Project 949 Granit / Oscar I
The Oscar-class nuclear-powered cruise missile attack submarine, which
displaces more than 18,000 tons when under water, is one of Russia's
largest and most capable submarines. As with earlier cruise-missile
submarine, the Oscar was designed primarily to attack American aircraft
carrier battle groups.
Project 949A Antey / Oscar II
As with other Russian submarines, the Oscar features a double hull --
and inner pressure hull and an outer hydrodynamic hull, with eight
inches of rubber between them to muffle sounds. American submarines have
a single pressure hull, with additional hydrodynamic fairings, such as
the cap that encloses the bow sonar dome. The 3.5 meter separation
between the inner and outter hulls on the Oscar provides significant
reserve buoyancy, and improved survivability against conventional
torpedoes. These large submarines are said to be slow to dive and
maneuver, though they are credited with a submerged speed of about 30
knots - sufficient to keep pace with their targets. The improved Oscar
II is about 10 meters longer than the Oscar I, possibly making room for
a quieter propulsion system, and feature upgraded electronic systems.
The Oscar II is also characterized by a substantially enlarged fin,
which should improve underwater manueverability, as well as the
substitution of the Oscar-I's four-bladed propeller with a [presumably]
quiter seven-blade propeller.
The Oscars are rather poorly characterized in the open literature,
with substantial discrepancies in reported submerged displacement [the
upper estimates are probably closer to the mark] and maximum submerged
speed [reportedly classified intelligence estimates have tended upward
over time. Considerable confusion also exists as to the names of some
units. During the Cold War essentially no information was publicly
available concerning the names of Soviet submarines, and with the end of
the Cold War the Russian Navy has exibited an annoying tendency to
rename ships [a very un-American practice]. And unlike the American
practice, in which hull numbers are generally assigned in a consecutive
numerical sequence which corresponds to the chronological sequence of
construction, the pennant numbers assigned Russian submarines [eg,
K-141] do not conform to an apparent set pattern.
The submarine is equipped with two dozen SS-N-19 missiles with a
range of 550-kilometers -- three times as many anti-ship cruise missiles
as earlier Charlie and Echo II class submarines. The missiles, which are
launched while the submarine is submerged, are fired from tubes fixed at
an angle of approximately 40 degrees. The tubes, arranged in two rows of
twelve each, are covered by six hatches on each side of the sail, with
each hatch covering a pair of tubes. The launchers are placed between
the inner pressure hull and the outer hydrodynamic hull. The torpedo
tubes fire both torpedoes and shorter range anti-ship missiles, and a
combination of some two dozen weapons are carried.
The Project 949A submarines have a total of at least ten separate
compartments, which can be sealed off from each other in the event of
accidents. The compartments are numbered sequentially from fore to aft,
with the two separate reactor compartments numbered V and V-bis [which
is accounts for the fact that there are ten compartments, though the
numbers only run through nine].
I - Torpedo room
Access hatches are believed to be located in the 4th and 9th
compartments. In common with the larger Typhoon-class ballistic missile
submarine, the Oscar-class boats are reported to have an emergency crew
escape capsule located in the sail.
II - Control Room
III - Combat stations and radio room
IV - Living Quarters
V and V-bis - Reactors
VI - propulsion engineering
VII - main propulsion turbines
VIII - main propulsion turbines
IX - electric motors
In the 1980s the Rubin Design Bureau was responsible for developing a
number of third generation nuclear submarines with cruise missiles,
including Projects 949 ("Granit", "Oscar I") and
949A ("Antey", "Oscar II"). The Bureau took the lead
in using naval cruise missiles, designing the first cruise missile
nuclear submarine -- Project 659 ("Echo I"), then Project 675
("Echo II") and related modifications.
To manage the impact of its resource problems, the Russian Navy, in the
early 1990’s, made a series of hard choices aimed at preserving its
core submarine force capabilities. These included early retirements of
older and less capable units, strict controls on operating tempo, and
focused maintenance on its best submarines. The first Oscar I units were
decommissioned in 1996, though the Russian Navy continued to invest in
new construction. In the late 1990s it completed several new submarines
of the larger third generation Oscar II SSGN.
Considering the importance of the Oscar II submarines for the Russian
Navy, the level of confusion concerning the designations and status of
the units of this class verges on the astonishing. There is almost
complete disagreement among all authoritative sources concerning the
correlation between pennant number, name, construction sequence and
current status. Allowing for the unavoidable uncertainties inherent in
assigning "commissioning" dates, most sources are in general
agreement as to the unit chronology and pennant number chronological
sequence of the first ten units, through K-141 Kursk. There is
however, rather general disagreement among sources as to the names
associated with these units, and the status of particular units.
All sources agree that at least eleven of the Oscar II submarines
were built between 1985 and 1999 at the Sevmash yard in Severodvinsk.
