Russian Aircraft Carrier Will Not Get Salvaged and Repaired

Russia’s only aircraft carrier has a fire that has covered over 600 square meters (6000 square feet) of the carrier. Even if the fire is put out, Nextbigfuture predicts that the carrier will not be worth salvaging.

Currently, the ship is being flooded with water and chemicals to douse electrical wiring and diesel fuel fires. Those chemicals are wrecking all of the electronics and electrical systems that are not being burned in the fire. The fire is wrecking the engine.

The carrier was already a 30-year old lemon. It was towed back from the coast of Spain in 2012.

It was put in for a 3-year repair program in 2017. Those repairs were budgeted at $340 million. In 2018, a 70-ton crane fell and sank Russia’s only drydock large enough to service the aircraft carrier. The crane knocked a 210-foot hole in the carrier deck.

The fire, whole and chemical damage have driven the cost of salvaging the carrier to over $2 billion. It would be better to start over.

Russia has had no usable aircraft carrier since 2017. Russia will officially have no carrier for the next ten years.

Russia’s whole navy has problems. They had a spy submarine sink in July 2019 and killed 14 sailors.

Frigates and Submarines for a Local Navy

The Russian fleet has declined from a true oceangoing force with long-range battlecruisers and destroyers to a mostly coastal force operating small, short-range vessels.

In 2019, Russia got 23 new surface ships but only seven are armed combatants. One is a Gorshkov-class frigate (4,500 tons) and six are missile corvettes (2000 tons).

US Coast Guard cutters are 4500-ton ships.

The U.S. fleet in total displaces 4.6 million tons of water. The Chinese fleet displaces 1.8 million tons. The Russian fleet displaces just 1.2 million tons. The Russian Navy has really lost its one aircraft carrier. The Russian fleet is probably only 1.1 million tons.

The U.S. fleet can carry around 12,000 offensive missiles. Chinese ships in total can carry 5,200 missiles. Russia’s fleet packs no more than 3,300.

SOURCES : National Interest, Twitter, TASS, Analysis by Brian Wang
Written By Brian Wang,

36 thoughts on “Russian Aircraft Carrier Will Not Get Salvaged and Repaired”

  1. Actually, particularly for the B, it was mostly the result of a really big boom on commodities (mostly from the Chinese boom). Once people weren’t knocking down our door to buy soy and iron ore, the economy deflated big time.

    Which is not to say that things have been uninteresting since then! We’re going through a lot of political upheaval trying to possibly break the thirty-year stalemate of the Executive buying out the Legislative by auctioning off cabinets to party leaders. With luck, this might be enough to bring B into the per-capita wealth level of an Italy or Spain…

  2. Rockets they do well.
    The reason Khrushchev was ousted was that he spent big on rockets so as not to compete with the USA blue-water navy-to blue water navy.
    Once he was gone—they caught the carrier bug.

    Carriers are the ultimate welfare queens now that Rods from God are doable.

    We’d be better off scuttling our carriers and going Space Force heavy–with Starship.

  3. Unfortunately he won’t and that should concern you. Russia has no national debt. That in itself could be a very powerful weapon.

  4. BRICS is so 5 years ago.

    The I and C are still there, the B, R and S were flashes in the pan that have gone nowhere since then.

  5. BRICS… With the India – China rivalry and suffering from major corruption and China the only one financially liquid. LOL

  6. A loss of one sub out of 33 (I read that there are 32 active now) is a 3% loss of capability. A rounding error. A loss of one out of one is a total loss of capability. In case of a carrier, it is also a loss of linked programs, such as naval aviation, training of naval aviators, etc. The main argument for keeping that ship has been preservation of linked programs.
    There are strong arguments against building any new carriers in Russia. There is also the carrier lobby that just wants one or two regardless. Despite the continuing existence of that ship, the military budget in Russia is allocated on the priority basis: priority items first, non-priority last. That is why everything nuclear has been funded continuously even in the tough times. Now all new weapons are priority (hypersonic, nuclear-powered, that still secret laser thing that is suspected to be nuclear powered too), and for fleet building it is nuclear subs with lots of hypersonic missiles, and retrofitting of such missiles on any ship that can carry them, which is about 1000t displacement and up. When Putin decided to show that capability in Syria, subs, ships and planes fired long-range cruise missiles from distant places, even from a lake (Caspian sea is actually a lake). New missiles upgrade that capability to hypersonic. That is priority, also each of those missiles can be nuclear armed. Carrier was also brought to Syria, didn’t do much good, didn’t do very well, but reinforced the argument against new one.

  7. That is true, but my point is that the decision was based on a cost/benefit analysis. I am sure if the cost of repairing the Russian carrier approaches a quarter of the cost of building a new one from scratch as the Miami did, then they will decommission it.

  8. It was true that back in the 1950s the nukes WERE targeting cities. Because they had an accuracy of maybe 5 km and the only targets that big that will win a war are cities. The same as strategic bombing in world war 2.

    Since then weapons have gotten MUCH more accurate, and so are now targeted at much smaller, but more directly military targets. As a related point the explosive yield is a lot smaller now for the same reason. You don’t need 10 megatonnes if you are going to drop the bomb within 15 metres of the middle of the airforce base.

