The Remains of Kursk Submarine

kursk submarine 1


K-141 Kursk was a Russian nuclear cruise missile submarine which was lost with all hands when it sank in the Barents Sea on August 12, 2000. It was named after the Russian city Kursk, around which the largest tank battle in military history, the Battle of Kursk, took place in 1943.

The Kursk sailed out to sea to perform an exercise of firing dummy torpedoes at Pyotr Velikiy, a Kirov class battlecruiser. On August 12, 2000 at 11:28 local time (07:28 UTC), the missiles were fired, but an explosion occurred soon after on Kursk. The only credible report to-date is that this was due to the failure and explosion of one of Kursk’s new/developmental torpedoes. The chemical explosion blasted with the force of 100-250 kg of TNT and registered 2.2 on the Richter scale [1]. The submarine sank to a depth of 108 metres, approximately 135km (85 miles) off Severomorsk, at 69°40′N, 37°35′E. A second explosion 135 seconds after the initial event measured between 3.5 and 4.4 on the Richter scale, equivalent to 3-7 tons of TNT [2]. Either this explosion or the earlier one propelled large pieces of debris far back through the submarine.

Kursk was eventually raised from her grave by a Dutch team using the barge Giant 4, and 115 of the 118 dead were recovered and laid to rest in Russia. Russian officials have strenuously denied claims that the sub was carrying nuclear warheads. When the boat was raised by a salvage operation in 2001 there were considerable fears moving the wreck could trigger explosions.

kursk submarine 2


kursk submarine 3


kursk submarine 4


kursk submarine 5


kursk submarine 6


kursk submarine 7


kursk submarine 8


kursk submarine 9


kursk submarine 10


kursk submarine 11


kursk submarine 12


kursk submarine 13


kursk submarine 14


kursk submarine 15


kursk submarine 16


kursk submarine 17


kursk submarine 18


kursk submarine 19


via ru_warhistory

The Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk Submarine

The Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk SubmarineThe Remains of Kursk Submarine

80 thoughts on “The Remains of Kursk Submarine”

  1. Торпеда – это тебе не танковый подкалиберный снаряд, она не дырку делает, а взрывается, причиняя множественыые разрушения и деформации, в зависимости от угла и прочего. Кроме того, бредовую версию про американскую субмарину даже наше руководство уже не озвучивает, торпеды в носовой части взорвались сами по какой-то причине, хорошо хоть без ядерных боеголовок.

    • Версия с субмариной звучала и не раз. Причём по центральным каналам и со спутниковыми снимками повреждённой американской лодки. Уже потом всё сошло “на нет”. Если увидишь снимки правого борта “Курска”, то рассмотри их внимательно. Французский фильм многое объясняет, причём довольно-таки логично, и многие события того периода укладываются в эту логику. Почему не спасали моряков, почему президент демонстративно “отдыхал”, почему не поднимали целиком.
      А то, что эту версию не озвучивает руководство – так это понятно. Можешь представить себе последствия такой “предъявы”?
      Посмотри фильм, он есть в сети.


        here the picture with the hole witch you wrote about. but as Shrike already wrote, Торпеда – это тебе не танковый подкалиберный снаряд, она не дырку делает, а взрывается……. so in my opinion this hole has nothing to do with an torpedo

        • Картинка с того же сайта:
          Если взрыв произошёл внутри, то как может появиться такая вмятина? На картинке видно, что вмятина идёт внутрь, отверстие идеально круглое. Такого при внутреннем взрыве просто не может быть.

  2. I see, so a Dutch ship had to recover it. Russia has how much submarines\ships? Too many to be counted. The Russian authorities were lazy\cheap to recover it.

    It reminds me (1-3 years ago) when a Russian submarine was doing something top secret and got trapped. The whole world knew about this on the news, and emergency units from other countries(!!) had to be dispatched.

      • What do the Thresher and Scorpion have to do with Kursk? If you are insinuating that they were lost and left you are mistaken. Both wreck sites were located and mapped. The cause of Thresher is known and resulted in changes in U.S. fleet operations. The cause of Scorpion is still debated but several plausible reasons are suspected. If you are insinuating that the U.S. doesn’t have the technical knowhow or will to do a recovery, you are also incorrect. Who recovered the sunken Russian Golf II missle boat off of Hawaii? and that was how many years ago?

      • The Thresher and Scorpion were in VERY deep water, no rescue could be preformed back in that time. You Henry seem to forget how many years passed since then, I was a highschool kid when they happened. I am 67 today.

