Recent ones news about the repair of the aircraft-carrying cruiser "Admiral Kuznetsov", which has been going on since 2018, were tragic. The fire that happened on the ship led to human casualties and huge material damage, once again postponing the end of the repair work for an indefinite time. Today, if something is on fire at the Admiral Kuznetsov, it is the timing of its commissioning. And the reason is not just another emergency, but the disputes that have arisen around him about who will have to finish the repair of the aircraft carrier, which seems to be turning into an endless process.
Back in May of this year, it became known that between the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), at the enterprise of which, in the Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center, today there is Admiral Kuznetsov, and the Investments. Engineering. Construction ”(I.I.S.), which was supposed to build a dry dock in Murmansk for its repair and modernization, a conflict broke out, in which billions of rubles are the subject of dispute. It got to the point that representatives of I.I.S. filed formal complaints against the customers to the General Prosecutor's Office and the country's Security Council.
In their claims, they accuse USC of the fact that Zvezdochka, instead of the seven-odd billion rubles promised in accordance with the contract concluded in 2019, transferred only 2,6 billion in advance, and even did not pay for the work already performed by the company in the amount of 800 million rubles ... In addition, according to the owner I.I.S. Gleb Yevtushenko, the customers inadmissibly delay the delivery of design and estimate documentation to his company, without which the work is simply impossible. There are a number of other issues, without the solution of which the repair of the aircraft carrier cannot be moved from the dead center.
In fact, this demarche is the answer of I.I.S. on the attempts of USC to terminate the contract for the construction of the dock previously concluded with them. As the main reason for this, let's face it, a somewhat ambiguous decision, the head of the United Shipbuilding Corporation, Alexei Rakhmanov, points out that the contractor is clearly not coping with the tasks assigned to him: no more than 10% of the volume for which the advance was promised (to For example, there are too few piles for the construction of a dock), and in general it is still necessary to figure out what 900 million rubles were spent on from the advance payment already paid.
Mr. Rakhmanov assures that the change of the contractor will not in any way affect the speed of work on the ship's repair: he allegedly already has proposals from at least "three serious domestic companies" ready by the summer of 2021 to ensure the parking of "Admiral Kuznetsov" in a reliable dock that corresponds to all the requirements of the project documentation. In turn, Gleb Yevtushenko claims the opposite: according to him, if the contract with his company is broken, the aircraft carrier will be docked no earlier than 2022, if not 2023. He calls this situation "causing direct harm to the defense capability of Russia" and calls on the country's authorities to prevent the termination of the treaty.
Who in this situation is true is problematic to judge. Each side brings up its arguments, which seem very convincing, and refutes the arguments of the opponent, proving its own innocence. Meanwhile, repairs, apparently, are not progressing a single step. One of the latest news on this topic was the announcement that the United Shipbuilding Corporation held a tender for the implementation of new work on the Admiral Kuznetsov, estimated at 250 million rubles. Judging by the relevant documentation, we are talking mainly about cleaning and painting the sides of the ship, at most about repairing some superstructures and hull structures.
True, you will have to paint a lot: about 2 square kilometers of area, but this can hardly be considered a breakthrough in the process of transforming the "Admiral Kuznetsov" into a modern combat unit of the Russian naval fleet... But this is precisely the goal that was set at the beginning of its modernization. By the way, only one company expressed a desire to participate in the "paint and repair" tender. With her, most likely, an agreement will be concluded, unless in this case there are no inconsistencies with advances and estimates. Moreover, all the calculations for the restoration and modernization of the ship have a bad property to increase significantly over time ...
Is the formidable aircraft-carrying cruiser destined to perish not in the waves of the sea, but in the abyss of endless approvals, litigations and proceedings, to go to the bottom not from damage received in battle, but under the weight of ever more unaffordable estimates, calculations and expenses?