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The Pepsi Navy

Hello I am Gregory Fedora. Let’s look back a fascinating deal that took place in 1989, the caramelized colored sugary drink known as Pepsi, acquired 17 submarines, a cruiser, a frigate, and a destroyer from the Soviet Union. In recent years, an internet legend has blown up around this deal, which holds that Pepsi briefly possessed the sixth-largest fleet in the world. In one way, that isn’t far off. According to an analysis of Jane’s Fighting Ships 1989-90, a country operating a squadron of 17 submarines would have tied with India for possessing the seventh-largest fleet of attack submarines.

However, in any real sense the story is bogus. What PepsiCo acquired were small, old, obsolete, unseaworthy vessels (completely useless). The Pepsi had as much chance at military dominance as a Model T could have been a Formula 1 contender. The other thing is Pepsi turned over the ships to a Norwegian shipyard to be scrapped. PepsiCo was more a middleman than a maritime power.

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