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    Future Russian Aircraft Carriers and Deck Aviation. #2

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    Podlodka77


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    Post  Podlodka77 Wed Jun 01, 2022 11:41 am

    GarryB wrote:All the cost of a large carrier... especially when you add the cost of a VSTOL fighter that would need to be designed and built, but the performance of a helicopter carrier they are already building... which is seriously short of a proper aircraft carrier.

    The core reason for an aircraft carrier is AWACS and fighter/interceptors... if you think Ka-31s and Su-25s would be good enough air defence capacity to defend Russian airspace then you will think this is a great way to save money.

    The thing is that to even approach being useful you would need a dozen of those mini carriers at the very least which means they would end up being more expensive than two decent CVNs in the 80-90K ton weight class.

    Navalised Su-57s wont be super cheap but would be the best capability they could manage which means they would be about as effective as you could possibly make them... instead of having Su-35s and Su-30s as land based Naval interceptor fighters you could have extra Su-57Ks which would increase the production volume and take some of the sting out of the price.

    The alternative of an F-35 piece of crap that ends up getting shot down and the carriers and the ships operating with them all being sunk in a real combat situation means you would not be saving any money at all.

    Case in point... the Moskva... they probably saved some money by not upgrading it, which made it horribly vulnerabe to drones and potentially accidents with old SAMs like the old S-300F which they were using.

    With updated SAMs and CIWS... even just replacing the OSA with TOR/Klintock missiles and it would have been fine against any drone threat.

    Moving forward new Frigates and Corvettes are much better defended but they still need new destroyers with the old upgraded destroyers potentially being long endurance frigates really, so able to defend themselves but not really equipped with enough missiles to defend itself and other ships or platforms... or pieces of water/airspace.

    A new design destroyer will have enough SAMs and other missiles to seriously damage any enemy forces that try to attack it and will be able to coordinate the assets and fire power of other vessels operating with it to make a much more capable air defence and even ground, air and sea surface strike capability.

    Those old designs of carriers was from a time when the British tiny carriers seemed to suggest a VSTOL carrier could be cheap and only 20K tons... but the reality of the Falklands conflict showed they cost more money than they saved.

    The radar on the Sea Harrier was very good and a modern version with AMRAAM class missiles would be reasonable, but lack of speed and flight range, together with lack of proper AWACS for the small ships they were operated from makes them mediocre in the real world in terms of supporting surface ships doing anything important.

    The French went for a 40K ton carrier and their next generation carrier plans are for something nuclear powered and with cats and AWACS in the 75K ton weight range... it is not an accident... the US wants a 100K ton weight carrier because it wants fighters and strike aircraft and lots of air to ground ordinance as well as air to air to carry around the place.

    The ideas behind the Ford and the Zumwalt were actually rather good, but they tried to put too much that was new into brand new designs without testing them in older ships first and so everything wasn't working so you couldn't tell if it was that technology that was the problem or was something else not working properly stopping this from working... how do you trouble shoot when everything it is connected to might not be working properly either...

    Hypersonic anti ship missiles make all large ships obsolete... but the best way to deal with hypersonic missile threats would be a super big powerful laser or energy weapon to either damage the incoming threat or just blind it so it doesn't hit anything... how many big powerful lasers can you fit on a Corvette?

    So if you need a big huge Cruiser to carry a laser missile defence system then why would you not also have an aircraft carrier with fighters and AWACS platforms to protect those cruisers... Russian carriers are for air defence... traditionally Russian forces have ground based air defence systems, but the very existence of their aerospace defence forces suggests they view aircraft and ground and air based radar, as well as fighters and interceptors as being valuable for defending surface objects too.

    You can put all their SAMs and jammers and radars on their ships but you still improve their protection and performance in peace time and in war by adding fighters and AWACS aircraft... considering how much they will already be spending it wont cost much more but will make their surface and sub fleet much much safer which saves money in itself.

    I share with you the opinion that big ships are maybe obsolete.
    However, it is not absolutely necessary that Su-57K planes be on these new aircraft carriers, if Russia already decides to build them. Such a plane requires a ship at least 300 meters long. It could be the Su-75K, although the question is how many weapons that single-engine plane could carry when taking off from the deck of the aircraft carrier. I am a supporter of Russia building CATOBAR aircraft carriers and I do not like the idea of ​​carriers with VTOL.

    I do not believe that Russia has the funds to build huge aircraft carriers, especially in larger numbers. I don't think it is necessary to build those ships either. And even if Russia has money, it still can't match the United States, France, Great Britain together, etc. I think that 4 aircraft carriers (two for NF and two for PF) with 24 planes + helicopters and drones would "do a good part of the job". The ship’s displacement is about 45,000. It has a length – about 250 m, a width of 65 m, draft at the structural waterline – 9 m. Varan is capable of speeds up to 26 knots.

    Although it is only a project, of course, a ship with a displacement of about 45,000 tons could certainly carry up to 30 Su-75K planes. The project envisages 24 planes (MiG-29K is on the ship's sketches), 6 helicopters and 20 drones. Yes, there is no nuclear power plant and that is perhaps the main drawback, although it is not impossible to install a nuclear power plant on a ship with a full displacement of up to 45,000 tons. After all, it is not impossible to "increase" the project, that is, for the ship to reach 50,000+ tons. As the displacement increases, so does the size of the ship, as well as its capacity.
    I really like the idea of ​​the "Varan" project and I would just add nuclear power to the ship.

    I have no doubt at all that Russia can afford nuclear aircraft carriers, if it is already building dozens of nuclear submarines and nuclear icebreakers. But one thing stands out, Russia does not have to and should not build aircraft carriers of 100,000 tons.
    As for SSBN and SSGN submarines, everything is clear. Russia is planning 7 icebreakers of project 22220 and three huge Project 10510 "Leaders". That means 10 icebreakers, 6 of which are already under construction. Two ships of the 22220 project are operational, one was launched and should reach operational status by October, two are under construction and two more are planned - the sixth and seventh. The construction of a huge "leader" and the ship "Rossiya", which exceeds 70,000 tons in terms of displacement, has also begun. Therefore, I have no doubt that Russia can build nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.


    Future Russian Aircraft Carriers and Deck Aviation. #2 - Page 36 Varan-10

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    Mig-31BM2 Super Irbis-E


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    Post  Mig-31BM2 Super Irbis-E Thu Jun 23, 2022 2:14 pm

    Future Russian Aircraft Carriers and Deck Aviation. #2 - Page 36 1346227-45e3dbc62bb970e661e4baf54f386564
    Wouldn't the 003 Chinas be an option for Russia?
    A lot is based on Russian design.
    Isos
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    Post  Isos Thu Jun 23, 2022 2:47 pm

    No. Why give away the equivalent of 4 or 5 billions to Chiba when it can be invested in russian shipyards ?

    Either build it alone or don't.

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    Arrow


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    Post  Arrow Thu Jun 23, 2022 3:55 pm

    Especially since Russia already has shipyards capable of building aircraft carriers. Zwiezda Shipyard

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    Post  lancelot Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:17 pm

    Russia will not be buying carriers from China. They might buy some components for expedience, like the catapults.
    The Chinese also bought arrestor gear from Russia for their Shandong carrier.
    It was faster than making their own and Russia already made some for the Admiral Kuznestov which is basically same design.

    The French bought the steam catapults of the Charles de Gaulle from the US. And will be doing the same again with EMALS for their next generation carrier.

    Russian industry can easily make a carrier if the government funds it. They have the shipyards, the experience building large ships, the power plant i.e. RITM-400 nuclear reactor, and the rest they can either buy or develop themselves. They can even make their own EMALS if they want to. Lots of experience in high power electronics in Russia in the research labs. The only question is if this is worth the time delay to project or not.

    Talk of carriers is premature until Russia builds more frigates and destroyers. Without escort a carrier is a sitting duck.

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    Post  Mig-31BM2 Super Irbis-E Thu Jun 23, 2022 10:26 pm

    Do not let China build for Russia, but make it similar and orientate itself on the 003, a little bigger, as well as no jump but gas starters.

    I've been writing here for a long time now. Also to the shipyards. You can also misunderstand you. Sad
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    Post  GarryB Fri Jun 24, 2022 10:12 am

    You underestimate the cost of nuclear carriers Garry. This design would cost less than a billion just like any helicopter carrier (which it is).

    I think you underestimate the cost of not having adequate air power.

    A helicopter carrier cannot provide air defence for any group of ships. Great for anti sub or landing missions or even disaster response, but no good for air defence.

    Size of CVN carriers gets bigger and bigger because US wants an entire air force on them with modern 20t jets. They cost 10 billions without the air wing.

    US carriers are 100K tons because they are strike carriers with strike aircraft... the equivalent of wanting to carry MiG-23s and MiG-27s each in useful numbers as well as thousands of tons of ordinance for them to use in combat for a period of time... when used in the strike role they have fighters defending the fleet but also fighters defending the strike aircraft and of course the strike aircraft themselves... which is a lot of planes and also air to ground ordinance is much much heavier than air to air only ordinance so they need to carry probably 10 thousand tons of air to ground weapons too... not to mention fighters and jammers to support the strike missions as well as AWACS.

    Soviet and Russian carriers will likely have a minor strike role but guided weapons means rather less mass of explosive is capable of getting a lot more goals achieved, the point of carrying Su-33s and MiG-29Ks was that the bigger aircraft has longer range and more weapon points for better combat persistance, but the smaller aircraft fit on the carrier better... take off easier and land easier and are just as good at shorter distances from the ships.

    Having all Su-33s means having fewer aircraft and much of the time not being able to exploit their extra range.

    The US mix has been fighter and strike aircraft, for Russia it will be a mix of larger heavier fighter and smaller lighter fighter with either able to carry anti ship missiles if required.

    Russia certainly does not need 100K carriers, but 70-80K ton is probably the ideal range... too small and they are still expensive but not effective so you are not saving money at all when you start to lose ships because your small carrier is inadequate.

    For people saying Russia does not need aircraft carriers and that SAMs and drones are good enough... are they suggesting that Checkmate and Su-57 and Su-35/30s should be cancelled and withdrawn from service because obviously drones and SAMs can do the job there too?

