Ukraine: SSK Zaporizhzhia Takes Sea

SSK Zaporizhzhia Takes Sea

Ukrainian Navy’s diesel electric submarine (SSK) Zaporizhzhia on March 20 took the sea after the 20-year long repair at Russia’s Black Sea Fleet (BSF) 13-th Ship Repair Plant; the sub entered Sevastopol harbor, and the crew began to train “routine activities at anchorage”, reported Ukrainian Navy Press Center.

SSK Zaporizhzhia will start sea trials on Apr 17, 2012. Her safety will be provided by BSF rescue ship Kommuna and experts of BSF Rescue Ship Brigade, reports ITAR-TASS.

The sub’s first sortie was planned back in May 2011 but postponed due to malfunctions found.

Diesel submarine Zaporizhzhia was built in Leningrad in 1970. At first, she was stationed at Northern Fleet, then since 1990 – at Black Sea Fleet. On Aug 1, 1997 the sub was handed over to Ukrainian Navy.

However, the submarine was in need of complete overhaul. Due to lack of funds in Ukraine’s budget, she has been staying idle at the shipyard for 20 years.

Earlier on, a source in Ukrainian Navy HQ stated there were no specialists in Ukraine to serve in the submarine.

“It should be admitted that Ukrainian Navy no longer has specialists suitable for submarine service. Perhaps, we would work on that matter jointly with Russian colleagues”, he said.

Naval Today Staff , March 22, 2012; Image: sevastopol