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Thread: Huge Floating Dry Dock Holding Russia's Only Aircraft Carrier Has Accidentally Sunk

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    Default Huge Floating Dry Dock Holding Russia's Only Aircraft Carrier Has Accidentally Sunk


    Huge Floating Dry Dock Holding Russia's Only Aircraft Carrier Has Accidentally Sunk

    The Admiral Kuznetsov was undergoing a long-delayed and much-needed deep overhaul when the accident occurred

    October 30, 2018



    Details remain limited and are likely to change, but what we do know is that one of the world's largest floating dry docks, known as PD-50, has sunk while Russia's aircraft carrier Amiral Kuznetsov was aboard. According to reports, the dry dock began to sink suddenly, collapsing cranes onto the carrier's deck and sending shipyard workers scrambling for their lives.

    The dry dock is located at 82nd Repair Shipyard in the village of Roslyakovo. The shipyard there primarily supports Russia's Northern Fleet based out of nearby Severomorsk. We don't know exactly how many people were hurt or killed in the incident, but apparently, there were casualties.


    PD-50 seen in its usual position.

    Conflicting reports as to how this happened are circulating, but there still isn't a detailed official statement from of the Russian Ministry of Defense. The one we do have via Russian media outlets simply says "the vessel suffered no damage after the incident at the 82nd shipbuilding plant." It's worth noting that Russia has a track record of not admitting the scope of shipyard accidents.

    Photo of the Kuznetsov in dry dock on October 3rd. https://t.co/eYJ2I8LZ2L pic.twitter.com/uMCJA3hbow
    — Rob Lee (@RALee85) October 10, 2018

    Admiral Kuznetsov
    is currently undergoing a much-needed complex overhaul after years of deferring the project. Although the scope of the work has been narrowed, it is still a highly invasive operation. Even the ship's notorious boilers have been pulled and new ones are being installed (see below). The aircraft carrier is tentatively scheduled to return to the fleet in 2021, but judging by other deep overhauls of large and complex Soviet-era fighting ships, it could end up taking significantly longer.

    The unloading of turbo-pressurised boilers from aircraft carrier RFS 'Admiral Flota Sovetskogo Soyuza Kuznetsov'.Shipyard of ����#Murmansk, #Russia. July 2018. Photo by 花落成蚀 pic.twitter.com/Sqos1VBNNZ
    — Capt(N) (@Capt_Navy) July 22, 2018

    A photo of one of the Kuznetsov's replaced boilers. https://t.co/fw5ClPb7rZ pic.twitter.com/ZxBDqjhKLV
    — Rob Lee (@RALee85) September 21, 2018

    If parts of the carrier's hull were open during the sudden flood, repairing the ship could be extremely expensive and time-consuming. These accidents are not unique to Russia. A sudden flooding event occurred last July at the NASSCO shipyards in San Diego. Luckily nobody was injured or killed in that incident.

    Speaking of unique dry docks, look at this monster Russian dry dock hosting a Typhoon class SSBN and a couple other ships! pic.twitter.com/PIJyejGejo
    — Tyler Rogoway (@Aviation_Intel) September 6, 2018

    We will update this post as more information comes available.

    Update: 4:00am PST—


    The official story, at least as it sits now, is that the pump system that controls the dry dock's buoyancy suddenly lost power causing its ballast tanks to flood with water far past the intended point. As the dry dock quickly submerged, cranes came crashing down onto the Kuznetsov's deck (see below). Supposedly all this happened during a refloating operation for the carrier.

    ����#Russian #Navy A collapsed cargo crane of floating dock on the flight deck of an RFS 063 ‘Admiral Kuznetsov’ aircraft carrier. Photo via @milinfolive pic.twitter.com/kooMEkItIQ
    — Capt(N) (@Capt_Navy) October 30, 2018

    The most recent reports state that "two victims remain in hospitals, two received outpatient care, another person went missing." As for the carrier's condition, officials from the shipyard claim the Kuznetsov is undamaged and that her refit schedule will not be affected. At the same time, Russian outlets are now reporting that a five-meter gash was made in the hull of the ship around the waterline and that the deck was supposedly opened up with intricate machinery exposed when the crane fell on it.

