Military Review

Russian fleet receives rescue ship to assist underwater at great depths

This fall in the Baltic Sea passes the "final exams" long awaited at navy rescue vessel "Igor Belousov". Now the most crucial moment of testing has come - not just a single surface ship, but all the equipment installed on it and special technical means of assisting underwater at great depths.

The creation of this unique complex and the public debate that accompanied some twists and turns in its fate, the “Rossiyskaya Gazeta” closely watched and from time to time let the experts speak. The essence, at least briefly, is appropriate to recall.

The decision to build a multi-purpose rescue ship (and then a group like him) was made after the disaster of the submarine Kursk, although there was a need for them before, at the end of 80, the beginning of 90, when under equally dramatic circumstances sank in the Norwegian Sea, the only one of its kind deep-sea submarine "Komsomolets", taking with them the life of submariners 42.

There have been many conversations and promises over the past quarter century, but there have been no practical changes in the re-equipping of emergency services. Even though in April 2001, seven months after the tragedy of "Kursk", the Russian government issued a resolution to allocate our Navy 900 million rubles (30 million dollars at the exchange rate) for the purchase of imported equipment and equipment to pull up perhaps the search and rescue forces in operating fleets.

Equipment, mainly imported, was purchased. But the creation of a new vessel for the same purpose was unnecessarily delayed. And only in the past, 2014, the construction of the lead ship was completed at the Admiralty shipyards in St. Petersburg, and its tests began in 2015. The ship designed in St. Petersburg CB "Almaz" turned out to be truly multifunctional. It can be said to have been assembled “around” a deep-sea diving complex, designed to carry out rescue and other underwater work at depths up to 450 meters.

From the depth of 100 meters, divers and submariners need to “get out” for about four days, from 400 meters - decompression for more than two weeks

On three decks there are five pressure chambers integrated into the system, a diving bell with its launch device, high-pressure compressors, storage tanks with breathing mixtures, a life support system and control posts for this complex farm. This was not the case with the Russian Navy. The Soviet-built rescue ship Alagez, which is similar in tasks, still serves as part of the Pacific Fleet, but the diving complex installed on it in the 1989 year was designed in distant 70s and designed for shallower depths.

In Gelendzhik, in the Southern branch of the Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, where we managed to visit recently, you can still see the remains of the hyperbaric complex once created here for the same 450 meters as now. True, it was built on the shore, and in the same stationary conditions it was tested. The testers themselves are also alive, who were met at the end of the experiment as the first cosmonauts - with bundles of fresh flowers and hot hugs ...

However, to please the new developments of the once famous academic center today is no longer able. The former equipment and previously created devices are still retained here, there is one operating pressure chamber, but the budget that was cut many times and the reduction in the number of research workers deprived these works in Gelendzhik from a visible perspective.

But close by, in the same water area of ​​the Blue Bay, the training base of the underwater special forces appeared and autonomously developed. On the flagpole, the pennant of the Alpha group openly trembles from morning to evening, and right there, almost at the edge of the surf, modern bar-complexes are modularized on car platforms. But they too are only for depths of several tens of meters, on which combat swimmers can act.

In short, wherever you go, the GVK-450 on the Igor Belousov is a visiting card and the main advantage of the new Russian ship-saver. But it was with him that the most problems arose.

Initially, the contract for its design and supply was concluded with the well-known design office "Lazurit" (Nizhny Novgorod). But the commitments were not fulfilled by the appointed date, and with the consent of the Russian Defense Ministry an alternative proposal was adopted: on the supply of the required GVK based on the serial equipment of a well-known Scottish company.

The Russian company Tethys Pro received a contract for a complete set, purchase, delivery to Petersburg and the subsequent installation supervision on the ship itself.

“The contract was signed on 29 on May 2012 of the year, and they invited us to the project in October on 2011,” Alexander Delyanov, curator of the project from Tethys Pro, restores the chronicle of the events. - For six months, the pre-contract period, we didn’t dig into commas, but solve fundamental issues - what is needed, what we can and how to connect one with the other.