The status of a twelfth Oscar-II is somewhat uncertain, as some sources
suggest it was comissioned in late 1999, while most agree that
outfitting was suspended after it was launched [sometime in the
1998-1999 timeframe]. Some Western sources suggest that construction was
suspended on a thirteenth unit, and that as many as 15 units of the
Oscar II class were planned, but Russian sources maintain that the
Oscar-II class was never intended to consist of more than twelve
A fourth-generation follow-on to the Oscar was planned, but reduced
defense spending forced the cancellation of the project.
Sources generally agree that at least two and possibly as many as
three of the initial nine Oscar II units were inactivated in the late
1990s, and as of mid-2000 were laid up awaiting disposal. Considerable
confusion surrounds the identity of the third and fourth units -- Krasnoyarsk]
was reportedly deactivated in 1998, but sources differ as to whether
this name was assigned to K-119 or K-173.
The active Northern Fleet units are homeported at the Zapadnaya Litsa
base (Bolshaya Lopatka). The disposition of units between the Northern
and Pacific Fleets is uncertain. As of September 1997 Bellona
placed six units in the Northern Fleet, four in the Pacific. As of
September 2000 the warships1.com
analysis also placed 4 units in the Pacific Fleet, and the remaining 6
in the Northern Fleet. However, World
Navies Today reports that ten active units [as of late 2000] are
evenly divided between the two fleets [but the unit list seems rather
unreliable, casting doubt on this assessment]. The two sources appear to
disagree on the location of K-119 Voronezh.
On 26 January 1998 a moored nuclear-powered Oscar II submarine
suffered a cooling system accident. During routine tests aboard a
cooling system pipe broke, releasing ammonia and nitrogen gas into the
compartment. A total of 5 crew members were injured, one of whom, a
Captain of the 3rd Rank, died two days later. The Oscar II submarine was
reportedly the K-512 St.Georgy Pobeditel [formerly named Tomsk].
This eleventh unit of the 'Oscar II' SSGN class had been launched in
July 1995 despite irregular materiel and component delivery problems.
In 1994 an Oscar submarine conducted operations off the East Coast of
the United States. In July 1997 when the Oscar II submarine K-442 Chelyabinsk
[aka Pskov] shadowed several US aircraft carriers off Washington
state. The Tomsk transitted to the Pacific under ice after being
commissioned on 28 February 1997, and arrived at
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy on 24 September 1998. This brought the Pacific
Fleet class inventory to seven, with four others in the Northern Fleet.
In February 1999 an Oscar-class submarine was observed monitoring a NATO
exercise off the coast of Norway. In August 1999 NATO sonar detected the
presence in Western Atlantic waters of a Russian Oscar class submarine
belonging to the northern fleet, based in the Arctic ports. In the
mid-1999 an Oscar II-class submarine sailed from northern Russia to the
Mediterranean, the first Russian SSGN patrol in the Mediterranean in a
decade. It then sailed on to areas off the eastern United States. In
early September 1999 the crew of the Jose Maria Pastor, a fishing
trawler registered in Almeria [southeastern Spain] reportedly snagged an
Oscar submarine in its nets. The incident occured some 27 miles (50
kilometers) from the Tarifa coast (Cadiz Province), and continued for
over half an hour before the submarine broke free. Another Oscar II
deployed from the Russian Far East, sailing to the area around Hawaii
before arriving in waters off San Diego by October 1999. It reportedly
spent a week following the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis and the
amphibious landing ship Essex.
On or about 12 August 2000, the tenth unit of the Oscar-II class, the
K-141 Kursk, sank about 100 miles from the Russian port of
Murmansk. At the time the boat was participating in the fleet's major
summer exercises, involving about 30 other vessels. The Kursk
apparently sank quickly, and did not launch distress buoys. The
submarine was not carrying any nuclear weapons at the time, and there
was apparently no immediate danger of radiation leaks. Considerable
confusion surrounded initial reports, though apparently the Kursk
shut down its two nuclear reactors after it was crippled. Although
Russian Navy commander Adm. Vladimir Kuroyodev stated that there were
"signs of a big and serious collision," subsequent reports
cast doubt that the sub was damaged in a collision. The US Department of
Defense stated that there was " no indication that a US vessel was
involved in this accident." By 15 August it was generally believed
that the Kursk had been damaged by an explosion on board,
probably in the torpedo room.
Initial reports suggested that at least some of the crew were alive
and communicating through rhythmic tapping on the hull. Rescue
submarines that rushed to the Kursk reportedly found it damaged
but resting upright on the seabed, at a depth variously reported as
between 350 feet and 500 feet of water. Subsequent reports suggested
that the submarine was listing, perhaps as much as sixty degrees.
According to initial reports, as of Monday 14 August 2000 at least one
rescue craft, the Kolokol, was said to be feeding power and
oxygen to the Kursk. Communication links with the boat's captain,
Gennady Lyachin, were reportedly restored after a day of radio silence.
