First complete submarine rescue system launched
The French, British and Norwegian navies on Friday launched a new system for rescuing stricken submarine crews anywhere in the world within 72 hours, the French defence ministry said.
The NATO Submarine Rescue System (NSRS) is the world's first such system, the ministry said in a statement, and is designed to be flown anywhere in the world where it can be deployed on the decks of a civil or military ship.
The 70-million-euro system, jointly financed by the three NATO members, consists of a remote-controlled robot to locate a stricken sub and a mini-submarine that can attach itself to its escape hatch and bring the crew back to the surface 15 at a time.
The system, which can operate at depths of up to 600 metres and includes decompression facilities, was jointly designed by France's DGA, Britain's DE&S and Norway's NDLO and built by British firm Rolls Royce.
It will be kept on standby at the British nuclear submarine base at Faslane in Scotland, operated by an international team of 72 people.
© 2011 AFP