You can't counter a regime change with carriers.
The purpose of the carrier is to defend the ships the carrier is operating with... Russian carriers are air defence carriers and are not for invading countries... a Russian surface action group has ships that would attack targets on land and landing ships for invading countries... aircraft carriers would be there purely to protect the ships and allow them to do whatever they are trying to do. The carriers provide the air component... the Cruisers and Destroyers are the heavy long range and medium range and short range air defences... frigates and corvettes can defend themselves and in groups can help defend each other. Destroyers and Cruisers have enough missiles and missile types to defend themselves and other ships and to manage the air defence to make it vastly more effective. Having carriers means having aircraft and airborne radar which makes the surface group even better defended from enemy air threats and surface ship threats and also sub surface threats.
US hijacking russian and chinese civilian ships is a declaration of war against them.
Once they have hijacked the ship is Russia or China going to go to war over that?
Having surface ships that can oppose the hijackers is what is needed... even a Russian corvette could threaten to sink any US ship within 1,000km range... but such boats on their own are vulnerable to attack themselves, which is why destroyers and cruisers are needed and what makes destroyers and cruisers much safer from enemy attack? Fighter aircraft and airborne radar aircraft... = carriers.
I respect your opinion about aircraft carriers Garry but I think they are redundant, of debatable value, overpriced and not worth the money.
Without a blue water navy who is going to trade with Russia and risk being regime changed by the US or a HATO navy group?
Russia has nothing to counter hypersonic missiles either. It's just a matter of time before US get its own in service.
Russia has several types already in service that the US cannot reliably stop, and are working on new air defence systems that can stop even hypersonic weapons... and regarding air defence... who would you rate higher than Russia?
If US can go ahead and destroy russian corvettes and frigates off Venezuela, they can also destroy a russian carrier. There is no difference.
First of all who said they can. It would have to be subs or large numbers of ships and aircraft attacking to sink those Russian ships and the US is likely to lose rather a lot of platforms trying. For Russia to have an aircraft carrier anywhere they will need escort cruisers and destroyers too and a few subs around the place to defend them and each other... if the US wants to sink any of them they will lose a lot of their force if they try.
At least with more Yasen they are sure to be able to sink US ships too.
A single Russian Corvette can carry 8 Zircon missiles... how many ships do you think the US would be prepared to lose to get a single corvette?
Lets say it has 4 Zircons and 4 Otvets... the Americans wont know, so after they lose an SSN they try to send in a destroyer... will they send destroyer number five after losing four before that? Will they even send two after losing the first? How many subs and surface ships will they send to get one Corvette... what if there is a Yasen there as well... the new navy net centric system means they can communicate...
A small carrier well optimized can do the job.
You say that when the next French carrier is going to be a nuke that is about 75K tons with cats... what happened to Britains small carriers...
What you say is like saying mig-35 is useless because su-35 exists. The bigger carrier is better but that doesn't mean the smaller is useless.
Even on the Kuznetsov it was designed to carry both types of aircraft because an Su-35 has range and speed and capacity, but the MiG-35 has numbers and numbers matter too.
The point is that four Su-35s on an aircraft carrier means they can take off and fly at full speed to intercept targets 1,500km away from the carrier and then return... a MiG-35 could do the same but could not fly as fast... it would be going slow conserving fuel and would have reduced weapon load because it would have external fuel tanks.
If your carrier is under attack you AWACS detects the threat at max range so the Su-35s can fly full AB and get to the incoming threats first while they are still quite a distance away, while your MiG-35s are loaded up with suitable weapons and launched too... flying slower they will meet the enemy at 700km and engage them and because the MiG-35s are smaller you can have twice as many on board your ship than if you only had the bigger Flankers so while the Flankers are landing and refuelling and rearming you second lot of MiG-35s are launching to meet the threat at 500km range and so you keep hitting the threat at different distances from your ships until the get close enough for the AD systems on your ships can start engaging them with information from your AWACS and your aircraft AESA and IRST systems...
In terms of performance a small carrier is not a lot cheaper than a bigger one but its capacity is greatly reduced.
An aircraft carrier needs to carry enormous amounts of aviation fuel and weapons for your aircraft to carry, as well as food stores and water for a crew and air component that is similar to a small town... the bigger that ship is the more it can carry the better it can operate in far away locations.
