Russia's new aircraft carrier programme

What path would russia take to realise their ambitions of carrier capable navy?


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icecoolben

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With india and china poised for a leap in carrier aviation in the coming decades the russians would not want to fall behind. Though that rheotic has upped recently, nothing concrete has come out so far. Lets pool the forum's knowledge regarding the programme, it would be ideal to start a thread on this one,

this is the chronology of russia's predecessor the soviet union's carrier programme
A Brief Look at Russian Aircraft Carrier Development

an initiative to build carriers
Baird Maritime | Russia places aircraft carrier newbuild programme at forefront

the imperative for a new carrier building programme New Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier

the russian capacity and options/means to accomplish this end of building&operating fixed wing aircraft for forward deployment groups and the accompanying flotia and submarines Russia set to build new aircraft carrier | Top Russian news and analysis online | 'RIA Novosti' newswire
 

icecoolben

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Members who see russian carrier programme as strategically unadviseable are also welcomed to post their views
 

bengalraider

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Russia stands a lot to gain from joining the Indian carrier project , for one future Indian carriers have been designed to operate much the same aircraft as the RN can hope to get , also the Indian carrier project has already been initiated joining this would let the Russians learn a lot about building a new carrier something they have not done for the last 20 odd yrs.
 

icecoolben

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Russia stands a lot to gain from joining the Indian carrier project , for one future Indian carriers have been designed to operate much the same aircraft as the RN can hope to get , also the Indian carrier project has already been initiated joining this would let the Russians learn a lot about building a new carrier something they have not done for the last 20 odd yrs.
the russian navy already operate the admiral kuznetzov a 65,000 ton disp carrier. Will they be willing to downgrade the capacity of power projection a larger carrier is capable of given the no of fixed wing aircraft able to operate from a carrier increases phenominally with its tonage. Eg- vikrant class can operate 30 mig-29-k. But the kitty hawk class double its displacement at 80,000 (max) could hold 90 hornets even 30 years ago. Would the russian navy compromise and scale down its power projection capability.
 

bengalraider

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My point was not about operating a carrier the Russians have been doing that with a fair amount of success for along time now what i was referring to was that the
Admiral Flota Sovetskovo Soyuza Kuznetsov, was constructed at Nikolayev South Shipyard in Nikolayev, Ukrainian SSR,i.e the Russians have not built a carrier in Russian yards ever . all the carriers in the erstwhile soviet fleet were built at black sea port notably at Nikolayev in present day Ukraine, this was because the seas around this port did not get frozen in the winter something that has plagued and frustrated Russian naval ambitions forever. The Russians have only repaired existing aircraft carriers in their ports with mixed success(the admiral gorshkov being a case in point), a joint construction program with India would reduce costs and provide the Russians with a ready made design reducing development time.
as far as the carrier being too small the future Indian carriers have been slated to have displacement of 60,000 tonnes+ i.e they will not be that small.
 

amitkriit

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Indian can offer nothing substantial to Russia when it comes to expertise in defence platforms, including "Building A/Cs". Option 4 sounds corny to me.
 

icecoolben

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Indian can offer nothing substantial to Russia when it comes to expertise in defence platforms, including "Building A/Cs". Option 4 sounds corny to me.
Even i'm with u. Given russian capabilities why would they join an indian led programme. But why u refer all russian media reports, think tank articles, journals on defence, you would find that the final choice they talk of as their strategy of building carrier aviation has always been getting expertise on the carrier being built by india in which russian experts have been closely cooperating, so the poll would not be comprehensive even void if that option had
not been included.

As another member has posted, former soviets had their carriers built in ukraine which had warm water ports that could be operated all round the year compared to st.petersberg and sevmash. But given india's own immediate needs of three carriers to counter chinese naval build up. I wonder if our cochin shipyard could be used. May be the laying of hull could be done in india and subsequent important works of basic ship building done here and the other electronic equipment integrated in Russian yards. Given russia's immediate needs another shipyard like vizagapatinam could be upgraded with russian assistance to build large ships of larger than 50k tonnage to build the hulls then after the project is completes one of the yards can be converted and upgraded to build oil tankers or other similar ships thats have displacements exceeding that of even the largest supercarriers.
 

icecoolben

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Will russian ultra-nationalism give way to pragmatism on defence purchases

