Russia has taken an uncommon approach to the construction of an aircraft carrier

The project of the promising Russian universal naval ship (UMK) "Varan", presented by the Nevsky Design Bureau, was subjected to serious and in many respects fully justified criticism. This "non-aircraft carrier" is too expensive, there is nowhere to build it, and there is nothing to protect it with. Despite the general negative attitude, I would like to suggest looking at this issue from a different angle.

First of all, it should be noted that Russia still needs aircraft carriers, otherwise the USSR would not have built its Ulyanovsk. Another question is whether we can afford them today. Let's take a look at all the main arguments against.

First of all, we are rightly pointed out that the shipyards that built ships of this class during the Soviet period remained in Ukraine in Nikolaev. Theoretically, Sevmash, which has modernized Vikramaditya for India, can cope with such a task, but this can negatively affect the construction time of the Ash and Boreyevs, which I would not like to allow. Further, after the severance of industrial ties with Independent Russia received a lot of problems, being left without power plants, which led to the disruption and postponement of the deadlines for many programs. However, we note that for frigates of projects 22350, this problem has already been solved. Also a problem is the lack of carrier-based AWACS (EW) aircraft and tankers, which we did not build due to the lack of aircraft carriers.

Finally, last but not least, the problem. This is the need to organize an escort from the escort vessels for the aircraft carrier. If necessary, Russia can scrape together a sufficient number of ships of the first rank for 1 AUG, but this will naturally weaken all other fleets, where the cat cried for large surface ships. And all this construction, of course, will require huge financial investments, which is very difficult against the backdrop of the sequestration of military spending. The conclusion is bleak: at this stage, our country should focus on solving more priority tasks, first mastering the construction of destroyers, then cruisers, and only then - aircraft carriers.

Everything is correct. But this problem can be looked at in another way.

In Russia now there are no shipyards capable of building large ships? Well, they won't come out of nowhere by themselves. This means that we must begin to build them ourselves for the future. Expensive? Listen, we are told that there is no money, and therefore we must hold on. In fact, there is money in the country, you just need to be able to correctly prioritize. Why on earth are we saving money on defense and national security? Building an aircraft carrier is really non-trivial technological a task that will require the preparation of an appropriate boathouse and specialists, the participation of dozens, hundreds of enterprises. Well, that's good, isn't it?

For example, a series of two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers is under construction in the UK. More than seven hundred local companies participate in this program, employing over 10 thousand workers. These enterprises pay taxes, develop advanced solutions for the technical tasks assigned to them, and their employees receive salaries. Metal is melted, electronic components are made, software is created. Just one aircraft carrier becomes a real driver of development economicsespecially during the recession after a pandemic. Investing money in it is not money down the drain, it is an investment in the country's defense capability, in its industrial and technological development. Money down the drain - this is billions of dollars for giant sporting events that took place, and then everyone forgot about them.

Move on. No propulsion systems? Listen, but the same British contrived to do without nuclear reactors, making an integrated electric propulsion system, connecting two gas turbines and four diesel engines. Is it really impossible for our engineers to do something like that? And why not, by the way, still consider the option with a nuclear power plant? They say that they are bulky and will take up a lot of space inside the ship, which will lead to an increase in tonnage.

If you look at potential opponents, the United States somehow managed in 1961 to commission the cruiser USS Long Beach (CGN-9) with a nuclear engine with a total displacement of 16 tons, as well as the world's only nuclear frigate CGN-602 Bainbridge, complete the displacement of which was only 25 tons. Despite their modest size, the presence of nuclear reactors did not prevent them from performing normally for many decades. For comparison, the displacement of the promising UMK "Varana" would be 7982 tons.

Russia is one of the world leaders in the field of nuclear technology. Why not start work on shipborne nuclear power plants? Then they can be used on missile destroyers of the Leader project put on the table. A large batch will lead to a reduction in production costs. Is it expensive? Well, it's better to feed your own army than someone else's, isn't it? And at the same time to develop high-tech industry. As for the "Leaders" - this is the question of which ships of the first rank could be put in the guard of an aircraft carrier. To optimize costs, some of the destroyers could be built with nuclear, and the rest with conventional power plants.