Having a big carrier that could carry 90 armed combat aircraft means you might only operate with 24 aircraft, but with fuel and ammo and components and equipment for 90 so instead of lasting one month on station you can last 3 months... which means the trail of supply ships following you everywhere can be much shorter... having a small ship means bullshit like going for CV instead of a CVN which means carrying fuel to move you around as well as aviation fuel too...
No one ever complained about having too much space or too much storage on board a ship.
The opposite is always a problem.
A small one with a nuk power, catapults and su-57 armed with kh-59mk2 and new hypersonic missiles is a powerful tool.
With nuclear propulsion it is not going to be cheap but with nuke propulsion the operational costs should be minimised by the new reactors that never need to be refuelled over the operational lifetime of the reactor. NPP means lots of power for cats and radar and other exotic stuff including drones... the more space you have the more you can carry.
Drones and artillery have been a massive Russian winner. Large ships have been far less useable.
That ship had no major upgrades since the early 1980s... it still had OSA for goodness sake... yet its powerful radar actually made it rather useful.
Clouds of cheap equipment could potentially trump one super high value item like an a/c carrier.
I disagree... Russian AD and EW has rendered US and western attack drones that were going to wipe the floor with those idiot Russian conscripts useless... if anything the Russians are now experts in the use of drones in conventional warfare against a HATO level enemy.
My guess is that we will see more unmanned equipment, directed by manned equipment. And probably far less "eggs in one basket" ie smaller ships not giant behemoths. BUT ... directed energy weapons, lasers etc might require fairly large ships. So really, whilst we can pretend trends, we can't really predict the exact path.
Surface ships, large or small, wont survive without air cover and air support... and larger ships can carry decent levels of air defence missiles... current Russian corvettes have some nice kit but don't have enough SAMs to stop a decent attack.
My personal view is that no one worries about a loss of a little equipment but soldier deaths have political effects and military effects. Automation, human direction, remote control are all key areas to develop. So I expect the next a/c carriers to have huge numbers of drones and relatively few manned planes or crews.
It seems to be going that way, but drones have not replaced manned attack helicopters or manned fighter aircraft and I don't think drones will replace MBTs and BMPs either... and a navy of speed boats will be trivial to take out... a destroyer with 4 x 57mm gun turrets at the front and 2 x 57mm gun turrets to the rear and a hundred thousand 57mm shells of different types and those speed boats and any drones you care to launch will be dead meat... water cooled automatic 57mm guns with modern ammo would eat them for breakfast.
One thing I have thought about is a mix of 200,000 ton-500,000 aircraft carriers that could sustain air operations over allied countries on thier own to crush US efforts at undermining them and lighter 90,000-150,000 ton aircraft carriers to provide aireal reconnaissance and air support to the Russian fleets for combating enemy navies directly.
Even the US can't afford such ships and they would be trouble to manouver. Something in the 75-90K ton range that is not too big and not too small would be ideal... it would need to carry Su-57 fighters and also a lighter fighter that replaces the MiG-29KR. It would have lots of drones onboard too, but its primary purpose would be to help defend Russian surface ships by carrying AWACS aircraft and fighter aircraft.
When you are a commander of a cruiser in the open ocean and you detect a target 1,000km away what do you do? You can't send a ship to have a look and if you radio it you give away your position and your ID. Being able to launch high speed fighters to investigate means you have better situational awareness especially if you can also direct an airborne AWACS platform to check for surface targets and low flying targets too.
Being able to send a couple of fighters that can defend themselves and break contact and return quickly means you find out what is happening without risking a ship.
In the late 1980s a US AEGIS cruiser was chasing Iranian ships and detected an incoming threat. F-14s that were operating nearby were called off by the carrier commander because he thought the AEGIS cruiser captain was being a dick and he didn't want to lose an aircraft, but if everyone was behaving they could have sent an F-14 to investigate and it would have seen that the threat was an airbus civilian airliner that was climbing and on a registered civilian air route and no one would have had to die...
Having air power you can use to collect information means better situational awareness and better decisions being made with better information.
The Kuznetsov is going to be their only fixed wing carrier for a decade, they need destroyers and cruisers to be built to support their new helicopter carriers before looking at building some new carriers... but the lessons so far are that Kuznetsov is too small and not well designed for aircraft and cats and nuclear propulsion and probably a 75-90K ton carrier is what would work the best.