There are not too many models or designs coming from Russia with two islands, though I am sure they will be looking at British experience and taking that into account with their new designs, so while I wont delete the post, I have not much more to say about it that I have not already said.
1)I'm not saying big a/carriers are a bad thing.
I can see how Russia can have a big use for them, necessity.
They have no urgent use for them now...
For now their focus is building up their civilian and naval fleets, which as they expand will venture further and further from Russian controlled territory... it is when they are beyond land based Russian air defence that the need for an aircraft carrier, but also just as critically, an air defence cruiser or two become relevant and important.
But that is going to take time and money... on 50 50 calls on international laws the US and UK and HATO are not going to do Russia any favours at all... they already sail through Russian waters illegally in the Black Sea and in the Pacific and I am expecting them to want to do the same with the north sea route which they will want to claim is for everyone and anyone... despite passing though Russian waters.
The shit fuckery might be less common, but then it might get worse, and if Russian surface ships find themselves in trouble having large powerful cruisers and large aircraft carriers means those ships are much more likely to survive any incident and any losses at all should be small and the country or countries that inflicted such damage would pay vastly more with a carrier group than any other assembly of Russian ships or subs... aircraft provide awareness and long arms against a variety of targets but with the IADS to defend those planes which makes the entire force a very tough nut to crack when they work together which they will.
But what puzzles me is that its happily going by with virtually none.
OK perhaps it wants the full rnge of support ships modernised first.
Perhaps it wanted its nuclear and non nuclear missile arsenal sorted first.
On the surface you might think they don't need a carrier... they are not using one now after all... but if they don't need a carrier then what is the point of buying brand new MiG-29KR fighters.... what is the point of the current upgrade and overhaul of the ship... what is the point of keeping two training centres going for training carrier aircraft pilots.... what is the point of a helicopter carrier if more powerful and more potent air defence carriers are too vulnerable and too expensive...
You can argue that an 80K ton fixed wing carrier is tying up an enormous amount of money that could be spent on smaller ships... in chess terms that is saying you can have 16 pieces with 8 pawns and 8 more useful pieces but I just want pawns.
Modern corvettes and frigates are powerful and capable but enemy airforces have moved on too.... you can load impressive missiles and weapons in a corvette and a frigate... but the core of the problem is that they can't carry that many weapons... they are essentially able to defend themselves.... working in groups that defence can actually be rather good, but they are not much use for defending other ships.... you might use 2-4 missiles against a Corvette but you will likely be using 40-50 missiles against a helicopter carrier... because it is worth it...
Destroyers can protect themselves and other ships, but you want cruiser sized vessels for combat persistence and real long range missile capability.
2)America has what 13 carriers and many more heli carriers/amphibious ships.
Its fine when someone else is funding your navy... unless they ask for their money back!
Russia currently has to fund its own navy.
Very true but American uses those carriers to keep the international sea lanes of communication and trade open for itself to use and to bully others to get its own way in many situations... cuba, north korea, venezuela, Iran, etc etc have all felt naval blockades and naval enforced sanctions imposed on them.
A decent carrier should last for 40 plus years and over that period it wont be cheap... even a Russian one, but that money is spent on Russian shipyards and Russian companies and Russian workers and the result will make the other ships and the countries that dare to cooperate with Russia much safer.
If Russia has a navy of corvettes and frigates why on earth would any country choose to trade with them over the US... if you were the leader of Venezuela it would be much easier for you to fold and do as the US tells you than try to make things better for Venezuelans and develop the economy.
America wants a world full of countries who sell them cheap raw materials which they can process and sell back to countries that don't make anything themselves.
The US wanted Russia to shrivel up and die and just import cheap food from the EU so the EU makes money... earns their oil and gas money back, and the US will want titanium and other materials as well and Russia can buy it all from the west using the money the west spent buying Russian gas and oil...
Great for the US but not so great for the other countries as with both Russia and Venezuela when the price of oil dropped then they are a country that doesn't make anything and the oil money they used to buy everything does not buy much any more.
Obviously Venezuela was hit much harder than Russia... even at 40 dollars a barrel Russia was still making money... but tehy were also using that oil and gas money to build up their economy. They used western trade sanctions to block food from the EU... a stroke of genius... and a serious kick in the nuts... but it has paid off because now Russia is a food exporter which they should have been all along... against the advice of the Clintons in the 1990s...
