Russia joins NATO in submarine rescue drillsMay 31st, 2011 - 1:04 pm ICT by IANS
Moscow, May 31 (IANS/ RIA Novosti) A task force from the Russian Black Sea Fleet, led by diesel submarine Alrosa, is taking part in NATO naval drills off the coast of Spain, the Russian Defence Ministry said.
Bold Monarch is the world’s largest submarine rescue exercise held every three years.
This year’s exercise is being conducted between May 30-June 10 near the Spanish port of Cartagena, and involves submarines, ships and aircraft from both NATO and non-NATO countries, including Russia.
“The Russian task force comprises diesel submarine Alrosa, salvage tug Shakhtyor, auxiliary vessel KIL-158, and rescue vessel Epron,” a Russian Defence Ministry’s spokesman said Monday.
This is the first time a Russian submarine has participated in any NATO exercise.
Alrosa, a Kilo class submarine, will play a part of a “vessel in distress”, bottomed at the sea floor. Ships equipped with a range of sophisticated debris clearance, diver assisted gear and submarine rescue vehicles will attempt to salvage the sub and rescue its crew.
Russian auxiliary vessel KIL-158 carries an advanced Seaeye Panther Plus underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV), the spokesman said.
Panther Plus was adopted by the Russian Navy after an incident with Russian submariners in the Bering Sea in August 2005, when Russia’s AS-28 submersible became tangled in a fishing net at a depth of about 190 metres (about 620 feet).
The ROV can operate at depths up to 1,000 metres (3,000 feet).
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