However, subsequent reports indicated that these initial reports were
incorrect, and overly optimistic. Admiral Kuroyedov initially expressed
doubts about the possiblity of rescuing the crew, stating "the
chances for a positive outcome are not very high." The Russians had
two India-class rescue submarines, each of which carried a pair of small
rescue submarines which could reach a depth of 2,275 feet. However,
these submarines and their rescue capabilities were apparently discarded
by the Russians in 1995 as a cost-savings measure.
Rescue efforts centered on attempts to attach equipment to provide
oxygen and restore electric power to the submarine. As of 15 August a
first attempt to lower a diving bell to the submarine had failed, and a
second attempt was launched soon thereafter. The two attempts on Tuesday
to reach the Kursk were frustrated by of poor underwater
visibility and 12-foot high waves. Rescue workers failed in efforts to
maneuver a robotic remotedly operated vehicle onto an emergency hatch on
By Wednesday, while Russian experts were still optimistic about the
rescue operation, Russian President Putin termed the situation with
wrecked sub "critical". The weather had worsened in the
Barents Sea, while the Bester capsule with divers aboard was used
for the first time Rrescue ships tried twice more to lower a diving bell
to dock with the Kursk, but each time the operations had to be aborted
because of rough seas, strong currents, and poor underwater visibility.
Rescue efforts continued despite the fact that one of the three rescue
capsules used to reach the stranded sub was damaged in the storm. The
Russian military consulted NATO experts on submarine rescue, and Russia
asked Britain and Norway to help the rescue effort. Britain sent three
aircraft with crew and equipment, and the first plane loaded with a
British rescue vessel landed in Norway late Wednesday [Moscow time]. The
British mini-submarine may be transported to Russia by Saturday.
On Thursday 17 August it was reported that US surveillance ships in
the area at the time of the accident heard two explosions on 12 August,
the second much stronger than the first. The Russian navy was reported
to be studying video footage showing massive damage to the first and
second compartments in the submarine's bow. A Navy spokesman said the
video showed extensive damage from the top to the back fin. The
periscope was also still up, indicating the ship sank so fast the crew
did not have time to react. Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov
said films taken of the Kursk indicated extensive damage to the ship's
bow that he said was caused by a collision with an unknown object.
By Friday it was reported that the submarine was lying at an angle of
no more than 20 degrees from vertical, rather than the 60 degress
previously reported, and at a depth of a little more than 100 meters.
The depth and the angle are were said to be well within the operating
limits of th British LR5 rescue craft.
It was initially estimated that the air on the K-141 Kursk
submarine would run out by Friday 18 August 2000. As of Friday it was
officially estimated it could last another five days. Contrary to most
news reports, the problem was not a lack of oxygen for the crew to
breath in, but rather the buildup of the carbon dioxide that they would
breath out. Over time, this carbon dioxide would build up to a level
that would kill any crew members who survived the initial accident. The
oxygen limit is about 0.1 atm and the Carbon dioxide limit is time
dependent, but somewhere between 0.03 and 0.06 atm. Respiration produces
(roughly) 1 molecule of carbon dioxide for each molecule of oxygen
consumed. This suggests that, starting with 0.21 atm of oxygen, the
oxygen partial pressure will still be 0.15 atm even when 0.06 atm of
carbon dioxide is present. [see
the NOAA Diving Manual for details].
While some Russian Navy officials maintained that some crew members
remained alive and were sending an SOS message by banging against the
submarine's hull, other officials said there had been no communication
and that the crew might already be dead.
On 21 August Chief of staff of the Russian Northern Fleet Mikhail Motsak
pronounced the Kursk flooded and its whole crew dead. Admiral
Motsak said a Norwegian-led team of divers was videotaping the interior
of the rear compartment after successfully breaking in through damaged
On 01 September 2000 an agreement was reached on the technical and
organizational aspects of the international effort to lift to the
surface the bodies of the crewmen of the Kursk. The Norwegian Stolt
Offshore company received blueprints representatives of the naval design
center which designed the sunken submarine that showed where deep water
frogmen may enter the boat. A team of international and Russian divers
planned to cut holes in the Kursk’s hull to pull out the remains of
the 118 seamen who died. The operation was scheduled to begin in October
There was no chance of quickly salvaging the Kursk submarine, since
September is the month when storms start raging in the Barents Sea,
which would make such impossible. At best the salvaging operation could
be carried in 2001. Neither the Russian submarine base at Vidyaevo, nor
any western base have hoists capable of salvaging such a large vessel
the Kursk submarine, or even moving it to a shallow place closer to the
coast. It would take several months only to build such a device. Another
priority on the agenda is the salvaging of the submarine and taking it
to shallow waters. The Norwegian Stalled Offshore Company has given its
consent to participate in the salvage effort.
