Fire breaks out on Russia’s only aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov

The Russian flagship continues with setbacks, after the loss of the floating bridge on which it was located, then a first fire in 2019. The black series continues with this new disaster, admittedly minor.

L’Admiral Kuznetsov definitely does not escape its cursed ship status. A fire, admittedly minor and quickly brought under control, broke out on Thursday aboard the only russian aircraft carrier, announced the Zvezdochka shipyard located in Murmansk in northern Russia. “There was a fire on board theAdmiral Kuznetsovwhich is in the dry dock of the Zvezdochka shipyard“Explained the naval company quoted by the Russian news agency Tass.

This incident, which caused no casualties or damage according to the manufacturer, would be anecdotal if it did not represent yet another incident in the life of the flagship of the Russian fleet, admitted to active service in 1991, the year of the fall. of the USSR. Never rigorously maintained, theheavy aircraft carrier cruiser» has sailed little in a thirty-year career and has never been deployed in overseas operations only in 2016 during the war in Syria. His mission ended in a fiasco – with the accidental loss of two fighters, a Sukhoi 33 and a MiG-29 – while his passage from the Barents Sea to the Mediterranean aroused much ridicule at the time in because of the trail of black smoke given off by its ancient boilers.

A previous major fire in 2019

In 2018 and despite its already advanced age, theAdmiral Kuznetsov Zvezdochka began a long modernization, as Moscow had no alternative to consider its withdrawal from active service. The 60,000 ton ship is still called upon to serve for a long time as the only Russian aircraft carrier. But the setbacks did not end after his Syrian deployment. On October 30, 2018, the floating bridge PD-50 in which the 300-meter vessel was in drydock sank in Kola Bay…Admiral Kuznetsov was certainly not dragged by the bottom, but the accident caused heavy damage and caused the death of a member of the crew. In December 2019, a major fire broke out in the shipagain leading to significant destruction, as well as the death of two people.

The fire reported this Thursday by Tass will certainly not have the same consequences as the previous one, but testifies to the structural difficulties of Russian shipyards in terms of safety. On December 17, 2021 in particular, the corvette Provornyy under construction at the Severnaya Verf shipyard in Saint Petersburg was ravaged by flames and will be received by the Russian Navy with a delay of at least five years.

Delays for the modernization of theAdmiralKuznetsov are also numerous since 2018, with a return to service which will not take place before 2024. Especially since the loss of the PD-50 pontoon bridge has shifted the schedule to the right. As Russia no longer has an available dry dock in this region large enough to accommodate its flagship, it had to urgently build one in the port city of Murmansk. It was announced on Wednesday that the aircraft carrier, after a few months in the open air, was ready to be relaunched by the end of 2022. Rare good news… which is eclipsed by this new fire.

The curse ofAdmiral Kuznetsov keep on going. But Moscow is keen to maintain its status as a naval air power held by a handful of countries in the world and to maintain its very meager skills in this area. The technologies deployed on the red star-stricken ship – oil-fired boilers, lack of a catapult system for aircraft – are long outdated. They will always be at the end of its modernization, which does not promise to be revolutionary and which will above all have to allow the ship to be operational, which has never really been the case so far. But this rejuvenation can only work if the black series of claims does not continue… which does not seem to be won.

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Fire breaks out on Russia’s only aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov