Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Russia's Only Aircraft Carrier Is Screwed
One of the world's largest dry docks sank at a shipyard in northwestern Russia late last month, throwing a wrench into plans to repair and modernize the country's sole aircraft carrier — the Admiral Kuznetsov.
The Kuznetsov, which was sent for repairs in May after a history of breakdowns, was being refitted and upgraded at the PD-50 dry dock at the 82nd Repair Shipyard when a power supply disruption caused the pumps supporting the massive 80,000-ton structure to break down. As the damaged dock sank to the depths, two large cranes fell on the aircraft carrier, tearing a substantial 200-square-foot hole in the vessel.
Russian officials initially said that the accident would not delay efforts to repair the flagship of the Russian Navy, which returned from Syria spewing black smoke after losing two of its aircraft to tragic accidents, but it appears that the loss of the critical PD-50 dry dock may be a serious setback. The overhaul was expected to be finished in 2021, but it is unlikely that the country will be able to meet that deadline.
Russia has found viable alternatives to the sunken dry dock for almost all of its naval vessels, all except for the Kuznetsov, officials now admit.
"We have alternatives actually for all the ships except for [the aircraft carrier] Admiral Kuznetsov," Head of the United Ship-Building Corporation Alexei Rakhmanov told the state-run TASS news agency Wednesday. "As for the ships of the first rank, ... the Admiral Kuznetsov, [the loss of the PD-50 floating dock] creates certain inconveniences."
"We hope the issue of the docking of first-rank ships will be resolved in the near future," he added, noting that the country is investigating other alternatives. The Kuznetsov is reportedly sitting at the 35th Ship Repair Plant. The PD-1 dock at the Severodvinsk shipyard was initially mentioned as a possible alternative, but it was later determined that the facility could not handle a ship of that size. Russia is believed to be looking seriously at trying to refloat the sunken dock.
The Diplomat reports that Russia lacks any acceptable alternative to the PD-50, which would take six months to a year to recover, an operation that would likely require international support, which it does not seem likely to receive. And given the country's souring relations with its European neighbors, Moscow probably can't count on Sweden building it another dry dock.
The loss of the PD-50 dry dock and the ensuing damage to the Kuznetsov begs the question of whether it is even worth it to salvage its carrier program given its poor performance record and unreliability, The War Zone assesses. The Kuznetsov carrier is regularly seen accompanied by tugboats, preparation for practically inevitable problems at sea.
It is currently unclear how the loss of the important dry dock will affect other ships slated for repair and modernization.
Read more from Business Insider:
- Russia and Ukraine are taking their conflict to the sea
- The stories of 10 famous people who served in World War 1
- The U.S. Army's new camouflage will hide soldiers and tanks in plain sight
- China is said to be recruiting an elite group of 'patriotic' kids to help develop AI weapons
- Vintage photos of the military show how it has evolved
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Trump: $6.1 billion in DoD money going to border wall wasn’t for anything that seemed ‘too important to me’
President Donald Trump claims the $6.1 billion from the Defense Department's budget that he will now spend on his border wall was not going to be used for anything "important."
Trump announced on Friday that he was declaring a national emergency, allowing him to tap into military funding to help pay for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."
D-Day veteran James McCue died a hero. About 500 strangers made sure of it.
"It's beautiful," Army Sgt. Pete Rooney said of the crowd that gathered in the cold and stood on the snow Thursday during McCue's burial. "I wish it happened for every veteran's funeral."