    They don't need 10 carriers and they don't need carriers as big as the ones the US makes...

    I agree VTOL jet sucks but they are force multiplier in high seas when the enemy has only ships.

    The only operational VSTOL jet costs more than the Su-57 by almost triple the price.... obviously the Russians could come up with something much cheaper but if the pay off is not needing a full sized aircraft carrier then the prize is not worth it.

    The Kuznetsov is all they need for now... they need destroyers and cruisers in service before looking at new fixed wing aircraft carriers.

    A naval Su-57 would be worth developing and all along Sukhoi have said naval Su-57s are a thing... but in the past the Russian Navy has not been a priority for Russia... but now they are cutting themselves off from the west that will change because they will need to trade with the rest of the world and not through the west...

    However Russia doesn't have such aircraft and their development for the 2 dozen pieces they would buy isn't worth it. But if they had the foloow on stealthy yak after the yak-141 this ship would have been a huge power up for russian navy.

    The amount of money a VSTOL fighter programme would consume... you would be better to simply build bigger carriers... but they need destroyers and cruisers and frigates and corvettes first... they should get the new frigate into the water soon enough and within a few years will know which frigate to serial produce... they have made decisions about the Buyan, which means they should start to serial produce their other options, then it is lay down some destroyers and then cruisers...

    I share with you the opinion that big ships are maybe obsolete.

    I am arguing the opposite... if they are going to detect hypersonic weapons early they need huge ships with huge AESA arrays and they need big long range missiles like S-500 and also powerful laser systems for use against drones and anti ship missiles and hypersonic weapons as well... wont be amazing to start with but they will get better and could blind optically guided weapons at ranges they can't shoot them down...

    However, it is not absolutely necessary that Su-57K planes be on these new aircraft carriers, if Russia already decides to build them. Such a plane requires a ship at least 300 meters long. It could be the Su-75K, although the question is how many weapons that single-engine plane could carry when taking off from the deck of the aircraft carrier. I am a supporter of Russia building CATOBAR aircraft carriers and I do not like the idea of ​​carriers with VTOL.

    We agree VSTOL is a dead end for fixed wing fighters... too expensive, too fragile... high loss rate.... not effective as fighters when those fighters are peer fighters.
    A mix of heavy and light planes maximises performance by increasing the number of aircraft, but also getting the extra range and sensor performance from a larger aircraft... not every interceptor needs to be long ranged... some will be operating around the ships in a combat air patrol type mission where being too far from the ships you are protecting is a bad thing.

    I do not believe that Russia has the funds to build huge aircraft carriers, especially in larger numbers.

    They can't afford to not have aircraft carriers or the west will crush them and isolate them from the rest of the world.

    They don't need to match the west... they have hypersonic anti ship missiles that can eliminate the western ship numbers advantage in a single strike.

    I don't think it is necessary to build those ships either. And even if Russia has money, it still can't match the United States, France, Great Britain together, etc. I think that 4 aircraft carriers (two for NF and two for PF) with 24 planes + helicopters and drones would "do a good part of the job".

    Russia cannot afford to match HATO in numbers, and four aircraft carriers was more than I was thinking... they have the Kuznetsov and could build perhaps two CVNs in the 75-80K ton weight range. Probably 36 planes with perhaps 12 Su-57Ks and 24 of the new twin engined MiG carrier based 5th gen planes with the capacity to greatly increase numbers if needed.

    It is better to have more capacity and not use it than not have it and need it.

    The ship’s displacement is about 45,000. It has a length – about 250 m, a width of 65 m, draft at the structural waterline – 9 m. Varan is capable of speeds up to 26 knots.

    The Navy have already said the Kuznestov is too small to properly safely operate Su-33s and it is 10K tons heavier than that... the French have already said their current carrier CdG is too small and they want a 75K ton nuclear powered ship with cats.

    If the Russian Navy really wanted cheap the new helicopter carriers they have laid down would be 20K ton instead of 40K.

    You can save money by not buying a watch... use a pen to draw a watch on your wrist... but when you are late for everything will that money saved mean anything?

    If the British had their fixed wing carriers in the Falklands conflict they would have had Phantoms for fighters and Buccanners for strike aircraft... and real AWACS platforms that would give them an excelent radar view of the battlefield... without the gaps/shadows the island created in surface ship radar that the Argentine pilots used in their attacks.

    The irony is that the Harrier programme and the cost of making those little 20K ton VSTOL fighter carrying ships plus the ships they lost in that conflict probably would have paid for a couple of Nimitz class carriers from the US... I doubt the Argentine forces would have even invaded in that case... but the combination of retiring the proven carriers and having dinky little mini carriers with toy planes yet to be proven in combat.... and a woman in charge... they would all be factors they considered before invading...

    Although it is only a project, of course, a ship with a displacement of about 45,000 tons could certainly carry up to 30 Su-75K planes. The project envisages 24 planes (MiG-29K is on the ship's sketches), 6 helicopters and 20 drones.

    The Su-75K is not lighter than a MiG-29K, the Su-57 is very similar in size to the MiG-35 which is the same size as the MiG-29K.

