Admiral Kuznetsov, which is undergoing lengthy repairs, has been out of service since 2017
A minor fire has occurred aboard Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov, the state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) revealed on Thursday.
“There was a small accident during the repair work. The fire is extinguished. All relevant fire suppression systems functioned properly. There was no damage or casualties.” USC chief Alexey Rakhmanov told RIA Novosti.
The accident comes shortly after the company announced that shipyard repairs to the ship had been completed and the ship was due to return to the nation’s navy next year.
“The work on the shipyard is almost complete, and all we have to do is prepare to put it back afloat. It will happen in a few days.” Rakhmanov told Rossiya 24 TV channel last week. It was not immediately clear whether the fire had affected those plans.
The fire is the latest in a string of accidents to plague the ship, which was originally built in the 1980s, since it was docked for refitting and modernization. The aircraft carrier – referred to in Russia as an aircraft carrier cruiser, thanks to its advanced anti-missile armaments – has been out of service since 2017.
In 2018, Admiral Kuznetsov’s deck was damaged when a crane fell when a floating dock sank while the ship was undergoing maintenance. The following year, she suffered a major fire caused by welding near a fuel spill inside the carrier’s belly. The fire on board raged for nearly a day, injuring more than ten and killing two.
In September last year, USC reported further delays due to the need to repair the four gas turbines powering the carrier. An earlier assessment had suggested that only one of the units required repairs.
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