    • I forgot the story on this one. Didn’t the US know that this ship was in trouble and even offered to help. However, the Kremlin refused the help and everyone on board died needlessly.

      • Exactly… and as you can see from these pics, they CONTRACTED the german(or whatever) company to help and lift it!?!?!?!?!

        Should’ve contacted them sooner to begin with, instead of trying to do it themselves, which was unsuccessful.

      • reports a week after said the entire ship was filled with water in seconds after the second explosion.

        noone died becaurse they were slow to act. you can say is was a bad thing to not act faster, but THIS time, it did not kill anyone.


    • They were doing top secret missle testing. That is exactly why they wanted noone’s help to save the people in it when the incident occured. And there’s nothing wrong with commisioning a ship from a different country to raise a ship/sub.

  3. quoted text: “The explosion

    The mission began in earnest on the morning of August 12, 2000. As part of the exercise, Kursk was to fire two dummy torpedoes at a Kirov-class battlecruiser. At 11:28 local time (07:28 UTC), high test peroxide (HTP), a form of highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide used as propellant for the torpedo, seeped through rust in the torpedo casing. The HTP reacted with copper and brass in the tube from which the torpedo was fired, causing a chain reaction, leading to a chemical explosion.

    The watertight door separating the torpedo room from the rest of the sub was left open prior to firing. This was apparently common practice, on account of excess compressed air being released into the torpedo room when a weapon was fired. The open door allowed the blast to rip back through the first two of nine compartments on the huge sub, probably killing the seven men in the first compartment, and at least injuring or disorienting the thirty-six men in the second compartment.

    After the first explosion, due to the fact the air conditioning duct was quite light, the blast wave traveled to more compartments, including the command post filling them with smoke and flames. After the explosion, the captain was believed to be trying to order an ’emergency blow’ which causes the sub to rapidly rise to the surface, but he was quickly overcome with smoke. An emergency buoy, designed to release from a submarine automatically when emergency conditions such as rapidly changing pressure or fire are detected and intended to help rescuers locate the stricken vessel, also failed to deploy. The previous summer, in a Mediterranean mission, fears of the buoy accidentally deploying, and thereby revealing the sub’s position to the US fleet, had led to the buoy being disabled.

    Two minutes and fifteen seconds after the initial eruption, a much larger explosion ripped through the sub. Seismic data from stations across Northern Europe show that the explosion occurred at the same depth as the sea bed, suggesting that the sub had collided with the sea floor which, combined with rising temperatures due to the initial explosion, had caused further torpedoes to explode. The second explosion was equivalent to 3–7 tons of TNT, or about a half-dozen torpedo warheads and measured 3.5 on the Richter scale. After the second explosion, the nuclear reactors were shut down to prevent a nuclear disaster, although the blast was almost enough to destroy the reactors.

    The second explosion ripped a two-metre-square hole in the hull of the craft, which was designed to withstand depths of 1000 meters. The explosion also ripped open the third and fourth compartments. Water poured into these compartments at 90,000 litres per second – killing all those in the compartments, including five officers from 7th SSGN Division Headquarters. The fifth compartment contained the ship’s nuclear reactors, encased in a further five inches of steel. The bulkheads of the fifth compartment withstood the explosion, causing the nuclear control rods to stay in place and prevent nuclear disaster. Western experts have expressed strong admiration for the Soviet/Russian engineering skill to create a submarine that withstood so much.

    Twenty-three men working in the sixth through to ninth compartments survived the two blasts. They gathered in the ninth compartment, which contained the secondary escape tunnel (the primary tunnel was in the destroyed second compartment). Captain-lieutenant Dmitri Kolesnikov (one of three officers of that rank surviving) appears to have taken charge, writing down the names of those who were in the ninth compartment. The pressure in the compartment at the time of the explosion was the same as that of the surface. Thus it would be possible from a physiological point of view to use the escape hatch to leave the submarine one man at a time, swimming up through 100 metres of Arctic water in a survival suit, to await help floating at the surface. It is not known if the escape hatch was workable from the inside – opinions still differ about how badly the hatch was damaged. However it is likely that the men rejected using the perilous escape hatch even if it were operable. They may have preferred instead to take their chances waiting for a rescue vessel to clamp itself onto the escape hatch.