    I have no doubt at all that Russia can afford nuclear aircraft carriers, if it is already building dozens of nuclear submarines and nuclear icebreakers. But one thing stands out, Russia does not have to and should not build aircraft carriers of 100,000 tons.

    They do need carriers if they want to trade and cooperate with the rest of the world without going through Europe or US channels. Even most transport shipping companies have sanctioned Russia on the orders of the west... Russia needs a strong Navy that can operate away from Russian territory to defend Russian interests.

    What could Russia do right now if the US decided to invade Venezuela...

    If Russia wants countries around the world to commit to trading with them then they should expect western pressure that could include naval blockades... if the Russian Navy consists of corvettes and frigates then what country is going to risk pissing off the west to do deals?

    Therefore, I have no doubt that Russia can build nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

    They invested a lot of money on the Zvezda shipyards to build ships up to 350K tons... of course they will be cargo and tanker ships, but they will need cruisers and destroyers and aircraft carriers to defend their lawful operations in international waters.

    Wouldn't the 003 Chinas be an option for Russia?
    A lot is based on Russian design.

    Probably not, though it wont look a lot different.

    Russian fighters on an 80K ton carrier might retain a ski jump because it is an air defence carrier so most of the planes will be high thrust to weight ratio fighters with air to air combat loads, but a decent AWACS platform would justify EMALS launch which would likely need to be flat... that would be why this Chinese carrier does not have a ski jump launch off the bow.

    Russia will not be buying carriers from China. They might buy some components for expedience, like the catapults.

    It would not surprise me if they were working together on EMALS cats... lots of physics and technology and electronics required... I think they would work rather better together than apart...

    Talk of carriers is premature until Russia builds more frigates and destroyers. Without escort a carrier is a sitting duck.

    They need corvettes and frigates and destroyers in serial production in quite a few yards before they start to lay down a CVN... they have the CV Kuznetsov to upgrade and test new systems and equipment on... there will be new helicopters and the new SAMs for their navy are all still very new, and they will likely want to experiement with electric drive ships too...

    Russian carriers are air defence carriers so they are not the sitting duck a US or UK or French carrier would be.

    The Kuznetsov has 192 TOR missiles ready to fire, and that is the old missiles from the first generation TOR with 8 ready to launch missiles.

    Simply replacing the old missiles with the current missiles would use the same volume of space and double the number of missiles... but even more so for the naval version which had a clumsy rotary launcher... replace it with a cell launcher and you could probably increase the number of missiles by one third and with the new missiles double that number... even just doubling that number means almost 400 ready to launch missiles... and that is not counting the missiles and guns on Kashtan/Panstir... I suspect they might add Redut launchers with 9M96 and 9M100 missiles too.

    Do not let China build for Russia, but make it similar and orientate itself on the 003, a little bigger, as well as no jump but gas starters.

    Russia has invested time and money and effort to get shipyards with aircraft carrier capacity, there is no point in rushing the design when they don't have the support ships like destroyers and cruisers ready to operate with the carrier they have.

    They should be getting more money invested in them now that Russia wants to open to the rest of the world and with an increase in food production they could do with a decent fleet of ships to distribute their goods as well... perhaps China could build some floating docks for them and perhaps some civilian ships as well, but they should be sorted for most of the new military ships and subs.

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    Post  Big_Gazza Fri Jun 24, 2022 1:30 pm

    lancelot wrote:Without escort a carrier is a sitting duck.

    Against a salvo of hypersonic missiles like Zircon, any carrier is a sitting duck.
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    Post  Isos Fri Jun 24, 2022 1:54 pm

    Big_Gazza wrote:
    lancelot wrote:Without escort a carrier is a sitting duck.

    Against a salvo of hypersonic missiles like Zircon, any carrier is a sitting duck.


    Main issue is to be ble to aquire the target and launch the missiles.

    Zirkon or kh-35 they will go through because russians would generally attack carriers with to many missiles. Intercepting a huge salvo is impossible. Always some will go through.

    They need to increase their fleet of satelittes as well as patrol EW/elint aircraft.
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    Post  AlfaT8 Fri Jun 24, 2022 5:01 pm

    This carrier issue has been a problem for Russia for a long time, ever since Stalin called them weapons of aggression.

    The main problem for Russia is whether to invest in carriers or a counter carrier strategy (ala Kirov cruisers).
    Honestly this depends on Russia's foreign policy, it depends on whether Russia intends to expands its influence to far away countries, by all indications this does look like the case.
    Ergo a carrier is going to be necesary, that said Russia first needs to resolve the problems with their ability to produce Frigates and Destroyers in relevant numbers, until then Russia will have to continue coordinating with China.

    Now on to the pros and cons:
    Cons are obvious, carriers are simply to big a target today, they aren't very difficult to track and in short time if not already, Russia and China will have the capability to just take out any serious carrier anywhere in the world from the comfort of the mainland.

    The issue is whether Russia/China desire to escalate the situation to that extent, or allow the local forces to settle the matter, if so, we should look at the pros.

