The Russians produced 4 types of helmets:

In this section you will only find the air helmets. Vist the Russian Mixed gas diving helmets collection for more information on gas hats.

In the 1971 Russian Navy diving manual you can see one of the big challenges in using a 3-bolt suit. It takes 4 tenders to get the diver inside ! When you still use 3-bolt suits today it is sensible to put a drysuit zip in the back. This will spare the rubber collar and helps your tenders in a great way.

Here’s where the Russian helmet story begins...


Whilst diving in the Baltic se on the wreckage of a sunken battleship.

Alexander Mironov and his diving buddy discovered an old diving helmet At that time could
they have known this was the very first model of a Russian diving helmet based on the design
of the regulator helmet developed by Auguste Denayrouze. The design dates back to 1885
and this helmet is one of the very early ones as we will discover later on in the story.

Front and side view of the Russian helmet in the condition which it was discovered. The glass in the ports is remarkably all intact and we see on the helmet
there is a spitcock quite rare on early helmets of this type so maybe this was added later. The teardrop design suggests that if fitted later it was in the early 20th century.
The blanking patch to the rear of the side light now covers the place where the connector to the regulator was once fitted.
The missing fitting is presumably where there was once a modern telephone connector.

Rear and side view of the helmet show there was once an acoustic telephone fitted to the helmet and the connection was blanked off. At the rear of the corselet you may just be
able to make out the hangar for the regulator mechanism. The air inlet connector is in the original position and the whole helmet is in remarkably good condition considering its ordeal.

The helmet has now been cleaned up and we can see how well it has been preserved.
Congratulations to Alexander Mironov for this fantastic find and for sharing these pictures.


An Early 3 bolt 3 window air diving helmet model 111-3.
The earlier helmets did not have the handle on the top.
The black rubber gasket is removed and the neck ring of
the suit is inserted providing a water tight seal.
There is no telephone speaker on this helmet.
The serial number is 1091 and the date is 1964.
This model superceeded the model UVS50.

Photo courtesy of Jan Hasselbach

3-bolt 1977

3-bolt 1989

3-bolt 1998. The corselet looks rather flat on this one

A Russian 3-bolt from 1986. At the back you see the air inlet in the middle.
Behind the cover is also the inlet for the telephone. The air outlet is operated by the diver with his head.

Another nice series of a Russian 3-bolt. On this hat you can spot the speaker outlet of the telephone near the front glass.
On older hats you do not see this feature. Courtesy of HYB.

Russian hat in full action. Courtesy of HDS SA.

Another 3-bolt in action. Here you can clearly see telephone and air supply entering the helmet through the same entrance. The diver is wearing a winter suit where gloves are fitted to the sleeves. A summer suit has seals around the wrists.

Photos courtesy of Eero Vastapuu from Finland

Russian 12-bolt 3-light helmet from 1992.
Notice the welding glass in the front glass.

Same hat: production date unknown. Did you know the rumors that
the Russians now still produce hats just to satisfy collectors.......

A Russian 12-bolt from 1970

Russian 3-bolt 12-bolt helmet. 
It is possible to use this helmet with a 3-bolt suit and with a 12-bolt suit. 
Build in 1991.

All of the above pictures with the courtesy of Toucan 2

SONAR Ltd of St Petersburg, Russia use the 12/3 bolt diving equipment at present

The diver dresses to dive with the 3/12 bolt helmet. The Heavy green
suit has integral mitts to protect the Diver's hands from the cold water.
The Divers boots are made from rubber with
lead soles and brass toe caps for protection.
With the diver on the ladder the heavy lead
weights are fixed to the divers chest and back.
The helmet is tightened onto the corselet before the diver enters the water.

Final adjustments are made. The diver descends the ladder.

The diver returns to the ladder.

Many thanks to Sergey Kulpin -Director of SONAR Ltd. for permission to use these pictures.

We are indebted to Konstantin Korchagin for his help with the Russian Section
Dive Club SADKO

On a warm day the Diver prepares for a dive . Photo courtesy of Valentin.

To see the Russian Helmets in dive action follow this link


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