As for the deck wing. If we talk about the Varan project, then it should be attributed to light aircraft carriers, which can accommodate only 24 multipurpose aircraft, 6 helicopters and 20 UAVs. He is far from the American "Nimitz", however, the Russian CMD could perform certain tasks, and he is not alone. Currently, two large UDCs of comparable displacement are already being built in Kerch. At the same time, Russia again returned to the project of a vertical take-off and landing aircraft (VTOL), as Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov explained:

This is definitely the future. For all types of aircraft carriers, a new fleet of aircraft will be required. It is for this that various technologies are used, which make it possible to provide shortened take-off and landing, or simply vertical take-off.

VTOL aircraft is included in the state armaments program. After launching them into series, they could be based on both UDC, as well as on the UMK in the event of its construction. So Russia would receive three light aircraft carriers at once. But these are far from all the prospects for naval aviation. Recently, we have been actively developing unmanned aviation. This is the super-heavy shock S-70 "Okhotnik" and the heavy reconnaissance and shock "Altius". Domestic UDC and UMK could become a floating platform for the delivery and use of UAVs.

In other words, the program for the construction of aircraft-carrying ships can be viewed as a heavy burden, or as an opportunity to rebuild and develop the national industry. The main thing is to prioritize correctly.
41 comment
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. Dmitry S. Offline Dmitry S.
    Dmitry S. (Dmitry Sanin) 3 March 2021 15: 04
    An aircraft carrier is an expensive, beautiful and once formidable unit of the Navy. Now, personally, in my opinion, this is not only a "driver of technology and industry development", but also a tasty morsel of a corrupt lobbyist. Why does the US have so many aircraft shelters? And in what country are there so many generals and admirals? And where else is the entire economy tied to the military-industrial complex?
    1. Oleg Rambover Offline Oleg Rambover
      Oleg Rambover (Oleg Pitersky) 3 March 2021 16: 00
      Believe it or not, there are more generals and admirals in the Russian Federation than in the United States, but there are fewer aircraft carriers.
      1. Gadley Offline Gadley
        Gadley 9 March 2021 16: 43
        You're not right. There are more generals and admirals in Russia than in the USSR, this is a fact. and the aircraft carriers that there was one that is here, one.
      2. The comment was deleted.
    2. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
      Marzhecki (Sergei) 4 March 2021 07: 57
      Counter question: Is Nord Stream 2 a driver for the development of the Russian economy, or is it something completely different?
      1. Alex Min Offline Alex Min
        Alex Min (Alex Min) 8 March 2021 20: 47
        Something completely different and incomprehensible ... for what and in the name of what !? although it is clear for whom ... but it is not at all a driver of the economy, like the Central Bank
  2. Sapsan136 Offline Sapsan136
    Sapsan136 (Sapsan136) 3 March 2021 15: 12
    I have written many times that it makes sense to build aircraft carriers only when there are escort ships for them. Now I will write about something else. Remember the story with the Mistrals and the talk that this is, in fact, a ship that is being built using civilian technologies ?! In fact, this is the case. The landing ship is very similar to an ordinary civilian ferry, only instead of civilian wagons, there is military equipment on its cargo deck. Think back to the ferry disasters. When the cargo deck is flooded, the ship sinks like a stone to the bottom, there are no bulkheads there. The survivability of such a ship is not high. The UDC and BDK are of course necessary for the Marine Corps, there is no way without them, but is it worth combining an aircraft carrier with an amphibious assault ship, as was done on a Juan Carlos-type UDC, sacrificing the survivability of the aircraft carrier ?! As for me, it is not worth and is not necessary to combine landing ships with aircraft carriers into one corps, otherwise they may drown and deprive the Russian Federation of not only the landing unit, but also the air wing. Mice separately, cheese separately, do not combine them, nothing good will come of it
  3. Cyril Offline Cyril
    Cyril (Kirill) 3 March 2021 15: 14
    Sergei, with all due respect, but to say that Russia has chosen an uncommon approach to the construction of aircraft carriers can only be said after this construction has begun.