    Pros of a carrier are well know, your ships get air support and longer range detection and engagement of any potential threat, of which will undoubtedly be western.
    In the numbers game, this means that Russian ships wont need to deal with both aircraft and anti-ship missiles at the same time, just by keeping western aircraft occupied alone will increase the Russian fleets chances of survival significantly.
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    Post  Backman Fri Jun 24, 2022 11:21 pm

    Does anyone know the cost of the Typhoon class submarine program ? An aircraft carrier is just an oversized barge with an airfield sitting ontop. A nuclear submarine has way more moving parts. I just don't understand why a nuclear carrier costs so much to build.

    Maybe the Russian MIC is over estimating how much a nuclear carrier would cost them to build. I mean, its just one of their overkill icebreakers mated to a floating airfield. Where is all the money ? In the hull ? It just seems to me that Russia is selling itself short of their capabilities.

    Carriers are for peace time power projection and sport wars like Syria. In a great power war they would be parked.
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    Post  LMFS Fri Jun 24, 2022 11:41 pm

    Big_Gazza wrote:Against a salvo of hypersonic missiles like Zircon, any carrier is a sitting duck.

    Any surface ship actually, but that is right now. What about a Russian carrier covered by S-500?

    The race between weapons and the corresponding defence never stops, but what remains is the value of air power in any domain.

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    Post  GarryB Sat Jun 25, 2022 12:39 pm

    Against a salvo of hypersonic missiles like Zircon, any carrier is a sitting duck.

    Old Soviet ships had a lot of missiles for their size, and their anti ship missiles were bigger than most which limited how many they could carry but they just made bigger ships.

    Hypersonic manouvering missiles are a new threat but with their new missiles their new cruisers will have thousands of missiles and enormous AESA arrays to direct them.

    The number of missiles to destroy a surface group of Russian ships in th future will grow exponentially with each additional destroyer and cruiser that operates with it, and aircraft carriers with lots of new planes will make that even worse.

    New jammers and new decoys.... we have stealthy ships now... what about decoy ships with corner reflectors all over their surfaces which make them look like islands... and the new missiles they will have will include big huge heavy missiles with enormous ranges... but what will their payloads be... we know they are working on mini self guided surface to air missiles of 10-20kgs each that can be released to hit a salvo of artillery with the accuracy and payload power to set off artillery shells... Imagine a 600km range S-500 missile carrying 50 of those mini missiles released into the midst of enemy aircraft trying to deliver a hypersonic missile strike.

    Salvos require groupings of enemy forces which in turn makes them a target too.

    Zirkon or kh-35 they will go through because russians would generally attack carriers with to many missiles. Intercepting a huge salvo is impossible. Always some will go through.

    That is what CIWS were developed for, which will now include lasers and guns of larger calibre with airburst and guided shells to make them effective to much greater ranges than older rounds...

    The point is that the west talks about swarms of 1,000s of drones at a time because they know 100s wont do any more... the thing is that a swarm of drones is intended to destroy the air defence systems... radars and missiles, so the bigger slower and fewer in number missiles can get through and hit the real target.

    Little tiny swarm drones don't have the HE payload to kill anything but air defence missiles and very light targets... no way they could take down ships... having to carry a 200kg plus warhead bare minimum to seriously damage or sink a ship means anti ship missiles are going to be bigger... to big for small platforms to carry in the numbers needed to get the job done... the Soviets had the problem that their missiles which were supersonic needed to be big to have the range and the the payload and the speed to defeat western air defences... which limited how many missiles they could carry which meant each missile had to be so much more dangerous and capable than western missiles.

    The size issue has been solved first with ramjets and now with scramjets, and vertical launch tubes for missiles, meaning smaller ships could carry larger and larger volumes of missiles without top heavy problems.

    The main problem for Russia is whether to invest in carriers or a counter carrier strategy (ala Kirov cruisers).

    Not at all.. they laid down three Kuznetsov class carriers and a Ulyanovsk class carrier that was slightly bigger was about 45% complete in 1991 when the Soviet Union ended...

    The Kirov class cruisers, of which there were going to be 5 were going to operate together with the carriers.... as I keep saying, they are air defence carriers... the Kirovs are not there to defend the carriers, the carriers are there to defend the Kirovs...

    Ergo a carrier is going to be necesary, that said Russia first needs to resolve the problems with their ability to produce Frigates and Destroyers in relevant numbers, until then Russia will have to continue coordinating with China.

    If they weren't interested in carriers the Kuznetsov would have been scrapped years ago and they probably would have scrapped the Slavas and Kirovs as well and used the freed up money to just concentrate on frigates and corvettes and destroyers.

    Cons are obvious, carriers are simply to big a target today, they aren't very difficult to track and in short time if not already, Russia and China will have the capability to just take out any serious carrier anywhere in the world from the comfort of the mainland.

    The new Russian carrier will likely have or operate with ships that have the naval versions of S-350, S-400, and S-500... all of which can take on ballistic threats of quite formidable capability.

    It very much limits the number of countries that could attack Russian ships... ships carrying thousands of land attack missiles from a country with ICBMs and SLBMs with even more potent warheads at their command.

    The issue is whether Russia/China desire to escalate the situation to that extent, or allow the local forces to settle the matter, if so, we should look at the pros.

