11/30/2018 (Fri) 21:26:59
>>20920>>The Soviet Union designated its Kiev-class and Kuznetsov-class aircraft carriers as "aircraft carrying cruisers." These ships were armed with P-500 and P-700 cruise missiles, which were also found on the Slava-class cruiser and the Kirov-class battlecruiser. The result was that that the Soviet Navy could send its aircraft carrying cruisers through the Straits in compliance with the Convention, but at the same time the Convention denied access to NATO aircraft carriers, which exceeded the 15,000 ton limit.
Convention was one of reasons for designating these ships as cruisers, but there were others. From ideological (carrier is bourgeois capitalist attack ship, but USSR want only peace) to logical (main weapons were missiles, not planes).
Last reason was a result of long theoretical thought of Soviet navy research: USA/NATO will outnumber USSR fleet in foreseeable future, USSR had no proper economics to support large amount of big carriers, no tech and no experience. Sea-based regions weren't really interesting for USSR (north is empty and also frozen, east is just empty). It is much easier, cheaper and effective to use land-based bombers to attack naval targets. Only reason for real carriers to exist were maritime expeditionary operations, but they weren't really considered by USSR as something serious (and existing fleet could provide support for most cases). USA just had no choice, so they built carriers, but USSR had another things to do.
So, contrary to American tactic (carrier as center of naval battlegroup, moving base), Soviet "carriers" (and surface fleet) had one real task: cover ICBM sub deployment until subs can reach big open water (Pacific or Atlantic). Then fleet can heroically die, no one cares. "Carriers" had air group mostly for intercepting and antiair tasks, not for strike - it is too costly to maintain proper strike and air superiority groups together at one ship, much more planes are needed.
Considering these reasons, main anti-ship armament of Soviet carriers were missiles, and planes were more like addition (especially before Kuznetsov). On Kuznetsov designers tried to mix both concepts, but aircraft group still was fighter-dominant, not really strike-capable.