Russia wants to build its first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, Russian state media reported Tuesday, citing unnamed sources in the shipbuilding industry.
The carrier, a source told TASS, "will have a nuclear energy unit and displacement of about 70,000 [metric tons]," which would make it smaller than U.S. carriers but still larger than Russia's sole aircraft carrier, the steam-powered Admiral Kuznetsov, which suffered a devastating accident last fall.
With two U.S. aircraft carriers operating in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time since 2016, it would be hard for Russia to miss the intended message.
But to hammer the point home, U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Huntsman visited the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on Tuesday, according to a 6th Fleet news release.
"Each of the carriers operating in the Mediterranean at this time represent 100,000 tons of international diplomacy," Huntsman said in the news release. "Diplomatic communication and dialogue coupled with the strong defense these ships provide demonstrate to Russia that if it truly seeks better relations with the United States, it must cease its destabilizing activities around the world."
The U.S. Navy's new supercarrier continues to face major problems that will delay its delivery to the fleet for three months as the service bets big on this troubled ship, Navy officials revealed Tuesday.
The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and ships assigned to the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) transit the Atlantic Ocean while conducting composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) on February 16, 2018. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Swofford)
The U.S. Navy plans to retire one of its aircraft carriers decades early, a highly controversial move to free up funds for the new weapons needed to fight a powerful adversary.