No Carrier in GPV

Despite the Navy CINC’s optimism last winter, Defense Minister Serdyukov stated flatly late yesterday Russia has no plans to build carriers in the near future. 

MOSCOW, 10 Dec — RIA Novosti.  The RF Defense Ministry has no plans for aircraft carrier construction in the near future, the chief of the military department Anatoliy Serdyukov stated Friday.

“No, there are no plans,” said Serdyukov, answering such a question from journalists. 

Earlier an RF Defense Ministry representative told RIA Novosti that Russia would begin construction of a class of aircraft carriers consisting of four units before 2020.  According to him, these ships are needed for the full-fledged functioning of the Navy, and the Defense Ministry will not abandon the idea and intention of building them.

Some desires die hard, but that seems like a categorical no.

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4 responses to “No Carrier in GPV

  1. What desire is dying hard?
    The plans I read about for new carriers for Russia were talking about 6 operational carriers by about 2050.
    I think that is still very realistic.
    The fact that for the next 10 years they wont build any new carriers makes perfect sense. The Russian navy is not in a very good condition at the moment and needs a lot of money and effort and time to get up to speed.
    By 2020 it should be in better shape and longer term plans on new carriers and the infrastructure and support needed for operational carrier groups can be worked on.
    If Russia needed carriers before 2020 I would expect they would be made in South Korea which would not help Russian shipyards at all.
    They would be cheaper and probably made on schedule and be excellent vessels but the operational costs of running them would mean there would be no money for all the other things the Navy needs… note I said NEEDS, not desires.
    Once they have modern ships, and more of them, they have upgraded more than a few shipyards, once they have some bases overseas they can visit and perhaps even operate from in time of emergency, and once they have international ties that require a navy to support and protect then carriers make perfect sense.
    It was WWII when the range of the aircraft and its speed led to the replacement of the battleship by the aircraft carrier as the central vessel in a navy. Aircraft extend the vision and reach of any surface group of ships and also add an enormous air defence layer that can extend 1,000km or more from the battle group, where threats can be approached and checked out. An interceptor with anti ship missiles can be shot down in a war situation and an Airbus can be positively identified as being a neutral Civilian.
    The cost of carriers is fairly large in money terms, the cost of not having them is the difference between having an effective navy and not.

  2. The desire for something a few Russians may want, but the country may not need and clearly can’t afford in the medium-term future given its more pressing requirements.

    Please share any citations for what you read.

    In February, Vysotskiy said Russia would build and launch a carrier by 2020. Serdyukov has now publicly rebuffed him, at a minimum, well into the 2020s.

    They are going to buy and build Mistral, so we’ll have to see how they do on supporting it with infrastructure, and on operating it. How that goes will be an indicator of how they would fare with carriers down the road.

    The things you say amount to a Russian carrier ‘manifest destiny’ which no one in a position of power in Moscow buys into. The classic evolution of a carrier requirement may make sense to some rimlanders, but there’s certainly no evidence the heartlanders in the Kremlin think like that. And who’s to say carriers will even be relevant for any country by 2050, depending on developments in other weapons systems.

    Gorshkov and company preached the carrier because (a) it supported their personal interests and (b) it tracked for a time with Soviet Russia’s ideology of an expanding world socialist camp. Even at their zenith, they didn’t have the political support or resources to get a carrier navy.

    Let’s stick to the few facts we have, rather than just writing what we think or hope about the way the world will work.

  3. Your readers should, wisely be directed to the writings of Mikhail Tsypkin, who rightly pointed to the level of lunacy involved in Russian Naval planning. So, let’s get really honest about this, rather than suggest the Russian navy is something that it is not, the top brass said a while back, they planned four or five aircraft carriers, now they admit the real figure is zero. Amazing, like ordering hamburgers, not sure sir, should we have four or five, let’s just check with the kids. The cost differnce is, eh, well a planning issue. Here the Russians show their biggest weakness –planning: it’s not how they do things. Russian naval planning, should we say, dreams, is rooted in the naval top brass reading the works of Dostoevsky. Yes, 2020, is out the window, but let’s face reality, 2050, or any other year is not going to yield a proper Russian navy. Read Burenok earlier this year on the rate of modernization; 2 percent per annum. Recipe for a rust bucket in future.

  4. The desires of politicians are hardly a good basis for planning.

    It is the Russian Navys job to plan for its future and to plan for a future without carriers is like the Russian Army to take on all the radars and SAMs of the Airforce and for all those expensive aircraft to be moved to Moscow.

    To defend Russia you need assets on the ground and in the air, if you want a blue water navy… and your contributions to anti piracy missions seems to suggest you do… then you need organic airpower there too.

    To suggest not having carriers would be to remove the long range anti ship missiles and the long range anti aircraft missiles from a Kirov class vessel and pretend it can still do its job. Except airpower extends vision and reach so it is worse than that… you would have to put little short range radars on it instead of the rather large antennas it has fitted.

    If you want to continue to be dictated to by the west by all means short change your navy and aim for a river fleet.

    Might as well stop wasting money in the Crimea to because you don’t need those sort of facilities for a brown water navy.

    Amusing that you are spending money on converting your strategic bombers to give you a strategic conventional option when a cruise missile fired from a sub offers the same capability with much better reach… a global reach.

    The Soviet Union was never a real global power simply because any global operation could be stopped with the enough air power because the Soviet Unions navy never had air power that could protect a group of ships. Something like the British operation to take the Falkland Islands would be beyond them.

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