    They wont use aircraft carriers to sink enemy aircraft carriers, so the idea of replacing aircraft carriers with land based missiles you can launch to support a surface fleet anywhere on the planet does not really make sense... Russian aircraft carriers are also the eyes and ears of the fleet and can move around teh place at high speed to check things out and test things that would otherwise go untested.

    A contact approaching at high speed without carriers you give radio warnings and eventually launch SAMs... with aircraft carriers if you detect an incoming contact you can send a flight of four Su-57s to see what it is... if it is a hostile enemy attacking you they can deal with it while it is 500km away, which is much safer than waiting till it is much closer and a helicopter can get a visual on the target... in fact that might be too late.

    Their corvettes and smaller boats have already had laser dazzlers fitted to protect from optically guiding weapons... and in the Ukraine they have lasers to physically destroy targets at 5km range, presumably in a vehicle based system... more power available on a ship.

    Pros of a carrier are well know, your ships get air support and longer range detection and engagement of any potential threat, of which will undoubtedly be western.
    In the numbers game, this means that Russian ships wont need to deal with both aircraft and anti-ship missiles at the same time, just by keeping western aircraft occupied alone will increase the Russian fleets chances of survival significantly.

    Another factor is that the air defence systems and concentrations on Russian ships is going to be formidable so to mount an attack with any real chance of success would require a large force to be amassed and coordinated... which means lots of platforms and communication... which if detected early could lead to a flight of fighters to be sent out to disrupt an attack and greatly weaken it before it even starts... shooting down a plane like a B-1B before it launches a dozen missiles is cheaper and simpler and faster than waiting for the missiles to come over the horizon.

    Does anyone know the cost of the Typhoon class submarine program ? An aircraft carrier is just an oversized barge with an airfield sitting ontop. A nuclear submarine has way more moving parts. I just don't understand why a nuclear carrier costs so much to build.

    It is essentially a small town with an airfield with AWACS aircraft and the latest fighters... but Russian ones will be much cheaper than American ones.

    French Rafale fighters cost India 8 billion for 36 aircraft... they paid about 2.5 billion for Ka-31 AEW helicopters and about 26 MiG-29Ks and an aircraft carrier upgraded and improved... guess which deal they complained was too expensive...

    Maybe the Russian MIC is over estimating how much a nuclear carrier would cost them to build. I mean, its just one of their overkill icebreakers mated to a floating airfield. Where is all the money ? In the hull ? It just seems to me that Russia is selling itself short of their capabilities.

    They have to estimate based on a lot of unknown variables which will increase the price...

    Carriers are for peace time power projection and sport wars like Syria. In a great power war they would be parked.

    Very true but it is the peace time that Russia needs to win if it wants to avoid being isolated and contained by the west... they don't need to invade or attack anyone but they do need to defend their interests and trade partners from pressure from rival parties and their gang of arse holes calling themselves world police but actually being a criminal gang slash lynch mob.

    The race between weapons and the corresponding defence never stops, but what remains is the value of air power in any domain.

    Any country that achieves the victory of sinking a Russian carrier gets a prize call Samaraton or Bulava to take out their capital city because they are obviously at war with Russia so why should Russia hold back?

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    Post  Mig-31BM2 Super Irbis-E Sat Jun 25, 2022 7:04 pm

    Does it make sense to expand Snake Island as a "carrier"? Just like China does the reefs in the southern Chinese Sea?
    Also to "practice" carrier operation?

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    Post  Isos Sat Jun 25, 2022 9:38 pm

    Mig-31BM2 Super Irbis-E wrote:Does it make sense to expand Snake Island as a "carrier"? Just like China does the reefs in the southern Chinese Sea?
    Also to "practice" carrier operation?

    Not really. Ukrainians already manged to hit it successfully and it's within artillery range.

    They have Crimea 200km away that is better protected and in a better position.

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    Post  GarryB Sun Jun 26, 2022 6:14 am

    Pretty soon they will be moving towards Odessa and those shore based systems that can reach the island will be captured by friendly forces and it wont be so vulnerable.

    Eventually they will likely hand the island over to the new independent state that is no longer led by Kiev and is either neutral or Russia friendly.

    They might develop it or just leave it as what it was before the war.

    BTW to clarify what I was trying to say regarding the super big aircraft carriers, they are not so necessary, but the alternative mini carriers can be a large fraction of the price of a bigger better carriers and they might not have the performance required... so if you have to use them in war you will find it wont protect your ships the way it should so you might save a few billion in development and production costs but the billions you lose in lost ships means you might as well gone for a decent sized vessel.

    The Soviet Union and Britain have already been down the path where they thought mini carriers with VSTOL fighters could do the same job as a full sized fixed wing carrier and what they both found was that without full sized AWACS aircraft your carrier group is vulnerable to being surprised.

    Helicopters with belly radars with 360 degree viewing are a good idea against subsonic sea skimmers and getting warning of such threats from 250km range is a very good thing, but it is not the same as a much larger radar antenna operating at higher altitude at flight speeds where it can move a few hundred kms in 30 minutes to move the coverage and optimise it.

    Equally an interceptor needs to get to a target as quickly as possible... some people think it is a no brainer to pick the Su-33 over the MiG-29K because the Su-33 can operate twice as far away from the carrier so it can reach targets much further away.