Well now Russia makes most of its own stuff and is getting to the point where the engines it didn't have are now getting ready for serial production, which means ship and aircraft and vehicle production can improve and they can go into markets with sanction proof stuff because the engines or thermals are no longer French, or the avionics of the aircraft are not American...
As they grow their international trade they need to bypass the EU as the middle man that takes their cut for doing nothing except being in the middle of the transaction, or the US previously taking a cut because previously the purchase was made in US dollars... but now things are changing... and for the better.
Russia is going to expand to be a global commercial power... not like China, but something like that... on a smaller scale... which is plenty to improve living standards and quality of life in Russia.
So if America isn't doing 2000 ft carriers.. why would Russia?
Given that Russia is a master of asymetrical ie non arms race tactics.
The US uses its navy to control and dominate and police the world... Russia does not need anything like that... I would say four CVNs would be the most they would want and for a long time it will likely be one or two carriers... the Kuznetsov and a new CVN which they will test the heck out of.
BTW if they can get the performance of an 80K ton carrier from a 40K ton design with a double hull or some such clever tricks then even better... it is the performance that is important not the actual physical size.
3)Just to build a first megacarrier u are prob looking 4 to 7 billion dollars - at Russian rates!
I'm not sure how much further ships in the series would cost... plus the maintenance, crewing etc.
Personally I think the solution is a ship that is useful in peacetime AND wartime. Maybe not a brilliant peacetime ship, but something that gives revenue nonetheless.
Without air support they are not going to be as safe or as effective away from Russian shores... saving 4 billion dollars by not having a decent carrier may cost you ships and crews against an enemy that would not consider attacking a Russian carrier group but would have a go at some ships operating together.
BTW they probably spent 10 billion or more on Su-57 stealth fighters... is that a waste too?
The Checkmate shows money spent can be used for other things too... the CVN hulls could be used for new space launch ships, or heavy cruiser designs or cheaper simpler arsenal ships that are military grade defence and protection rather than converted container ships that will be sitting ducks.
They might have a combination dooms day cruiser with Poseidons and Thunderbirds that spends most of its time in the southern atlantic and southern pacific with dooms day weapons tying up western assets wanting to keep tabs on them...
4)A 2000 ft carrier is just perplexing. Its not long enough for big planes.. perhaps it could use a regular range of planes tho.
That might just be taking the piss.... but new 5th gen fighters have enormously powerful engines and internal weapons and are smaller than current 4th gen designs.
The Su-57 is similar size to a MiG-35, the Checkmate will likely be smaller and will use parts made for the Su-57 to reduce costs.
MiG-29s and Su-27s can already operate from short strips on land and with enlarged wings and control surfaces to improve handling at low flight speeds the naval versions don't need cats for normal ops on a Kuznetsov sized carrier which is about the minimum size you would want for a carrier... the French have a 40K ton CdG and they want their new carrier to be about 75K tons which is in the ballpark of the 80-90K ton ship the Russians are talking about.
Unless there is something astounding that makes it necessary they wont be competing with the USN with 100K ships.
I noticed that the biggest ships in the World, megatankers are 1500 ft long and upto 500k deadweight tons. But instead of costing multi-billions they are around a few hundred million USD to build.
Big is normally good but going too far is bad. It is a bit like tanks... the Americans have a 70 ton tank whose armour seems to be comparable to the 25 ton lighter T-90... The difference of course is that the American carriers are strike carriers so they attack and invade countries and their navies with aircraft, with ships in support and landing forces too... though sometimes the Marines are a diversion too...
Being a very big ship allowed the Kirov class to have a formidable number of very big anti ship and anti aircraft missiles on board, but at the time I don't think having a ship twice the size would have made any sense at all.
This carrier seems a projection of what they could do rather than what they will... people have pointed out the models on the desks of various power people in Russia so maybe this was a chance to take the piss for them.
Of course radar, missiles and the like are essential. But I wonder if a "superbarge" type arrangement could work?
It would certainly rewrite some naval combat strategies.... if it could be effective.
I think if it was practical the British would already be doing it... every time they go to war it seems the politicians think they have too much money and cut it after the conflict.
In the Falklands Islands campaign a lot of missiles fired at military ships ended up hitting converted civilian ships because they didn't have the self defence equipment the military ships had, and being made to civilian standards they tended to burn and sink, though the military ships did too.
