Project “Losharik”. Unique, top secret nuclear submarine has been put in the water
According to the official newspaper of Sevmash shipyard “Korabel” the solemn ceremony of putting in the water the unique research and rescue submarine took place in the regime of top secrecy. The project 210 sub was nicknamed Losharik. The CinC of the Russian navy Vladimir Kuroedov participated in the ceremony. This is the world’s first submarine with such an outstanding combination of power and diving. There are no comments on the new submarine. Newspaper Izvestiya claims that initially it was not planned to report on the completion of the building in the open sources. That was the restriction of the customer – the Russian navy. One fact speaks for itself: even various senior managers of the shipyard were not allowed in the workshop #42, which was building the sub. The number of personnel engaged in the construction was strictly supervised during the whole building process, which lasted for 15 years. The design and the construction supervision came from the KB Malahit. The only comment which the design bureau agreed to provide is the fact that they are surprised to see this report in the open sources.
Losharik was laid down in 1988. According to the newspaper Izvestiya the shape of the submarine resembles a small horse made of spherical elements, similar to one in a famous soviet cartoon. This is the origin of the nickname. According to the info agency Interfax AVN the sub is designed for special operations. The building process was so long because of the lack of resources in mid 90-ies. Financing was resumed and became regular only three years ago. In early 90-ies the Russian top officials believed there is no need for special operations in the seas, but the sub had been already laid down. There was an attempt to attract the US investments to finish the sub, however the Americans refused. Otherwise Losharik would have been a vessel for purely rescue operations.
Other characteristics of Losharik remain known only to a very short list of specialists. However, the sub remained outdoors for three days, in spite of the fact that the US spy satellites monitor most of the shipyard’s territory constantly. According to the Confidential Regime Deputy Director of Sevmash Nikolai Bogdanov this was due to technical reasons: it was impossible to put the sub straight in the water; time was needed to prepare for this operation.
According to the specialists of Sevmash the sub’s outlook does not tell about its characteristics. It is possible just to assume that Losharik will be the least noisy and vulnerable sub of the Russian fleet.
News source: Newspaper Izvestiya
Shipbuilding news — archive for 20.08.2003.
Shipbuilding news — archive for 08.2003.
Shipbuilding news — archive for 2003 year.