Mayak Radio, Novosti, June 22, 2001, 12:15

The Rubin Design Bureau (St. Petersburg) has approved of a proposal by Mammoet to start the Kursk operation ahead of schedule. Vyacheslav Zakharov, chair of the Dutch company’s Russian representation, stated that this project has been submitted to those in charge of the Russian Navy. Mr. Zakharov noted that if this plan is carried out, specialists of the Norwegian companies Nors Cuttin and Bendemet with which Mammoet has signed subcontracts will be able to cut technological apertures in the hull of the sunken submarine ahead of the schedule. This will speed up the separation of the first compartment of the submarine. At the same time, Mr. Zakharov refused to predict that it would be possible to end the whole operation in the Barents Sea ahead of schedule because of numerous speculations that appeared in the press after Memmoet’s new initiative had been announced. According to Mammoet’s specialists, testing of special hardware will end in the near future. Next week the Krylov Research Institute (St. Petersburg) will test cutting equipment that the Dutch company intends to use. A group of divers from the NCA company will arrive in Moscow in order to prepare a team-work plan with Russian Navy divers, and will consider whether it is necessary for them to conduct joint exercises.

When speaking of the problem linked with transporting the submarine to docks, Vyacheslav Zakharov stated that the Dutch company Smit Tug and the Russian Northern Engineering Plant will be able to carry out their commitments on time. Plans to mount the necessary equipment located on the gigantic barge to be given by Smit Tug, and which will tug the Kursk to the Russian military base in Roslyakovo will be carried out according to schedule. In addition, the Russian plant will build two pontoons that will help to keep the submarine afloat.