Monday, November 5, 2018

It must be Monday in Russia

A Huge Floating Drydock Sank and Nearly took Russia’s Only

 Aircraft Carrier with It.

On October 30, Russia’s sole remaining aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, lay nested inside PD-50—a huge 330-meter long and 79-meter tall floating drydock currently moored off the Roslyakovo dockyard near the city of Murmansk. That morning, the dock suddenly began tilting to one side, causing personnel to scramble for safety. One of its tall, seventy ton cranes smashed into the Kuznetsov’s hull near the waterline, tearing a 3.5 by 4.5-meter-sized gash into its flank. The other crane fell into the water. 
The Kuznetsov remained buoyant, however, and a tug hastily pried 47,000-ton carrier away from the floating drydock, which submerged completely under the water in four hours.


  1. sic transit gloria mundi...

    The carrier wasn't much good to them. It never worked right and it was expensive. During the Cold War, they focused on submarines. Russian subs are very different from ours, but they have a different mission and American crews have different expectations than Russian crews. It's difficult to compare.

    The Chinese seem to be putting a lot of effort into figuring out how aircraft carriers work - and the devil is in the details.

  2. In the details, or in this case, the dry dock.

  3. Actually, the Kuznetsov was useful in the Syrian campaign, launching 340 + sorties. Three aircraft, but no crew, were lost on landing due to faulty arrestor gear.

    There is a carrier mafia in the Russian navy that wants full-blown Nimitz class carriers, at least four. The debate has been whether to scrap the Kuznetsov and end carriers, repair it (more expensive/less likely now) or build a new carrier(s). However, the navy brass wants to develop a frigate-centric navy. I'm thinking they go frigate-centric w/o carriers.

    On the other hand, Russia is still developing VTOL aircraft, and if they get something like the F35B they might put it on something like the QE II or Mistral.

    1. Also, it served with in many of the finest drydocks in Mother Russia.