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Project 7454
Large floating dock - Plavuchiy Dok

The PD-50 is one of the worlds largest floating docks and the biggest in Russia. It was built in Sweden in 1980 on order from the Soviet Navy. It is 330 meters long and 67 meters wide and has a lifting capacity of 80,000 tonnes. The floating dock has an area of 22.1 sq. km, which is slightly less than Red Square in Moscow. It is the only shipyard in the European part of Russia with a technical fleet with a lifting capacity of 80 thousand tons. In the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy there is a PD-41 large floating dock comparable in characteristics.

PD-50 is designed to repair large-tonnage ships, strategic nuclear submarines, transport ships with a displacement of over 25 thousand tons. This is the only dock of the project 7454, it is among the largest in the world. It is the only shipyard in the European part of Russia with a technical fleet with a lifting capacity of 80 thousand tons. In the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy there is a PD-41 large floating dock comparable in characteristics.

PD-50 was built by order of the Soviet Navy at the Gotaverken Arendal shipyard (the city of Arendal, Vestra-Gotaland, Sweden) under the serial number 910 in the second half of the 1970s. Transferred to the customer in 1980, operated by the Northern Fleet. On October 21-23, 2001, the nuclear submarine K-141 Kursk, raised after the disaster in the Barents Sea, was launched into the dock. As of 2018, the dock operator was the JSC 82 Ship Repair Plant. PD-50 is based in Roslyakovo (Murmansk region). The number in the Russian River Register is 235353.

In 2001, the Kursk nuclear submarine lifted from the bottom of the Barents Sea was placed there. Then there were no incidents. But in 2011, Murmansk nearly became the second Chernobyl due to the fire on the K-84 nuclear-powered underwater strategic rocket carrier Yekaterinburg. In December 2011, a fire occurred at the 82nd plant during the repair of the nuclear submarine "Yekaterinburg". At first the scafolds caught fire, and then the hull of the submarine, which was in a floating dock. In addition to two nuclear reactors and fuel, the ship was carrying full ammunition: 16 intercontinental missiles with four warheads, anti-submarine missile torpedoes and electric torpedoes. The fire extinguished a few hours. Next to the boat, at that time, the large anti-submarine ship of Project 1155, Vice Admiral Kulakov, was being repaired. Fortunately, the ship was not injured. In 2015, the Peter the Great heavy nuclear missile cruiser was repaired there.

In April 2018, the Ministry of Defense signed a contract with the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) to conduct medium repairs and limited modernization of the cruiser. Repair work began in May 2018 in Murmansk on the basis of the 35th ship repair plant ("35 SRZ", branch of JSC Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center). From September 14 to 17, 2018, the aircraft carrier was transferred from the pier "35 SRZ" to PD-50.

The PD-50 floating dock sank overnight to 30 October 2018 in Murmansk during the planned exit of the heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Kuznetsov, the Russian Navys only aircraft carrier. According to preliminary information, the warship itself had its take-off deck damaged by the fallen crane and is now at the 35th Ship Repair Plant. The Zvyozdochka shipyard said the incident will not delay the Admiral Kuznetsov repairs. According to preliminary information, the ship itself did not receive damage and was towed to a nearby 35th shipyard.

Zvezdochka Shipyard spokesman Yevgeny Gladyshev told TASS that the incident was caused by a power surge. "For now, the circumstances look like this: when [Russian aircraft carrier] the Admiral Kuznetsov was lowered, a power surge occurred from the shore, pumps shut down, and the dock sank," he said. On the eve of the bad weather that hit Murmansk, led to accidents on power lines. Part of the city was de-energized. At the SRZ-82 itself, the power supply was interrupted twice.

As a result of the incident, the senior shift mechanic went missing, and four employees of the enterprise were hospitalized with hypothermia. A criminal case was launched.

When the ship was withdrawn from the PD-50, during the flooding of the dock, the tower crane collapsed onto the deck of the cruiser without damaging important equipment. The second fell into the sea. Despite the emergency situation, "Admiral Kuznetsov" was taken to the docks of the 35th shipyard. We are now assessing the amount of damage. The crane fell from the deck from a height of about 15 meters, it is clear that there are damage to the hull and damage to the deck, but, fortunately, this happened in those areas that are not associated with the operation of some vital cruiser equipment, said the head of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), Alexei Rakhmanov. The Russian authorities set up a commission to investigate the sinking of the PD-50 floating dock and to decide on whether it should be lifted from the seabed, Russias Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said on 31 October 2018. "Instructions have already been given to set up a commission that would carefully look into the causes, calculate damages and outline response measures. Of course, the situation is unpleasant, but no one is ensured against them," he told reporters in Havana after a meeting of the Russian-Cuban commission on trade and scientific cooperation.

The deputy premier said that the commission will be set up by the Russian Navy, because the floating dock belonged to the Russian Defense Ministry, and will definitely include representatives of Russias defense industry. He said it was possible that the dock will be lifted from the seabed and repaired. "This is up to the commission to decide, but the yes, answer is more likely than no," he said. According to the senior Russian official, the incident will not affect the repairs of the Admiral Kuznetsov heavy aircraft-carrying cruiser, which are to be completed in 2021. "We will do our best not to delay the date," he said.

Meanwhile, the press service of the Russian Industry and Trade Ministry said an inter-departmental commission will be set up to investigate the matter. "The reasons for the incident will be determined based on findings by an intergovernmental commission, comprising representatives of the Russian Trade Ministry, the Russian Defense Ministry and companies involved. The exact causes can be determined only after the floating dock is lifted," the ministry said in a statement.

The decision on whether the PD-50 floating dock should be repaired and put back into operation will also be made after it is lifted. "The overall damage will be determined based on the findings of the above-mentioned commission. The costs of the operation to lift floating dock and restore it will be compensated by the side that will be found guilty of allowing the incident to happen," the document said. In fact, it would be strange if it was decided not to lift the PD-50 after its flooding. After all, for the shipbuilding industry of Russia such a float is truly indispensable. As far as we know, there was no talk about the construction of new waterways.

PD-50 could be compensated for by the dock PD-190 located in Novorossiysk and belonging to the Novorossiysk commercial seaport, but it is inferior to PD-50 in terms of carrying capacity (it is about 60 thousand tons). Yes, and tow it to Roslyakovo, according to experts, in the autumn-winter season is slow and dangerous.

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Page last modified: 05-11-2018 18:31:46 ZULU