THE KURSK OPERATION WILL START IN JULY

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Vremya Novostei, June 21, 2001, p. 1

The exact timing of the Kursk salvage operation was announced on June 20. The Mayo diving boat (UK) will arrive in the place where the Kursk sank on July 13. After that, Russian and Norwegian specialists will dive to the Kursk and lower radiation control equipment and a TV camera to the submarine. The diving boat was chosen during technical consultations between the Rubin design bureau and Mammoet Transport BV (Holland), who are the main executors of the operation to raise the Kursk submarine from the seabed of the Barents Sea. When commenting on the results of the consultations, Igor Spassky, General Director of the Rubin Design Bureau, stated that within a week Rubin will submit a general project to the Russian Navy for raising the submarine. Igor Spassky noted that, “Holland has already started producing catching devices. Currently specialists think how to upgrade the barge.” According to Spassky, the upgrade of the barge given by Smit International is the most difficult task. He noted, “Firstly, we have to make a hermetic aperture in the keel part of the barge so that the conning tower of the submarine could fit into it. Over 20 powerful hydraulic rams must be mounted onto the barge. All this is a very serious procedure. Everything must be done within two months with high quality and precision.”

According to Spassky, the most important task is to fasten the Kursk to the barge that will tug it from the Barents Sea to the Roslyakovo military base in the Kola Bay. The submarine will be examined and scrapped at military docks at the base.

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