THE KURSK SUBMARINE WILL BE TOWED INTO DOCK

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Kommersant, May 26, 2001, p. 1

Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov announced at a Moscow news conference on May 25 that the Kursk submarine will be raised on September 15. The operation is estimated to take around ten hours. The submarine will be towed into dock by September 20. The question of whether it’s worth raising the front section remains open; this section will be cut away from the rest of the submarine. Klebanov also said that as well as the Dutch companies Mammoet and Smit Tak, the American-Norwegian Halliburton company would also participate in the salvage effort, with its own diving team. Smit Tak and Halliburton were part of the international consortium which negotiated with the Rubin Design Bureau for six months, but was then rejected by Russia at the last moment. Navy Commander Admiral Vladimir Kuroedov says the cause of the accident was most likely the explosion of a training torpedo in the front compartment of the Kursk; a torpedo with no warhead, but with a potentially explosive propulsion system. According to Kuroedov, a new plan to create rescue services is now awaiting the Cabinet’s approval. He refused to discuss the plan in detail, but said there would be “a fundamentally new approach to setting up the Navy’s rescue services and equipment”.

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