MURMANSK, January 10 (Itar-Tass) —— The Yekaterinburg strategic nuclear-powered submarine damaged in a recent fire will be restored, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said upon his working trip to the Murmansk region.
“The submarine is alive; it will continue to protect our fatherland,” Rogozin said. In his words, the fire damaged the first compartment. “The submarine can be restored. Engineering solutions will be found to repair the submarine and return it to the Navy in due time. We will also find solutions to compensate for the Yekaterinburg power in the strategic nuclear potential and to ensure the Russian security,” he noted.
The reconstruction plan has been coordinated with the Defense Ministry, the defense sector and the national government and will be presented to the Russian administration within hours, Rogozin said.
The Yekaterinburg will receive the planned overhauls ahead of schedule and continue to function for a long time, he said. “Our main conclusion is that it is necessary to avoid similar accidents in the future,” he said.
Rogozin led an interdepartmental delegation, which examined the submarine and held a conference at the North Fleet staff in Severomorsk on Tuesday.
The Yekaterinburg submarine fire destroyed the sub’s hydro-acoustic system; the damage topped one billion rubles, a source in the Russian defense sector told Itar-Tass on Tuesday in comment on the work of an interdepartmental investigative commission.
The fire also seriously damaged the rubber coating of the submarine’s casing. Several months of complex works are necessary to repair the damage. The works will be done at Sevmash, the source said.
In his words, the Yekaterinburg accident resulted from flagrant violations of fire safety rules. “A fire started between the casing and the inner hull, in the location of a hydro-acoustic antenna,” the source said.
The submarine is staying at a base near Severomorsk and may reach Sevmash in Severodvsinsk for reconstruction only in late May or early June when ice melts in the White Sea, the source said.
The fire in the dry dock of the 82nd ship-repairing plant in Roslyakovo, Murmansk region, broke out on December 29, 2011. Wooden scaffolds placed around the submarine caught fire, which later spread onto the submarine casing. The submarine had to be descended into water for putting out the blaze. Nine people were hurt. The Russian Investigation Committee opened a criminal case of the destruction or damage of military property by negligence (article 347 of the Russian Criminal Code).
The Sevmash shipyard is a component of the United Shipbuilding Corporation. It is the largest shipbuilding enterprise in Russia and the only shipyard of the country, the main task of which is atomic submarines building for Navy.