    In practise the real difference is that the Su-33 has much more fuel capacity so it can go and full AB and climb and get to targets faster than the MiG can without using up all its fuel... its advantage is time rather than range because the sooner you get to ID range the sooner you can decide to fire and start stopping the attack and make your ships safe.

    Having all big fighters doesn't make sense either... you might have a CAP or combat air patrol flying around that will be directed to anything that pops up on radar to investigate... if it is obviously an attack more aircraft will be launched, but the birds in the air will investigate first but will be armed with general purpose weapons... most likely air to air... they will use their ability to close with the target to use their radar and EO equipment to positively ID the threats and any sneaky low RCS nearby too and with that information the commander of the group can decide what to do... if it is a flight of incoming anti ship missiles those aircraft can engage some of them with cannon fire and missiles and then follow them back towards their own ships using their radars to track the incoming threats which could be engaged at max missile range by ship launched SAMs like S-400 in the 250km and 400km range versions... even if the targets are sea skimming with the fighters there with their radars tracking the targets you can use long range missiles with ARH to engage if you want.

    As you first aircraft return with the targets in view newly scrambled aircraft will meet them more suitably armed... perhaps with rocket pods with laser guided rockets and proximity fuses would be plenty to take down straight flying anti ship missiles, or bundles of MANPADS sized missiles per weapon bay to take out threats in large volumes.

    Of course your initial fighters might detect the launch aircraft and they might go after them before they can launch another volley of missiles so with one or two aircraft following the already launched missiles back towards the ships the other two or three aircraft from the CAP unit could engage launch platform aircraft like MPAs or B-1B types, while aircraft launched could target the incoming missiles and also larger longer ranged aircraft might come to help deal with the missile launch platforms which might also include surface ships.

    The point is that the aircraft you launch are radar and EO equipped platforms with missiles that can defend themselves while the targets they find could be attacked using ship launched hypersonic missiles to engage ships, or some big long range SAM with a payload of multiple small independently guided missiles to engage a group of threats too... so flights of F-35s or F-18s or Rafales... the Su-33s or Su-57s could hang back and monitor them as hypersonic missiles arrive with air to air missiles to take on the fighters diving down at enormous speeds.

    In fact it would make more sense to have surface to air versions of the Zircon... it would carry payloads of a quarter ton so the weight and volume would be big enough for lots of mini missiles that as they are falling from a great height could be mostly gliders that come down and dive on their targets at enormous speeds... you might carry four or five such missiles, but your ships will have enormous numbers of  launch tubes available anyway...

    And being powered the Zircon missile could make a detour on the way to release a few air to air missiles against any missiles the enemy has already fired and then continue on to where the enemy aircraft are concentrated and release the rest of the interceptor missiles and then whatever remains of the missile could be used against AWACS aircraft in the air or any ships present.... the impact of which will take out an AWACS platform or at least do some damage to a ship to effect their performance too.

    The point is that by the time you launch your third wave of aircraft they don't need long range and endurance... the targets will have been approaching your ships for some time so they might only be a few hundred kms away, but even still an airborne radar and missiles will be useful to help the ships on the surface understand what is going on in the air around them...

    In comparison VSTOL carriers will sit back in combat situations for protection meaning your subsonic fighters might start engaging enemy fighters as those fighters are engaging the first of your ships... not ideal.

    They look cool and are a neat trick at airshows, but VSTOL fighters are fragile and expensive and generally have a high loss rate because landing like that is dangerous... you are relying on engines and a puff of hot air from your engine nozzles gets into your air intake and you lose thrust and drop hard costs a lot of aircraft.

    The land based equivalent of saying mini carriers and VSTOL fighters is like saying 100m runways on land and only using Yak-130 sized aircraft or smaller... they are not bad planes but up against a real fighter they would not do so well...
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    Post  Big_Gazza Sun Jun 26, 2022 11:19 am

    Isos wrote:
    Mig-31BM2 Super Irbis-E wrote:Does it make sense to expand Snake Island as a "carrier"? Just like China does the reefs in the southern Chinese Sea?
    Also to "practice" carrier operation?

    Not really. Ukrainians already manged to hit it successfully and it's within artillery range.

    They have Crimea 200km away that is better protected and in a better position.

    One good reason to hold Snake Island is so that the Ukies can't "invite" the Romanians to send in "peace keepers" to hold the island in their name until hostilities cease.  NATO forces on Snake Island would not be welcomed in Moscow...

    Of course, the main reason is that holding Snake Island really tweaks the nose of the Banderites, and the Ukopi leadership is obsessed with taking it back for PR purposes.  Its therefore a nice way to draw them out to commit their strike forces.  Better to have the Orcs shooting what few missiles they have at a barren chunk of rock off the Odessa coast than at LDNR cities or Russian/Rebel land forces currently busy liberating Donbass.

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    Post  Isos Sun Jun 26, 2022 11:58 am

    Big_Gazza wrote:
    Isos wrote:
    Mig-31BM2 Super Irbis-E wrote:Does it make sense to expand Snake Island as a "carrier"? Just like China does the reefs in the southern Chinese Sea?
    Also to "practice" carrier operation?

    Not really. Ukrainians already manged to hit it successfully and it's within artillery range.