    "Varan" (like other projects) is still just a wishlist.
    1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
      Marzhecki (Sergei) 4 March 2021 07: 56
      As for "Varan", I understand that this is only a Wishlist demonstrator. Nobody is going to start construction for a number of serious reasons, which I indicated at the very beginning. The project will soon be forgotten, and then something else will be drawn.
      But I tried to look at this problem from a different angle. It seems to me that there is no need to give up on aircraft carriers, this work can be carried out both conceptually in the form of developments, and in reality, having previously built new shipyards, where you can push the stuck orders of the Navy to speed up. And then, at these capacities, you can try to make an aircraft carrier.
      You need to invest money in your country, it will be rewarded later.
      1. Cyril Offline Cyril
        Cyril (Kirill) 4 March 2021 07: 59
        I absolutely agree with your point of view on this issue. The claims were about the name itself, but if this is not your name, then this claim is not for you :)
        1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
          Marzhecki (Sergei) 4 March 2021 08: 43
          Let's just say it is the law of the genre and the requirement of the modern market.
      2. Gennady Zakimatov (Gennady Zakimatov) April 8 2021 19: 49
        Everything is correct, otherwise with such unreasonable wishlist of aircraft carriers, you can ruin the country and create it to a potential enemy.
  4. steelmaker Offline steelmaker
    steelmaker 3 March 2021 15: 57
    Well, it's better to feed your own army than someone else's, isn't it? And at the same time to develop high-tech industry.

    If Russia considers itself a great power, then it must have aircraft carriers! At least a couple. Because these are advanced technologies. And Russia is obliged to own advanced technologies!
    1. Just a cat Offline Just a cat
      Just a cat (Bayun) 3 March 2021 16: 06
      Aircraft carriers are built to scare the savages and seize their resources. Whom should Russia capture with aircraft carriers?
      1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
        Marzhecki (Sergei) 4 March 2021 08: 41
        Not to capture, but to defend your own. For example, in the Far East we have the Kuriles and the Japanese, who are converting their two helicopter carriers into aircraft carriers.
        1. Just a cat Offline Just a cat
          Just a cat (Bayun) 5 March 2021 10: 58
          What can this "aircraft carrier" oppose to air defense, coastal artillery and strategic aviation? On the right, you need to suppress all resistance, and then finish off from the air. It may not come to "dessert". Distances and weather conditions are not the same. Rather, against the Moldovans and Ukrainians for the protection of Transnistria ... but here either the donkey or the padishah ... will not have time to build.
        2. Victor Peter Offline Victor Peter
          Victor Peter (victor petrov) 9 March 2021 09: 57
          And the connection between the Kuril Islands and aircraft carriers ??? There is nothing to fly from the nearest ground airfield!
  5. Alexander K_2 Offline Alexander K_2
    Alexander K_2 (Alexander K) 3 March 2021 16: 05
    May put the question differently - where will Russia go on these aircraft carriers (without touching on the possibility of building, exporting, servicing, repairing)?
    1. Just a cat Offline Just a cat
      Just a cat (Bayun) 3 March 2021 16: 16
      According to the specialists of the Nevsky Design Bureau, "Varan" as a whole is at the level of the preliminary design, and some of the main parts are at the stage of preliminary design.

      Nobody goes anywhere, nobody ordered anything or builds anything. This is a concept (perhaps one of many) and on paper. You might just as well discuss the pros and cons of a "death star" in orbit.
      A preliminary project is a set of works that are performed before carrying out development work for the purpose of a feasibility study feasibility of product development and the ways of its creation, production and operation ...
      1. Alexander K_2 Offline Alexander K_2
        Alexander K_2 (Alexander K) 3 March 2021 20: 48
        And it is understandable - the next "POROZHNYAK", as in general, and all the newest Zircons-Daggers!
        1. Victor Peter Offline Victor Peter
          Victor Peter (victor petrov) 9 March 2021 09: 58
          Empty or emptiness in your head
  6. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 3 March 2021 18: 42
    Ha. As always.

    In other words, you can look at the program for the construction of aircraft-carrying ships ...

