Vladimir Yachenkov Trud, May 30, 2001, p. 5
The contract with Dutch firm Mammout involves two stages in the operation to salvage the Kursk nuclear submarine: the first compartment will be cut away from the rest of the submarine, then the larger section will be raised to the surface. The operation will last from mid-July to mid-September
According to Valentin Pashin, director of the Academic Krylov Central Scientific Research Institute, in the next two weeks scientists and experts will start large-scale modeling of the Kursk salvage operation, which will involve the “construction elements” that are planned to be used in raising the submarine. The “elements” in question are the so-called “rope system” suggested by the Mammout company, which will make provision for special “pneumatic couplings, which will decrease the dynamic effort required”. In other words, the submarine will be raised with the help of special rods, activated by powerful hydraulic systems.
So far, the experts have not considered raising the whole submarine, together with the first compartment. Vice Admiral Yury Sukhachev, head of the Institute for Emergency Rescue, Diving, and Deep Sea Works, thinks “it is necessary to carry out a special study to ascertain the current condition of the weapons still on board the submarine”. After the damaged part of the Kursk nuclear submarine is cut away and re-examined, a question will arise: whether to raise the whole body of the submarine at once, or to raise only what is necessary and to leave some scrap metal on the bottom.
Technical participation by Russian enterprises in the salvage operation are to be considered in Severodvinsk. In particular, the Sevmashpredpriyatie enterprise thinks it may be necessary to make four special pontoons with total carrying capacity of 20,000 tons, which will transport the submarine from the place of the accident to the docks of the Roslyakovo garrison, Murmansk region.
There will be 32 people in the diving team, half of them Russian specialists, who have experience from last year’s operation which retrieved the bodies of some Kursk crewmen. All the divers will have special equipment.
The operation for raising the Kursk nuclear submarine is scheduled for mid-July to mid-September. The plan assumes wind strength of force 3 – according to Admiral Sukhachev, force two to three is normal for the Barents Sea. If the weather is any worse, the admiral believes that the question of continuing with the operation will be decided at the highest level.