Russia's only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, sustained massive damage from a 70-ton crane falling on it after an accident at a shipyard, Russian media reports.
The Kuznetsov, a Soviet-era ship already known for having serious problems, now has a massive 214 square foot hole in its hull after a power supply issue flooded its dry dock and sent a crane crashing down against it.
“The crane that fell left a hole 4 by 5 meters. But at the same time … these are structures that are repaired easily and quickly,” Alexei Rakhamnov, the head of Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation, told Russian media.
“Of course when a 70-tonne crane falls on deck, it will cause harm,” Rakhmanov continued, according to the BBC. “But according to our initial information, the damage from the falling crane and from the ship listing when the dock sank is not substantial.”
Related: A Look At The Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia’s Only Aircraft Carrier And Floating Garbage Pile »
The aircraft carrier had been in dry dock for total overhaul slated to finish in 2020 after a disastrous deployment to support Syrian President Bashar Assad saw it lose multiple aircraft into the Mediterranean and bellow thick black smoke throughout its journey.
The Kuznetsov rarely sails without a tugboat nearby, as it suffers from propulsion issues.
Russia has planned to build a new aircraft carrier that would be the world's largest to accommodate a navalized version of its new Su-57 fighter jet. However the Su-57 may never see serial production, and only 10 of them exist today.
Russia frequently announces plans to create next-generation weapons and ships, but its budget shortfalls have caused it to cut even practical systems from production.
As Russia has no considerable overseas territories, it's unclear why it would need a massive aircraft carrier.
Read more from Business Insider:
- Seven U.S. airmen died when their helicopter slammed into a power line at high speeds in Iraq
- A B-1 bomber is finally leaving a Texas airport, 6 months after it was forced to land by a botched ejection
- Russian ships sailing by NATO's war games have a tug with them — and it's a telltale sign of their surface fleet's biggest problem
- The U.S. military's largest base outside the U.S. just got its biggest ammo delivery in 20 years
- The U.S. changed its mind about banning cluster bombs because of North Korea