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Russia’s sunken submarine- still with nuclear weapons

In 1989, Russia Left a Nuclear Submarine Dead in the Ocean (Armed with Nuclear Weapons) National Interest , Kyle Mizokami , 27 Mar 18 

Komsomolets sank in 5,250 feet of water, complete with its nuclear reactor and two nuclear-armed Shkval torpedoes. Between 1989 and 1998 seven expeditions were carried out to secure the reactor against radioactive release and seal the torpedo tubes. Russian sources allege that during these visits, evidence of “unauthorized visits to the sunken submarine by foreign agents” were discovered.

In the mid-1980s, the Soviet Union constructed a super submarine unlike any other. Fast and capable of astounding depths for a combat submersible, the submarine Komsomolets was introduced in 1984, heralded as a new direction for the Soviet Navy.

Five years later, Komsomolets and its nuclear weapons were on the bottom of the ocean, two-thirds of its crew killed by what was considered yet another example of Soviet incompetence.

The history of the Komsomolets goes as far back as 1966. A team at the Rubin Design Bureau under N. A. Klimov and head designer Y. N. Kormilitsin was instructed to begin research into a Project 685, a deep-diving submarine. The research effort dragged on for eight years, likely due to a lack of a suitable metal that could withstand the immense pressures of the deep. In 1974, however, the double-hulled design was completed, with a titanium alloy chosen for the inner hull.

Project 685, also known as K-278, was to be a prototype boat to test future deep-diving Soviet submarines. The Sevmash shipyard began construction on April 22, 1978 and the ship was officially completed on May 30, 1983. The difficulty in machining titanium contributed to the unusually long construction period.

K-278 was 360 feet long and forty feet wide, with the inner hull approximately twenty-four feet wide. It had a submerged displacement of 6,500 tons, and the use of titanium instead of steel made it notably lighter. It had a unique double hull, with the inner hull made of titanium, that gave it its deep-diving capability. The inner hull was further divided into seven compartments, two of which were reinforced to create a safe zone for the crew, and an escape capsule was built into the sail to allow the crew to abandon ship while submerged at depths of up to 1,500 meters.

……….On April 7, 1989, while operating a depth of 1266 feet, Komsomolets ran into trouble in the middle of the Norwegian Sea. According to Norman Polmar and Kenneth Moore, it was the submarine’s second crew, newly trained in operating the ship. Furthermore, its origins as a test ship meant it lacked a damage-control party.

A fire broke out in the seventh aft chamber, and the flames burned out an air supply valve, which fed pressurized air into the fire. Fire suppression measures failed. The reactor was scrammed and the ballast tanks were blown to surface the submarine. The fire continued to spread, and the crew fought the fire for six hours before the order to abandon ship was given.

 ………. Only four men had been killed in the incident so far, but after the submarine sank many men succumbed to the thirty-six-degree (Fahrenheit) water temperatures. After an hour the fishing boats Alexi Khlobystov and Oma arrived and rescued thirty men, some of whom later succumbed to their injuries. Of the original sixty-nine men on board the submarine when disaster struck, forty-two died, including Captain First Rank Vanin.

Komsomolets sank in 5,250 feet of water, complete with its nuclear reactor and two nuclear-armed Shkval torpedoes. Between 1989 and 1998 seven expeditions were carried out to secure the reactor against radioactive release and seal the torpedo tubes. Russian sources allege that during these visits, evidence of “unauthorized visits to the sunken submarine by foreign agents” were discovered.

Kyle Mizokami is a defense and national security writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in the Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring and the Daily Beast. In 2009 he cofounded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch. You can follow him on Twitter: @KyleMizokami.

This first appeared back in 2016.   http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/1989-russia-left-nuclear-submarine-dead-the-ocean-armed-25090

 

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March 27, 2018 - Posted by | oceans, Russia, wastes, weapons and war

2 Comments »

  1. Reblogged this on necltr and commented:
    God gave us much more than we need for a wonderful life, look at what we did with it and are doing with each other. And many of us don’t thank Him for the gift, but we blame Him for not stopping troubles for which we are responsible. Maranatha, come, o Lord, and save us from ourselves.

    Comment by marblenecltr | March 28, 2018 | Reply

    • I so agree with the above comment, we do blame God, but why? God created this beautiful World look what man has done to it, we are greedy selfish and hate each other. We have to face people in this World who use God to start Wars they want to force their beliefs their laws upon us, that’s not what God intended. We abuse God every day instead of getting on our knees and thanking him for all we have. Every night I still say my prayers and thank him for my Sons thank him for looking after them, thanking Him for all I have, it does not take long and you can talk to God anytime of day anywhere, but no too many are too bothered with themselves.

      Comment by Anna Cottage | March 28, 2018 | Reply


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