According to Delyanov, in the recent past, a naval officer, his company, having taken on this work, deliberately placed itself in a rigid framework: on the one hand, the deadlines, on the other - the budget.

- The amount we agreed to, and before convincing our partners in Scotland to agree, was two times less than requested in the updated application "Lapis", - Alexander Delyanov hesitated for a moment - to name, not to name - and called the numbers . - "Lazurit" came together almost to 3 billion rubles, and we were taken to put the whole complex for a billion 150 millions. Moreover, they offered a turnkey complex, ranging from a compressor that pumps a gas mixture into a balloon, intelligent control systems for all GVK before commissioning and testing. And the term of its delivery to the customer, in contrast to "Lazurite", did not move away ...

This complex, designed for 12 shift work professional divers and (if necessary) able to accommodate rescued submariners (for decompression and rehabilitation) up to 60, also includes modern submersible units - for searching, additional searching and visual inspection of underwater objects. In the first half of September, as reported by Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the diving bell of the GVK-450 and the remote-controlled underwater vehicle Panther Plus, which is part of the search complex, were tested by practical descents in the deep-water areas of the Central Atlantic. First, a test dive of the diving bell to the working depth of 450 meters was made. Then, strictly according to the program, they sent the uninhabited unit “Panther Plus” to a kilometer depth.

Such and similar devices (for example, the Tiger remote-controlled vehicle), supplied by Tethys Pro, are already in service with the search and rescue services of the Russian Navy and are capable of operating at depths up to 1000 meters. Summarizing the results of the intermediate tests, the representatives of the Navy shared with the "RG" information that by the end of September and October, the main stage of the GVK-450 tests would be with the participation of divers.

Soon this information was confirmed. At the appointed time, the head of the Baltic Fleet information support department, Captain 2 of rank Vladimir Matveyev, said that the rescue ship Igor Belousov had left the military harbor of Baltiysk to conduct factory trials of the ship in the Baltic Fleet's landfills. At the same time, as part of the overall program, at the same stage, interdepartmental tests of GVK-450 are already taking place with the participation of divers.

In addition, it was envisaged to test the rescue deep-water apparatus "Bester-1", which was initially tested separately from the carrier ship, and during the stop "Igor Belousov" in Baltiysk was installed on a full-time position and sent for complex tests. And now, according to the same Matveyev, "specialists of the rescue team of the Search and Emergency Rescue Division, together with representatives of the Central Design Bureau Lazurit, conducted speed and maneuverability tests, as well as descending the vehicle to the bottom of the Baltic Sea."

According to the developers, Bester-1 can dive to a depth of 700 meters, equipped with the latest control systems and fundamentally new propulsion and steering systems, guidance systems, landing and attachment to an emergency submarine. Thanks to the new docking chamber, the Bester-1 submarine emergency exit allows you to evacuate people when the submarine rolls to 45 degrees, while previous vehicles can assist the crew only when they roll no more than 15 degrees. According to the "RG", in the tests of "Bester-1", associated with the development of practical tasks of rescue, a diesel-electric submarine of the "Varshavyanka" type was involved.

The principal difference of the current stage of testing "Igor Belousov" is that it provides for the participation of deep-sea divers who have undergone special training. And here I again appeal for comments to Alexander Delyanov.

- Our obligations to the customer, and this is the Navy, are conditionally divided into three stages. Production and supply of equipment GVK on board the ship or the plant - this is the first. The second is installation supervision, commissioning, and adjustment work. And the third stage is exactly what is happening now: the testing of the complex and its transfer to the customer. In the framework of the third stage, which is hardly talked about, the training of personnel was carried out and is now being conducted. As representatives of the supplier, bearing warranty obligations, we can not help but ensure that this unique complex is managed by trained people.

According to Delyanov, two groups interacting with each other are being prepared. The first is technical specialists on board the vessel, who should know the general rules for the operation and maintenance of the GVK-450. The second group is deep-sea divers, who will then live and perform underwater work in this complex. Now in Russia there is no base for such training. After a thorough analysis of the existing proposals, a specialized center in Tasmania in Australia was chosen.

