most of the "new" stuff being built today are projects started years ago that they are just finishing.
It just hit me that relative to a Nuclear powered carrier, a steam engine powered carrier seems utterly limiting. Did Soviet/Russian designers ever considered putting a nuclear powered engine in the Kuznetsov?Project 11435 aircraft carrier “Orel”
Displacement 55,000 metric tons. Overall length 304 meters, beam 72 meters, draft 10 meters. Full speed 29 knots, cruising range 8,000 miles. Capacity of steam turbine engines - 200,000 horse-powers. Armament: aircraft group (up to 52 Su-33, Su-25 jets, and helicopters), 12 launchers for P-700 anti-ship missiles “Granit” (range 550 kilometers), air defense and anti-submarine systems. Crew of 1960 people (including 518 officers).
Throughout the article, the author seems particularly critical of the Russian administration for not maintaining the size of the fleet(s) from Soviet times. I think most people would agree that, following the collapse of the USSR, a massive reduction in the size and scope of the navy was justified. Similarly, it is not neccessary for Russia to maintain or develop some of the systems and complexes that were required during the Cold War.
Despite the above, however, it seems clear that there are many parts of the navy that are suffering as a result of insufficient funding.
Fleet is in a much better state that it was 10 years ago. No article can change that fact. I for one am not crying over the decrease of the fleet in size. Frankly Russia does not need to maintain the fleet it used to, and the money is certainly better used somewhere else.
Much like Saddam's mighty on paper air force, I don't think the issue is size but all around utter lack of operational readiness, manifested in both the crew and equipment. The Kuznetsov has been a good example of that.
That's an indication of lack of all around leadership, perhaps more so than it is an indication of lack of money.
Edit: double post
However to get money for funding those repairs many other, still usable ships, were decomissioned and many valuable ships were just left rotting at all. (SSV-33, once a worldwide unique vessel, is now a plundered and rotten hulk).
the main problem of russian navy is not even lacking funding but wasting it. While posessing the Sineva, world's most efficient SLBM, they spend milliards on far inferior Bulawa which don't even fly yet and construct a 24000 ton submarine which will be able to carry only 12 of them (20 years older Ohio-class subs carry 24 larger and better missiles @18000t)