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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

New French Rebreathers for Russian Navy Divers

RIA Novosti

19:34 02/04/2012 SEVASTOPOL, April 2 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Black Sea Fleet is considering replacing Soviet-made underwater breathing equipment used by its combat divers with new French-produced Amphora closed circuit rebreathers, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Monday.

The respirators are currently being tested, the spokesman said. If the tests are successful, they would replace IDA-71 individual breathing apparatuses that have been used by Soviet and Russian navy divers since 1971.

The French rebreathers are lighter and smaller than their Soviet analogues and are equipped with an advanced breathing mixture supply system, the Defense Ministry spokesman said.

Unlike IDAs, which are attached to the diver’s back, the Amphora apparatus’s main unit is fastened to the chest, he said. As a result, Russian navy divers will have to undergo additional training to be able to implement their combat tasks with the new rebreathers, he added.

The Amphora is based on the combat diver Frogs (Full Range Oxygen Gas System) apparatus. It is made up of two components: a 2.1L Oxygen cylinder which provides a dive duration of 240 minutes at 7 meters, and a 2L mixture cylinder to be filled with nitrox, which gives a dive duration of 60 minutes.

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