Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Moscow Plans for Ships ‘Too Big to Fail’ But That are Very Likely To, Russian Commentators Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 23 – One of the reasons that the Russian navy and Russian shipbuilders keeps planning for larger ships like aircraft carriers is that officers believe that such projects are, to use the American locution, “too big to fail,” in that the Russian government will have no choice but to continue funding them even if costs rise, Vladimir Timokhin says.

            But the Voyenno-Promyshelnny Kuryer commentator says that as a result, Moscow is spending ever more money without seeing these ships or others that could be built if the funds were not going to these money pits, enriching the yards and feeding the egos of officers but not improving Russian security (vpk-news.ru/articles/60437).

            And Vladimir Tuchkov, a Svobodnaya pressa writer, adds that the ships that Moscow currently has on the drawing boards are so expensive that they will bust the budget entirely or force the Russian government to take money from everywhere else including the population to have a chance to fund (svpressa.ru/war21/article/287723/).

            Even then, there is little guarantee that these super ships like other super weapons some Russian politicians like to talk about will ever be built or, if they are, that they will provide Russia with the security that their backers continue to claim. Because of lengthy construction times, they may be lag behind leading countries by the time they hit the water.

            In two new articles, the two provide evidence to back up their claims, focusing both on the yawning gap between plans and execution and its sources in the greed of Russian shipyards and the ambitions of Russian naval personnel. And they suggest that while talk of the new ships may make for good propaganda, the ships themselves may never appear.

            Tuchkov, for instance, says that the number of potential bottlenecks, practical and financial, “cast doubt on their practical realization and increase the risks that the construction of [these vessels] will either be useless or unsuitable for carrying out the tasks they were designed to do.”

                Because these projects have already eaten up so much money, he continues, they are “as the Americans say, ‘too big to fail.’ That is, failure is already impermissible for political reasons. But it is very probable.”  They will be at best a public relations exercise and at worst a monument to massive waste and corruption.


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