Russian Navy Completes Upgrade of Bester Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle

Along with continued supplies of rescue means, the Russian Navy practically completed the upgrade of all operational deep-water rescue craft. They were overhauled and modernized and can continue effective operations for at least 15 years, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

"The last to be upgraded is the Bester deep-water rescue craft of project 18270. It is at the final modernization stage and will be handed over to the Northern fleet in 2019," it said.

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Bester is designed for rescue of submarines in distress from the seabed of up to 720 meters deep and for inspecting objects and engaging in underwater work. Modernized by Kanoner shipyard in St. Petersburg Bester will develop into the second craft of project 18271 which is a development of project 18270. Bester-1 is operational in the search-and-rescue service of the Pacific fleet.

The share of modern warships, boats and deep-water craft in the Russian Navy will exceed 70 percent by 2020.

The deep-submergence rescue vehicle (DSRV) is an air/rail/roadtransportable manned self-propelled deep-water submersible deployed on mother ships (surface vessels or submarines) and intended for rescuing crews of disabled submarines luing on the seabed, as well as for performing the following tasks:

- Final detection of an emergency submarine (or otherunderwater objects) by DSRV's sonar equipment (generally with the vehicle guided from the mother ship) and establishing eye contact with it;

- Visual inspection of an emergency submarine (or other underwater objects);

- Clearing the coaming platform of the emergency submarine for landing of the DSRV on it;

- Docking with the coaming platform of the emergency submarine;

- Delivery and transfer of life support means to the emergency submarine;

- Accommondation of 16-18 submariners (depending on version) from a submarine compartment with high and normal pressures as well as from a smoke-filled compartment and their delivery to the mother ship;

- Decompression of the submariners rescued in a DSRV compartment at the overpressure up to 0.4 MPa (depending on version);

- Performing other underwater engineering work within the capabilities of the DSRV's manipulator, including lift ship suppord operations.

The DSRV can be supplied in different versions (Project 18270, 18271, 1827K, 1827S and 1827I) depending on customer requirements.

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