    So once again, take all this with a tall shot of vodka as it seems very early for anyone to make the claim that everything will proceed as normal. The fate of the dry dock—the only one of Russian origin that can accommodate the aircraft carrier—also remains unknown. If it was badly damaged, that alone could spell major trouble for the Kuznetsov's future.

    Update: 4:00pm PST—


    We have posted a new post with new information and analysis on this event. You can go to it by clicking here.

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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Huge Floating Dry Dock Holding Russia's Only Aircraft Carrier Has Accidentally Su


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

    Russia's biggest dry dock has completely sunk and it's debatable if it has anything that could fully replace it anytime in the foreseeable future

    October 30, 2018



    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 may end up being for the Russian Navy is becoming clearer. The dry dock, which is the largest of its kind in Russian hands, appears to have sunk at first on a steep incline before it disappeared totally beneath the water's surface. Russian officials are now saying that it could be many months before it is raised from the seabed 160 feet below and that doing so 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. So leaving it out of action for years, or even losing it altogether, would be a major hit for the Northern Fleet and the Russian Navy's overall readiness.

    The incident supposedly 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. Some 60 people had to escape from the sinking dry dock, many of which ended up in the water. 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. It's worth noting that the near-freezing waters near Kola Bay would give someone just a matter of minutes to get to a dry place before succumbing to hypothermia.

    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 in 2015 acquired 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 refit schedule is left unchanged, other official sources have since said that the ship received a 15 foot by 12 foot gash in its hull near the waterline and that the crane that crashed on its deck potentially did significant damage to exposed mechanical systems. As we mentioned in our previous piece, the fact that there are conflicting reports, one of which seems ridiculously premature, isn't surprising as Russia has a track record of downplaying or not even admitting obvious naval shipyard accidents.

    This image shows just one side of the heavily listing dry dock still above water:


    Russia's only aircraft carrier damaged after crane falls on it https://t.co/f328GOBlC4 pic.twitter.com/zc12flXxqx
    — Reuters U.S. News (@ReutersUS) October 30, 2018

    The Kuznetsov is floating, albeit with a crane laying across its deck, and we really don't know exactly the extent of the damage. If there are flooded mechanical spaces, the ship could require extensive and very costly repairs. Maybe most concerning is the fact that there may be nowhere to even make those repairs as PD-50 was the only Russian dry dock that we know of that could handle the country's lone aircraft carrier.

    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 up there in the Arctic Circle and in a naval shipyard of all places:

    ����#Russian #Navy A collapsed cargo crane of floating dock on the flight deck of an RFS 063 ‘Admiral Kuznetsov’ aircraft carrier. Photo via @milinfolive pic.twitter.com/kooMEkItIQ
    — Capt(N) (@Capt_Navy) October 30, 2018

    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),anuclear 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. You can read all about the incident and see remarkable pictures taken during it on this Russian website.

    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. Some commenters have mentioned that the dry dock originally came from Sweden during the 1980s, and considering the poor state of Russian large shipbuilding capabilities and sanctions, it is unlikely one could be sourced from Sweden this time around or built indigenously. Regardless, even if it was possible, doing so would take years.

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

    ����#Russian #Navy The floating dock PD-50 of the Shipyard №82 after the incident. Cargo cranes are missing.The floating dock completely sank. October 30, 2018. pic.twitter.com/tXK061Ei4v
    — Capt(N) (@Capt_Navy) October 30, 2018

