Russian, US deep ocean ROVs join search for missing Argentine submarine

Argentine Navy file photo of ARA San Juan

US and Russian Navy specialized deep-ocean unmanned vehicles are joining efforts to locate the missing Argentine Navy submarine ARA San Juan.

The US Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) deployed its cable operated unmanned recovery vehicle (CURV) 21 which was loaded aboard US Navy research vessel R/V Atlantis in Comodoro Rivadavia, Southern Argentina, on December 4.

The Russian Navy’s special purpose ship Yantar is set to reach Argentina on December 5 with an embarked team of submarine search and rescue specialists.

Both the Russian and US remotely operated vehicles are capable of operating at depths of around 6,000 meters and are expected to improve prospects of finding the submarine.

The search and rescue operation, which got underway November 15, when the submarine last communicated, now transitioned to search efforts as the chances of finding the 44 crew members alive after 20 days underwater subsided.

Additionally, Argentine Navy confirmed that an explosion had occurred near the position from which the missing submarine ARA San Juan last sent her position.

According to the most recent Argentine Navy update, observations point to two possible locations of the submarine, one located at a depth of 750 and the other at 900 meters.

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