    You can watch, you can not look.
    In the meantime, chat in vain about non-existent aircraft carriers, and about preliminary (not even worked out for real construction) projects and about a strange title ...
  7. Artyom76 Offline Artyom76
    Artyom76 (Artyom Volkov) 3 March 2021 23: 08
    Perhaps it would be nice to have aircraft carriers in the ranks of the Russian Navy. I am not a specialist in such questions, but it seems to me that the respected Sergei did not touch on all the issues ... 1 AUG is just a demonstrator, that we can too, but there is no real power in this, and it's not just about the escort ships and infrastructure for maintenance, etc., the aircraft carrier itself is a complex mechanism, frequent maintenance, diagnostics, repairs are needed, and so on, and an air wing, ... and while it is docked, another AUG must be in service - i.e. 2 AUGs are only interchangeable squadrons, and if we take into account our maritime boundaries, or the ability to perform tasks at different points, at least 4 AUGs will be needed, or even more. Even if one aircraft carrier is used as a substitute for 2 aircraft carriers, and the escort ships follow the same scheme (they also need calls to the docks for repairs, maintenance), the picture is sooooo big. In general, the result is one aircraft carrier - just a toy, well, or a demonstrator (read show-off), but other quantities are needed for real strength. Although, you have to start somewhere ...
  8. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
    Marzhecki (Sergei) 4 March 2021 07: 49
    Quote: Artyom76
    Perhaps it would be nice to have aircraft carriers in the ranks of the Russian Navy. I am not a specialist in such questions, but it seems to me that the dear Sergey did not touch on all the questions ...

    I was just trying to look at the issue from a different angle.
  9. anclevalico Offline anclevalico
    anclevalico (Victor) 4 March 2021 14: 20
    Well, Kuzya was with us, we did a lot of raids from him, despite the fact that the sea dumped the dough on him? It didn't even have a normal air wing. As soon as the flights began, losses immediately began. With this approach, the aircraft carriers did not rest against us in one place. So we are becoming impoverished every day in order to keep the budget sawflies.
    1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
      Marzhecki (Sergei) 4 March 2021 15: 42
      Kuzya was originally a helicopter carrier, imprisoned for guinea-wing and VTOL aircraft. This is how their vertical take-off and landing aircraft will appear, and they will be able to be used on Kuza.
  10. Vladimir Sh. Offline Vladimir Sh.
    Vladimir Sh. (Vladimir Shashko) 4 March 2021 16: 33
    If there are such modern formidable missiles, as Putin said, which today have nothing to destroy, then the aircraft carrier turns into yesterday ... then it is better to choose the first one ..
  11. Scharnhorst Offline Scharnhorst
    Scharnhorst (Scharnhorst) 4 March 2021 21: 19
    45.000 tonnes of displacement even with a nuclear installation with VTOL aircraft on board - this is dancing on the good old Soviet rake type TAVKR "Gorshkov" (now "Vikramaditya") or the more recent loser of French origin "Charles de Gaulle". Moreover, an attempt to reshape the project of a landing helicopter carrier for the so-called light aircraft carrier. Here one must proceed not from the presence of such analogs of ships in world practice, but from the definition of a potential enemy at sea. And this is, first of all, a dozen "Nimitz", then there will be "Fords" and two smaller Englishwomen in the wings, a dwarf Frenchman, and the light aircraft carriers of Japan, South Korea, Italy and Spain, promoted by the author, running errands. We need a ship that, if it cannot defeat the American in an open confrontation, will at least reliably cover the strike ships of our fleet from massive raids by their carrier-based aircraft. And this can be done on a relatively large (70.000 + t) ship carrying full-fledged fighter-interceptors based on the Su-57. Yes, it will be expensive, and not just three aircraft carriers per fleet at once, but the launch of such a ship, even with existing first rank strike ships, will greatly confuse the enemy's plans.
    1. bobba94 Offline bobba94
      bobba94 (Vladimir) 8 March 2021 19: 08
      .... three aircraft carriers per fleet ...