    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. A cursory look of the sprawling constellation of naval installations in the region turns up no other dry dock that seems adept at hosting the largest of Russia's submarines, with all being in the sub-450 foot size range. And even if there was one, the capacity loss of such an important asset, one that can be seen servicing multiple vessels at 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 Novorossiyskon the Black Sea that carries the designation PD-190. It measures about 75 feet shorter than PD-50 at around 1,000 feet and its internal bay is about 60 feet narrower, at roughly 175 feet wide. It isn't clear if this dry dock has the ability to accommodate Kuznetsov, the beam difference is quite large, especially considering Kuznetsov's big flight deck overhangs, but 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. It would also mean the loss of large ship dry dock capability on the Black Sea. Another smaller floating dry dock, measuring approximately 815 feet long with a bay width of about 125 feet, stays very busy servicing Russia's Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol, Crimea. Keep in mind that Russia has never built an aircraft carrier itself and doesn't have elaborate facilities to service them. Those ships were built in Soviet Ukraine.




    While this dry dock may satisfy some of Russia's most pressing operational concerns that came as a result of the sinking of PD-50—like keeping their boomers maintained—if it can't accommodate Kuznetsov, the future of the carrier will have to be deeply in doubt. And even if Russia decides to transfer the dock to the Northern Fleet, it will take time to do so and it's not clear where it would even go once it arrives. 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 partially 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 allege 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. of cyber meddling seems like very low-hanging fruit. The potential fallout from the loss of this unique dry dock, and from the fact that the Russian Navy still relies heavily on what clearly are weak points of potential failure, is a big pill to swallow for the Kremlin and the Ministry of Defense.

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

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    Default Re: Huge Floating Dry Dock Holding Russia's Only Aircraft Carrier Has Accidentally Su


    Russia Admits That It Can’t Retrofit Aircraft Carrier After Accident

    Russian officials admitted that they no longer can service Russia’s lone aircraft carrier following a recent sinking of a large floating dry dock

    November 9, 2018

    Following the sinking of one of the world’s largest dry docks on October 29 in a shipyard in the far northwest part of Russia, officials have finally admitted that they are unable to continue work on Russia’s sole aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, for the time being. While Russia’s shipbuilding industry is reportedly looking into alternatives, no timely and viable solution to continue retrofitting work on the Russian Navy’s flagship has emerged to date.

    “We have alternatives actually for all the ships except for [the aircraft carrier] Admiral Kuznetsov. Our enterprises are in operation, [including] the Nerpa [Ship Repair Factory],” the head of Russia’s United Ship-Building Corporation (USC), Alexei Rakhmanov, is quoted as saying on November 7 by TASS news agency. “After all, we can perform certain docking works in Severodvinsk, not far from Murmansk. We don’t feel any special problems in this regard.”

    However, the Russian shipbuilding industry does not possess a large enough facility to accommodate the carrier and it will take at least six to 12 months to recover the sunken floating dry dock. According to open source information, Russia would require international support for any such complex recovery operation as it does not possess the equipment to lift the massive drydock from the seabed on its own.

    While work in the ship’s interior can continue, absent a large floating dry dock, it is unlikely that Russia will be able to keep up with the current overhaul schedule, as all work on the ship’s bilge had to cease. Initially, the carrier was to return to active duty within the next two years. Shorty after the incident, there were reports that Severodvinsk shipyard possesses another floating dock, PD-1, that could be used to continue work on the carrier. However, following an evaluation, it was determined that the facility would not be able to accommodate a warship the size of the Admiral Kuznetsov.

    The Swedish-made PD-50 drydock reportedly sank when the Admiral Kuznetsov was being pulled out after the failure of a pump system on the night of October 29. As a result of the sinking, a crane fell on the carrier’s deck leaving a hole above the waterline that measures 4 by 5 meters. The accident also injured four workers. The Russian government has set up a commission to investigate the sinking. After the conclusion of the investigation, the commission is set to offer its recommendation whether to recover the PD-50 or look for alternative ways to complete work on the carrier.

    The Admiral Kuznetsov was commissioned in 1990 and last underwent a two-year refit between 1996 and 1998. The Russian Navy’s 55,000-ton flagship has never been deployed for longer than six months and famously had to be followed by an oceangoing tug boat during all of its sea voyages due to the carrier’s poor reliability and questionable performance during a recent deployment to Syria in 2016.

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