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Old 09-12-2011, 08:42 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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As capable as the Kuznetsov and Kiev-class carriers are, IMHO, they really pretty much a dead end. In the power projection role, they simply do not match the capability of US carriers. Their air groups are geared to air and ASW defense. The addition of massive batteries of SSM/SAMs instead argue that their real role is to supress Allied aviation long enough to get within range of their SSM battery.

The real surprises in the Soviet fleet are not their carriers. Rather it is the development of the Kirov and Slava-class cruisers and the Sovremennyy-class destroyer. Now these designs, in an anti-carrier role, are downright SCARY!!!

Take the latest Kirov, the Admiral Nakhimor for example. A battery of 20 Shipwreck SSMs (reloadable!), as well as 96 SA-N-6, 40 SA-N-4 and no less than 256 SA-N-9 and 192 SA-N-11 SAMs! This is a ship that can take on a carrier air wing and survive long enough to get within range of the carrier!

The Slava cruisers are a threat to the carrier escorts. A battery of 16 Sandbox SSMs and protected by 64 SA-N-6 and 40 SA-N-4 SAMs and for close-in work a twin 130mm "automatic" mount and 10 533mm torpedo tubes. This is a ship designed to go toe-to-toe with any Bunker Hill-class cruiser.

And last, but by no means least are the Sovremennyy-class destroyers. Easily a match for any Spruance-class destroyer! They have a battery of 8 Sunburn SSMs and 40 SA-N-7 SAMS, two twin 130mm automatic mounts and 4 533mm torpedo tubes. Just picture the impact one of these would have if it was shadwoing a carrier battle group during "peacetime"...

And to give a better feel for their ability to "reach-out-and-touch-someone"...

The Shipwreck SSM can carry a nuclear or conventional warhead out to 300 nautical miles. The Sandbox SSMs can also carry a smaller nuclear or conventional warheads out to 300 nautical miles and the Sunburn SSMs carry a conventional warhead out to 50 nautical miles.

Given a decent shot at a carrier battle group, these may be what the Soviets are really counting on to nail a carrier.
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