Shipyard Zvezdochka in Severodvinsk has recommenced construction of a sister vessel to the “Losharik” deep diving titanium submarine. A source in the military industry says to Izvestia that the submarine will be a smaller version of “Losharik” and will be designed for special work on the sea floor, including the Arctic.
As BarentsObserver reported, the Northern Fleet’s unique “Losharik” deep diving titanium submarine participated in the “Arctic 2012” expedition to the Mendeleyev Ridge this autumn. The submarine collected geological data and samples from the seabed that will be used in Russia’s application to the UN Law of the Sea, which within the next few years will divide the continental shelf among the Arctic costal states.
“During the last campaign in the Arctic “Losharik” showed high autonomy and diving depth. It can stay on large depths for a long time and therefore be useful in geological surveys and offshore drilling operations in deep waters, Izvestia’s source says.
“Losharik” dived to a depth of 2,5 to 3 kilometers and stayed submerged for 20 days. Due to the titanium hull and nuclear reactor, the submarine can stay much longer and much deeper than any other bathyscaphes. During the dive, the crew collected some 500 kg of rocks to be analyzed to prove that the geological structure of the ridge goes all the way towards the North Pole.
Construction of the new mini-submarine started at Admirality shipyard in St. Petersburg in 1990. It was later transported to Zvezdochka, where it has been waiting for the Defense Ministry to find money for its completion.
The Ministry of Defense refuses to comment to Izvestia on the construction of the mini-submarine, citing that the project is classified.
The carrier of the new submarine, which name is still unknown, will probably be the nuclear-powered submarine “Podmoskovye”. The sub has been at Zvezdochka shipyard for “in-depth modernization” since 1998. The compartment for Sineva intercontinental missiles has been removed and is being replaced by a docking station for a mini-submarine. The works on “Podmoskovye” will be completed in 2014, Izvestia writes.