Despite all of Russia’s military posturing and bellicose behaviors, the country is having some difficulties with its military. The once proud Russian Navy is down to one functional aircraft carrier–or they were before an accident Tuesday severely damaged the carrier. This leaves the global super-power well behind some of its peers.
The accident happened when a floating repair dock sank off the coast of Murmansk. As it sunk, the dock dropped a large crane onto the deck of the Admiral Kuznetsov, the only carrier in service with the Russian Navy.
Four people were injured in the collision, and one person is missing.
The United Shipbuilding Corporation had to announce the embarrassing accident. “The corporation’s chief, Alexei Rakhmanov, said the 70-ton crane left a hole of 215 square feet, but added that it didn’t damage any of the ship’s vital systems,” The Military Times writes.
The Admiral Kuznetsov had been docked for needed repairs. At their completion, the carrier began pulling away from the dock. Reports speculate that there was a power surge that shut down the pumps on the dock, and that the failure resulted in the sinking of the dock.
The Admiral Kuznetsov had recently seen service in the waters of the Middle East, and launched planes that flew missions over Syria.
The damage to the deck is serious and will require that the Admiral Kuznetsov remain in Murmansk for even more repairs.
The fate of the ship is now uncertain. By all accounts, the ship, first launched in 1985, is obsolete. When underway, the ship is easy to spot. It belches thick black smoke that is visible for miles. The repairs were supposed to precede the addition of new weapons systems and updated controls.
Yet the 80,000-ton dock was going to help with these repairs. Now that it has sunk, it will not likely be raised, and a home for the repairs will have to be found.