Tuesday, August 21, 2018

It Is Official Now.

Read this attentively: 

I will comment in depth on this later but one thing which is absolutely clear--STOVL concept in Russian Navy will lead, inevitably, to some sort of a hybrid carrier akin to US Navy's LHA-6 America-class amphibious assault ships but, in Russian case, most likely with greater emphasis on the air-wing and self-defense—even most likely making it closer to HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier of the Royal Navy conceptually. I can already hear sobbing and cries of desperation from all kinds of Russian navalists still enamored with the concept of Alfa-strikes and glory of the flying decks of CATOBAR carriers. I used to be a navalists myself but with the appearance of 4th generation submarines and weapons such as P-800 Onyx, I got cured and transferred from the shining light and inherent goodness of the Battle of Midway romanticism to a dark side of bookkeeping, cynical pragmatism and stand-off weapons. And I mean STAND-OFF weapons and we all know what they are.

The main question now thus is this: is co-existence of CATOBAR and STOVL carriers possible in Russian Navy? My answer is: why not. MiG-29K is a mature program and this excellent aircraft will eventually substitute venerable SU-33s on a fully upgraded Kuznetsov, which undergoes a major refit as I type this. As per new STOVL aircraft—let's wait and see. When Yak-141 first appeared in late 1980s it was a revolutionary STOVL aircraft; who said that new one will not be.

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