    But a lot of the popular image of a nuclear war is based on books and movies (both fiction and non-fiction) written in the 50s and 60s. And stuff done since then, but based on the earlier works rather than on more modern reality.

    Having said all that, there still would be nukes targeting the major cities, especially those with significant military, political and communication infrastructure in the middle of the city. Washington and Moscow are both targets any way you cut it.

  9. The vast majority of strategic warheads target other strategic warheads. The vast majority of the remainder target military installations. Warheads are almost never target cities or civilian infrastructure.

  10. Stories for gullible infantiles. In reality, the only reason US carriers can float around unharmed is USSTRATCOM. The only reason. For any war, they are either unnecessary due to forward air basing for typical bashings (Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc), or useless vs other nuclear powers. And with the amount of time they spend in maintenance, they are useless for policing anything but a few choke points (Suez canal, etc). With only about three or four typically operational at any time, divide 70% of planet surface by three or four, and compare the result to the area within combat radius of F-18. Numbers do not lie, do they?

    The world economy would do much better without US carriers, as all that stuff is funded by increasing foreign debt – other people’s money, which could be spent on the actual economy, instead of making rust and jet fumes.

    Rivals, seriously. Any sub, under any flag, can surface in the middle of carrier group. An advanced sub can sink the entire carrier strike group, and they would not know what hit them. Watch.

  11. The planet is 70% covered with water. The U.S. controls, or is able to exert control over, most of it. In peacetime,despite being a war-fighting force (and a deterrent to war), the US Navy is typically functioning more as a police force and a deterrent against bad behavior on the high seas.

    Regardless of their effectiveness in modern war (and you might be surprised), carriers are unsurpassed for exerting peacetime control over bodies of water (as well as for providing disaster relief to coastal areas).

    I rather suspect the U.S. would rather forego that privilege (and expense), but it’s really not an option.

    Rather than some hypothetical benevolent coalition, the situation at sea would more likely either resemble anarchy, every country for itself, or else be something like the United Nations (internally blocked from doing anything quickly or effectively in most situations).

    Either way, the world economy would quickly become a shambles and, once again, it would become glaringly obvious that the world is too small for the U.S. to be isolationists, despite covering most of a continent, despite being capable of being enormously self-sufficient, and despite having no serious rivals in its entire hemisphere.

  12. A majority would die, just not straight away. It wouldn’t take a high percentage of cities, military corps of engineers bases and key logistics routes to be hit to induce quite some starvation.

  13. What a load of fake crap.
    Assets like that are not abandoned. About that carrier, it is undergoing a complete overhaul, with most of its machinery removed, and lots of welding being done inside. Welders starts fires, and they have been true to that in this case. About that sub, it had fire with casualties – at sea, it did not sink, and is being repaired – at warf.
    They are building advanced nuclear subs, both SSGN and SSBN, simultaneously three or four hulls of each, that do all the ocean going that actually needs to be done in any navy. Any surface ship is just a big target, as was repeatedly proven by subs under many flags. Subs will kill surface ships if they are ordered to, no matter which flags. Surface ships today are reduced to flag waving and newsworthy missile launches in peace time. And that was before hypersonics. Any sub with such missiles and targeting data from satellite will absolutely exterminate any surface fleet inside its firing range. That was true 30 years ago, it is true now.
    The strongest carrier lobby is in USA, for historical reasons, which survives even the historical fact that distant warfare does perfectly well with forward air bases. The carrier lobby in Russia exists too, which is why that carrier still exists, though it already cost more than a few advanced subs worth of funding. Navies are addicted to traditions, and any carrier carries both naval and aviator burden of tradition. Only war can shake that off, and it will, as with battleships.

  14. The majority of their road mobile launchers are “undergoing service” which is the same status as the Kuznetsov. That basically means the land-based portion of their triad is useless (silos are just there to absorb enemy warheads). The air based portion of the Russian triad may as well not exist. That leaves their ballistic missile submarines.

  15. Don’t look at the total the U.S. spends, look at what it represents relative to our GDP. Russia is spending like mad when you look at it that way.

  16. I hope they keep dumping money they don’t have into more and more weapons programs. Maybe Russia will shed itself of Putin and his crony’s once he bankrupts the country.

  17. Who won the war in Syria?

    Electronic warfare eg. S400 supremacy seems to be far more important than being able to displace 4.6 million tons of water in the 21st century.
    Enormous ocean faring fleets are made to invade and project imperial power over the world.
    The only country to do so is the US, little bonus, it’s in the name of “democracy” meaning invading other people’s country and ruining them as the Americans have done everywhere for the past century.
    The defense budget of the US is 700 billion dollars, that is so utterly ridiculous, the whole concept of imperialism is fucked up. Multilateralism is the futur and thanks to the BRICs hopefully we’ll get there in this century.
    Nice way of showing your distorted American pride Brian btw.. Laughable, you can displace a lot more water than every one else, good job..

  18. NVM. I see that Brian has included the info that the one that sank was their only jumbo drydock.
    Thanks, Brian.

  19. Does this mean that they have a very large floating dry dock available for lease or purchase? We could use one and it doesn’t appear that they will be needing it for awhile. May as well let someone else get some use out of it while replacing the lost unit.

Comments are closed.