Military


Project 661 Anchar / Papa

A predecessor to the famous ALFA-class attack submarine, the Project 661 Anchar [Papa] was designed as an extremely fast anti-shipping cruise missile submarine. The Papa design included 10 SS-N-9 missiles in individual tubes forward of the sail, between the inner (pressure) hull and the outer hull. The US Navy was surprised in 1970 by the deployment of the Alfa-class attack submarine, whose 45 knot speed and 2000-2500 foot operating depth greatly surpased previous Soviet or American submarines. The Alfa used a high power density, liquid metal reactor plant which greatly increased her power-to-weight and volume ratios. It also featured a titanium pressure hull which reduced the hull weight needed for extreme operating depths.

The Papa SSGN appeared to incorporate similar design technologies for the antiship cruise missile mission. The K-162 was the world's fastest submarine, reportedly reaching a record speed of 44.7 knots on trials [causing signficant damage to topside equipment in the process]. The high speed of the design came at the price of excessive noisy and high construction costs. The Alfa did not enter production until the late 1970s, with only six units built, while only a single PAPA was ever deployed. Instead, the Soviets focused on building the more traditional submarines.

In July 2008 the Nuclear submarine ?-222 (until 1978. - ?-162) was moved from PO "Sevmash" to berth of ship repairing center "Zvezdochka" for future utilization. This pilot high speed nuclear submarine of 661 project is a unique submarine which had no analogs in world shipbuilding. In fact a new industry branch was established to create the first soviet nuclear submarine with shell from titanic alloy. Ship was being built at Sevmash during 6 years. In 1969 it was delivered in pilot operation, in 1971 it obtained record underwater speed of 44.7 knots [according to Sevmash]. Due to high cost of building and exclusive combat features it was called "Goldfish" ("Zolotaya Rybka").

On 30 November 1980 submarine K-222 was at the plant in Severodvinsk. It was undergoing a comprehensive check of main power plant. Troops killed the ship lunch, and the staff of the plant remained on the submarine. In violation of instructions have been filed on food management compensates grills without power at the control devices. As a result of improper functioning of the automatic compensation lattice spontaneously began to walk up. There was unauthorized access to the nuclear power reactor. As a result, reactor core had been damaged. Official data does not report on the levels of pollution submarine, the environment and levels of exposure of troops.

In 1989 the submarine was excluded from Naval Fleet and in 1999 towed to Sevmash for recycling. But project originality did not allow using traditional technologies of submarine cutting. Within ten years Sevmash civil crew provided ship survivability, and moved the submarine to ship repairing center "Zvezdochka". Builders of this submarine came to part with the submarine. Farewell sirens were heard from Sevmash berths.

The legendary Russian K-222 nuclear submarine - known as Papa in the West - was scrapped starting in July 2008. Dubbed 'Golden Fish' by Russian sailors because of the colour of its titanium alloy hull, it has been the world's fastest underwater vessel for almost 40 years. Commissioned in December 1969, the K-222 could travel at 44.7 knots - that's over 80 kph. Armed with 10 anti-ship cruise missiles, it was designed to destroy aircraft carriers. However the record swiftness came at a cost. Running at full speed, the Golden Fish was very noisy and the crew found the vibrations uncomfortable. It was also far from cheap - some said the nickname referred to the huge cost of the submarine. It's no surprise that only one vessel of this type was ever built. K-222 is being dismantled in the northern naval port of Severodvinsk at the only Russian factory capable of cutting its titanium hull. To mark the significance of the vessel, veterans have proposed transforming its control cabin into a monument.

Taking into account significance of K-222 in the history of shipbuilding, the community and Naval Fleet veterans suggested keeping submarine deckhouse as memorial.

Anchar - Poison-Tree

Anchar is a spicy preserve: a pungent pickle made of mango, lemon, and ginger, used in South Asian and Caribbean cooking. This is not what is meant here. In Russian, Anchar is the Upas tree, a poison tree [antiaris toxicaria, or "Ipoh tree"]. Upas (Malay, 'poison') is the name given to various vegetable poisons in the Indian Archipelago, including some kinds of Strychnos. But that best known under this name is the arrowpoison prepared from the gum that exudes from incisions in the stem of the Antjar or Anchar tree (Antiaris toxicaria), a large tree belonging to the Artocarpaceie.

About the year 1775, a certain Dutch surgeon called Foersch, who had traveled much in Java, came back and wrote a book, in which he described some curious things he had seen. Unscrupulous travelers, in the time when Surgeon Foersch lived, could take great license of description. Foersch published an account of the Upas poison valley of Java; so grave and circumstantial that, extraordinary as the testimony was, people did not hesitate to accept it. So many little details were given, that every statement made had the quality of local coloring, as an artist would say; and one could hardly refuse to believe it. Somewhere in the far recesses of Java there was, according to Foersch, a dreadful tree, the poisonous secretions of which are so virulent, that they not only kill by contact, but poison the air for several miles around, so that the greater number of those who approach the vegetable monster are killed. Nothing whatever, he wrote, can grow within several miles of the upas-tree, except some little trees of the same species.

The portentous tales current in Europe, especially towards the end of the 16th century, and set forth in Erasmus Darwin's "Loves of the Plants" are mostly baseless inventions - as for example that the atmosphere for miles round a upas tree was deadly to all animal life, and that no other vegetation could flourish near one. It is true that when a tree is felled or its bark much bruised an effluvium issues acrid enough to cause cutaneous eruptions. And it has been suggested as an explanation of the fantastic stories that upas trees grow in a Javanese valley where carbonic acid, in quantities dangerous to animal life, issues from the volcanic soil, as in the Grotto del Cane Cane, in the vicinity of Naples.

But the tree has no such powers. The legend has served, however, to make the Upas Tree the symbol of anything which yields a deadly influence. "It is a poison-tree, that pierced to the inmost, Weeps only tears of poison." Coleridge

In 1828 Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (1799-1837) wrote his famous poem "Ancar," usually rendered in English as "The Upas Tree". Pushkin is said to have emancipated the Russian language from its adolescent conventions and achieved a simplicity directness of speech and imagery that have few parallels outside the language of ancient Greece.

Deep in the desert's misery,
far in the fury of the sand,
there stands the awesome Upas Tree
lone watchman of a lifeless land.

"Anchar - drevo smerti", op. 49 no. 1 (1882-1897) was written by Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908). The editing of Moussorgsky's works continued for some considerable time to occupy almost the whole of Rimsky-Korsakof's attention; the only creative work undertaken during this period was the preliminary sketch for a piano concerto and the setting of Pushkin's "Upas Tree," publication of which was delayed for many years. Rimsky-Korsakof's choral works did not meet with any great success. "Svitezyanka," "The Doom of Oleg " (based on Pushkin's poem), a setting of the same poet's " Upas Tree," and the revolutionary song "Doubinoushka," prompted by the events of 1905, were all performed in Russia. Their failure is ascribed by their composer to a want of interest in such compositions.

In a story called The Anchar, an aristocratic man without helm or compass, and a girl from Little Russia, a beautiful character, fall in love with each other; and the same infirmity of purpose destroys both. This is one of the tales in which Ivan Tourgueneff's wonderful power of chiseling, if we may so express it, the female character, is best displayed. The title of the story is taken from that of a poem by Pushkin called The Anchar, a kind of upas-tree that bears poisonous fruit: even the French translation of this poem gives a wonderful idea of the power of the poet.



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