On 06 September 2000 Russian President Vladimir Putin was reported to
have said that the 118 sailors aboard the submarine Kursk probably died
quickly after it sank, and that they never sent any signals from the
distressed sub after it went down. At the time of the accident,
conflicting reports from some Russian naval officials indicated that
survivors were tapping on the ship's hull. But Putin said that the
signals came from "a mechanical device on board" that went off
There are several versions of the reasons for the disaster. According
to Vice-premier Ilya Klebanov, the first version is that of an
underwater collision with a foreign vessel. Ilya Klebanov who heads the
commission to investigate the case described as the second version a
possibility that the submarine hit a German mine left over from the time
of the Second World War. The third version, the Vice-premier believed,
could be an emergency situation in the submarine's torpedo compartment.
According to Ilya Klebanov, the majority of the crew died during the
first seconds of the disaster.
15,500 - 22,500 submerged
|13,400 - 14,700 surfaced
16,400 - 24,000 submerged
||32 knots dived|
16 kts surfaced
|32 knots dived
16 kts surfaced
||143.0 meters long|
18.2 meters beam (20.1 with stabilizers)
9.0 meters draft
|154.0 meters long
18.2 meters beam
9.0 meters draft
||2 VM-5 190 MWt pressurized-water
nuclear reactors (OK-650b)
2 steam turbines - 90,000 shp
||2 4-bladed propellers
||2 7-bladed propellers
||300-600 meters [by various estimates]
- Snoop Pair or Snoop Half Surface Search
- Rim Hat intercept array
- Shark Gill (MGK-503) hull mounted
- Shark Rib flank array
- Mouse Roar MG-519 Hull mounted
- Pelamida towed array
|Project 949 ("Granit"
type), NATO code "Oscar I"
||12/30/80 named "Minsky Komsomolets"
2000 to be dismantled at Sevmash
2000 to be dismantled at Sevmash
|Project 949A ("Antey"
type), NATO code "Oscar II"
||ex-Krasnodar [name as of 1995]
2000 probably active
2000 laid up awaiting disposal ??
||(name also reported as "Belgorod")
2000 in reserve
2000 laid up awaiting disposal ?
||(name also reported as "Krasnoyarsk"
"Tambov" or "Chel'yabinsk")
||(name also reported as "Veronesh")
(name mis-reported as "Chelyabinsk")
2000 laid up awaiting disposal ?
||(name also reported as "Pskov")
(name mis-reported as "Tomsk")
||(ex-"Kasatka", possibly "Tambov")
09/**/1993 to Pacific Fleet
01/26/1998 cooling system accident
||(name also reported as "Pskov")
2000 construction suspended??
||[?? construction suspended ??]
||[?? cancelled ??]
||[?? cancelled ??]
Sources and Resources
- Pr. #949A 'Antey'
NATO Code 'Oscar II' @ warships1.com
949 (Granit) - Oscar-I @ bellona
949 A (Antey) - Oscar-II @ bellona [unit list seems somewhat
Oscar II Class (Project 949.A); (Kursk) - Cruise Missile Submarine @
Submarines @ World Navies Today [unit list seems rather
I and II classes @ USNI Military Database
Submarine List @ Steel in the Deep Submarine Site
Russian Submarine Yahoo Full News Coverage
Nuclear Sub @ Excite News Tracker
SUBMARINE K-141 (KURSK) DISASTER @ Central Naval Museum
and incidents @ Bellona Foundation
Scramble to Save a Sunken Russian Crew @ ABC News
to save stricken sub @ BBC
SSGN Accident @ Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology,
Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies
- The Kursk
Accident @ Center for Nonproliferation Studies
Submarine Page @ Russia Today
- Latest Headlines
records from the explosion onboard the Russian sub Kursk by
Terry Wallace, University of Arizona - The explosion on the Kursk
was approximately .25 to .75 tons.
Disaster Linked To Torpedo Explosions, RFE/RL Newsline,
Vol. 5, No. 33, Part I, 16 February 2001 -- The government
commission investigating the August 2000 Kursk submarine disaster
has found that torpedo explosions were responsible for the sinking
Explanation For 'Kursk' Confirmed, RFE/RL Security Watch,
Vol. 1, No. 21, 11 December 2000 -- "Komsomolskaya pravda"
reported on 5 December that it had obtained additional proof that
the "Kursk" submarine sank because of the explosion of
/ Kursk Letter, Voice of America, 10 November 2000 -- The
mission to recover the remains of crewmen who died aboard the sunken
nuclear submarine "Kursk" has uncovered a log book and two
notes written by Russian submariners - notes that have helped revive
public criticism over the military's slow response to the August
Says Divers Found Sub's Log Book, RFE/RL Newsline, Vol.
4, No. 219, Part I, 10 November 2000 -- Deputy Prime Minister Ilya
Klebanov, who heads the government commission investigating the
causes of the sinking of the "Kursk" nuclear submarine,
said officials are studying the vessel's log book that divers found
in the fourth compartment while seeking to recover bodies of the
Says New Evidence Supports 'Kursk' Collision Theory...As Second Note
Found On Submariner's Body, RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 4, No.
