The massive construction that will lift Kursk to the surface approaches its scheduled August 27 launch date in Amsterdam as Dutch engineers and technicians work on modifications for Giant 4's mission. Dutch lift contractors SMIT International have designed a saddle to secure Kursk during the voyage to Murmansk in northern Russia, and a recess to receive the conning tower. Lifting gear is already on deck and 26 holes have been made in the structure for the super-strong strands that will be lowered for fixing to the submarine's hull.
When the vessel leaves Amsterdam harbour, it faces a two-week voyage to the Barents Sea wreck site. A spokesman for Kursk contractor SMIT International in Rotterdam denied that modifications to equipment for cutting away the Kursk bow section had compromised the operational timetable by delaying the sailing of the supply ship. Communications manager Lars Walder told the Russian agency strana.ru that at the wreck site, any time not spent working on the bow would be used to continue cutting holes for lifting the hull, since the same divers would do both jobs.
In the meantime, one hundred metres below the surface, divers continue their work clearing debris between Kursk’s two hulls around the third and fourth compartments, and dismantling plates cut from the vessel's outer hull.