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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian admiral calls for deployment of torpedoes mothballed after Kursk disaster

RIA Novosti

19:24 12/08/2010

MOSCOW, August 12 (RIA Novosti) - A unique torpedo that was withdrawn from use after the Kursk submarine tragedy should be returned to the Russian Navy, a former North Fleet commander said on Thursday.

The Kursk nuclear-propelled submarine sank in the Barents Sea on August 12, 2000, following an onboard torpedo explosion, killing all 118 crewmembers. Then Navy chief Adm. Vladimir Kuroyedov banned the use of the Kit (series 65-76) 650-mm torpedoes on all Russian submarines after the incident.

"These torpedoes have unique specifications and are the fastest and most powerful torpedoes in the world," Adm. Oleg Yerofeyev said in an interview with RIA Novosti. "They must be returned to the Navy."

He said the only problem with the torpedoes was that they leak gas.

"Their construction is such that these torpedoes will always leak gas. This does not happen because of poor insulation, the process simply needs to be controlled," Yerofeyev said, adding that a special gauging instrument was needed to control the leak.

Navy Commander Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky earlier said the Kit torpedoes had been placed in reserve at depots and that there were no plans to dismantle them.

The Kit torpedo has a mass of 5 tons, a length of 11 meters, a speed of over 50 knots and a range of 50 kilometers. It uses hydrogen peroxide as fuel and can carry a nuclear warhead.

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