JSC Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center resumed construction of a nuclear-powered deep-sea submersible to be a miniature version of Project 10831 Kalitka commonly known as Losharik.
According to newspaper Izvestiya referring to a source in Russian defense industry, name of the new station is kept in secret. Same as Losharik, it will be used for special works at large depths, including seabed researches in the Arctic.
Russian defense ministry refuses to comment this information referring to confidentiality. Purpose of such deep-water bathyscaphs is not reported either. As was said late in Oct 2012, Losharik took part in Arctic seabed research and took bottom soil samples. In prospect, results of those studies may help Russia to expand its Arctic zone beyond 370 km.
According to the source, the new submersible will not yield Losharik in performance. Russian Navy spokesman told Izvestiya that the new submersible would have titanium polyspherical hull, just like Losharik. Most probably, onboard equipment would be same as the Project 10831 submersible has. Nuclear reactor will be new; it is being manufactured in Obninsk, Kaluga region. Project 667BDRM Delfin nuclear-powered submarine BS-64 Podmoskovye will be adapted as a carrier for the new bathyscaphe.
Meanwhile, Project 1851 Nelma deep-water station stays non-completed at the Zvezdochka shipyard. Three such submersibles were built and the fourth one was laid down at Admiralteyskie Verfi shipyard (St. Petersburg) in 1986-1995. The last Nelma was transferred to Zvezdochka shipyard late in 90's.