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Russia Plans Pricey Upgrade To Smoking Mess Of An Aircraft Carrier

A photo taken from a Norwegian surveillance aircraft shows Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov in international waters off the coast of Northern Norway on October 17, 2016. 333 Squadron, Norwegian Royal Airforce/NTB Scanpix/Handout via Reuters

Russia will begin upgrades to its only aircraft carrier, famous for its poor performance and unreliability, in the first half of 2017.

Russian state media notes that the upgrades will cost nearly $350 million dollars and will take approximately 3 years. By Russia’s own admission all 8 boilers on board the ship are not combat-ready. Four of the boilers must be replaced, and the other four will require repair.

The aircraft carrier made headlines in November when it had two high profile accidents while deployed in the Mediterranean. One plane slid off the deck of the aircraft carrier while attempting a landing, after a landing cable snapped in half.

While the Admiral Kuznetsov was on its way to Syria, it was denied refueling privileges in Malta and Spain. Videos of the Kuznetsov billowing smoke through the English channel aside modern western warships were widely mocked at the time.

The Kuznetsov’s plumbing is reportedly so bad that many toilets on board are unusable; the ailing vessel is also besieged by electrical problems. “All their ships look shiny on the outside, but are pretty horrid on the inside. You only have to look at the smoke she’s belching out to see not all is well,” a British Naval officer told the Telegraph in October.

“We have had people on board Russian ships in the last 10 years or so and it’s always a bit of a shock. The conditions inside are pretty manky,” he elaborated.

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