22 years since Komsomolets sank

Today, April 7th, marks the anniversary of the tragedy with the Soviet “Komosomolets” submarine that sank in the Norwegian Sea following a fire.


At 17.08 today, the time when “Komsomolets” sank, all Northern fleet vessels will by tradition fly the flag at half mast in memory of the 42 crew members that died when the submarine sank.

A ceremony will be held in Zaozersk, the home base of “Komsomolets” on Russia’s Kola Peninsula.

The submarine, called the “Golden Fish” among the Northern fleet’s officers, was the only of the Mike-class, a unique titanium-hulled submarine commissioned in 1984. “Komsomolets” could go deep, very deep. Able to dive down to 1,000 meter (3,000 feet) under the surface she was impossible to spot from any American satellites or underwater sound-detections systems.

Read alsoBackground on the Komsomolets accident  

Cold War analysts said “Komsomolets” was the Soviet Union’s answer to Ronald Reagen’s Star Wars programme. When the Americans went high up to space, the Soviets dive deeper down with its nuclear weapons.

The wreck of “Komsomolets” still rest on the sea bed with its single reactor and two plutonium tipped nuclear torpedoes.