Submersible Consul tested
The Russian military has successfully tested the latest deep-water manned submersible Consul. It is planned that the Russian Navy will be armed with it at the end of this year. However, it can be used not only for defence but also for scientific purposes – for example, in geological survey.
Specialists say that these tests can be described as another success of the Russian deep-water machine engineering. In the northern Atlantic, the Consul went down to a depth of 6,270 metres. Out of the currently existing apparatuses of the same class only the Japanese manned submersible, Shinkai 6500, dived down to the depth of 6,527 metres, which is somewhat deeper. However, the Russian manned submersible can compete with it, an expert with the Independent Military Review Editorial, Viktor Myasnikov, said in an interview with the Voice of Russia.
"It was initially planned that the manned submersible Consul will be able to dive down to 6 kilometres, but during the tests it became clear that it would be able to reach greater depths."
The Russian deep-water manned submersible Consul can be used in various operations. And still, this doesn’t mean that the arms race has started, Viktor Myasnikov stresses.
"No wars are waged at a great depth. Work is done underwater to install equipment there, which can be helpful in tracking down both submarines and ships. Besides, the Consul submersible can be used for all kinds of technical and search-and-rescue works with the use of underwater cables. It can also search for ammunition, examine sunken ships, crashed planes and submarines."
What is mentioned last on that list is a very important task. Till recently such apparatuses were unable to carry out rescue works at big depths. And as regards the Consul, it can raise up to 200 kilogrammes to the surface. It has 2 very powerful manipulators. The Consul is fixed to the ship-carrier neither by a cable nor by a wire, and it can work a longer time independently – up to 12 hours underwater – and carry out rescue work. Besides, Consul has a unique security system – it can surface automatically and in case of force majeur circumstances it will be of great help in saving crews.
Although the deep-water manned submersible Consul will be adopted by the Russian Navy, it will be possible to use it for the needs of civil geodesy and hydrography. And it is of particular importance in the context of Russia’s latest initiatives in the Arctic. Russia must prove that the Lomonosov Ridge is the continuation of Russia’s continental shelf, which means the protection of its political interests. It is possible that the new submersible will be used for these purposes as well.