    It is not known with certainty how long the remaining men survived in the compartment. As the nuclear reactors had automatically shut down, emergency power soon ran out, plunging the crew into complete blackness and falling temperatures. Kolesnikov wrote two further messages, much less tidily than before. In the last, he wrote:

    “It’s dark here to write, but I’ll try by feel. It seems like there are no chances, 10-20%. Let’s hope that at least someone will read this. Here’s the list of personnel from the other sections, who are now in the ninth and will attempt to get out. Regards to everybody, no need to be desperate. Kolesnikov.”

    end of quoted text

  4. I remember well the story. I had the feeling that they could have been rescued but it was better leave them at their destiny.

  5. I heard an interesting version:
    (conspiracy theory(?) warning)

    There was a big manoeuver where the russians had invited Chinese big brass military to, and Kursk, flagship of the russian submarine weapon, should showcase the new a new weapondesign, which somehow pushes air or gas in front of it to travel at much greater speeds than conventinal torpedoes (some 200 knots).

    At the time there was a bit of a ‘disagrement’ between China and USA, over Taiwan.
    Taiwan belongs to China, china thinks, US thinks owtherwise and had a strong naval presensce around Taiwan as china had threatened to march into taiwan with their military.

    The US didn´t want the chinese to get their hand on the shkval missiles, who could possibly use it against US, and wasnt happy about the russians showing/offering it to the Chinese.

    So, in cold war manner, they tagged Kursk with 2 sub´s, the USS Memphis and USS Toledo. Somehow Toledo and Kursk collided, damaging USS Toledo. (The russians first said that they had picked up some SOS, or atleast distress signals from, not Kursk at first, but from another sub)
    Kursk then opened its torpedo tubes, apparantly to fire on USS Toledo, and then USS Memphis in true cowboy style, fired a torpedo at Kursk which well..exploded and sank.

    Your remember the confusion and when Kursk first sank? the first reports, from the russian admiral (Popov?) at the scene, mentioned that it was foreign submarines responsible, and they even called in anti-sub helicopters and planes to try hunt the subs, but that admiral later withdrew his statement.. (and later on was fired by putin) After a month or two the russians instead made a statement about that Kursk had used to old outdated torpedoes, and one of them had just sort of just suddenly exploded, all by itself more or less.

    A day or two after the sinking, George Tenent head of the CIA at the time, arrived in Kreml for talks with the russians. First CIA director ever to visit Kreml apparentely
    And also quite shortly after the Kursk sank Russia got its billion dollar loan of US money extended or written off.

    Well heres some links:

    Whatever really happened: I cant beleive how long it took for the russians after the sinking, to say yes to foreign (Norweigan) help, over a week? and then it took a couple of days before the Norweigans could reach the scene etc.. and then there was ofcourse no survivors left.

    • I wonder – I don’t know – how long it would take the US to ask for Chinese help if a US sub got into trouble near Chinese waters.

    • Also there were some pics of a damaged US sub (USS Toledo?) in a dock in Norway or Finland right after this happened. Supposedly the subs collided causing the damage to both subs and resulting in the initial yet damning explosion on the Kursk. I don’t know if this is true or not but I saw the pics and it was a 688 class boat and it was damaged. It would also explain why the Director of the CIA would have to travel to Russia to do “damage control”. It would also explain the cover up story as a faulty torpedo (by both sides) to divert a war. It would also explain the monetary reprieve, which is akin to (the US) admitting guilt (but not) to keep the Russians happy. This was handled no differently than a lawsuit in the US courts where the perpetrator doesn’t admit guilt but is responsible, and then there is a gag order on the facts because the recipient agrees to the settlement.

      Lawyers handled this, both Governments agreed to it and the people who were actually involved, who should be the recipients of compensation, were kicked to the sideline. Mainly the family members of the Kursk.

      The Russian Government made out by Debt to the US being forgiven and the US was forgiven by being exonerated for causing Russian casualties.

      It was handled internationally like a lawsuit is handled in America.

      So, what does that tell all of us?


      • Wan’t there a damaged french sub, or was it the US sub? It docked nearby for repairs. I think another consp. theory was that a new torpedo technology russia wanted to test. It was a torpedo capable of destroying unsinkable submarines like the kursk. Not sure of further details but it either exploded in the tube or they were testing the missle on the actual kursk.

        @Jim, whatever happened it just lets you see that Russia is not the only country with a shady government.

    • Well, I live in Taiwan, and I must declare, Taiwan does not belong to the Red China, but the people who live on it…

      Republic of China is established on 1912, and Republic Popular of China on 1949, They are different!