At the same time, the commander-in-chief of the Navy issued an order for the formation of a crew for the ship “Igor Belousov” and the GVK installed on it. For the period of testing and trial operation, a group of specialists of the Navy, including officers from the Scientific Research Institute of Rescue and Underwater Technical Works, as well as divers of the 328 emergency rescue squad of special purpose, are seconded here.

There are a total of 39 people in this group, twenty of them are diving specialties. These twenty people, explained Delyanov, were divided into two groups - 12 and 8, and were trained at the International Underwater Training Center in Tasmania. The first twelve returned to Russia at the end of August, passed a rigorous examination at the TsVKK, a special diving commission, after which, by order of the commander-in-chief of the Navy, they were allowed to go on diving descents and to manage themselves on board the Igor Belousov.

It is they who are now testing the deep-water complex in the Baltic Sea together with the ship itself and auxiliary devices.

Without the neck "secret"

What tasks solves GVK-450 on the ship "Igor Belousov"?

There are two main tasks, and they are closely related. First, it is to ensure the work of 12 divers in three-person shifts at depths up to 450 meters six hours a day for three weeks, followed by a single decompression.

Secondly, the rehabilitation of submariners evacuated from the emergency boat with the Bester-1 rescue device or (depending on depth and other circumstances) emerged from the underwater object to the surface in a different way (in the rescue pop-up chamber, free ascent, inside the diving bell).

For one reason or another, the air pressure in the compartments of the emergency boat can rise, and the crew members (raised) to the surface need to be decompressed in the same way as divers. When you exit the sunken object by the method of free ascent, it is likely to get barotrauma, which also needs to be treated in the pressure chamber.

Why do we need pressure chambers to rescue from great depths?

This is how our body works and the laws of physics are such that with increasing depth of free immersion (and therefore with increasing external pressure) more and more inert gases - nitrogen and helium - dissolve in the human body.

This process is also affected by the total time spent at depth (under pressure). However, the dependence on time is not linear, and at a certain point there is a "saturation" - inert gases cease to dissolve in the blood and tissues. Such a condition occurs in a person approximately in 72 hours, although depending on the magnitude of pressure (depth), physical activity intensity, body temperature, and other factors, this moment may shift. But the basic principle remains: the amount of dissolved gases does not increase, which means that a trained diving specialist is able to remain in this state for a long time and work in shifts.

The method of long stay under pressure - it is also called the method of "saturated" dives - and implemented in the GVK-450 on the rescue vessel "Igor Belousov". In the "saturation" mode, a diver can work on the object every day for several hours during 3-4 weeks, and undergo decompression only once - at the end of work.

What is decompression sickness and decompression?

The figurative expression “blood boils”, probably, everyone who read books about submariners knows, at least once watched the movie “72 Meter” or is keen on diving.

If it is extremely simplified, it is such a pathological condition, when a lot of gas bubbles form in the blood and tissues of a person, disturbing the normal blood circulation and injuring the cells of the tissues. The formation of such "bubbles" is the result of finding a person in conditions of high pressure and incorrect (hasty, uncontrolled) release to conditions with normal atmospheric pressure.

And decompression is a procedure of scientifically substantiated (gradual or stepwise) pressure reduction in diving pressure chambers - in order to “desaturated” (release) body tissues from inert gases so that insidious bubbles do not form. In other words, decompression is necessary when raising a diver or submariner from a depth in order to avoid harm to their health. In practice, it looks like this: from a depth of 100 meters, it is necessary to “get out” for about 4 days, with 400 meters, decompression will take more than two weeks.

Why do we need a diving bell when there is a Bester machine?

"Bester" is a kind of rescue "shuttle", autonomously controlled by its crew. In one voyage, he can, as stated in the TTH, evacuate a person from the 22 emergency submarine and transfer them to Igor Belousov’s pressure chambers for decompression (if required).

And the diving bell is an integral part of the GVK, one might say, one more, the sixth, pressure chamber on the Igor Belousov. But unlike four residential and one transitional, this pressure chamber is not stationary, but mobile. With its help divers deliver to the desired depth. Before you enter this underwater elevator and batten down the transit gateway, divers are strictly defined amount of time under the design pressure in residential pressure chambers - they already achieve the effect of "saturation" when the concentration of dissolved inert gases in the blood and tissues ceases to increase.

