The Panther Plus remotely operated vehicle, made by Britain’s Seaeye Marine, is designed to search for and examine sunken objects as well as perform other underwater missions, both on its own and together with divers or manned submersibles, at depths up to 1,000 meters (3,000 feet).
This is probably a wise move, considering that the Rooskies just launched the Yuri Dolgoruky, the first Borei-class (Arctic Wind) nuclear missile submarine. The boat has been delayed over a decade and the missiles haven’t faired terribly well in testing. Maybe this Panther Plus is on hand to be ready in case of disaster.
From ABC (Australian) Online:
The Yuri Dolgoruky, which takes its name from a Slavic prince who helped defend Moscow, can descend to a depth of 450 metres and can carry 107 sailors.
Actually, the Dolgoruky can descend far, far deeper than 450 meters. It’s the getting back up that’s sometimes a bit of a trick for Russian boats.
Pravda says that the Dolgoruky will not get missiles for at least a year. The Bulava-M is advertised to be able to dodge anti-missile systems. So far, it’s been pretty good at dodging successful tests, too.
That Pravda article also says that all nuclear naval forces will be based on the Kamchatka Peninsula, though the main surface fleet will remain based at Vladivostok.