My point was not about operating a carrier the Russians have been doing that with a fair amount of success for along time now what i was referring to was that the
Admiral Flota Sovetskovo Soyuza Kuznetsov, was constructed at Nikolayev South Shipyard in Nikolayev, Ukrainian SSR,i.e the Russians have not built a carrier in Russian yards ever . all the carriers in the erstwhile soviet fleet were built at black sea port notably at Nikolayev in present day Ukraine, this was because the seas around this port did not get frozen in the winter something that has plagued and frustrated Russian naval ambitions forever. The Russians have only repaired existing aircraft carriers in their ports with mixed success(the admiral gorshkov being a case in point), a joint construction program with India would reduce costs and provide the Russians with a ready made design reducing development time.
as far as the carrier being too small the future Indian carriers have been slated to have displacement of 60,000 tonnes+ i.e they will not be that small.
i agree with u, russia's most capable shipyard floped big time on goskov. But given russian nationalism of getting everything in-house and the overwhelming monetary outflow it would create by building in india, will russian politicians and public allow this, given this would be a chance to build such an infrastructure within russia itself. Many attemps with ukraine on building transports, ships have broken and political will completely evaporated after the color revolution and russia has turned even more in-ward. Though the decision to buy a french ship is a welcome broader thought, it has not gone through yet. In there lights, do u think russia would be willing to invest to build its ships in india.
 

icecoolben

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Vladimir-invited

I would like to invite mr.vlad to share his knowledge on the topic, Since it wor in his initiative i stated this exclusively dedicated thread.

we would be honoured, if all our russian friends in the forum contributed on the topic, as u would have exclusive local knowledge on the topic.
 

bengalraider

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i agree with u, russia's most capable shipyard floped big time on goskov. But given russian nationalism of getting everything in-house and the overwhelming monetary outflow it would create by building in india, will russian politicians and public allow this, given this would be a chance to build such an infrastructure within russia itself. Many attemps with ukraine on building transports, ships have broken and political will completely evaporated after the color revolution and russia has turned even more in-ward. Though the decision to buy a french ship is a welcome broader thought, it has not gone through yet. In there lights, do u think russia would be willing to invest to build its ships in india.
Any governmental expense whether it is running a hospital or building a ship has political strings attached to it.The Russian government shall have to go through considerable amounts of opposition both from opposition parties and from members of the governing party in order to be able to build in India .I do not think Russia shall build any carrier or any other warship in India, any cooperation shall probably be limited to an exchange of knowledge and training to Russian ship building engineers, maybe the CSL could provide some consultancy to the Russians as well.
 

icecoolben

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The russians are saying in all media reports, politician interviews etc that they are already involved in the project and providing us expertise. Talking of us providing expertise, i don't get it.
 

Vladimir79

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What path would russia take to realise their ambitions of carrier capable navy?
I think the answer is pretty clear. We are buying licensed production of Mistral to get upgraded shipyards and access to latest marine engineering techniques and technology. We already know how to build a 1143.5 type carrier so successful points of design will be utilised, but will be infused with modifed French tech and new nuklear reactors. The real hard part will be building catapults, EM rails look like the best option.
 

icecoolben

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I think the answer is pretty clear. We are buying licensed production of Mistral to get upgraded shipyards and access to latest marine engineering techniques and technology. We already know how to build a 1143.5 type carrier so successful points of design will be utilised, but will be infused with modifed French tech and new nuklear reactors. The real hard part will be building catapults, EM rails look like the best option.
what about its propulsion, there are conflicting reports about it?
Well how about few photographs of russian shipyards, atleast the one with goskov stationed
 

sandeepdg

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I don't understand what makes anyone think that the Russians would seek Indian help in building aircraft carriers ? They have a far advanced knowledge of ship building than we do, i think. Though nuclear powered carriers are new to them and they might have consult for external help to get on with that issue, but they are most capable of building conventional large carriers. About having ports capable of operating all round the year, now that's the main problem that has to be sorted out, although Ukraine will remain an option.
 

icecoolben

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I don't understand what makes anyone think that the Russians would seek Indian help in building aircraft carriers ? They have a far advanced knowledge of ship building than we do, i think. Though nuclear powered carriers are new to them and they might have consult for external help to get on with that issue, but they are most capable of building conventional large carriers. About having ports capable of operating all round the year, now that's the main problem that has to be sorted out, although Ukraine will remain an option.
the french were thinking of borrowing the british design. But that doesn't mean their capabilitiy is any less to the british. Rather than going through the process of tendering and selecting designs which are a time consuming and financial burden. Borrowing a design from india and impoving it to their own requirement would be a better choice than designing and building a carrier from scratch.
 

AJSINGH

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i think India should invest in russian AC desgin ,we will later get help from russsians ,i am sure russians dont lack the technology but maybe some more finance can help them from india side
 

Armand2REP

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the french were thinking of borrowing the british design. But that doesn't mean their capabilitiy is any less to the british. Rather than going through the process of tendering and selecting designs which are a time consuming and financial burden. Borrowing a design from india and impoving it to their own requirement would be a better choice than designing and building a carrier from scratch.
The design that won the RN's CVF tender was made by Thales Group. Thales and BAE are in partnership building their carriers. That is why our PA2 is going to be of a similar design since we already developed it and have all the knowledge of the success and pitfalls of the British programme.

