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A highlight of the assessment of undersea technology in Russia, Ukraine, and Western Europe was in the area of manned submersibles. Not only did numerous manned submersibles exist in the former Soviet Union (FSU), but vision was exhibited there in planning for future use of this technology, including tourist submarines. The impression gained from observations in the United Kingdom was that, except for submarine rescue, manned submersible use in the United Kingdom in support of offshore oil has been replaced by use of remotely operated vehicles. In France, IFREMER continues to support the concept of placing a man in a submersible for work, science, and exploration purposes. The Nautile serves the French well in this regard. A sketch of Nautile systems and sensor suite is shown in Figure 4.1. Technical specifications are displayed in Tables 4.1 and 4.2.
Of the 25 projects visited in Russia and Ukraine, 11 are involved in the design, fabrication (e.g., of components and sensors), and operation of manned submersibles. The eight organizations with projects most closely related to manned submersibles at this time are discussed in this chapter.
Figure 4.1. 6,000 m Diving Submersible (Courtesy IFREMER)
Technical Specifications of 6,000 m Diving Submersible Nautile
Communications and Miscellaneous Equipment of Nautile