Cruiser Battle Group Vs Carrier Battle Group 2069
Many people over the years have compared the Nimitz and Kuznetsov without the right information on what the particular roles that each vessel was made for. One was designed to operate by itself or lead a flotilla of vessels while keeping the enemy ships at bay with its nuclear tipped 700km AShMs and aircraft at bay using its air superiority aircraft. The other vessel is mated permanently with a battle group to keep air superiority and strike various tactical and strategic targets with its air wing.
The Admiral Kuznetsov is not a pure aircraft carrier, however it is named a cruiser because of its huge AShMs payload plus huge command and control facilities and its sensors. Soviets put the mores emphasis on ASW and submarines to protect their own vessels and destroy their enemies during armed conflict. Submarines could be standardized for different roles and mass produced, plus were not always as expensive as surface vessels. They saw that without the right air and surface support, the subs were taken out too early to do much good.
Therefore, Soviets began constructing a fleet of anti-surface and anti-sub warfare vessels during which the later part of the cold war enter service as the Krivak Class ASW Figates, Sovremenny class anti surface warfare destroyers and Udaloy class ASW destroyers. They were intended to be headed by vessels that could give air cover for the vessels.
This is where the design for the Admiral Kiznetsov came from. These ships had onboard offensive capabilities that were separate from the fighters that the aviation cruisers could utilize while taking on a flotilla.
Carriers became the most important kind of vessel used by the navies for the allies who fought against Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany during World War II. The once unsinkable battleship had been sunk by air power. The complex and massive vessels were expensive and had several problems throughout their lives of service. It also became apparent that no amount of anti-aircraft guns and armor was able to stop enemy aircraft that were armed with bombs and torpedoes. Two of the largest and most famous classes of battleships, the Bismarck and sister ship Tirptiz and Yamato and sister ship Musashi all were crippled or sunk by aircraft, minus Tirptiz. All aircraft almost that attacked the other three were working from aircraft carriers.
Even while the war was going on, battleships got used for second grade jobs such as escorting aircraft carriers and shore bombardment, where on the other hand carriers created the nucleus of a battle fleet.
The size of the carriers, from the Essex to Nimitz, grew exponentially. They had escorts, so they did not receive any onboard offensive weapons. The escorts started as battleships and changed to heavily armed frigates and destroyers in the 21st century. The air wings that the western carriers had were the only offensive capability. Americans began using nuclear propulsion that let the carriers sail for twenty years non-stop, and its operational readiness was only limited by fuel for jets, spare parts, and food.