The Russian Navy has deployed a British-made remotely operated vehicle (ROV), Seaeye Panther Plus, into service with the Black Sea Fleet.
Seaeye Panther Plus is designed to perform salvage operations including torpedo recovery and support of distressed submarines with emergency life support pods. It also has the ability to operate at depths of up to 3,000ft.
The vehicle was pressed into service with the Black Sea Fleet after extensive testing and a 50-hour underwater operation at depths of up to 100m.
Russia decided to buy the system after an incident in August 2005, when Russia’s AS-28 submersible was tangled in a fishing net at a depth of 190m.
The vehicle is also used for typical Panther applications including pipeline surveys, touch-down monitoring, cable installation, drill support and non-destructive testing inspections.
Russian shipyards have not built a single ROV-class vehicle in the past decade, according to RIA Novosti.