218, Part I, 9 November 2000 -- Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov,
who heads the government commission investigating the causes of the
sinking of the "Kursk" nuclear submarine, told journalists
on 8 November that pictures taken of the vessel during the recent
recovery operation support the theory that the "Kursk"
collided with another vessel.
/ Kursk, Voice of America, 07 November 2000 -- The
Russian Navy has halted recovery operations on the sunken nuclear
submarine, the Kursk.
Enter Sunken Sub's Fourth Compartment...As Navy Commander Sticks To
Foreign Sub Theory, RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 4, No. 215,
Part I, 6 November 2000 -- Vladimir Kuroedov told Interfax on 3
November he is "certain" that the "Kursk"
disaster was caused by a collision with a foreign submarine.
Begin Work On Entering Sub's Fourth Compartment, RFE/RL
Newsline, Vol. 4, No. 214, Part I, 3 November 2000 -- Russian
Navy Commander Vladimir Kuroedov on 2 November halted work on the
third compartment of the sunken "Kursk" nuclear submarine,
deeming it too dangerous for divers to enter, Interfax reported.
Complete Cutting Hole Into 'Kursk' Third Compartment, RFE/RL
Newsline, Vol. 4, No. 213, Part I, 2 November 2000 -- Russian
and Norwegian divers have finished cutting a hole into the third
compartment of the "Kursk" nuclear submarine, which sank
during maneuvers in the Barents Sea in August, a Northern Fleet
spokesman told Russian Television on 2 November.
Sub, Voice of America, 30 October 2000 -- 12 bodies have
been removed from the wreck so far.
- Sub, Voice of America, 27 October 2000 -- In Russia,
details are beginning to emerge about what the final moments were
like for sailors aboard the nuclear submarine Kursk, which sank in
the Barents Sea two months ago. The Russian navy says fire swept
through the vessel, and at least some of the (118) victims died of
burns and other injuries.
sub, Voice of America, 28 October 2000 -- Russian and
Norwegian divers resumed work Saturday at the wreck of the sunken
nuclear submarine Kursk after more than a day's delay due to bad
Recover Four Bodies From 'Kursk' Wreck...As Note Reported Found On
One Crew Member, RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 4, No. 208, Part
I, 26 October 2000 -- Following the cutting of a hole in the hull of
the "Kursk" nuclear submarine (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"
25 October 2000), Russian divers recovered four bodies from the
vessel before worsening weather conditions forced them to suspend
the recovery operation on the morning of 26 October.
Sub, Voice of America, 26 October 2000 -- A note found on
one of four bodies recovered from the sunken nuclear submarine Kursk
confirms that some crew members survived the blast that sent the
vessel to the bottom of the Barents Sea last August.
Complete Entry Hole In 'Kursk' Submarine, RFE/RL Newsline
Vol. 4, No. 207, Part I, 25 October 2000 -- Russian and Norwegian
divers have completed a hole in the hull of the sunken "Kursk"
nuclear submarine that will allow Russian divers to enter the vessel
in search of bodies of the 118 crew members.
/ Sub, Voice of America, 25 October 2000 -- Three bodies
have been recovered from the wreck of the sunken nuclear submarine
Kursk. A Russian diver entered the vessel after a laborious process
of cutting through the double hull.
Recovery Operation Resumes Following Storm , RFE/RL Newsline
Vol. 4, No. 206, Part I, 24 October 2000 -- The operation to recover
at least some of the bodies of the sunken "Kursk" nuclear
submarine was halted in the evening of 23 October as weather
conditions at the disaster site worsened.
Begin Work To Retrieve 'Kursk' Crew Bodies , RFE/RL Newsline
Vol. 4, No. 205, Part I, 23 October 2000 -- Russian and Norwegian
divers, working in shifts over the past weekend, have cut through
the outer hull of the sunken "Kursk" nuclear submarine and
removed an industrial rubber coating between the outer and inner
- Sub, Voice of America, 21 October 2000 -- Divers have
descended to the wreck of the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk, which
sank in the Barents Sea in August. They are preparing the way for a
larger operation to recover the bodies of crewmen who died.
Commander Warns 'Kursk' Recovery Operation May Be Called Off...As
Captain's Widow Resigns From Commission Helping Victims' Families,
RFE/RL Newsline Vol. 4, No. 204, Part I, 20 October 2000 --
Following contradictory comments by Russian officials over the
prospects for recovering at least some of the bodies of the
118-strong crew of the sunken "Kursk" nuclear submarine
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 19 October 2000), the Navy
commander has suggested that the recovery operation may not take
GOVERNMENT STALLING OVER 'KURSK' RESCUE OPERATION? , RFE/RL
NEWSLINE Vol. 4, No. 203, Part I, 19 October 2000 -- Colonel
General Valerii Manilov, first deputy chief of the Russian General
Staff, was quoted by Interfax on 18 October as suggesting the
government may reverse its decision to recover the bodies of at
least some of the 118 crew members of the "Kursk" nuclear
submarine, which sank in the Barents Sea in August during maneuvers.
