Aircraft Carriers III


Equation

Lieutenant General
I think at this stage the best bet for the Russian programme would be to contract one of the Chinese shipyards to manufacture some Shandong type hulls, propulsion and hotel systems (power, water, crew facilities), then fit them out with Russian combat / sensor systems and air wing. In an ideal world, I'd guess Russian would want four hulls, split between Northern and Pacific fleets, but realistically two is probably more sustainable in the long-term, with one in each fleet. The reduced maintenance overhead of the more modern design would likely mean two could be maintained for little more than the current Kuznetsov, which could finally be put out of it's misery.

I agreed. But this will ruined Putin's and some Russians national pride.
 

Anlsvrthng

Senior Member
Registered Member
The idea of a common basic hull design has some advantages, but I think it's safe to say Russia's wish list far exceeds both available infrastructure and budget. Pretty much every single Russian naval ship building project since the soviet collapse has had absurd levels of delays, incredibly slow builds, technical issues and budget blowouts.

I think at this stage the best bet for the Russian programme would be to contract one of the Chinese shipyards to manufacture some Shandong type hulls, propulsion and hotel systems (power, water, crew facilities), then fit them out with Russian combat / sensor systems and air wing. In an ideal world, I'd guess Russian would want four hulls, split between Northern and Pacific fleets, but realistically two is probably more sustainable in the long-term, with one in each fleet. The reduced maintenance overhead of the more modern design would likely mean two could be maintained for little more than the current Kuznetsov, which could finally be put out of it's misery.
Russians needs ice class naval vessels, I seriously doubt if China (or the USA ) can manufacture such ships .
 

gelgoog

Captain
Registered Member
The Russians would only need a couple of carriers. They wouldn't mind waiting a decade for each to be built.
Right now they don't have enough escorts to have a large amount of carriers.
The priority is the escorts.
 

FireyCross

New Member
Registered Member
I agreed. But this will ruined Putin's and some Russians national pride.
Quite possibly, though a lot depends on presentation. Within the Putin era, Russia placed an order with France for mistral amphibious assault ships. Ships from China would be politically much less "damaging", and Russia can be pretty much guaranteed the Chinese will deliver. The prestige factor of having two, modern, functional carriers would far outweigh that of using Chinese shipyards, especially since Russia can point of the Soviet heritage of the design and portray them as a natural continuation of Sino-Russian co-operation. It's certainly a challenge, but one that could be overcome if the narrative was framed correctly. It could also open the door to co-operation in other naval areas, such as reform/modernisation of Russian shipyards (desperately needed) and potentially help speeding up the Gorshkov class frigate build program, aswell as help get the Lider class destroyer into production (likely in a more realistic form).
Russians needs ice class naval vessels, I seriously doubt if China (or the USA ) can manufacture such ships .
The Liaoning (and hence, Shandong) are based off Kuznetsov, which is what the Russians are currently using. It'd essentially be a new and improved version of their current ship. Russia has no need for an ice-hardened carrier, as no one else has or is proposing one, and it wouldn't fit into their naval doctrine in any meaningful way. Even if Russia did want one, realistically they have no way of obtaining one anyway, making it a moot point. At this point, with the state of Russian infrastructure and finances, they either seek a foreign partner, or give up on carrier naval aviation once the Kuznetsov breaks beyond their ability to keep her going, or even afloat.
 

gelgoog

Captain
Registered Member
No. The Russians want nuclear powered carriers.
The Zvezda shipyard was already upgraded with Chinese and South Korean help. So yes this cooperation will likely continue.
 

FireyCross

New Member
Registered Member
The Russians would only need a couple of carriers. They wouldn't mind waiting a decade for each to be built.
Right now they don't have enough escorts to have a large amount of carriers.
The priority is the escorts.
To be honest, I think they'd be better off with something like the Spanish Juan Carlos carrier-assault hybrid. It'd be *much* easier for them to maintain and it'd actually be useful for them in a variety of realistic scenarios. (I think the British should have gone down the same road, given the Invincible class were pretty similar in aviation ability, but less adaptable to other roles) But, I think that'd be hard to "sell" as a narrative to the public. A full sized carrier is essential for their prestige, even if they can't really afford it. China I think could help, because they're building carriers anyway. They've practically got a production line up and running, so bolting a few Shandongs together for Russia means no new infrastructure, or even design work, it's literally just the physical build, and then handing over to Russia to put their toys on board (they could even re-use the existing aviation wing from the Kuz, to make the roubles stretch further)
 

