Russia’s only carrier and the sole ship of it class Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier of project 11435 will complete the overhaul and upgrade in 2023 and will rejoin the Navy at the end of the year.
Russia, the world’s second military power, currently has no aircraft carrier. It’s suffered deadly electrical fires, bad airplane landings, a sunk drydock, and several breakdowns. This unlucky ship has endured a lifetime of hardship. As for the aircraft carrier, it’s not that Russia can’t build it. It depends on whether they want to build it, not whether they can’t build it. Russia (USSR) had a lot of aircraft carriers and aircraft-carrying cruisers before. So you can’t say that Russia doesn’t have the capabilities to build a modern aircraft carrier.
Although many Russian warships are produced at the Nikolayev Shipyard in Ukraine, it does not mean that Russia does not have the ability to build aircraft carriers. Aircraft carrier Vikramaditya is not Russia’s Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier. After being sold to India, it was also upgraded at the Severodvinsk shipyard in Russia.
Whether there is an aircraft carrier or not depends not on the production capacity, but on the demand, and this demand mainly comes from the national strategic direction.
The world Navy is divided into countries with aircraft carriers and countries without aircraft carriers. These two countries are different, and the difference lies in the strategic direction. The aircraft carrier is a standard offensive weapon, and it is an ocean-going strike weapon, a weapon that goes across the sea to attack others. A country with an aircraft carrier is an ambitious country. The area he wants to control is not only the one in front of him, but the other side of the ocean. The best tool to go to the other side of the ocean is an aircraft carrier.
A country without an aircraft carrier means that the country is either in a state of defense, or its vision is only on the land in front of it, not the other side of the ocean, or simply doesn’t have capabilities and money to operate. In the final analysis, there is still a lack of ambition, and there is no such ambition to drive to the other side of the ocean. Russia is a typical one, and his ambitions lie in his surroundings, not in far-flung places such as North and South America.
Whether a country has ambitions is not determined by people, but by its economy. If a country’s economy cannot support a huge war, its ambitions are bound to be suppressed. The aircraft carrier is the representative of ambition.
If you have an aircraft carrier, you need to form an aircraft carrier battle group, and one aircraft carrier is not enough, you need to form a huge ocean-going fleet, you need three or four aircraft carriers, you need more nuclear submarines, destroyers, frigates, tankers. Moreover, you have to cooperate with a larger ground air force, and you also need a more powerful logistics system to deliver supplies to these troops on the front line. All of this requires money to support, no money = no drama.
Today’s Russia has a population of 140 million. The Russian Federation Armed Forces, the Russian Border Guards, and the Russian National Guard are added together, and the Russian armed forces are about 2 million people. This ratio is very high, Out of 70 persons, one is a soldier.
Russia can build two or three aircraft carriers with a single mobilization. The question is, what happens after you build it? Is this aircraft carrier in the house? You set up a series of huge fleets, then you went out to fight, and in the end, the money you will loose more money, and eventually you have to abandon these expensive weapons, so its better to be idle.
China has built two aircraft carriers (one is under contruction). The first ship is considered experimental, and the second ship is the real offensive weapon. Now the third and fourth ships are under planning, and the support ship Type 055 drive is also in full swing. It will take some time for these things to be built. The things is that this shows that it will be better in the future, and China can afford these things in the future and now because of huge economy same goes for India which soon going to get its second aircraft carrier.
If Russia wants to build a new aircraft carrier, it cannot be a medium-weight aircraft carrier, at least at the level of 80,000 to 100,000 tons. Then matching to build new destroyers, new nuclear submarines. One aircraft carrier is meaningless. How much does it cost to build three to five ships? Probably $50 billion or you might as well spend this money on intercontinental missiles and stealth strategic bombers, hypersonic missiles which are more cost-effective than aircraft carriers.
At present, Russia cannot afford it, and Russia’s strategic direction is changing. Defence view also said last year that they do not need aircraft carriers. In fact, even Russia can’t use it if they ever make it.