/ PARLIAMENT / KURSK, Voice of America, 15 September 2000
-- The Russian official in charge of the investigation into the
sinking of the nuclear submarine Kursk faced a barrage of criticism
Friday as he addressed Russia's lower house of parliament, the Duma.
/ NUCLEAR, Voice of America, 12 September 2000 -- The
Russian government says that next month deep sea divers will begin
recovering the bodies of the 118-crewmen who died aboard the sunken
nuclear submarine Kursk.
Voice of America, 09 September 2000 -- Russian President
Vladimir Putin acknowledges he made a mistake last month by failing
to rush back to the Kremlin from his southern vacation to deal with
the "Kursk" nuclear submarine disaster.
SUB, Voice of America, 08 September 2000 -- A German
newspaper is reporting that a missile fired by a Russian warship hit
and sank the Russian submarine Kursk last month.
/ SUB, Voice of America, 30 August 2000 -- Russian
officials say efforts to recover the remains of 118-seamen who died
aboard the nuclear submarine Kursk will begin by the end of
SUB Voice of America 24 August 2000 -- Russia's top
prosecutor says he is opening a criminal investigation into the
sinking of the Kursk submarine
SUB / MEDIA ROLE Voice of America 24 August 2000 -- The
Kursk nuclear submarine disaster has widened the gap between the
government's reliance on secrecy and society's push for openness.
SUB Voice of America 23 August 2000 -- Russian President
Vladimir Putin has promised compensation to relatives of the 118
sailors who died aboard the Kursk nuclear submarine more than a week
SUB / PUTIN Voice of America 23 August 2000 -- President
Vladimir Putin says his defense minister and two senior naval
officials are offering to step down to atone for the loss of the
SUB Voice of America 22 August 2000 -- Russian President
Vladimir Putin is visiting the home base of the navy's Northern
Fleet to pay tribute to 118 sailors who died aboard the nuclear
SUB / IMPACT Voice of America 22 August 2000 -- Only a
few weeks ago, President Putin hailed the nuclear fleet as the
symbol of Russia's power. Navy officials want to blame the Kursk
accident on a collision, but independent experts suspect an
explosion in the submarine's torpedo compartment.
FOLLOWING WITH SORROW TRAGIC DEVELOPMENTS IN BARENTS SEA AFTER
SINKING OF SUBMARINE KURSK , UN Press Release, 21 August 2000 --
The Secretary-General has been following with sorrow the tragic
developments in the Barents Sea following the sinking of the
Handling of Sub Accident, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS
BRIEFING, 21 August 2000 -- ...has the State Department got any
reflections on how the Russian government handled the matter and
will it have any effect on US-Russian relations?
SUB Voice of America 21 August 2000 -- Russia's
attempts to rescue sailors aboard a cripple submarine are over.
Norwegian divers say there are no survivors on the sunken Kursk
SUB Voice of America 21 August 2000 -- Norwegian divers
have forced open the outside hatch and found the escape compartment
inside flooded, with no signs of life. The next step is to pry open
the inner hatch to let rescuers get inside the main part of the
SUB Voice of America 20 August 2000 -- A spokesman for
the Norwegian military denied Russian reports that a man had been
found inside the air lock below the hatch.
SUB Voice of America 20 August 2000 -- Russian T-V
reported Sunday that divers suspect a crew member of the damaged
Russian submarine Kursk may be trapped in the air lock inside the
rear escape hatch.
SUB UPDATE Voice of America 20 August 2000 -- Norwegian
reconnaissance team confirms earlier reports that the rear cargo
hatch is badly damaged and so is much of the rest of the submarine.
SUBMARINE Voice of America 20 August 2000 -- British and
Norwegian teams have joined Russian rescue operations around a
damaged submarine. Surveillance cameras were lowered to the wrecked
SUB Voice of America 20 August 2000 -- British and
Norwegian teams have joined Russian rescue operations around a
damaged submarine. Surveillance cameras were lowered to the wrecked
SUB Voice of America 19 August 2000 -- Russia's navy now
says there is little hope of finding any survivors on the nuclear
submarine Kursk. The absence of any more S-O-S tappings since Monday
probably means they had crossed the critical survival threshold.
SUB Voice of America 19 August 2000 -- British and
Norwegian rescue teams are racing toward the accident site in the
Secretary Cohen's comments on the Kursk accident, DoD News
Briefing, 18 August 2000
Submarine Disaster: Russian Elite Scored, Democracy Tested, U.S.
