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USC hopes for international cooperation in building sub for exploring Mariana Trench

Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation CEO believes it is yet premature to discuss any specific deadlines

ST. PETERSBURG, December 14. /TASS/. Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation counts on international cooperation in creating a deep-diving research bathyscaphe capable of exploring the Mariana Trench, USC CEO Alexei Rakhmanov told the media during a trip to Severodvinsk.

"The design bureaus Malakhit and Rubin will be involved in the project to a certain extent," Rakhmanov said, when asked who would design the bathyscaphe. "In contrast to our purely military projects this one, we hope, will rely heavily on international cooperation, because it is going to be a truly global-level undertaking. As it has turned out, nobody has managed to properly measure the depth of the Mariana Trench so far."

Discussing specific deadlines when the project might materialize is still premature, though, he said.

"When we realize that we have put everything together, including cooperation and financing - and we hope for assistance from our oil and gas monopolies - then the schedule will get more or less clear. At this point we are certain that we are technically capable of implementing the project," Rakhmanov said, adding that the whole corporation would be working on this project.

According to earlier reports, the Admiralty Shipyards (a St. Petersburg-based affiliate of the USC) will build bathyscaphes for exploring the Mariana Trench. On December 10, Rakhmanov said the USC hoped it would be able to get down to work on the project when the sponsor was identified.