      die erste kolonne marschirt, die zwein kolonne marschirt ...
  12. Nicholay Ivanitsky (Nicholai Ivanitsky) 5 March 2021 15: 41
    I have not seen a single material justifying the need for Russia to have aircraft carriers.
    Obviously, they can only be based on the Pacific Fleet. And how will this AG enhance our security?
    I would appreciate a link to a well reasoned opinion.
  13. Serg kraft Offline Serg kraft
    Serg kraft (paradise vertical) 6 March 2021 21: 28
    I don’t understand, but where is Putin? He also has to conduct presentations of cartoons. Or did he instruct Lavrov to present the pictures? And he is not there ... But did you paint with what? With felt-tip pens? And when will there be a "live" presentation to the world? It won't come to oil paint soon ... Besides the pictures, what is there? Well, at least a paper boat. Or just painted? Damn, Putin was even too lazy to make a cartoon, to please the world ... But we waited and hoped ... The world level is still unparalleled ... But it will still come in handy - you can wrap a herring ...
  14. Valery Pavlovich Evstafiev 7 March 2021 14: 44
    Russia still needs aircraft carriers, otherwise the USSR would not have built its own "Ulyanovsk"

    - this is not an argument.
  15. Denis Kozlov Offline Denis Kozlov
    Denis Kozlov (Denis Kozlov) 7 March 2021 17: 32
    Sometime in 1938, we also had a question about the Big Fleet, as a result, all the money was transferred to aviation and ground forces, thereby winning the war. In a world war, the fleet decides little, more missile defense is needed, preferably for every meter of the country's territory, and even more nuclear weapons, so that not 13000 missiles, but 33. To establish the production of Barguzin trains, to increase the number of strategic aviation represented by the Tu-10 and Tu-160M22 by 3 times. Ships are an expensive toy that will be destroyed by one missile from the "Bastion" or "Ball" complex.
    1. FrankyStein Offline FrankyStein
      FrankyStein (FrankyStein) 8 March 2021 10: 27
      The measures you listed will be more expensive than multiple aircraft carriers.
  16. Gennady Zakimatov (Gennady Zakimatov) April 8 2021 19: 38
    The author fell for a cheap trick about aircraft carriers, not noticing that now is not the time of the Second World War, and that now is the nuclear era. The question of the need to build aircraft carriers is decided at the level of the Armed Forces as a whole, their structure and combat effectiveness, and not according to the principle they have, and we do not. There is no need to get involved in the issues of military development. This is the field of military science and military specialists, not deliters.
    1. Marzhecki Offline Marzhecki
      Marzhecki (Sergei) April 12 2021 07: 06
      Where is this and what did I specifically fall for? Maybe you shouldn't attribute any garbage to me?
  17. nikolai.soot Offline nikolai.soot
    nikolai.soot (Nikolay Arbaev) April 17 2021 19: 29
    If they accept my aircraft landing technology, then everything will be fine, no, and there is no court.
  18. Lev Dubikovsky_2 (Lev Dubikovsky) April 29 2021 15: 40
    here it is necessary to think very well. Why do we need it?
    if, of course, there is more "FOR" than "no", then this is one situation. And if you believe that our modern super missiles destroy any NATO aircraft carrier from the first salvo, then why the heck do we need to build so that we can also be destroyed from the first salvo ... or is there something about missiles?
  19. Alexander Dyatlov (Alexander Dyatlov) 11 May 2021 14: 00
    In the event of a war with the conditional Somalia, we really would not hurt an aircraft carrier. In other, more likely conflicts, this colossus is only harmful, since a very expensive target looms. The days of gunboats are over, and fascingtonia maintains its aircraft carrier fleet only to morally suppress its servants in the NATO system.
  20. iv.victor Offline iv.victor
    iv.victor (VICTOR) 13 May 2021 18: 29
    Russia has taken an uncommon approach to the construction of an aircraft carrier

    The whole uncommon approach is that we cannot and do not build aircraft carriers.
  21. al2145133 Offline al2145133
    al2145133 (Alexey Gribalev) 13 May 2021 18: 48
    Aircraft carriers are not needed, this is outdated rubbish. We need 5-6 large air and naval bases in different parts of the planet, and the mattress can be bombed from the ground and from the pier.
  22. michey_2 Offline michey_2
    michey_2 (michae x) 13 May 2021 20: 12
    Lord, how much money the masks' craftsmen will steal.