No More Smoke on the Water From Russia’s Aircraft Carrier

Getting new boilers

Related: Here Is Why Russia’s Sole Aircraft Carrier Emits so Much Smoke

The Russian Northern Fleet’s only aircraft carrier was infamous for blocking the skies with black, ill-smelling smoke when sailing out from the Kola Peninusla on voyages in the Barents Sea, the North Atlantic and even to the Mediterranean. The engines were old, and the black smoke was caused by incomplete combustion of heavy fuel oil and engine lubricant.

A major restoration work has now been going on for years and includes replacement of the main boilers, turbo-gear units, gas turbine, diesel generators and the propeller auxiliary systems, state-affiliated news agency TASS reports.

Next summer, Admiral Kuznetsov will be docked at the new facility currently under construction at Zvezdockha’s shipyard No. 35 in Murmansk.

Then, by 2022, the largest in the Russian navy will be ready for sea trials in the Barents Sea.

During its modernization, the aircraft carrier has been followed by accidents. In October 2018, the flight-deck was damaged as the floating dock holding Admiral Kuznetsov sank and a crane fell over. Last December, a fire started during welding work in one of the engine rooms. Two where killed and 14 others were injured.

The ship was commissioned in 1990. Additional to the engines, the current modernization work includes renewal of weapons, electronics and aircraft support equipment. When all work is completed, the warship’s service life will be extended by 5 years, according to TASS.

Source: The Barents Observer

  1. thomas malthaus says

    NATO Provoking the Russian Military Build-Up in Kaliningrad.

    I give it five stars. Greater Europe is a bit closer.

    With the US in hurry mode regarding hypersonic missile development, it appears a nuclear arms treaty is in chaff mode from the American perspective.

  2. stevek9 says

    One place where Russia might consider purchasing instead of building. After China gets a few more aircraft carriers built, Russia could order a couple from them. Of course aircraft carriers are sitting ducks against a ‘peer’ competitor, and even second-tier countries … missiles.

    1. Ken Wiltshire says

      Aircraft Carriers are for Force Projection. Taking your war machine to someone else’s country. That’s actually not Russia’s History. They will fight on their borders in a heartbeat but they have never been big on scenarios like Iraq and Libya. They tend to be much more defensive then offensive. With that kind of mentality, Carriers are of limited value. Building 10 missile Korvets will serve them much better than purchasing one Carrier from someone else.

    2. Иван says

      Floating air fields are good for dominating small, defenseless countries. It is useless against nuclear powers. Entire idea is to project offensive power outward and in case of actual conflict, these things will be the first target. But considering today’s world, it’s outdated tech all together. Sea dinosaurs in a world of hypesonic missiles and drones.

      1. HiaNd says

        Not exactly, with performant lasers around the corner in not so distant future.
        Air carriers are not finished yet, but are at the tough spot now against advanced adversary with hyper-sonic missiles.

        1. Иван says

          You don’t need hypersonic missiles to take down a carrier. Few regular cruise missiles can do that. It is really a sitting duck. That’s why USSR didn’t build them and built subs instead. A single supercavitating torpedo can take it down. Something US still doesn’t have.

          1. HiaNd says

            I thought that my point was more than obvious, than for some reason you do not understand it.
            My point was that with laser (strong enough), no missile will have chance to put air carrier in danger.
            It will take “real time” targeting and and laser powerful enough to destroy missiles on bigger distances in all meteorologic conditions.
            I do not say that laser is for tomorrow, but who knows…. In the case of some tech breakthrough in laser development it may become true earlier than many think possible.

            1. Иван says

              Yeah I see what you’re saying but we’re talking today’s tech.

            2. HiaNd says

              My point was to negate argument that air-carriers are obsolete and completly finished.
              And I have underlined myself (I have agreed) that at the moment air-carriers are at the tough spot. Specially because they are defenseless against hyper-sonic missiles.
              But still, that will probably change completely, once lasers become more performant.
              Russia is already coming out, with new interceptors system S-500 that will among other missiles (and airplanes), intercept also hyper-sonic missiles successfully.
              So at least for Russia real defenses exist in near future. A naval option of S-500 is valid, viable option for 100% capable air defenses of all ships against hyper-sonic missiles.

      2. Fedor Tokarev says

        Yes and no. With the Russia’s vast territory sometimes it’s necessary to quickly transfer an air wing over to the North or Far East. Note that the air carrier is an independent and self sufficient floating air base. It also provides the air cover to the nuclear submarines which otherwise would have been neutralized by the adversaries’ anti-submarines planes/helicopters/ships.

        1. Ross Noble says

          A vtol jet and America class light carrier would be a good option for Russian area denial strategy.

        2. Иван says

          If you need to quickly transfer planes from one part of the country to the other, you can just fly them.
          Cover for tactical subs is entirely different ballgame.

  3. cechas vodobenikov says


  4. cechas vodobenikov says

    comments below reflect the awareness that carriers are now archaic WWII era artifacts. these relics intimidate small island nations but have little relevance for non-imperialist nations. they are expensive and require fleets of destroyers sensitive to subs, anti-missile systems, etc. Iran has missiles, bombers that can disable a carrier

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