The bell has the shape of a vertical cylinder and is provided with windows. Inside and outside the equipment is located to ensure the work of divers in the water: communications equipment and video surveillance equipment, shields for the supply of breathing mix to divers and hot water for their heating, as well as back-up electricity and gas supply systems.

Arriving at the working depth, the divers open the hatch of the bell, and two of them go out into the water. The third one stays inside and watches those working in the water, keeps in touch with them and is ready, if necessary, to come to the rescue.

A diver, like an astronaut, is in a support-free environment and is completely isolated from the environment. Breathing under water is provided by a special two-hose system: fresh breathing mix is ​​fed through a hose from a vessel, and on the other, a diver breathes out. After purification from carbon dioxide and enrichment with oxygen, this mixture is returned to the system and fed to the diver to inhale. Through a separate hose to the depth of hot water flows, which heats the body of the diver.

After working for the necessary time at depth, divers return to the bell and under the same pressure under which they worked on the object, they rise to the surface. Inside the vessel, the bell is docked with pressure chambers, the divers go into their living compartments and, without decompression, rest until the next descent, and another shift takes their place in the diving bell.

In what conditions do divers live on "Igor Belousov"?

During the stay of people in the pressure chambers, the pressure of the respiratory mixture, its composition, temperature and humidity are maintained by a special life support system. The GVK-450 polysyllabic farm is managed from two posts: one for pressure chambers, the other for manipulation and control during diving descents. The stock of breathing mixture components is contained in high-pressure cylinders.

In residential residential chambers GVK each diver has a separate berth. There is a bedside lamp, a shelf for books and personal items, as well as headphones to listen to music. In the bathrooms - the necessary amenities, including a hot shower. There is also a seating area with a TV and a common table. Hot food is passed to the pressure chamber from the outside through a special gateway, and the used utensils are returned through it.
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  1. unsermann
    unsermann 1 November 2015 07: 00
    Good luck! The main thing is not to get out the jambs, which were later revealed on the "Academician Tryoshnikov". And then our quality has dropped dramatically.
    1. Civil
      Civil 1 November 2015 13: 20
      15 years have passed ...
      1. sub307
        sub307 1 November 2015 15: 39
        Yes ... we have been waiting for a long time (especially divers). "Seven feet under the keel" - of course (divers and "apparatus" do not belong to them. They work normally at the "design" depth, and ... "so that the number of ascents equals the number of dives").
      2. The comment was deleted.
    2. Wasiliy1985
      Wasiliy1985 1 November 2015 22: 00
      And in more detail - what happened to "Academician Tryoshnikov"? Well this is one of those ships that the RAE serves ..
      1. unsermann
        unsermann 2 November 2015 07: 37
        And in more detail, what the Finns offered for the considerable money that they had invested in us, to build two of them, but they did. Without any Otpilensk and Otkatenburg.
        And what happened in Treshnikov? Kosyakov - darkness is dark. Offhand:

        - Steam pipes ALREADY delivered old and rusty (for that kind of money !!!);
        - The tank heating system is incorrectly looped and therefore poorly effective;
        - The ventilation and air conditioning system does not support the set temperature;
        - Mistake in the design: the ship runs a fair amount of time with a slight roll;
        - The location of all expendable tanks on one side contributes to unnecessary roll;
        - Low performance of the ballast pump, as a result of long ballasting;
        - Poor steel propellers: in the ice bend when struck against ice;
        - Difficulties during loading due to the lack and illogical arrangement of the eyebolts on the deck, large cargo gaps (the crane does not reach), too high coamings of hatches (more than 2 m);
        - Unfortunate design of the stern, as a result of which the vessel rakes the ice in reverse, and does not push it;
        - The cutout in the stern for hydrological equipment during a storm is unsuccessful: floods the deck with water;
        - Small passenger capacity for RAE members (the "Akademik Fedorov" has 2 times more);
        - Complete lack of soundproofing between most of the cabins, bulkheads only reach the DECORATIVE ceiling, most of the cabins are ergonomically uncomfortable (on "Fedorov" it is much better);
        - Small hold for fuels and lubricants ("Fedorov" has 3 times more);
        - The electric circuit has already been changed, the old one has failed.

