Divers of Igor Belousov Rescue Ship to Conquer 450-Meter Depth in October

Rubric: Russia, Politics, Industry

Russian deep-sea divers from Project 21300 submarine salvage ship Igor Belousov are preparing to reach the maximum allowed depth of 450 meters this October, two insiders told Mil.Press Today, one from the Russian Navy, another from defense industry.

According to the naval source, experts of the Research Institute for Salvage and Underwater Technologies of the Naval Academy, which developed the deep-sea submergence technology, and other specialists have already arrived at the Pacific Fleet.

Rescue ship Igor Belousov

In last October, divers left the diving bell at the depth of 313 meters. Anatoly Khramov, Hero of Russia and the director of deep-sea diving systems sector at DiveTechnoService told Mil.Press Today that such dives should be done twice a year. In Soviet period, divers of rescue ships equipped with deep-sea submergence systems used to perform deep dives every 45 days.

Before commissioning of Igor Belousov in the Russian Navy, its diving bell, being a component of GVK-450 deep-sea rescue system, was tested at the limit depth of 450 meters, though divers did not reach that depth.
The industry insider aware of diving systems development told Mil.Press Today that diving to 450 meters would demonstrate all capabilities of Igor Belousov as a salvage ship in terms of diving operations, and help to account all specific aspects of human-limit dives during development of the Russian deep-sea diving system. "Perhaps, the full analysis of Belousovís system is just what we lack to prepare technical specification for the Russian deep-sea diving system", he supposed.

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The Project 21300 salvage ship Igor Belousov was commissioned late in 2015. The ship arrived at the homebase in the Pacific Fleet in September 2016.

The project was developed by Almaz Design Bureau in St. Petersburg. Ships of this project are intended for rescue of crews and supply of air, electric power and life-saving appliances to damaged submarines, either grounded or surfaced.

Igor Belousov is equipped with GVK-450 deep-sea rescue system that will help divers to reach depths down to 450 meters and evacuate crewmen of a distressed submarine on surface using decompression chambers.

Late in 2015, the keel-laying of the first serial submarine rescuer was scheduled for 2017, upon receipt of operational trials results of the lead ship. Igor Belousov had proved the design characteristics in full and suits the Russian Navy. At the turn of 2017, however, the Navy decided to equip the rescue ship with a deep-sea diving system to the maximum extent made of Russian components.

Import substitution of the system will take several years. Thus, beginning of construction of the Project 21300 first serial rescue ship was deferred. R&D works on designing of the Russian deep-sea diving system are scheduled in 2018. Presently, the customer is analyzing offers of Lazurit Central Design Bureau and Tetis Pro.

Dmitry Zhavoronkov