Department of State Foreign Media Reaction Reports, 18 August 2000
-- Commentary from around the world on the Russian submarine
blast may have killed half of doomed sub's crew Ian Thomas DAILY
MAIL (London) August 18, 2000 - The biggest threat to them would
have been carbon dioxide poisoning or exposure. 'Any survivors will
not run out of oxygen, they will suffocate due to a build up of
excessive levels of carbon dioxide,' said John Pike, of the
Federation of American Scientists.
rescue offer extended, says SACLANT, Navy Wire Service, 18
August 2000 -- Officials from NATO have extended an offer of
assistance to the Russian government regarding the submarine rescue
operation ongoing in the Barents Sea.
and SRCs spell "rescue" for stranded submariners, Navy
Wire Service, 18 August 2000 -- Report on the US Navy's submarine
Russian submarine situation: A statement by Vice Adm. Grossenbacher,
Navy Wire Service, 18 August 2000 -- A statement by the commander of
the US Navy's Submarine Force Atlantic
or More Explosions By David Ruppe ABCNews.Com 18 August
2000 -- The first, smaller reading “certainly would be consistent
with what you might expect from either a torpedo or cruise missile
warhead exploding,” says John Pike, of the Federation of American
Scientists, adding, “it would not exclude bumping in to an old
WWII sea mine.”
SUB Voice of America 17 August 2000 -- Russian officials
now say it was a collision that sank the ship in the northern
Barents Sea. Russian officials at first said the oxygen supply
aboard the Kursk would run out by now (Friday). Then they estimated
it could last another five days.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING, Philip T. Reeker,
Deputy Spokesman, 17 August 2000 -- QUESTION: Do you have any
requests from the Russians regarding the sub yet? Where do things
News Briefing, 17 August 2000 -- United States, heard no form of
communication. Our source of information on that has come from
Russian officials and Russian press reporting that have discussed
and alluded to the tapping over the past couple of days.
/ SUB Voice of America 17 August 2000 -- A Navy spokesman
says film taken of the wrecked submarine shows extensive damage from
the top to the back fin. The periscope was also still up, indicating
the ship sank so fast the crew did not have time to react.
/ SUB Voice of America 17 August 2000 -- Overnight
attempts to save the crew and submarine failed because of strong
currents and poor visibility. British equipment and Norwegian
deep-sea divers are not expected to reach the accident site before
late Friday or Saturday.
SUB - SURVIVORS TALK Voice of America 17 August 2000 --
John Pike, a defense analyst at the Federation of American
Scientists, thinks all this talk about surviving cold temperatures
and little oxygen may be beside the point.
reactors not viewed as threat to environment By DALE EISMAN The
Virginian-Pilot August 17, 2000 - Assuming that the reactor
containment mechanisms of the Kursk remain intact, the possibility
of radioactive release ``is a long-term object for study rather than
a near-term object of fear,'' said John Pike of the Federation of
/ SUB Voice of America 16 August 2000 -- Russian
officials say there has been no sign of life on board the submarine
for several hours, but that did not mean there were no survivors.
SUB / MILITARY Voice of America 16 August 2000 -- Less
than one-month ago, President Vladimir Putin proclaimed Russia's
navy as the symbol of a strong Russian state and a pillar of its
defense capabilities. The untimely Kursk disaster has seriously
tarnished that image.
/ RUSSIAN SUB Voice of America 16 August 2000 -- Military
expert Paul Beaver of "Jane's Defense Weekly" believes the
chances of saving the lives of the sailors on board the crippled
Russian submarine at the bottom of the Barents Sea are slim at best.
SUBMARINE: BRITISH RESCUE TEAM LEAVE UK FOR NORWAY 16 August
2000 - The Rescue Vehicle, LR5 and a Remote Operated Vehicle -
Scorpio, together with crews and support staff numbering over 20
personnel, have been loaded onto a chartered Antonov transport
Voice of America, 16 August 2000 -- President Clinton - in a
25-minute telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir
Putin - has reiterated the United States' readiness to help in the
rescue of crewmen aboard the sunken Russian submarine in the Barents
AGAIN OFFERS U.S. HELP IN RUSSIAN SUBMARINE RESCUE EFFORT, USIA
Washington File, 16 August 2000 -- President Clinton has again
offered U.S. assistance to help Russia rescue its sailors trapped in
a submarine in the Barents Sea northeast of Finland.
Says U.S. Not Asked For Help By Ward Sanderson, European
Stars and Stripes August 16, 2000 -- The Pentagon on Tuesday
said Russians have not asked for help in rescuing the more than 100
crew members stranded inside their sunken submarine, the Kursk.
Attempts Fail as Russia Calls for Aid By Daniel Williams Washington
Post Wednesday, August 16, 2000 - At least three attempts by
mini-submarines to dock with a rear escape hatch failed overnight
and today. A fourth reportedly was underway.
