Another Russian nuclear sub has experienced an accident that resulted in casualties. At least 20 people were killed when a fire broke out on the brand new sub reportedly named The Nerpa. The government is claiming that the people died after inhaling freon gas from portable fire extinguishers.
No word on why the automatic fire suppression system failed to work or why people weren't wearing masks to protect them from the gas:
President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the Defense Ministry to carry out a full inquiry, the Kremlin press service said.
The Kremlin is seeking to establish itself as a global power and is using the military to project its influence. A flotilla of warships is heading to U.S. foe Venezuela for the biggest maneuvers in the Caribbean Sea since the Cold War ended.
But analysts say the navy in particular is still struggling with the legacy of over a decade of under-funding, despite a cash injection in the past few years.
"This most recent incident signals that, though Russia is increasingly assertive and aggressive on the geopolitical stage, it still faces very real challenges in terms of the revitalization of its naval power," Stratfor, a U.S.-based consultancy, said in a commentary.
The navy said 208 people -- or nearly three times more than its usual crew -- were on board the submarine. Seventeen of the dead were employees of Amur Ship-Building Enterprise and three were sailors, prosecutors said.
Sounds like a first class CF - which is what happened when the Kursk was disabled and eventually sank killing all 118 aboard.
Let's hope Obama's defense cuts don't lead to similar problems with our own navy.