Russian Defence Ministry to arrange submarine tours

Publish date: April 22, 1998

Written by: Igor Kudrik

The Russian Northern Fleet will start arranging tours onboard nuclear powered submarines, reported Russian daily "Novye Izvestiya". Typhoon-class submarines are considered to be the most suitable for this purpose.

Feeling the squeeze of reduced budgets, the Russian army seeks extraordinary ways of survival. Last year, there were news stories revealing the plans to sell a nuclear powered submarine to a foreign country, earning some 2 billion USD. This year, the Defence Ministry has announced its intentions to use nuclear powered submarines to carry rich tourists to the North Pole.

The existing plans suggest that Typhoon-class submarines are the most suitable for such purposes. Typhoon-class is the biggest submarine in the world, which is able to take onboard some 200 passengers at a time.

On another tack, the initiative of the Defence Ministry contains no innovations. Since 1989, the nuclear powered icebreakers based in Murmansk have been making commercial trips to the North Pole, carrying tourists onboard. The price tag for such a trip amounts to 25,000 USD. The newest nuclear icebreaker Yamal, commissioned in 1993, received a special outfit at the shipbuilding yard to accommodate tourists. In this connection, one can think that the new generation strategic submarine of Borey-class, which is currently under construction in Severodvinsk, will have an extra space for those who are eager to pay big money to be onboard during a sea trile.