Whether because of poor construction or shoddy maintenance, Kuznetsov has struggled to remain in service, and has yet to make a meaningful military contribution to Russia’s security. Bringing her up to the standards of her half-sisters Liaoning and CVA-001 would likely require more investment than Russia is currently prepared to make to its carrier fleet.
Many of the carriers here were early efforts, although even these compared unfavorably to their competitors. Some ( Kaga, Eagle) were sunk; others ( Ranger, Bearn) were kept away from the main areas of fighting because of their obvious deficiencies. The navies that operated these ships, in most cases, learned a great deal and made an effort not to repeat the mistakes of their construction. The exception to this is the case of Admiral Kuzetsov , which remains in a kind of service, but has yet to produce offspring (in the Russian navy, at least).
Robert Farley , a frequent contributor to TNI, is author of The Battleship Book . He serves as a Senior Lecturer at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky. His work includes military doctrine, national security, and maritime affairs. He blogs at Lawyers, Guns and Money and Information Dissemination and The Diplomat .