclear powered carrier with catapults too...
Russian aircraft carriers are air defence... the Russian Navy not having CVNs or CVs is a bit like suggesting that the Russian Army air defence forces don't need the Aerospace Defence forces with their airfields and fighters and AWACS platforms etc... sure big airfields are big targets, but the air defences around Russian airfield or a Russian carrier will be formidable and not something trivial to defeat.
Having a carrier will mean aircraft able to detect enemy threats from further away and being able to fly out to meet those threats instead of having to wait for them to come to you.
In peace time they offer a chance for solid situational awareness... a blip on the screen can be investigated quickly and effectively... islands that create radar shadows where targets could be hiding can be negated with AWACS aircraft that fly at altitude and can see over islands... removing those shadows and making things visible again.
Russia learned its lesson in 2008 that even when it is totally in the wrong the US will back an ally to the hilt even if they don't actually lift a finger to help them... like they did in the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia. It was then that they realised they had to spend money on their military forces because no one else is going to fight for them or even give them a break.
If Japan had invaded the Kurils the level of the Russian military in the Far East at that time and the situation with the Japanese Navy they might not have been able to stop them... there were very few Russian forces in the region... it would be like the Argentinian invasion of the Falklands Islands... except it would have been with US support... trying to take them back would have been a nightmare... and it is part of the reason why they wanted Mistrals.... no point in having and funding a Naval Infantry force of mobile and powerful fighters if they have no platform to move them around on.
I rather suspect their new 40K ton helicopter carriers will be covered in S-350 Redut and probably TOR SAM defence systems to defend itself from enemy missiles...