        And this is just offhand, the very thing, as they say, on the eye. "This list does not end ... Why am I presenting a comparison with" Academician Fedorov "? Yes, because these are ships of similar purpose, displacement and ideology. Only" Fedorov "was built by the Finns back in 1987, and in many respects gives a head start to “Treshnikov.” The latter was built to replace “Fedorov.” The replacement was not very successful ...

        Pros of "Treshnikov": good maneuverability, as well as excellent ice cross-country ability in forward motion.
  2. alekc73
    alekc73 1 November 2015 07: 48
    The ship you need is seven feet under the keel
  3. yuriy55
    yuriy55 1 November 2015 08: 08
    Glorious help to sailors. There was a real hope of salvation in the event of an accident.
  4. flay
    flay 1 November 2015 09: 00
    Very good news !!!
    Quickly have built these ships, for all fleets.
    That's just what bothers me, << able to accommodate up to 60 rescued submariners >>. The crew of the modern submarine is more than 100 people. But what about the rest of the submariners? After all, decompression is 2 weeks.
    Either 2-3 rescue vessels will work, or God forgive me, they believe that not the entire crew will survive in the event of an accident or ...
    1. Igor Nikonov
      Igor Nikonov 1 November 2015 12: 47
      I hope accidents requiring the use of such vessels will not be frequent. 2-3 ships will cope quite well, even taking into account their transition. Do not forget about the exit interval of people, there are special tables there - they won’t take up places in large numbers.
  5. runway
    runway 1 November 2015 10: 00
    Needed like air!
    For this we need a state program. If we rearm the fleet, then it must be equipped, including with the most advanced means of support and rescue.
    Funds should be based on high-speed and stable ships (catamarans), capable of working with strong excitement, with any undercurrents.
    Salvation must be comprehensive. Exploration and preparatory work should be carried out from seaplanes and helicopters, otherwise - all the work down the drain.
    All equipment should be domestic production, based on the technologies of the future.
    Only under these conditions can it be said that the fleet has a rescue service.
    And please, do not trust this business to Rogozin.
  6. Dimon19661
    Dimon19661 1 November 2015 10: 30
    Quote: unsermann
    Good luck! The main thing is not to get out the jambs, which were later revealed on the "Academician Tryoshnikov". And then our quality has dropped dramatically.

