Kursk (K-141) was the powerful Russian strategic nuclear submarine of class Antey (by NATO classification Class Oscar II ), and as such it was active as a part of the Northern Fleet. The complex construction of such submarines for the Russian northern fleet costs about a billion dollars. It was a real underwater fortress that was built to withstand even a direct hit from a torpedo. Real reason why story about this submarine is world known was the tragedy of Kursk crew that sank together with the submarine in an accident on the 12th August 2000. in the Barents Sea near Murmansk (Russia).
It was just a regular military exercise in front of the peninsula Kole (Russian Federation) and the submarine was about to make a tactical shooting at flagship battleship “Peter the Great” who was the simulated target. Shortly after the exercise start, sonar on Peter the Great registered large explosions that were recorded by seismographs even on the mainland. Shortly after another explosion was heard and the general rescue of sailors was started.
Sailors attempted to save themselves with a mini submarine, but without success because of the strengths of underwater currents. Eventually help for rescue came from Great Britain and Norway but after inspection divers concluded the whole Kursk submarine was flooded and all of the 118 crew members died.
Later it was concluded that explosion happened because of a faulty torpedo that fell from the crane and damaged itself during the time when submarine was prepared and docked in port Zapadnaya Litsa.
Submarine was named “Kursk” after the Russian city Kursk that entered the history as the city where the largest tank battle in military history “the Battle of Kursk”, took place in 1943. during second world war.
Strengths of the explosions that happened inside Kursk submarine were massive as they blasted with the force of 100-250 kg of TNT so these explosion were registered 2.2 on the Richter scale. After these massive explosions Kursk sank to a depth of 108 meters, which later turned to be very difficult to save the submarine.
One of the two explosions propelled large chunks of debris and metal far back through the whole submarine, probably killing large part of the crew instantly. Eventually Kursk was raised from her blue grave by a barge Giant 4 from Netherlands.
During the time when submarine was raised and salvaged from the sea bottom there was a great fear something could trigger another set of explosions. So saving this submarine was a very dangerous task. What you can see on these pictures below are salvaged remains of once a powerful spearhead of Russian submarine fleet, and now just a ghost from the past, the submarine Kursk (K-141).
What do you think?