U.S. Offers Help To Rescue Submarine By Frank T. Csongos (RFE/RL)
16 August 2000 - U.S. experts said whatever sank the submarine Kursk,
which was designed to withstand a torpedo attack with its
double-layer hall, had to be massive. John Pike of the Federation of
American Scientists said the 13,900-ton submarine was designed to be
hard to sink.
of Russian vessel Kursk brings memories of horror to the surface for
long-retired sailors By Bill Nichols and Andrea Stone USA
TODAY 16 August 2000 - ''It's kind of like the Apollo 13 of
submarines. Spaceships and subs have one thing in common: Either
everything's working OK, or everyone's dead, and there's not that
much in between,'' says John Pike, a defense analyst at the
Federation of American Scientists.
running out for 116 men By STEVEN MUFSON Syndey Morning
Herald 16/08/2000 - Mr John Pike, of the Federation of American
Scientists, said: "Obviously something seriously is wrong,
because this is a big, robust sub that was designed to be hard to
Sub Stranded on Sea Bottom By Daniel Williams Washington Post
August 15, 2000 - The submarine Kursk sank about 100 miles from the
Russian port of Murmansk during a naval exercise that involved about
30 vessels. Two U.S. Navy submarines were operating in the area at
the time of the accident, and one reported hearing an explosion at
the site Saturday. The Kursk reportedly shut down its two nuclear
reactors after it was crippled. Crewmen appeared to be alive and
were communicating through rhythmic tapping on the hull. Small
rescue submarines circling the Kursk found it damaged but sitting
straight on the seabed.
Kursk, 'Submariner's Worst Nightmare'; by Steven Mufson and
Kathy Sawyer, Washington Post August 15, 2000 -
"Obviously something seriously is wrong, because this is a big,
robust sub that was designed to be hard to sink," said John
Pike of the Federation of American Scientists. "They didn't
just stub their toe."
Russians trapped in submarine By Marcus Warren in Moscow, Ben
Fenton in Los Angeles and Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent,
[London] Telegraph Tuesday 15 August 2000 -- John Pike, of
the Federation of American Scientists, an independent group, said:
"It sounds as if it suffered a combination of human error and
mechanical failure. Russian subs are poorly maintained and rarely go
to sea. Most of their units have spent most of the past decade in
/ SUB Voice of America 15 August 2000 -- Bad weather is
hindering efforts to rescue 116 Russian sailors trapped aboard a
crippled nuclear submarine in the Russian Arctic.
/ SUB Voice of America 15 August 2000 -- Russia's
Itar-Tass news agency says a first attempt to lower a diving bell to
the submarine failed. A second attempt was launched soon after.
/ SUB Voice of America 15 August 2000 -- A special
British rescue team is getting ready to aid in efforts to save the
crew of a stricken Russian submarine.
News Briefing Tuesday, August 15, 2000 - 1:35 p.m. EDT Presenter:
Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, DASD PA Q: And one other sort of
operating question. If the submarine is in fact at a 60-degree angle
off level, which the Russians say it is, is that not beyond the
operating parameters of this recovery vehicle? Quigley: It is beyond
the design parameters of the United States deep submergence rescue
vehicles. I have seen reports that say that the submarine is sitting
upright or 45 degrees or 60 degrees. I don't know if any of them are
accurate. I have personally seen water depths involved here from
about 330 feet all the way to about 510 feet. So again, I have no
confidence that we here have a good understanding of the depth
involved. The Russians may not yet be in a position to know with
certainty what the cause of the accident was.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING, 15 August 2000 -- Q:
Is there any US angle to the saga about the stranded Russian
Cohen Offers DOD Help in Submarine Crew Rescue Attempt , USIS
Washington File, 15 August 2000 -- U.S. military and White House
officials have been quick to offer assistance to Russia in the
effort to rescue more than 100 sailors trapped on the submarine
RESCUE, JIM RANDLE, Voice of America, 8/14/2000 -- Pentagon
Officials say they have special underwater rescue vehicles but have
not been asked to help the stricken Russian submarine missing in the
DEPARTMENT OF STATE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING, Philip Reeker,
Department of State, 8/14/2000 -- Sunken Russian Submarine
/ SUB Voice of America 14 August 2000 -- A Russian
nuclear submarine is lying crippled on the sea bottom in Arctic
waters. Officials say the submarine's engine failed and it sank
during a routine exercise.
SUB Voice of America 14 August 2000 -- Russia's senior
navy commander says he is not optimistic about the prospects for a
SUB Voice of America 14 August 2000 -- President Clinton
has been briefed on the plight of the sunken Russian submarine, and
the United States is offering help in the recovery effort.
/ SUB Voice of America 14 August 2000 -- Officials at the
Pentagon say there is no information to suggest that a U-S submarine
or surface vessel had been involved in a collision with the Russian
Implemented by John Pike, Charles
Jacubowski, and Patrick
Maintained by John Pike
Updated Friday, September 08, 2000 8:17:41 AM