Submariners have a saying that a torpedo lets water in the bottom of a ship while an anti ship missile lets air in the top.
Of course an anti ship missile lets fire in which is vastly more deadly, which is not to downplay the danger of torpedoes.
5)"Superbarges" could be used in peacetime for revenue. Perhaps for bulk carrying, even for satellite launches nr the equator. They could use non carrier aircraft in wartime due to their longer runways.
That would be in the sales pitch... but what if your enemy is smart waits till your "carriers" are all half way through jobs... they can't just dump containers over the side and rush away like a volunteer fire fighter. Equally if it is working transporting stuff how do you get a trained effective crew who knows what they are doing?
A barge is not exactly like an aircraft carrier there are lots of difference... for a start most bulk carriers don't have accommodation for 4 thousand ship and aircraft crew, or the cooking facilities and food storage facilities to support them. Having dozens of high performance aircraft with fuel and ammunition stored on board would be complex and need training and work to get to a point where it is efficient, plus they would need operational training.... and its very low speed would be a problem getting from place to place... and if it sinks with say 50 enormously expensive 5th gen super fighters not to mention half a dozen AWACS type aircraft that probably cost even more than the fighters in the Russian Navy are on board... how much are you actually saving?
And what is the cost?
The space required for EMAL cats would be wasted space for any transport vessel... as well as food storage and accommodations etc etc. and of course munitions and fuel would need special fire walled storage areas for handling and storage too...
Some good reasons why it hasn't been done.
On the other hand when cruise missiles are loaded into shipping containers then some sort of arsenal ship that either launches directly from the container ship or loads them onto frigates and Corvettes able to carry and launch missiles from shipping crates could be used to launch a lot of missiles in theatre with containers being shifted around... launch the top ones first and then stack those empty crates at one end and then work your way down the ship launching more missiles... the firing rate would be excellent.... but the cost in missiles would be enormous... you would want that ship to be protected... and the best protection would be a fixed wing carrier group and subs.
They would be far cheaper than full blown carriers and could be positioned in a network over wide distances.
Would they? You can't preposition them because that would require the air component and crew and ships crew... hundreds of aircraft and their spare parts and equipment to be flown from Russia to where the container ship is... the container ship would have to offload all the crates so they can be taken by another ship... not good for business.... and how would you get all the stores and equipment and 4,000 people to where that container ship currently is to start loading aircraft as well as spare parts and munitions and aviation fuel etc etc... would be a nightmare.
And it wont be more effective than a real carrier.
How would you install an EMALS system.... or does it remain on board all the time taking up space and weight.
Maybe connect 2 up to produce an "temporary island". The loss of one wouldn't be as catastrophic as the loss of a Shtorm supercarrier.
Two connected would effectively be immobile and an easy target.... and no reason to believe would be effective as an aircraft carrier either.
The likelyhood of Russia losing an aircraft carrier in peace time or proxy war is tiny, and in WWIII... who cares... who will even notice?
I personally don't think Russia would ever build a mega carrier like the one in my picture. They don't need anything like it and trying to "outsize" the US would be ridiculous and a very costly project indeed. Besides they don't have the shipyards to produce anything like it atm. Something like the Lamantin seems like a good size carrier to have and it is also a natural evolution from the Kuznetsov-Ulyanovsk design.
They have a lot of experience and work in the past to know what they want... they have said it many times.... they want something with a capacity slightly bigger than the Kuznetsov... which is what the Ulyanovsk was... they could probably improve the design but that is what they want.
Now a double hull ship with bigger capacity than Kuznetsov but weighs 40K tons ... that would be fine... the bigger a carrier is the more it costs to buy and to operate but if you can get the actual performance of a 70-80K ton carrier in a 40K ton design then that would be amazing.
Tiny carriers with VSTOL fighters has been tried and proven to be a failure... everyone acknowledges that... except the US Marines who want landing ships and not fixed wing carriers so their experience is not relevant in this case.
Note the Russian Naval Infantry are going for a 40K ton helicopter carrier but it is interesting that the "fighter" they have chosen is the Ka-52K and not a VSTOL jet... because they know the serious limits and design flaws and problems VSTOL fighters introduce for a trick that is not very useful anyway...
And before you say it vertical takeoff is never used operationally because it limits takeoff weight to be fuel or weapons but not both.