    So judging by the photographs of some equipment produced 60-70s (
  7. SPLV
    SPLV 1 November 2015 13: 22
    The fact that “Alagez” remembered is good. And what about the "Elbrus" and "Ayudag" of the same type? And what about "Rudnitsky", "Titov", "Kozmin", "Sayany" project 536?
  8. Steppe
    Steppe 1 November 2015 13: 30
    Good luck in all your endeavors! God bless you! It is high time to modernize the rescuers according to the "latest squeak" of technology.
  9. chunga-changa
    chunga-changa 1 November 2015 13: 48
    The ship is excellent, unfortunately the concept is somewhat outdated. He can quickly save someone only while not far from the scene. This is possible with his participation in the provision of exercises. It is unlikely that he will hang out near the submarines on alert. Now abroad are developing small air transport autonomous rescue vehicles. The mobility and efficiency of the rescue complex is increasing tens, if not hundreds, of times.
    1. Stirbjorn
      Stirbjorn 1 November 2015 18: 12
      Well, this is also a dubious priority - as far as I heard they are designed for shallow depths and, accordingly, a small number of submariners. Again, if the weather is bad - how will they work? Belousov is a full ship. The most promising is the equipment of submarines with rescue capsules. That is, the salvation of drowning is the work of the drowning themselves. With all this, even foreign experts consider our ship to be necessary and useful.hi
    2. Wasiliy1985
      Wasiliy1985 1 November 2015 22: 17
      What do you suggest in this case:
      Saved 100 people of the atomarina crew, which had already shot, killing 300.000.000 people, including 10.000 of our own. The atomarina itself has nowhere to return, because another 500.000.000 people were destroyed by a retaliatory strike, including the bases, the personnel of the bases and all the stuffing of these bases with ammunition and other "gingerbread" ..
      And here's the question: what for in this case is the "newest" concept (and a special ship for this) of rescuing the crew of the specified atomarina, if not in the concept of PREPARATION for combat service ?!
      In a BATTLE setting - no need! This ship is needed to ensure the everyday activities of the fleet !!
  10. ballaboll
    ballaboll 1 November 2015 16: 56
    I hope that the tragedy of Kursk will not happen again! Let there be as little work as possible for this ship!
  11. ratcatcher
    ratcatcher 1 November 2015 17: 23
    "But by the appointed time, the obligations were not fulfilled, and with the consent of the Russian Ministry of Defense, an alternative proposal was adopted: to supply the required GVK based on the serial equipment of a well-known Scottish company." - on the issue of import substitution ...
    That is, instead of creating their own technology, which can be further used and reducing its cost, they prefer to buy a cheaper foreign complex, but without developing their own know-how.
    Instead of their technology, they received piece goods on imported technologies ...
    Not happy ...
  12. ratcatcher
    ratcatcher 1 November 2015 17: 34
    "Hot water flows to the depth through a separate hose, which heats the body of the diver." ... In addition, familiar experts noted that such heating is uneven - it is hot at the point of entry, and by the time it circulates through the body, the water cools down completely. Therefore, they often preferred to work without heating with water, in the old fashioned way putting on a lot of warm clothes, as one diver jokingly put it, "they dived in a fur coat."
    True, if the water comes from the bell, and not from the ship, it will probably not have time to cool ....
    But not all work is done from the bell ...
  13. Starik72
    Starik72 1 November 2015 17: 56
    I am not an expert in this matter, but I understand perfectly that rescue vessels are needed like air! I had a question: what is the air pressure in a boat submerged to depth, if the boat has such air pressure as on land, so why pressure chambers when rescuing, if rescue equipment is sealed tight. But for construction and installation work at great depths, and of course for rescue of such vessels apparently needs more.
    1. scorpiosys
      scorpiosys 1 November 2015 22: 09
      If the boat is emergency, then all sorts of problems can happen with the pressure inside it. An emergency increase in pressure, or bleeding compressed air into compartments to compensate for inhaled air, as did the submariners in the Second World War ... Anything can be.
  14. Evgeniy30
    Evgeniy30 1 November 2015 21: 57
    So that this ship is only engaged in exercises!
  15. Manul
    Manul 2 November 2015 02: 15
    It would be nice if the ships, both underwater and surface, and aircraft would be designed with a great chance of rescue in accidents. Only this is expensive, and such cases rarely happen. But regularly. I won’t raise this topic today. All the same, the date is mournful.
  16. mine
    mine 2 November 2015 17: 18
    1. We have, in principle, a vicious concept of rescuing submarines (and, by the way, the "spears" break publicly - for example, the hard discussion between "Malakhit" and 40 research institutes in "Shipbuilding").
    2. The actual situation for the lifeguard is most reliably described by Milashina.
    3. Submariners need OTHER, not this crap
  17. bad
    bad 3 November 2015 14: 52
    is it because of him the mericos were nervous? laughing
    1. mine
      mine 3 November 2015 17: 25
      no, of course
  18. Andrey77
    Andrey77 3 November 2015 17: 52
    Believe me. In a serious accident, there will be no one to save with the submarine. And with a frivolous, a special vessel is not required. Submariners, correct.
  19. sailor roman
    sailor roman 9 November 2015 15: 19
    There was, a good rescuer, with good equipment, only it was too cramped in it and the equipment was mainly due to the "hillock", again, the technical regulations can be carried out, mainly by shipbuilders and allied suppliers, spare parts are not enough for diving equipment. Well, during operation, everything will be brought to mind.