Monday, February 23, 2015

GUGI Link to November 2014 DW/DDW Testing in Black Sea

GUGI Letter of Appreciation to Aleksandr Georgiyevich Zubchenko

The recent posting of a certificate of appreciation from head of the Russian MOD's Directorate of Deep-Water Research (GUGI), Vice Admiral Burilichev, has led to further proof that the November 2014 testing of DeepWorker (DW)/Dual DeepWorker (DDW) submersibles in the Black Sea was linked to GUGI [I suggested a possible link to GUGI in this blog entry]. The certificate was awarded to Aleksansdr Georgiyevich Zubchenko on February 5, 2015, for "dynamic participation and initiative demonstrated during preparations for and performance of interagency testing under the Funikuler-MKPTR program" [MKPTR expands to "mobile complex for performing undersea technical work"].   

Aleksandr Zubchenko
A simple web search indicates Aleksandr Georgiyevich Zubchenko is a prominent figure in undersea systems research. He originally served in the Russian Navy, reaching the rank of Captain 2nd Rank before leaving naval service. He has held several jobs since, most recently working as Deputy Chief of the Submersible Department at DayvTekhnoServis in St. Petersburg. Zubchenko was involved in acceptance testing of a Triton XLX ROV in 2012 and interagency testing of a mobile stand-alone hyperbaric chamber in the same year. Zubchenko is also co-author of at least a half-dozen patents related to undersea search and rescue systems, primarily ROV/UUV systems, between 2001 and 2011.

DayvTekhnoServis is located at #18 Zheleznovodskaya Street in St. Petersburg, next to the "House of Thieves" (#22) depicted in Eduard Kochergin's 2003 book Angelova Kukla. The company was established in February 2000 when Akvateks (est. 1991) split its company into two components: Akvateks, which continues to support the diving sports industry, and DayvTekhnoServis, which supports professional diving, emergency rescue, and undersea technical operations. Today, the company has more than 90 employees, including 8 divers with advanced diving education (one of which [Anatoliy Gennadyevich Khramov] was awarded the title "Hero of Russia"). In 2012, the company had on its rosters five former submariners, including Zubchenko.

DayvTekhnoServis' Anatoliy Gennadyevich Khramov
[credit: DayvTekhnoServis]

The Funikuler-MKPTR system figures prominently in at least one court case so far. On March 22, 2010, Yantar Baltic Shipyard signed a state contract (748/31/220YuGTS-2010) for the construction of Yantar-class research vessel "Yantar" for GUGI. Yantar later signed a sub-contract (DTS/135-01) with DayvTekhnoServis on January 17, 2012. The title of the sub-contract was: "Component of Funikuler-MKPTR Experimental Design Work: Creation of a Mobile Complex for Performing Undersea Technical Work (MKPTR) Based on the Deep-Water Working Submersible (RGA) 'DUAL DEEP WORKER', Operating at a Depth of Up to 1,000 Meters". The DTS/135-01 sub-contract called for two of the mobile complexes to be produced and tested.

In February 2014, Yantar filed a suit against DayvTekhnoServis with the Arbitration Court of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Oblast seeking RUB 9,011,437 for non-completion of several stages of the DST/135-01 sub-contract. In its August 18 decision (A56-9548/2014), the court only approved partial payment (RUB 5,000,000). Unhappy with the lower court's decision, Yantar appealed to the 13th Arbitration Appellate Court. Unfortunately for Yantar, the 13th Arbitration Appellate Court, in its December 15 decision (13AP-24337/2014), reversed the lower court's decision and found in favor of DayvTekhnoServis. This month, Yantar Shipyard filed an appeal with the Arbitration Court of the Northwestern District. No date has been given for commencement of the hearings (F07-835/2015).