The USS Alex turner was the last of the Russian-built Russian submarines to leave the shipyards, having been decommissioned in the early 1980s.
Now, in its new life, the ship is exploring a new frontier with a new project, with its first voyage planned for mid-2020.
The Alex is a “mini-submarine” designed to be as small as five tons, with a top speed of only 6 knots, according to the project’s website.
Its crew would include four people and the ship’s “surface-to-surface” capabilities, according the site.
Alex’s crew would be able to operate underwater, or be carried aboard the ship, for “a few hours or days,” according to its website.
“A lot of people have heard of submarines, but there are actually a lot of underwater ships that don’t actually exist,” project leader Alexander Turner told CBS News.
“There are not very many that are actually operational in the United States, but we think that is changing.
We think that we can really start to build a real submarine.”
Turner, an engineer and former director of the United Nations Environment Program, says the Alex’s design “can actually be a very successful submarine.”
“The design itself is very simple,” he said.
“The first thing you need to know is that there is no submarine propulsion.
You can just push a button, and the boat goes into a submerged mode, which is the only way that you can make a boat that can actually go into a sub, but that’s not the only thing.”
The Alex’s mission is to “explore new horizons” by “testing new concepts, learning from our past experience, and building on the experiences that we’ve gained,” Turner said.
Turner says the project is part of the Russians “ongoing drive to improve the technology of submarine warfare.”
The project’s official website says it is “designed for the purpose of the search for new and unique underwater capabilities.”
But it doesn’t offer much information about the project beyond the official description of the project, which says the design “could be a successful candidate for underwater operation.”
“To achieve the desired operational capability, we are developing the first submarine,” the site says.
“This submarine can be launched from a surface, and its surface-to‑surface capability could allow it to participate in any operation.
The project will also focus on developing new technologies, including new technology for the search of underwater sources of energy.”
Turners website says the “submarine propulsion system is expected to achieve the underwater capability within 20 to 25 years.”
A 2014 report by the US Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command said the Alex would be a “submerged” vessel.
“Submerged ships are capable of operating underwater under a number of different conditions, including the conditions of the surface, surface-and-air combat, and surface-surface operations,” the report said.
It also noted that the design is “not an ‘antiquated’ submarine, and it will not be equipped with conventional propulsion.
The Navy believes that this submarine can operate in both the submerged and surface modes of operations.”
Turnes project website also says that the “crew will include three officers and four men.”
Turning Point The Alex turned its attention to the Arctic in the late 1980s, turning away from the Soviet Union and its former fleet of Soviet-era nuclear-powered submarines and instead focusing on Arctic exploration.
The design was first built for the Arctic Circle, but its design was never made fully operational.
Turners project website says “it was intended to operate in the Arctic Ocean,” but it didn’t provide a specific location.
“We are developing new technology and concepts for the operation of Arctic exploration vessels and submersibles,” Turners said.
The Arctic is home to a “rich, biologically rich ecosystem,” according Turners team.
“It’s a beautiful place to work,” Turnes said.
He said the team plans to explore the area in a “high-performance, deep-sea exploration ship.”
Turning Point will be able “to conduct deep-water expeditions to the South Pole, Antarctica, the Arctic and the Black Sea,” according the project website.
The vessel will also be able go to “a number of other locations in the Southern Ocean, including New Zealand and the southern part of Europe.”
The site says the ship will be capable of “cruising at least 10 knots.”
The team is working with the “U.S. Navy’s Arctic Program Office,” which is developing a program to provide financial assistance for Alex’s construction and maintenance.
Turnes team also said it plans to “receive technical support from the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy.”
“We have a good relationship with the Royal Navy, so we are hoping that we will be successful in this project,” Turnest said.
But he added that the Alex project “is not necessarily a priority for us, as the Russian Navy is in a state