The Russian military and shipbuilders are trying to shift responsibility to each other for bringing the only Russian aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, to critical condition.
Source: Ukraine's Defence Intelligence
Quote: "The military and shipbuilders of the Russian Federation are trying to shift responsibility to each other for bringing the only Russian aircraft carrier to a critical condition.
The only Russian aircraft carrier, the heavy aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, is in disrepair."
Details: The ship is located at the 35th Ship Repair Plant in Murmansk.
Defence Intelligence reports that the Russians decided to move the ship from the dry dock to one of the piers of the ship repair plant to continue the repair works.
However, even at the stage of preparation for movement, it turned out that the cruiser was not able to move on its own.
The cruiser also tried to move with the help of several tugs, but this was impossible, too, due to the critical condition of the ship's hull.
Ship repairmen warned the military that the condition of Admiral Kuznetsov does not allow it to be deployed due to the high probability that it would sink or capsize.
During the examination, it was revealed that the metal structures below the third deck of the ship were significantly corroded. The holds are filled with muddy water, which makes it impossible to examine the ship in detail from the inside.
At the same time, Russian officials of the 35th Ship Repair Plant and the [Northern] fleet command are trying to shift responsibility to each other.
The Defence Intelligence added that now it is impossible to even establish who exactly decided to move the ship.
The command of the Russian fleet imposed penalties of 1.5 billion roubles [roughly US$ 2.1 million] on the plant's management for failure to meet repair deadlines and non-fulfilment of the contract.
And the company's management believes that the plant is not to blame for bringing the ship to its current state: "chances are the military representatives at the plant, which supervised the progress of work, will be found guilty."
According to available intelligence data, there are not even any approximate deadlines for completing the repair of Admiral Kuznetsov and returning it to service.
For reference: Admiral Kuznetsov is the only aircraft carrier of the Russian Navy, the flagship of the Russian Navy and the Northern Fleet. In 2018, an accident occurred during the descent of Admiral Kuznetsov. In 2019, the vessel caught on fire during repair works. Completion of repairs and transfer to the Russian Navy is planned for 2024.