The nuclear submarine missile cruiser Kursk sunk in the Barents Sea at 54-fathom depth during a tactical exercise. She was armed with twenty-four formidable supersonic cruising naval missiles Granit, and twice so number of modern torpedoes. She became the grave for 118 men, including their commander, Cmdr.Gennadiy Lyachin - one of the best Russian submarine commanders. This is not the greatest disaster in the history of the Soviet Navy; in October 1955 in Sevastopol from the explosion on the battleship Novorossiysk died 600 men. But this was certainly the most interminable one. The events happened so quickly, that nobody but God could help Kursk's crew. Even the crewmen of the nuclear submarine (SSBN) Komsomolets, which sunk in the Norwegian Sea on 7 April 1989 were not in such a tragic situation: they surfaced for about five hours, and thanks to the sophisticated system of the Search and Emergency Rescue Forces they could be taken off the doomed ship within 1.5 - 2 hours after the signal of distress was received.
The nuclear reactors aboard the sunken submarine Kursk are safe and won't jeopardize a Dutch company's effort to raise the stricken hulk from the seabed in September, the deputy head of the Russian navy said Friday. "Regular radiation monitoring has shown that the reactors are safe," said Vice Adm. Mikhail Barskov, the navy's top official in the recovery effort. He said naval ships would keep track of radiation levels constantly during the salvage effort run by the Dutch company Mammoet. The operation is to start around July 9, when 16 Russian and foreign divers are expected to arrive at Barents Sea site. They are to inspect the submarine and install equipment needed to haul it to the surface, which is supposed to occur about Sept. 15. (was at http://www.washingtonpost.com/ wp-srv/aponline/ 20010629/ aponline122602_000.htm)
Hollywood Submarine Thriller Sparks Russian Ire - Forty years ago the crew of a crippled Soviet submarine struggled heroically in the depths of the North Atlantic to prevent a nuclear explosion that could have triggered a third world war. But the retelling of the story in a new Hollywood movie to star Harrison Ford has angered veterans in Russia, who say the script has made them look like fools, not heroes. The dispute has broken out in a country still scarred by a recent submarine disaster after the Kursk sank with all 118 hands last August. ``It makes us look like incompetent drunkards, sitting around drinking vodka and swearing, playing cards while the alarms were sounding,'' said Capt. Igor Kurdin, head of the St. Petersburg Submariners Club, referring to the new film. The K-19, the Soviet Union's first nuclear-powered submarine, ran into trouble when its nuclear cooling system malfunctioned on its maiden voyage in 1961. (was at http://dailynews.yahoo.com/ htx/nm/20010307/ re/film_submarine_dc_3.html)
Submarines of the Russian and Soviet Navies, 1718-1990 - At the time this book was written it surely would have been the best source of information on Russian submarines. The book covers in depth every class of Russian submarine; included are long narratives, specifications, line drawings and photos you will not find anywhere else. About 2/3 of the book covers everything up to the end of WW2. The remainder covers the cold war years. Sadly, much of the information is quite out of date and most systems are referred to by their NATO codenames rather than their actual names, all of which is understandable considering the time it was written. Basically, every piece of information available at the time concerning Russian subs is in this book. If you're a fanatic about Russian/Soviet submarines, this book is well worth the price.