Russia shrinks subs after Kursk tragedy

Russia will build smaller nuclear submarines in the future, shunning larger vessels such as the ill-fated Kursk.

    Never again: The ill-fated vessel sank with 118 crew all lost

    The head of the country's navy announced on Monday that bigger submarines that displaced more than 12,000 tonnes of water when submerged would no longer be built.

    The Kursk, once Russia's most modern nuclear submarine, sank in 2000 after one of its torpedoes leaked and ignited during naval exercises in icy Arctic waters.

    All of its 118 crew members were killed in Russia's worst naval disaster, whose third anniversary the country marked earlier this month.

    "We shall not build subs similar to the Kursk any more. The
    maximum displacement for vessels belonging to the submarine fleet should be 12,000 tonnes," Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov said on Monday.

    The Kursk had a displacement of 24,000 tonnes when submerged.
     
    Russia will launch the first of its fourth generation strategic
    nuclear submarines, of the Borei class, in 2005, and it will be
    equipped with weapons the following year, Kuroyedov said.
     
    Kuroyedov was in Russia's far eastern region to attend
    large-scale military exercises taking place off the country's
    Pacific Coast.

    SOURCE: AFP


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