    They have Crimea 200km away that is better protected and in a better position.

    One good reason to hold Snake Island is so that the Ukies can't "invite" the Romanians to send in "peace keepers" to hold the island in their name until hostilities cease.  NATO forces on Snake Island would not be welcomed in Moscow...

    Of course, the main reason is that holding Snake Island really tweaks the nose of the Banderites, and the Ukopi leadership is obsessed with taking it back for PR purposes.  Its therefore a nice way to draw them out to commit their strike forces.  Better to have the Orcs shooting what few missiles they have at a barren chunk of rock off the Odessa coast than at LDNR cities or Russian/Rebel land forces currently busy liberating Donbass.

    Bomb the romanians if they do that.

    Russia is loosing to much over that island that provide no real advantage for the effort it needs to be kept. Ukrainians will keep attacking it over and over because it is the weakest part of russian offensive with US intel.
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    Post  lancelot Sun Jun 26, 2022 2:52 pm

    Isos wrote:Russia is loosing to much over that island that provide no real advantage for the effort it needs to be kept. Ukrainians will keep attacking it over and over because it is the weakest part of russian offensive with US intel.
    The more resources they spend attacking it, the less resources they spend elsewhere like attacking Kherson.
    It is also way more defensible than any ship, it won't sink, if you don't want to get hit just jump into a fox hole, and covers the sea approaches to Odessa. Why do you think Ukr want it so desperately?

    The main issue is if they start using long range artillery and MLRS on it. For this they need to have spotter aircraft around the coastline and need to engage those with counter fires in case they pop up. But, once again, if they do focus the artillery and MLRS on it, those won't be hitting the population at Kherson.

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    Post  GarryB Sun Jun 26, 2022 4:42 pm

    Sounds like they are not losing at all, why do you think they are losing too much to hold the island?

    I would expect the Orcs were sending their best trained naval special forces... Naval Spetsnaz, Naval Infantry, and VDV and Spetsnaz types to try to take the island who were getting killed in troop carrying helicopters and troop carrying boats as they got close... these are very dangerous types that would otherwise be attacking Russian supply columns and rear areas and perhaps even Russian territory or the territory of Belarus...

    It is a distraction for Kiev the British advisors seemed to be fixated on... to Kievs cost.

    Coastal artillery will try to shell it but then they want to draw out their artillery to engage and destroy it too... the alternative would be to let them get the island and move that artillery elsewhere to shell other Russian forces or civilians...

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    Post  Isos Sun Jun 26, 2022 5:36 pm

    Sounds like they are not losing at all, why do you think they are losing too much to hold the island?

    1 cruiser, 1 landing craft with a tor, plenty of raptor boats, more AD got destroyed on the island.

    Way too much if you ask me.
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    Post  lancelot Sun Jun 26, 2022 8:03 pm

    Isos wrote:
    Sounds like they are not losing at all, why do you think they are losing too much to hold the island?

    1 cruiser, 1 landing craft with a tor, plenty of raptor boats, more AD got destroyed on the island.

    Way too much if you ask me.
    The cruiser was not in the island... The cruiser was interdicting the airspace around the Ukraine border to prevent air supplies. In fact because they lost the cruiser the island gained importance instead of losing it. Because from the island you can cover the airspace the cruiser was covering. Without the island you need to use the Admiral Grigorovich frigates to do the same air interdiction task or rely on air force to do it. Ukraine lost several helicopters and aircraft attacking that island. So if you remove your notion that the island had anything with the cruiser loss, which it didn't, you can see who lost most here. For some reason you only see Russian losses.

    If anything I would fortify that island with bunkers and put a Buk-M3 or S-350 system in it.

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    Post  Broski Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:24 am

    lancelot wrote:In fact because they lost the cruiser the island gained importance instead of losing it. Because from the island you can cover the airspace the cruiser was covering. Without the island you need to use the Admiral Grigorovich frigates to do the same air interdiction task or rely on air force to do it.
    I suspect that Russia has set up long range radars on Snake Island to fill the position the Moskva played monitoring Hohol airspace for weapons shipments and shooting them down as they enter from Romanian or Moldovan borders.

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    Post  Belisarius Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:43 am

    Isos wrote:, plenty of raptor boats, more AD got destroyed on the island.

    If I'm not mistaken, the ukrops claim to have sunk more raptor boats than Russia would have in the Black Sea, and have shown zero evidence of having destroyed more AD...

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    Post  GarryB Mon Jun 27, 2022 6:05 am

    Lots of Kiev claims have been made, including claiming what appears to be one of their own helicopters being shot down as a Russian helicopter.

    They lost several fighter and strike aircraft along with huge numbers of helicopters likely filled with troops, as well as landing boats presumably also filled with troops too... not to mention literally dozens and dozens of drones.

    They claim the Cruiser was destroyed by anti ship missiles (2) but the photo evidence shows a serious fire but no big explosion or explosions you would see clear evidence of if there was a missile impact and explosion... honestly looking at the photo available I would say it might have been an S-300 missile launch fail that started a fire with potential internal explosions... if it was a drone attack we would be getting video footage from Kiev by now of their heroic attack... on this old obsolete vessel.

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