  6. The Kursk disaster was a great human tragedy.
    Let us hope that engineering improvements increase the safety factors in the future for all mariners – of all nations
    sincerely -Robert Cassidy – Denver -Colorado -USA

  7. A very sad day, after many years serving in submarines the photos are very grim indeed.
    When sailors are in dire jeopardy we all act as one and I offer my hand to all the families and friends of the crew and hope they are able to find peace.

    thank you

  8. I was in sub school up in Connecticut when the Kursk was lost. What a horrible tragedy! My sincere condolences to all the families whose fathers and brothers will not be coming home.

  9. It is and was a tragedy. For men to huddle in worthless hope over 100 meters down tilltemperature and oxygen failed them. For a Nation who laced the equipment to rescue them, and for the wolrd to not push vociferously to rescue the lives…

    But there is so much of the same throughout our world everyday….

    Rest in Peace men of the Kursk. I am heartened that so many were recovered and returned to their loved ones….

  10. Simplemente decir que las carreras armamentistas son tan canallescas (provengan de Rusia, USA o de donde sea)que lo último que quienes las propician tienen en cuenta es la vida humana. Es por ello que la tripulación pereció; porque los “secretos de estado” eran más importantes. Del mismo modo que en la actualidad para el genocida George Bush el asesinato y las masacres del pueblo irakí son solamente un “error de cálculo”. Al igual que para el rapaz gobierno israelí la barbarie que a diario comete contra el pueblo palestino.

  11. Sad occurance. But I feel that the lives lost, would have become more prestigious, if the main purpose of the submarine was a non-military responsibility. ‘Benig killed at an effort to show military power’ is something, which will not be empathized by the majority of the community.
    Poor employees of the craft. Amen.

  12. Being a former Submariner; I know all my shipmates agree; Our prayers are with your families. Submariners (from any country); are a special breed of people. The loss of any submariner hits home. I served aboard USS Francis Scott Key (SSBN657), which is a comparable Submarine. The nature of a Subs existance, is always shrouded in danger. As with our Submariners, I know they were proud and couragous men who were willing to give the ultimate price for their service. Fair seas and prevailing winds my Submariner heros.

  13. Ficamos bastante consternados com o episódio do KURSK, pois haviam sobreviventes e eles sabiam que lhes restavam pouco tempo de vida. Nos solidarizamos com os familiares.

  14. Marinai del Kursk, comandante Kolesnikov, vi ricordero’ sempre.

    Kursk sailors, commander Kolesnikov, I’ll always remember of you.

  15. really heartning pictures of the submarine.i wonder what is the other word for bravery of the men who though in deep peril still had courage to write ;dont be desperate;.hats off may hthe heros live forever

  16. Shkval torpedoes were filled with clay, dummies. Usually they would have had multi kiloton nuclear warheads
    No way they could have caused this damage

    I’m betting on sabotage

  17. I read through every post looking for any reference to the fact that knowing there time was up the last words were meant to comfort the rest of us.
    Only one person made mention,but to be fair most were trying to get to the truth of how it happened.

  18. Es por ello que la tripulación pereció; porque los “secretos de estado” eran más importantes. Del mismo modo que en la actualidad para el genocida George Bush el asesinato y las masacres del pueblo irakí son solamente un “error de cálculo”. Al igual que para el rapaz gobierno israelí la barbarie que a diario comete contra el pueblo palestino.

  19. Ever since my days in ‘wet ops’ back in the 60’s I’ve maintained an interest in all things to do with submarines. During that time, along with French, Canadian and American aircraft, the RAF’s Shackletons patrolled the cold waters of the north Atlantic searching for elusive soviet submarines that seemed to cascade in ever increasing numbers and sophistication from the slipways of Russia’s naval construction yards. Accidents happen in every branch or every armed service but those of the Soviet navy – when revealed – impacted on us most. Why? Mainly because almost inevitably they resulted in massive loss of life and/or the loss of nuclear weapons and reactors to the deepest reaches of the oceans! Those accidents then, do not reflect on the design of the submarine or indeed on the skills of their crews; but were mainly due to the onerous demand placed upon them for constant sea patrols in a very hostile environment!

    Following the break up of the Soviet Union one name came to epitomise the condition of the post-Soviet navy – Kursk! The Kursk’s construction had already begun as the Soviet block teetered on the brink of self destruction and at many points during her extended ‘build’ her future was put in doubt due to financial and operational uncertainties. K-141 Kurst, an Oscar-II, nuclear powered missile type was indeed a big boat (submarines are boats, not ships) One of four intended under Project 949A (Antaeus) she was fitted with the latest in ‘run-silent, run deep’ technology with her entire outer hull, made of high-nickle, high-chrome content steel, coated with unique ablative, radar deflecting tiles. Built at Severodvinsk, she was finally commissioned in 1994, the lowest point in Russia’s military history. Kursk remained in limbo for almost five years until her first mission in the summer of 1999 to the Mediterranean, shortly after Putin came to power. On her delayed return, Kursk received a final upgrade to her propulsion system only months before she was due to undertake crew and combat training in August of the following year.

