July 15, 2017

Russia’s Only Aircraft Carrier Has a Big Problem.

The Russian Navy will repair its sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, but the massive vessel will not be upgraded or modernized in any meaningful way. Instead, Russia will focus on getting the carrier back into the fleet as soon as possible when the ship goes into overhaul next year in 2018.

“It is a ship repair with replacement of some equipment.” Sergei Vlasov, director general of Nevsky PKB told the TASS news agency.

“Essentially, there is no modernization.”

It will take the shipyard between two to three years to repair Kuznetsov depending on the scope of the work.

Vlasov noted that while the shipyard has completed technical plans to perform the repairs, there is no timeline in place to implement those fixes because a contract has yet to be signed with the Russian Defense Ministry.

One of the reasons that the Kremlin is not authorizing a much more extensive modernization of Russia’s sole aircraft carrier is because the ship needs to be back in the fleet quickly. A deep modernization might drag on for more than ten years given the state of Russian shipyards.

Russia has aspired to serious maritime power since Peter the Great, but geography and poverty have conspired against it.

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