This video shows you that A Freak Accident of Chemistry Destroyed Russia’s Aircraft Killer Submarine.
Kursk had suffered two massive explosions and sank in 354 feet of water at a twenty-degree vertical angle. An explosion had ripped through the front of the hull, tearing a terrible gash along the upper bow. Still, at least twenty-three of the 118 crew had survived the sinking, as a note penned by one of the ship’s senior officers, Lt. Capt. Dmitri Kolesnikov, indicated. The note was dated exactly two hours after the initial explosion. Rescue efforts by Russian—and later British and Norwegian—teams failed to rescue the survivors.
In 2000, a Russian submarine designed to sink aircraft carriers became a victim of its own arsenal. The cruise-missile submarine Kursk suffered a massive explosion and sank after an onboard torpedo accidentally detonated. The accident was the worst naval disaster suffered by post–Cold War Russia.
The Soviet Union’s greatest adversaries at sea were the aircraft carriers of the U.S. Navy. With their versatile air wings, American carriers could frustrate the Warsaw Pact’s plans wartime plans, doing everything from escorting convoys across the Atlantic to bombing Soviet Northern Fleet bases above the Arctic Circle. They also carried nuclear weapons, making them exceptionally dangerous to the Soviet coastline.
The Soviets’ solution was the construction of the Oscar-class submarines. Some of the largest submarines ever constructed, they displaced measure 506 feet long with a beam of nearly sixty feet—nearly twice that of the Soviet Union’s Alfa-class attack submarines. At 19,400 tons submerged, they were larger than the American Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines.
They were large for a reason: each Oscar carried two dozen huge P-700 Granit missiles. The P-700 was a large missile designed to kill large ships. The P-700 was thirty-three feet long and nearly three feet wide. Each weighed 15,400 pounds each, most of which was fuel for the ramjet-powered engine which propelled the missile at speeds of Mach 1.6 to a range of 388 miles. The missile packed either a 1,653-pound conventional high explosive warhead, enough to damage an aircraft carrier, or a five-hundred-kiloton nuclear warhead, enough to vaporize a carrier. The missiles would be fed targeting data from the Legenda space surveillance system, which would hunt fast-moving carrier battle groups from orbit.
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EDM Detection Mode by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)