When F-14 was designed there was no such thing as multi role aircraft, by the end of its life F-14 was given multi role capablities via a variety of upgrades and targeting pods.Two different aircraft for two vastly different missions. F-14 was designed to work with the E-2C and kill Russian bombers at very long ranges from the fleet. F-18 is supposed to be a jack-of-all-trades
I was talking about the superhornet -- a development of the vanilla F-18 which turned it into an F-14 sized long range multi role aircraft capable of performing both strike and long range interception.
So really both aircraft are very similar in role. And even if they held different roles, the point you were arguing is that large fighters like the F-14 and Flanker are obsolete. The fact that the USN have commited to super hornet, which itself is near F-14 sized, disproves your point.
Moving the big airplane on deck is not much of an issue; and in terms of space... well how many Mig 29Ks can you put in the space of one Su-33? 1.1? 1.2?The trade off is aircraft size and the fact that on a smallish carrier like the Liaong you cannot carry very many J-15s. Plus you have to move this big airplane on the deck. Its a handful. The US Navy tried big airplanes on carriers (A3J "the Whale" and A5) and decided after it was all said and done to go with smaller aircraft. It will all depend upon the mission the PLAN assigns to their carrier
How many Mig-29Ks do you think liaoning can carry in place of Su-33? And woudl that increase in aircraft quantity be a worthwhile trade off versus the larger and more capable Su-33/J-15? (Considering that J-15 has a larger nose, thus larger and more powerful radar, it's a larger plane, so can naturally carry more payload and has greater range and thus endurance)
But yes, the size of the airplane embarked will naturally tell you the kind of missions the carrier is intended to provide. As well as the ambition.