The plan of Kursk salvage: the hull of the nuclear-powered sub to be cut in two. The submarine's nose section destroyed by the blast will rest on the sea-bed in the Barents sea

Some details of the retrieval operation scheduled for the summer to raise the Russian submarine Kursk were disclosed today. The Dutch companies, Smit Tak and Heerema, will disclose today in Brussels the plan of the submarine retrieval operation. The hull of the nuclear-powered sub will be cut in two. The submarine's nose section /about 20 metres long/ destroyed by the blast will initially rest on the sea-bed in the Barents sea. Then, it will be lifted without foreign specialists' assistance. The Russian side insists that the destroyed nose section of the Kursk sub be retrieved without the help of the foreign specialists. Deepsea divers will attach 20 cables /23 centimetres in width each/ to the Kursk's second section to subsequently raise it to the surface with the help of a crane ship and fasten on pontoons. The biggest floating crane Tialf which belongs to the Dutch firm Heerema will perform this salvage operation. Smit Tak International will lease out the pontoon. The submerged submarine will be towed to the shore and placed in a dock in order to extricate the bodies of the crew, RIA Novosti anounces. According to a representative of Smit Tak International, the cables will be secured to the submarine hull by means of metal hooks in contrast with usual practice of positioning the cables under the ship's hull. This is the only exception to the rule during salvage operations. Moreover, the cables will be much stronger than necessary. Experimental materials won't be applied during the raising of the submarine, the representative of Smit Tak International added.