    Following the loss of the Kusk on August 12, 2000, it would become clear that neither the submarine or her crew – or indeed the majority of the Northern fleet were ready for the showpiece exercise Putin’s naval chiefs deemed necessary. Kursk’s crew were drawn from various vessels and ten percent of them had never completed formal submariner’s training, such was Putin’s desire to impress upon the world that as far as he was concerned, Russia’s military rot had stopped!

    Various report have surfaced since the wreck was recovered but it is generally accepted that the Kursk’s demise was due to one or more internal, devastating explosions caused by faulty, hydrogen peroxide-fuelled torpedoes. So severe were these explosions that the resultant blast carried significant debris back through the ship, killing most of the crew instantaneously. The force of the second explosion read 3.4-5.4 on the Richter scale and was detected in Norway and Edinburgh, Scotland – yet curiously, several vessels in the fleet of ships escorting the Kursk to deep water failed to take cognisance of her fate.

    When at last it dawned on the fleet commanders that some catastrophic disaster had caused the Kursk to plunge to the bottom, twenty three of the submarine’s crew had sought refuge in the rear section, confident of rescue. No one has satisfactorily explained why these men didn’t use the escape hatch (the boat lay in relatively shallow waters) but the fact remains, they sat in total darkness for two days, writing notes to loved ones until the air regeneration plant failed, caught fire and filled their compartment with lethal fumes. What makes this disaster more tragic and memorable is the fact British and Norwegian navy rescue teams were prepared to help; but denied the opportunity until it was too late!

  20. The Kursk carries twenty-two P-700 Granit cruise missiles which are anti-ship missiles that cannot be shot down or intercepted by NORAD. The P-700 signature would be enough that NORAD would know they carry a 500 Kiloton thermonuclear warhead and have targets of high value pre-programmed into their systems such as the Pentagon.

    Interestingly enough, the morning of September 11, 2001 just 4 minutes before the Pentagon was struck, NORAD detected an incoming object flying @ Mach 2.5 that invoked them to ring the atomic alert for the 1st time in US military history and slam shut all atomic doors @ Cheyenne Mountain. NORAD immediately launched the Nuclear Retaliatory E-4B ‘Doomsday’ jet and dispatched F-15 fighters over the Atlantic ocean to ward off further attacks. This is not the protocol NORAD follows for an attempted hijacking half way across the country. The Pentagon was hit @ the water line level just centimetres from the ground without harming so much as a single blade of grass. The lawn was left so pristine after the devastating attack that you could play golf on it. 6 super structure rings of the Pentagon were punctured in a split second and of course the thousands of cameras @ the Pentagon they tell us were not functioning @ the time of the attack.

    Vice-president Dick Cheney & Condaleezza Rice were immediately rushed away to atomic bunkers where they immediately call Moscow. Why Moscow?

    There is a lot of discussion in the Russian intelligence community that the 22 P-700 Granit anti-ship cruise missiles were stolen. Some believe this is why the military ordered people in the nearby areas to take iodine when the missiles were supposedly buried and destroyed by the government. They had to pulverize their silos to microscopic dust using mini-nukes to cover up the fact the missiles were not there.

    Now that I am reading the company in charge of raising the Kursk was none other than vice-president Dick Cheney’s HALIBURTON, it all starts to come together and make sense.

    Funny how whenever I read of the latest ‘terrorist’ threats in the media, that the ‘terrorists’ are scaring us with ‘500 Kiloton Nukes’. One hit the Pentagon, that means there are 21 left 😉

  21. Why does it have to be a USA vs Russia thing??? BOTH countries have suffered this same tragedy. Why can’t it about remembering and honoring the men who lost their lives while serving their countries???

    My heart goes to their families. I’m very sorry for the loss they suffered…:_(

  22. I find it ironic that, from a personal point of view, innocent people are and have been paying the price for their leaders’ ambitions and visions. Why not let THEM fight one another for their desires and let us go home and be with our families? When this tragedy occurred, I ranked it up with the Challenger disasters and later, Columbia. Whatever your nationality and reason for loss of life, rest easy all and well done done. ‘Till we meet us all again. God bless, crew of the Kursk, and GodSpeed.


Leave a Comment