MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. A group of experts from the Russian Navy’s rescue unit has set off to the area of search for Argentina’s missing San Juan submarine aboard the Islas Malvinas vessel of the Argentine Navy, a source in the Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday.
"On Friday morning, a group of experts from the Russian the Navy’s 328th expedition search and rescue unit took to the sea aboard the Islas Malvinas vessel of the Argentine Navy, heading to the area of search for Argentina’s missing San Juan submarine," the source said.
While at the Argentine port city of Comodoro Rivadavia, the Russian experts loaded three containers of the Pantera Plus unmanned submersible on board, as well as diving and underwater equipment.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Pantera Plus submersible’s scanning sonar is capable of detecting underwater objects within a 300 meter-radius. Besides, the submersible’s mobile complex can be used for conducting maintenance work on a submarine lying on the seabed.
Contact with the San Juan diesel-electric submarine, carrying 44 crew members, was lost on November 15. The Argentine Navy launched an intensive search and rescue operation on November 16. On December 1, the Argentine Navy declared that the rescue operation was over but the search for the submarine continues.
The Russian Defense Ministry earlier reported that upon instructions from President Vladimir Putin, Defense Minister Army General Sergey Shoigu had ordered to dispatch a group of experts from the Navy’s 328th expedition search and rescue unit to Argentina along with the Pantera Plus unmanned submersible, as well as the Russian Navy’s Yantar oceanographic research vessel.