Site: Malachite
St. Petersburg Marine Engineering Bureau
ul. Frunze, 18
St. Petersburg 196135

Date Visited: May 18, 1993

Report Author: M. Lee



N. Caplan
A. Kalvaitis
M. Lee


Anatoly V. Kuteinikov; General Designer and Director
Vladimir I. Barantsev; Chief Designer
Vitaliy A. Ostapenko; Chief Engineer


Malachite is reputedly one of the leading firms in Russian underwater shipbuilding. Malachite's scientists and engineers built the first Soviet nuclear submarine, the Leninsky Komsomol. This was a classified operation until recently. The firm is now participating in the defense conversion program and is interested in making its capabilities available to the world market. A systems design house that partners with other organizations that develop subsystems (acoustics and electronics design subsystems, for example), Malachite has experience in the design and fabrication of several different types of submarines, submersibles, and underwater work mechanisms.

At a conference held in Birmingham, England, in May, Russian military technology conversion was displayed for Western buyers. Malachite was unable to show the WTEC team some of the firm's hardware because it was at this conference.


Submersibles for Aid of Fishermen

Malachite has designed and built a towed submersible, Thetis-H (sometimes translated from the Cyrillic as Thetis-N), which is used to assist in improving the effectiveness of fishing trawlers. The vehicle, which is towed behind the net, is steerable up and down and left and right. The man inside of the vehicle can assess the effectiveness of the fishing process and can relay instructions to the surface to steer the net. It is also used to observe fish type and behavior, and to correlate this data to acoustic signatures as heard from the ship.

Man in the Sea Project

The objective of the man in the sea project is to learn how to allow man to operate down to 500 m while using only a light diving suit. Malachite has a test chamber that is outfitted with video cameras, which allow experimentation with animals to develop mixed gases and decompression techniques. As a result of this program, Malachite's scientists and engineers have been able to send divers to 500 m depth. They have built and operated an underwater habitat that operates to 300 m depth and can hold up to twelve scientists.

6,000 M Submersible Rus

A new 6,000 m submersible Rus is being built by Malachite using a welded titanium sphere, silver zinc batteries, and Russian-manufactured light-weight syntactic foam. The firm estimates that this vehicle could be reproduced for approximately $12 million. Malachite feels that it brings an expertise in welding thick titanium, an important asset, to the submersible community. The Rus is being built for the Ministry of Geology. This vehicle is being delayed by funding problems.

Test Tank Capabilities

Malachite has test tank capabilities to test a 2.2 m diameter down to 6 km depth and 2.9 m diameter down to 4 km depth.

Submersible Mounted Drill

Malachite has a submersible mounted drill that can drill and recover the core from a 50 mm x 3 m hole.

Submersible Oil Tanker

Malachite proposes to design a submersible oil tanker that could carry oil from northern Canada to Japan or Korea via the polar under-ice route. This vessel would be nuclear powered with diesel power as auxiliary for use near populated areas.

Tourist Vehicles

Malachite is interested in designing underwater tourist vehicles of various types.

Underwater Vehicles for Sunken Log Recovery

Malachite has designed and fabricated underwater vehicles for the recovery of sunken logs. These vehicles are lowered to the bottom. They have a manipulator that picks up the logs from the bottom. Some of them have a manipulator and a saw to cut standing lumber, then retrieve it. The vehicles use force feedback on the manipulator through a joystick operator interface.

North 2

The North 2, a 2,000 m manned submarine, was designed at Malachite.


Malachite is a large scale systems designer and integrator with a lot of expertise in submarine, submersible, and underwater work systems design and fabrication. The firm has ties into a network of other organizations that can participate in marine system design and fabrication. The firm's scientists and engineers are not working on ROVs or AUVs because they see no demand.

Until recently, all of Malachite's contact with the outside community for technology has been through a company named Sudoexport. This work is now handled by Defense Export.

Computer-assisted design (CAD) is Malachite's most needed and requested technology. Malachite's scientists currently use personal computers for computing.


Market literature that describes the specifications for each of the projects included in this report is available from Malachite. Projects included are:

Rus (autonomous manned submersible)
Thetis-H (underwater towed manned observation vehicle)
Conself (underwater autonomous manned observation vehicle)
Argo-1 (underwater excursion complex)
Argo-2/4 (underwater excursion complex)
Argo-3 (underwater excursion complex)
Triton (manned submersible)
Sadko (underwater passenger complex)
Investigator (diesel-electric submarine)
Pyranja (small diesel-electric submarine)
Underwater tanker
Underwater transport container carrier
Aquarium (underwater leisure center)
White Nights (St. Petersburg international music center on the water --
and Archipelago variants)
Hyperbaric oxygen complex
Meduza-1 (complex for underwater works)
Akvia (complex for surface and underwater tours)
Underwater yacht

Hudson, Richard L. "Russia Is Displaying Defense Equipment at Show in England." Wall Street Journal, May 24, 1993:1.

Published: June 1994; WTEC Hyper-Librarian