Anlsvrthng

Senior Member
Registered Member
The Liaoning (and hence, Shandong) are based off Kuznetsov, which is what the Russians are currently using. It'd essentially be a new and improved version of their current ship. Russia has no need for an ice-hardened carrier, as no one else has or is proposing one, and it wouldn't fit into their naval doctrine in any meaningful way. Even if Russia did want one, realistically they have no way of obtaining one anyway, making it a moot point. At this point, with the state of Russian infrastructure and finances, they either seek a foreign partner, or give up on carrier naval aviation once the Kuznetsov breaks beyond their ability to keep her going, or even afloat.
The ice class depending on the hull material mainly ,secondly the strength of it.

Most likely the Chinese hasn't got the naval ice class steel manufacturing capacity.

And the Russians needs Ice class ships, have you ever checked they ports during winter time ?
 

FireyCross

New Member
Registered Member
The ice class depending on the hull material mainly ,secondly the strength of it.

Most likely the Chinese hasn't got the naval ice class steel manufacturing capacity.

And the Russians needs Ice class ships, have you ever checked they ports during winter time ?

Yes. The Kuznetsov is based out of Murmansk, which is ice-free. She has never operated in arctic ice. Outside of the current "unified hull" concept, none of the new Russian carrier designs have focused on an arctic ocean ice rating. An icebreaker doesn't make a good warship. It's not just the metals used, the hull design is fundamentally different in shape and buoyancy characteristics. Icebreakers handle poorly in open water. You can see this is you look at an actual ice breaking naval ship, the Ivan Papanin. You have to make a lot of compromises.
 

Anlsvrthng

Senior Member
Registered Member
Yes. The Kuznetsov is based out of Murmansk, which is ice-free. She has never operated in arctic ice. Outside of the current "unified hull" concept, none of the new Russian carrier designs have focused on an arctic ocean ice rating. An icebreaker doesn't make a good warship. It's not just the metals used, the hull design is fundamentally different in shape and buoyancy characteristics. Icebreakers handle poorly in open water. You can see this is you look at an actual ice breaking naval ship, the Ivan Papanin. You have to make a lot of compromises.
There is a difference between icebreaker and ice class vessel.

The later could operate in icy waters, with the help of an icebreaker, but a non-ice class vessel can not operate in arctic conditions, regardless of icebreaker help.

Actually , the previous Russian carrier concepts was about ice class carriers.

I haven't found any mention about the Kuz grading regards of ice class.
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Tirdent

Junior Member
Registered Member
Building in Chinese shipyards will do little to fix the root cause of Russian naval shipbuilding woes - chronic under-funding (exacerbated by corruption and grift). With the modern Zvezda shipyard nearing completion, the capacity (in vessel size terms) bottleneck is all but gone, and with respect to build rate of smaller hulls, even the existing infrastructure would have been fine. For an indication of what just the traditional St. Petersburg yards are capable of *if funded decently*, you need only to look at the Pr. 22220 icebreakers. Five large (35k ton), highly specialized (nuclear turbo-electric propulsion) ships at a pace of approximately one every couple of years!

And technologically, the current generation of clean-sheet Russian warships is cutting-edge. Composite material hulls or superstructures, enclosed or integrated masts (composite or aluminium construction), AESA radars, hard-kill torpedo defences, compact hit-to-kill SAMs, AUVs/USVs... Now that domestic gas turbine supply is secured, what makes anybody think Russian yards could not build the Steregushchiy and Gorshkov class at a good pace, if funded properly?

So moving construction to a Chinese builder won't defy the principle that you only get what you pay for - corruption issues will remain and Russian wages aren't THAT high. It may improve the grift somewhat but unless the Russian MoD can ensure an adequate and regular money flow, the result will be broadly the same. You simply can't build a competitive warship on an erratic shoe-string budget, not even in China.

With that out of the way, you can also legitimately question whether Russia needs carriers in the first place - unavailability of Kuznetsov has not seemed to hamper their ambitions. A more efficient use of funding would be to double down on submarines (both nuclear and conventional), which in combination with the strategic bomber fleet should provide adequate power projection. True, it lacks the soft power (i.e. coercive visual impact) of a carrier group, but the hard power (explosive tonnage on target) is not that different to the limited carrier force Russia could hope to field. Admittedly, good satellite ISR is a prerequisite, but they are working on that, with a new spacecraft generation coming up (>2m mirror diameter EO imaging and 0.4m SAR resolution).
 

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