THE KURSK WILL BE PULLED: NEW TECHNOLOGY TO BE USED IN THE BARENTS SEA

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Aleksei Petrov Kommersant, May 29, 2001, p. 3

A press conference has been held on the salvage operation in the Barents Sea

The Rubin Design Bureau in St. Petersburg has published the technical details of the salvage operation in the Barents Sea. This project was proposed by the Dutch company Mammoet Transport BV. Those participating in the press conference assured journalists of their confidence in its success.

The project was presented by Valentin Pashin, Director of the Krylov Central Research Institute, Vice Admiral Yuri Sukhachev, Director of the 40th Research Institute of rescue and deep-sea missions, and Captain 1st Class Leonid Yashenkin, Deputy Director of the 1st Naval Research Institute (officials from the Rubin Bureau and Mammoet Transport BV were absent from the conference). Pashin, Sukhachev, and Yashenkin did their best to persuade journalists that this was the best possible project. Pashin even said that he had no doubt the operation would be a success.

The Krylov Institute, the 40th Research Institute, and the Rubin Bureau had put forward their own suggestions for the salvage operation in the Barents Sea, but all were rejected by the governmental commission. Referring to the necessity to protect information, the participants at the press conference refused to elaborate on the details of the project. Pashin merely explained that the Dutch project differed from the previous one in lifting technology. Instead of cords, the hull of the submarine will be lifted using special lifting devices. The Kursk will be lifted without Compartment 1. This will be cut off by a special robot and left on the seabed, for fear that any remaining torpdoes it is holding may explode. The Kursk will probably be towed to the docks by the Giant barge owned by Dutch company Smit Tak.

Sukhachev said that the lifting operation will probably involve 16 Russian, and approximately the same number of foreign, divers (apparently, from the company Halliburton). Russian divers are already training at the 40th Naval Institute in the town of Lomonosov. Actually, Sukhachev said, “the men have been training constantly…”

The Participants at the press conference are confident that weather in the Barents Sea in September will permit the operation.

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