December 4, 2017
A Russian robot dives into the depths of the South Atlantic every day to record images that make it possible to confirm or rule out whether the ARA San Juan is there. Six ships raking an area of operations that days ago was limited to 4 thousand square kilometers. And three minisubmarines (one from the United States, another two from Russia) with the ability to go down to 6,000 meters about to join.
18 days after the last contact with the missing submarine, the Navy operation is now focused on verifying the clues thrown by the sweep made around the point where an explosion was detected on November 15, three hours after the last contact that could be established with the crew.
The track on which it is trying to advance is now a detection located at 950 meters deep. Enrique Balbi, spokesman for the Navy, explained that during the early morning the Malvinas Islands notice was transferred to this point, which carries the Pantera Plus, a key piece for this stage of the operation. It is an unmanned equipment capable of operating at a maximum depth of 1,000 meters and is equipped with a sonar that scans the seabed; in addition to cameras that allow images to be captured so that they can be checked on the ground.
The new evidence is a “metallic contact” that had been detected by the Cabo de Hornos ship and the Skandi Patagonia. The operation was complicated by bad weather – there were winds and waves of two meters – and it did not allow the Pantera to submerge during the first part of the day. ”This point is still being investigated, to discard one by one and that nothing remains left to chance, “Balbi summed up.
In the next few hours, new technology will be added to the search: three mini-submarines with the capacity to submerge up to 6 thousand meters will arrive. One of them, an ROV from the United States, will be transferred to the search area by the ship Atlantis, which returned to Comodoro especially to search for it.
The other two will arrive with the Russian ship Yantar, which is scheduled to arrive this Tuesday. It measures 108 meters in length and has a propulsion system that includes two propellers in the bow, advances at 15 knots (about 27 kilometers per hour). It carries two submersible vehicles, Konsul and Rus, which, thanks to their titanium pressure hulls, reached a depth of 6,270 meters in the last tests.
These ships open the possibility of extending the search to deeper sectors – in the area they reach 3,000 meters – in case the signals detected in the sweep are completely discarded.
Source: Submarino ARA San Juan: how the search continues and what technology will be added
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