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16 Jun, 2007 04:47

Americans hope to raise sub K-77

The vessel that was once a Hollywood movie star is under water now. The Soviet K-77 submarine, code-named ‘Juliette’ by the U.S. forces, sank in April, 2007, during a storm off Rhode Island. And now its salvage plan is being worked on.

The submarine was considered a formidable adversary by the U.S. Navy and NATO sailors in the 1960s. Its periscope is the only thing you’ll be able to see of the legendary Soviet K-77. The vessel, which sank in a severe storm two months ago off Rhode Island’s capital Providence, belongs to the American Submarine Museum on Rhode Island.
This was no ordinary sub, and its history matches the history of the Cold War. Back in 1965 when it was launched, K-77 was capable of destroying cities, harbours and aircraft carriers. The Juliette-class submarines were planned by the Soviet Navy as nuclear missile platforms for strikes against the U.S., in particular the country's East Coast cities.
After being decommissioned in the 1990s, there were several attempts to make the sub a lucrative investment and a tourist attraction, but all of them have failed.
Its hour of fame came when Hollywood decided to use the vessel as a setting for the action drama “K-19: The Widowmaker”. The film, starring Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson, was a based-on-fact story about a nuclear reactor meltdown on a similar submarine in 1961. After the film’s release 2002, the sub was purchased by the Saratoga Museum Foundation where it remained until the incident. The experts say it’s a pity that such a significant symbol of the Cold War was lost. 
Currently, the submarine’s salvage plan is still being worked on. The Submarine museum’s curators say they want to raise the legend from its watery grave as soon as possible.