THE KURSK’S DISARMAMENT HAS STARTED

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Izvestia, July 8, 2002, p. 2

The Nerpa ship-repairing plant has started a unique operation, as a result of which six cruise missiles will be removed from missile silos of the Kursk nuclear submarine. As is known, the missiles were damaged as a result of the shipwreck, which is why it was too dangerous to unload them using usual methods. This is why specialists had to create a special technology, which will be tested starting from Monday.

Rostislav Rimdenok, chief engineer of the Nerpa plant, said: “We always received nuclear submarines without combat missiles. The military removed missiles, which could be removed using ordinary methods, in the Roslyakovo dock. Our specialists have to carry out the most difficult part of the operation: to remove combat missiles jammed in missile silos.” According to Rostislav Rimdenok, Nerpa’s engineers and specialists of the Navy have decided not to remove missiles from the silos. Missile silos will be cut from the hull of the submarine, and sent to a firing range of the Northern Fleet for destruction.

The chief engineer noted: “This technology is most safe. At first, we will cut off silos, from which missiles had been removed, to test the technology. Cutting off of loaded silos will start at the end of July.”

According to Izvestia’s sources, the Belgorod nuclear submarine, the Kursk’s replica, may soon be finished in Sevmashpredpriyatie on condition that the state pays for completing the underwater military vessel. The newspaper reports that the submarine is 90% ready.

Sevmashpredpriyatie director David Pashayev says: “Sevmash is building the submarine at its own expense. The state has only been allocating money for the maintenance of the submarine in the workshop over three years.”

Completion of the submarine requires around 2 billion rubles. If the state pays this money the Belgorod will be able to leave the workshop and start a state test in 2004.

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