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Russia's Dry Dock Accident Could Have Far Larger Repercussions Than A Damaged Carrier

A day after Russia's massive PD-50 drydock suddenly sank underneath the country's only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov as it…

A day after Russia’s massive PD-50 drydock suddenly sank underneath the country’s only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov as it was receiving a long-awaited overhaul in frigid Murmansk, just how big a deal this kan endda være for den russiske navy bliver klarere. The dry dock, which is the biggest of its kind in Russian hands, seems to have sunk first on a steep incline before it completely disappeared beneath the water’s surface. Russian officials are now saying that it could be many months before it was raised from the seabed 160 feet below and that would be a very tedious and delicate operation. That’s if they decide to salvage it at all.

Regardless, PD-50 services all types of vessels that make up Russia’s most powerful fleet, including its largest submarines. Dus het verlaten van actie voor jaren, of het verlies van het alles, zou een grote stap voor de Northern Fleet en de Russische Navy’s algemene bereidheid zijn.

The incident allegedly occurred as the result of an electrical interruption during a refloating operation for the Admiral Kuznetsov . The hulking floating apparatus’ pumps were stuck on, rapidly filling its ballast tanks. Sowat 60 mensen hadden om te ontsnappen uit de zinkende droogdock, waarvan veel uiteindelijk in het water kwamen. In total, some 70 people were evacuated from the port facility. As it stands now, four people were injured in the process and one remains missing-a senior mechanic.

Google Earth

The 82nd Shipbuilding Plant and the PD-50 are located. It is worth noting that the near-freezing waters near Kola Bay would give someone just a matter of minutes to get a dry place before succumbing to hypothermia. between Murmansk and Severomorsk.

It seems that the accident may not have been a fluke and a criminal investigation into possible safety violations that at least contributed to the mishap is currently underway. A lawsuit also looks all but certain as well, Barents Observer
reports:

“It is Rosneft that owns the floating dry dock after it acquired in 2015 the Shipyard No. 82 in Roslyakovo. The oil company intends to turn the yard into a base for its offshore Arctic oil operations.

The United Shipbuilding Corporation now says that it intends to sue Rosneft and that the oilmen will have to cover costs related to the repair of the damaged ship. “

Although shipyard officials quickly claimed that the carrier was unharmed in the incident and that its a refit schedule is overgebleven, andere officiële bronnen hebben sindsdien gezegd dat het schip 15 voet bij 12 voet gash in zijn romp nabij de waterlijn heeft gekregen en dat de kraan die crashed op zijn deck potentieel aanzienlijke schade heeft gehad aan blootgestelde mechanische systemen. As we mentioned in our previous piece, the fact that there are conflicting reports, one of which seems ridiculously premature, is not surprising as Russia has a track record of downplaying or not even admitting obvious naval shipyard accidents.

[19659000] The Kuznetsov is floating, albeit with a crane laying across its deck, and we egentlig vet ikke nøyaktig om omfanget av skaden. If there are flooded mechanical spaces, the ship could require extensive and very costly repairs. Kanskje det meste er, at det ikke kan være nok for dem at reparere som PD-50 var den eneste russiske tørdoksen, at vi kunne håndtere landets lone luftfartsselskap.

This tweet shows the crane laying across the Kuznetsov’s deck, also a side note, check out the late model Cadillac. Seems like an interesting vehicle to have been there in the Arctic Circle and in a naval shipyard of all places:

Speaking of accidents, PD-50 has been involved in a number of them in the past, including an especially harrowing incident back in 2011 when the Yekaterinburg (K-84), a nuclear ballistic missile submarine caught fire while drydocked in PD-50. The sub was loaded with nuclear-armed ballistic missiles and torpedoes. Crews flooded PD-50 twice to put out the inferno that went on for an entire day. Du kan lese alt om det aktuelle og se bemærkelsesværdige billeder taget under det på denne russiske nettside.

Regardless of the Kuznetsov’s current state, it’s pretty clear that the fate of the ship is tied directly to the operability of the PD-50 dry dock and has been for many years. Några kommenterar har nævnt at den tørre anlægget oprindeligt kom fra Sverige i 1980’erne, og med tanke på den dårlige statens russiske store skibsbygnings kapaciteter og sanktioner, er det usandsynligt at man kunne hentes fra Sverige denne gang rundt eller bygget indigenously. Regardless, if it were possible, doing so would take years.

This video clip looks promising at first, that is until you realize that you are looking at the smaller dry dock that works as a utility area at the port, with PD-50 now completely submerged deep below the surface of the water:

The fact is that many others ships also depend on PD-50 as well, including the Northern Fleet’s potent submarine cadre, which includes everything from smaller diesel-electric attack submarines to hulking ballistic missile carrying ‘boomers.’ According to satellite images, Russia’s submarines seem to have used the facility more than any other vessels. En overspændende konstellation eller navalinstallationer i regionen viser ingen andre tørdokser som synes at være vert for den største av Russlands submariner, med alt i det under 450 fotstørrelsesområde. En als er was een, het capaciteitsverlies van zo’n belangrijk actief, een dat kan gezien worden servicing multiple vessels in one time due to its huge size, is a major blow for the Russian Navy and its fledgling modernization efforts.

There is a large floating dry dock in Novorossiysk on the Black Sea which carries the designation PD-190. It measures about 75 feet shorter than PD-50 at about 1,000 feet and its internal bay is about 60 feet narrower, at roughly 175 feet wide. Kuznetsov, The beam difference is quite large, especially considering Kuznetsov’s big flight deck overhangs but but it’s not clear if this dry dock has the ability to accommodate It would be able to accommodate Russia’s largest submarines.

Actually doing so would mean a long towed journey through the Bosphorus Strait, across the Mediterranean, into the Atlantic Ocean, and up into the Barents Sea. Det ville også bety at tabet af store skibs tørkejerns kapacitet på Black Sea. Another smaller floating dry dock, measuring approximately 815 feet long with a bay width of about 125 feet, remains very busy servicing Russia’s Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol, Crimea. Husk at Russland har aldri bygget et luftfartsselskap selv og ikke har elaborate facilities for service. Those ships were built in Soviet Ukraine.

Google Earth

While this dry dock may satisfy some of Russia’s most pressing operational concerns that came as a result of the PD-50-like keeping their boomers maintained-if it can not accommodate Kuznetsov the future of the carrier will have to be deeply in doubt. Og selv om Rusland beslutter at overføre den dock til den nordlige flåde, så vil det ta tid å gjøre det, og det er ikke klart hvor det ville gå når det kommer. Any way you slice it, a gap in maintenance for the Northern Fleet’s most power vessels is likely to occur for the months to come.

Finally, I think it’s worth mentioning that there is a real possibility that Russia could at least insinuate that some sort of cyber attack or sabotage was partly to blame for this event. Doing so would deflect responsibility for yet another in a long stream of embarrassing incidents involving the Admiral Kuznetsov .

If high-up Russian officials are willing to denounce a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft took control of terrorist drones that attacked Moscow’s airbase in Syria, then accusing the U.S. or cyber meddling seems like very low-hanging fruit. Den potentielle fallout fra det tab af dette unikke tørdok, og fra den kendsgerning, at den russiske navy stadig er stærkt afhængig af, hvad der klart er svage punkter af potentiel fiasko, er en stor pil til at sluge for Kremlin og det ministerium for forsvar.

We will continue to keep you up to date as this story unfolds.

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Faela