Monday, April 24, 2023

About Real Economy...

.... and Russia's shipbuilding.  Just some news:

В Большом Камне начались ходовые испытания танкера "Академик Губкин", построенного на Судостроительном комплексе "Звезда" по заказу АО "Роснефтефлот". Об этом сообщили 24 апреля в пресс-службе нефтяной компании "Роснефть". "Академик Губкин" является четвертым судном серии танкеров типоразмера "Афрамакс" в портфеле заказов судоверфи, которое было спущено на воду. Торжественная церемония имянаречения судна состоялась в рамках VII Восточного экономического форума в сентябре 2022 года. Ранее танкер "Академик Губкин" успешно прошел швартовные испытания, в ходе которых проводилась проверка и наладка бортовых систем и оборудования, был запущен главный двигатель танкера, проверена его работоспособность и готовность к выходу в море. После этого танкер был отшвартован от достроечной набережной, выведен из акватории верфи и своим ходом вышел в район испытаний, в рамках которых будут проверены скоростные характеристики судна и его управляемость на всех режимах работы.

Translation: Sea trials of the Akademik Gubkin tanker, built at the Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex by order of Rosnefteflot JSC, have begun in Bolshoy Kamen. This was reported on April 24 in the press service of the oil company Rosneft. Akademik Gubkin is the fourth vessel of the Aframax tanker series in the shipyard's portfolio of orders, which was launched. The solemn ceremony of naming the vessel took place as part of the VII Eastern Economic Forum in September 2022. Earlier, the Akademik Gubkin tanker successfully passed mooring trials, during which the on-board systems and equipment were checked and adjusted, the main engine of the tanker was launched, its performance and readiness to go to sea were checked. After that, the tanker was moored off the outfitting embankment, taken out of the shipyard water area and under its own power went to the testing area, within which the speed characteristics of the vessel and its controllability in all operating modes will be tested.

But sometimes seeing is even better than reading. Here is Academic Gubkin in person:

Aframax tankers are large 250 meters long and 114,000 tons displacement vessels. And if first ones of them have been primarily assembled from Chinese and South Korean "legos", the localization of the process at Zvezda shipyard proceeds apace. And, this is how this monstrous wharf looks today. 

In this picture alone you can see roughly 400,000 tons of displacement combined being completed. Zvezda's portfolio is huge and you can read some of it on their website in Russian.  The scale of Zvezda is absolutely massive but you wouldn't find much about it in Western media. 
As you may have guessed it, many in the West follow the constant growth and localization of Zvezda with anxious curiosity. When one has a dry dock which can fit easily two aircraft carriers of Nimitz (or Ford) class (485 meters long, 114 meters wide and 14 meters deep)...

Many in Washington and Tokyo are wondering if those damn Rooskies will begin to build aircraft carriers there. Well, I don't know, but, the rumors started to circulate that Peter the Great will not undergo modernization and will be decommissioned. You may have already guessed who spreads these rumors, but the response from Russian Navy was pretty clear. 

МОСКВА, 20 апр – РИА Новости. Тяжелый атомный ракетный крейсер "Пётр Великий" не планируется выводить из боевого состава флота и списывать, сообщил РИА Новости информированный источник, знакомый с ситуацией в сфере военно-морского планирования. Ранее ряд СМИ сообщил, прорабатывается вопрос о выводе "Петра Великого" из боевого состава флота, в связи с тем что опыт ремонта крейсера того же класса "Адмирал Нахимов" оказался очень затратным. "Тяжелый атомный ракетный крейсер "Петр Великий" не планируется выводить из боевого состава флота и списывать. Корабль может быть выведен в резерв для последующего прохождения ремонта с модернизацией, данный вариант рассматривается", - заявил на это собеседник РИА Новости.
Translation: MOSCOW, April 20 - RIA Novosti. The heavy nuclear-powered missile cruiser Pyotr Veliky is not planned to be decommissioned and scrapped, an informed source familiar with the situation in the field of naval planning told RIA Novosti. Earlier, a number of media reported that the issue of withdrawing "Peter the Great" from the combat strength of the fleet is being worked out, due to the fact that the experience of repairing the cruiser of the same class "Admiral Nakhimov" turned out to be very costly. "The heavy nuclear missile cruiser Peter the Great is not planned to be decommissioned and scraped. The ship can be put into reserve for subsequent repairs with modernization, this option is being considered," RIA Novosti's interlocutor said.
Guess from three times where this rumor originated. This is the main reason I don't have TG channel and don't read them.  Do not forget also that Admiral Kuznetsov is due to rejoin fleet the next year and the crew has been largely formed and new air defense system (newest navalized Pantsirs are being installed) and C4 complex have been completely built anew from ground zero. 
We'll see soon enough what it will become after effectively being rebuilt from ground up, including serious update of propulsion. But, once the totality of shipbuilding news from Russia is grasped, one has to admit--not too shabby for a country with "economy in tatters". Here is you Monday shipbuilding primer.

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