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24 Jul, 2008 09:07

World’s fastest submarine goes under

The legendary Russian K-222 nuclear submarine – known as Papa in the West – is being scrapped. Dubbed ‘Golden Fish’ by Russian sailors because of the colour of its titanium alloy hull, it has been the world’s fastest underwater vesse

Commissioned in December 1969, the K-222 could travel at 44.7 knots – that’s over 80 kph. Armed with 10 anti-ship cruise missiles, it was designed to destroy aircraft carriers.

However the record swiftness came at a cost. Running at full speed, the Golden Fish was very noisy and the crew found the vibrations uncomfortable.

It was also far from cheap – some said the nickname referred to the huge cost of the submarine. It’s no surprise that only one vessel of this type was ever built.

K-222 is being dismantled in the northern naval port of Severodvinsk at the only Russian factory capable of cutting its titanium hull.

To mark the significance of the vessel, veterans have proposed transforming its control cabin into a monument.