As far as aiding Indian carrier design, Italy is already the lead contractor for that based on the Cavour experience of which IAC will be similar. If India wants to upscale to larger carriers, a partnership with Thales would be possible. Thales' experience with carrier design is about 30 years ahead of the Russians. I thought it was laughable when Sevmash said they had "lost" the blue prints for Gorshkov. I wouldn't turn to them for anything.
 

notinlove

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well ...
when russia decides to build a new carrier it won't face much difficulty
but bear in mind they wont do it right now because they are smart enough.
1. about shipyards
they have st petersburg which has already built 24000 ton kirov class and has the capability to build large civil vessels so it can do the job .(but i don't think they will do it there) because they are building a new 100,000 tonne capacity dry dock at sevmash which would be ideal for building the carrier
2. Propulsion.
They have nuclear propulsion in their kirov class cruisers and have built a fair amount of nuclear subs too . also their diesel propulsion system are good so propulsion shouldn't be that much of a challenge.
3. they have built and designed large ships since ages. also getting designs from a foreign country is not that big a problem.

now the two areas that they lack in are
advanced building techniques and CATOBAR carriers . frankly i don't have any idea if they can do CATOBAR or not but i still remain optimistic that they can do it or get somebody to help them on it if they can't.
now Advanced building techniques is their biggest Achilles Heel and that is why they are planning to buy 5 mistral class ships. they have said that they want to build 4 ships in their own shipyards. first they'll get expertise in building and then they will go around making their own carrier.
according to me they will start building their new carrier only after they have completed a couple of mistral class ships but the design and configuration phase could start earlier.
 

Armand2REP

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well ...
when russia decides to build a new carrier it won't face much difficulty
but bear in mind they wont do it right now because they are smart enough.
If Russia decides to build a new carrier they will face much difficulty, I will explain responding to your points.

1. about shipyards
they have st petersburg which has already built 24000 ton kirov class and has the capability to build large civil vessels so it can do the job .(but i don't think they will do it there) because they are building a new 100,000 tonne capacity dry dock at sevmash which would be ideal for building the carrier
It took them 12 years just to complete their flagship. 90% of it was completed by 1991 and took another 7 years to finish the rest. St. Pete yards have zero experience building aviation cruisers. Those were built in No. 444 yard in Ukraine. Most of the designers, such as those on the Ulyanovsk, were Ukrainian and not likely to help again.

Baltiysk Zavod already has a 100,000t drydock but they build one at Sevmash who has zero experience building large ships. It is a mismatch of skills that need to be fused.

2. Propulsion.
They have nuclear propulsion in their kirov class cruisers and have built a fair amount of nuclear subs too . also their diesel propulsion system are good so propulsion shouldn't be that much of a challenge
They would be better off going nuclear. They have far less problems with that than the conventional boilers. Kuznetsov's propulsion design was a disaster from day one as well as the Kyivs.

3. they have built and designed large ships since ages. also getting designs from a foreign country is not that big a problem.
"They" used to include Ukraine, now it doesn't. The largest ships they make are ice breakers but that was years ago. The cargo tonnage are far less. Their shipyards have become 3-5 times more costly to build than competitors with 95% of tonnage being built abroad. Shipyards are in bankruptcy and have lost most of their talent. It will be hard to overcome when designing a state of the art carrier, much less building one. The reason they are after Mistral is to get our shipbuilding technology which doesn't bode well for their homegrown industry.

now the two areas that they lack in are
advanced building techniques and CATOBAR carriers . frankly i don't have any idea if they can do CATOBAR or not but i still remain optimistic that they can do it or get somebody to help them on it if they can't.
If they are willing to spend the money on CATOBAR they can get it.

now Advanced building techniques is their biggest Achilles Heel and that is why they are planning to buy 5 mistral class ships. they have said that they want to build 4 ships in their own shipyards. first they'll get expertise in building and then they will go around making their own carrier.
Very true, but Mistral is a far cry from a 60,000 tonne CVN. The time to take to absorb the technologies will be great and then to apply them on a bigger scale even longer.

according to me they will start building their new carrier only after they have completed a couple of mistral class ships but the design and configuration phase could start earlier.
Agree with that, but this project is going to take far longer than projected dates. They plan to start construction in 2012 but they aren't even close to having the equipment or facilties for such a venture. When they absorb the Mistral production it will be almost 2014 until they get modern equipment and training. Translating that to Russian CVN construction will take several more years. I wouldn't even dream about seeing a Russian carrier before 2025.
 

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