Russia's sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, in the English Channel in October 2016. (Dover-Marina.com via The New York Times)

The years have not been kind to Russia's sole, geriatric aircraft carrier.

Followed by billowing black smoke and massive tugboats wherever it goes, Admiral Kuznetsov has long been an object of derision in the defense commentary sphere.

The usual sense of levity accompanying Admiral Kuznetsov coverage turned to tragedy in 2018, when a 70-ton crane smashed into the carrier's hull. Almost as devastating as the considerable damage to the carrier itself was the loss of PD-50, Kuznetsov's floating drydock that sank from the blow's impact. The 2018 drydock disaster spawned a deluge of articles speculating as to Kuznetsov's fate, with many predicting its long-awaited decommission.

It appears, however, that the Russian Navy is refusing to throw in the towel.

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Russia's conventionally-powered Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier (Associated Press)

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.

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A satellite image shows what appears to be the construction of a third Chinese aircraft carrier at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, China April 17, 2019. CSIS/ChinaPower/Maxar Technologies 2019/Handout via REUTERS

HONG KONG/BEIJING(Reuters) - Construction of China's first full-sized aircraft carrier is well under way, according to satellite images obtained and analyzed by a U.S. think tank.

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A satellite image shows what appears to be the construction of a third Chinese aircraft carrier at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, China April 17, 2019. (Reuters/CSIS/ChinaPower/Maxar Technologies 2019)

HONG KONG/BEIJING(Reuters) - Construction of China's first full-sized aircraft carrier is well under way, according to satellite images obtained and analyzed by a U.S. think tank.

The images from April, provided to Reuters by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, reveal considerable recent activity during the last six months on a large vessel at the Jiangnan shipyard outside Shanghai.

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If you are worried that the deployment of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and a cadre of bombers to the U.S. Central Command theater is a major military escalation that could spark a war with Iran, take several deep, cleansing breaths.

The strike group originally left Norfolk, Virginia, in April as part of a regularly scheduled deployment, during which the Lincoln will literally sail around the world to arrive at its new homeport in San Diego — and while the carrier had been scheduled to transit the CENTCOM area of responsibility, its arrival there has simply been accelerated "in order to defend American forces and interests in the region," a defense official told Task & Purpose on Monday.

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The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Harry Andrew D. Gordon)

The world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier — the USS Enterprise — is being harvested for parts for other U.S. Navy flattops.

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