For realistic combat training & to show the flag off the coasts of friends & foes alike.
They could get more training in the Pacific or Atlantic and there are more foes than friends in the Med right now... the only benefit from stirring them up is to make them spend money on defence, which ends up costing Russia more too, so there is no advantage there.
Being able to sail the new northern sea route means it inspires confidence than it is navigatible and open to naval traffic, and would also deter any interference as well.
They may also transit it on the way to the Indian Ocean to help the Pac. Fleet there.
In a real conflict it would be too easy to bottleneck them and trap them in the Black Sea.
In comparison, the ownership of the Kurile islands means sea access in the Pacific fleet and the gap into the north Atlantic is large and too big to effectively blockade without needing serious forces there in a non shooting situation... ie without sinking a ship the US could not stop a large Russian ship moving from the Northern Fleet to Venezuela through the GIUK gap.
They did build Adm. K & 75% of Varyag, besides modifying the ex-Gorshkov for India.
So that is experience isn't it?
They wanted to build it themselves, make profit, & use the $ to build 1 for their own use, just like with Su-30s. The Sevmash is a state enterprise.
Yeah, but even if India loved the plan and design they would still want to make it themselves...
Su-30 was operational for decades before India put their variant together...
It would take a few years to complete if ordered now, by then there'll be more infrastructure & escorts built; in any case, if 1 is in port/yard, it won't need escorts & they can be assigned to the 1 sailing out.
Support vessels need upgrades and rest as well. Even if they laid down a new carrier right now it would take at the minimum of 12 years to get it into the water and ready for active duty, but those 12 years would also be needed to create the infrastructure and support ships needed to operate with that carrier... the point is that that infrastructure is useful anyway and those support ships and cruisers are useful on their own as well, so it makes rather more sense to build up your infrastructure and support ships first and then make them more useful by adding a carrier which will add long range vision with fighters and AWACS platforms, and a more effective air defence capacity.
Some people are saying hypersonic missiles make carriers useless... the reality is that hypersonic missiles either make carriers mandatory, or surface navies useless.
Better than to rely on just Tu-160s to "send a message"!
Real messengers are TOPOL and Sineva and their replacements... Tu-160 is a card that can be played without showing your whole hand... they have visited Venezuela three times now to date...
Sending a carrier... the carrier is not the message... the carrier is there to defend the message, which will be the missile armed ships and subs... the carrier is just there to protect them with air power.
You will need a couple Gorshkovs at the least, rather two of them plus a 22350M, as a basic surface group, not to talk about Liders if things get really nasty. To show the flag they can send pretty much what they want, but to combat you need to have your armour complete and without holes.
Right now, if they had more big ships they would retire older models rather than send them off for round the world tours...
Hopefully once they get them into production they can get the tempo up... they might need to make a few for export too after all...
A TAKR type CV is well protected w/o the need for 2 FFGs, 1 &/ a CGN which they should have ready by then will do.
You are missing the point.... the point is not the carrier... the carrier is not the focus of the carrier group... despite it being called a carrier group... the carrier is there to protect the ships and subs in the surface group so they can do what they are supposed to be doing, whether is it supporting a landing with a helicopter carrier, or some geography redistribution via Calibre... or just humanitarian aide or an exercise with an ally in international waters.
Black Sea is a warm sea; Tartus in the Med. Sea is good location; Yemen is not internally stable & surrounded by enemies; the same applies to Nicaragua, Cuba & Venezuela, + they r too remote. A network of bases/sites is needed there to defend it while it's in port & assist it while it's at sea.
The USN has a forward deployed CSG in Yokosuka, Japan which is stable & surrounded by other American naval & AF bases in Japan/Okinawa, S. Korea, & Guam.
US needs forward bases to move their forces when they attack a country nearby... ie for Japan that would be North Korea or China.
For Russia it will be a place to go where they can stop and refuel and relax and then launch training or other missions from if they wish, but having a Russian carrier group in Venezuela right now would seriously piss the Americans off, but what could they actually do about it? Invade?
Would Columbia invade with Russian carriers off the coast?
I seriously doubt it.
1 can be home ported in Tartus & 1 in the Black Sea for year-round training.
Tartus was a tiny repair stop for Soviet and Russian ships... they are upgrading it, but I doubt you could park aircraft carriers there... I mean they would have trouble parking carriers in the Pacific and Northern fleet because of their size and draft... they need to develop infrastructure to house them and operate them... it makes more sense to spend that money in Russia than in Syria... when they have elections Assad might be out on his arse and his replacement might be pro west for all we know... democracy is a bitch.
Short of war with Turkey, which is highly unlikely, they'll be allowed to transit in/out for occasional deployments & repairs/refits, earning her extra $. The VMF will save more by not sailing them to the E. Med. from Kola or Vladivostok/Kamchatka. Those home ported there r best used in the Atlantic/Pacific, respectively.
You have not explained properly why Russia needs to send a carrier group to the Med more than the Atlantic or Pacific.
Future Russian trade growth is not going to be Europe or the US... it is going to be Asia and central and south america and africa.
If a deep canal is built through Iran then the Caspian sea could be a future option, but I don't really see the value of having a large portion of your navy in the Black Sea supporting a carrier that needs to run the gauntlet of all those hostile EU countries.
Besides, if the purpose is trolling NATO then the northern route means sailing past the UK all the time which must get you extra points and of course sailing past France on your way to a training exercise with those Egyptian Mistrals...