Russia’s nuclear submarine damaged by fire in a dry dock in late December will be repaired and put back into combat duty according to schedule, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Tuesday.
On December 29, the outer hull of the Yekaterinburg Delta-class nuclear submarine caught fire during repairs at a shipyard in the northwest Russian Murmansk Region. Seven crewmembers and two rescuers were injured as they battled the fire, which was put out the following day.
Rogozin inspected the damaged submarine on Tuesday and later told journalists that he is “now more optimistic than late last year.”
“We have inspected the submarine, all of its compartments, and the forward compartment was damaged. We have also come to technical solutions, which would allow the submarine to be repaired and returned to the fleet in due time,” Rogozin said but did not specify the date.
The official added that all those guilty in the incident would be named after an investigative commission completes its work.
Military investigators already opened a criminal case under the statute “destruction or damage of military property due to negligence.”
Fire safety violations during routine maintenance works are seen as the most likely cause of the blaze at the floating repair dock.
The K-84 Yekaterinburg nuclear submarine is one of seven Delta-IV class submarines in service, all deployed in the Northern Fleet. It carries 16 Sineva (NATO classification "Skiff") submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
The Delta-IV class submarines are the core of the naval component of the Russian nuclear triad at present and may remain in service for another 10 years.