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Russian Navy

Project 671 Victor class
Attack Submarine (Nuclear Powered)

The Victor class submarines were designed to engage enemy ballistic missile submarines, antisubmarine taskforces, and to protect friendly vessels and convoys from enemy attacks. A contemporary of the American Sturgeon class, they were significantly faster but also had much higher noise levels -- indeed, in the first two variants designers made no significant effort to reduce noise emissions. The reactor plant of all Victor-class submarines is similar to that used with the Yankee and Delta-class Ballistic Missile Nuclear Submarines (SSBNs). The two reactors are mounted in a side-by-side configuration.

The Victor I featured an advanced tear-drop hull design for high underwater speeds. Two small, two-blade propellers are fitted on the stern planes for slow-speed operation. Two external torpedo tubes hold a single nuclear-tipped E53-65K torpedo. The hull of the Victor I class was divided into seven compartments: 1 accommodations; 2 control room ; 3 reactor compartment; 4 turbines; 5 auxiliary machinery; 6 accommodations; 7 electric-motor and steering. A total of 15 units were built. The Project 671 boats were retrofitted to handle the TEST-68 wire-guided torpedo weapons under the designation Project 671B (sometimes written Project 671V). A pair of Project 671 submarines were subsequently equipped with the new "Kolos" non-acoustic detection system, and redesignated as Project 671K.

The Victor II class was enlarged to provide additional weapons capabilities and improved fire-control system. The new generation of 65 cm heavy torpedoes were longer than earlier models, and required power assistance to handle them in the torpedo room. The hull of the Victor II class was divided into eight compartments: 1 Torpedo room and accumulators; 2 Accommodations and mess; 3 Control room; 4 Reactor; 5 Turbines; 6 Turbo generators; 7 Living accommodation and diesel generators; 8 Steering system and electric motor. A total of seven units were built. While the Project 671RT class was building, information from the Walker spy ring emphasized the acoustic vulnerability of the design, construction was curtailed pending an improved design.

An improved version of the Victor II, the Victor III was an interim effort to apply some level of silencing to their submarines. The hull was lengthened by nearly 20 feet to accommodate the rafting and sound insulation for the turbine machinery. The design also features improvements in electronics, navigation systems, and radio and satellite communication systems, accomodated in the additional hull space forward of the sail. Victor II and Victor III submarines are equipped with radio buoys allowing the submarine to maintain communications while submerged. All Victors are double-hulled, though some sources reported that the Victor-III retains the eight-compartment layout of the Victor-II, while other sources suggest it has nine inner hull compartments. The outer hull is coated with anti-hydroacoustic materials to reduce the possibility of detection. The outer hull of the Victor III is made partly from light alloys, and is distinguishable by a high stern fin fitted with a towed array dispenser -- the first Soviet submarine fitted with a towed array. The large pod was needed so that the array could be reeled over a large radius, solve early problems with cracks in the rubber coating. A total of 26 units were constructed, in two groups. The first group of 21 Project 671RTM boats were built between 1977 and 1985.

An additional group of five Project 671RTMK boats were built at the Admiralty shipyard in St Peterburg, equipped with the new "Kolos" non-acoustic sensor suite. Some Project 671RTMs were upgraded to the 671RTMK configuration, and all units of this variant were fitted for the new "Granat" strategic cruise missiles. The Project 671RTMK also incorporated for the first time a fully integrated submarine combat direction and fire control command system. The "Viking" system, said to be based on that developed for the Norwegian Ula class submarines, ran on computers allegedly obtained from the Toshiba Corporation of Japan [at the time the affair was publicly reported as relating to multi-axis milling machines for propellers].

Some reports suggest that some Victor-III boats were permamently assigned to ASW duties, loaded with the carried the RPK-6 torpedo-carrying missile, while others were dedicated to the anti-shipping mission and armed with the new P-100 anti-ship missile.

A single unit of this class, mounting 10-meter fairing on the deck forward of the sail for SS-N-21 tests, is unofficially known as a Victor IV.

On 10 August 1985 one of two reactors on the K.314 Victor-I class submarine was being refuelled at Chazhma Bay, near Vladivostock. A crane used to reposition the reactor lid failed, triggering a nuclear reaction that caused a thermal explosion which ruptured both the aft bulkhead and the pressure hull. The freshly loaded core was thrown out of the reactor. The official casualty figures were 10 killed, 10 cases of acute radiation sickness and 39 other cases of radiation sickness. The Russian Navy has four damaged submarines, of which four are in the Far East, in the Pavlovski Bay (project 675, serial No. 175 and 541 and project 671, serial No. 610) and one - in the North (project 675, serial No. 533).

All Victor Is and IIs had been decommissioned by 1996. Of the 26 units of the Victor III class, various sources suggest that somewhere bewteen 8 and 15 had had been decommissioned due to lack of funds in the 1999-2000 timeframe. This would leave somewhere between 11 and 18 Victor-III units in service, though almost certainly at a low level of operability. Additional units are being retired at a rate of 2 or 3 every year when their reactor core lives expire, which would suggest that the entire class may be retired in the 2005-2010 timeframe. The identity of the currently operational units is somewhat conjectural.


Designer TsKB 16 Malakhit, G.N. Chernyshev.
Builder Admiralty Admiralty Admiralty Shipyard
Nizhny Novgorod
Designation Victor I
671, 671 V, 671 K
Victor II
Project 671 RT
Victor III
Project 671 RTM
671.7 (671 RTMK)
Displacement 3,500 -4,300 tons surface
4,750- 6,085 tons submerged
4,245-4,500 tons surface
5,700-5,800 tons submerged
4,850-5,200 tons surface
6,300-7,250 tons submerged
Dimensions 92.5-95.0 meters long
10.0-11.7 meters beam
7.0-7.3 meters draft
100-102 meters long
10.0 meters beam
6.8-7.0 meters draft
102.2-107.2 meters long
10.0-10.8 meters beam
7.0-8.0 meters draft
Propulsion 2 OK-300 VM-4
pressurized water reactors
72-75 MWt
steam turbines;
30-31,000 shp
1 5 bladed propeller
2 OK-300 VM-4
pressurized water reactors
75 MWt steam turbines; 30,000 shp
1 5 bladed propeller
2 OK-300 VM-4
pressurized water reactors
75 MWt
steam turbines; 30,000 shp
1 tandem 8-bladed propeller
Speed 10-16 knots surfaced
30-32 knots submerged
18-24 knots surfaced
30 knots submerged
18-20 knots surfaced
29-30 knots submerged
Operating Depth 1,050 feet Maximum Safe Depth
1,300 feet Never-Exceed Depth
1,700 feet Crush depth
350 meters Maximum Diving Depth 400 meters Maximum Diving Depth
Endurance 50 days
1,215 full power hours
60 days
1,215 full power hours
80 days
1,215 full power hours
Crew 74-94 80-100 85-100
Missiles 2 - SS-N-15 Starfish SS-N-16 Stallion 2 SS-N-15 Starfish or
2 SS-N-21 cruise missiles.
6 SS-N-16 Stallion or
6 P-100 Oniks/SS-N-22 Sunburn
Torpedoes 6 21-in (533-mm) bow
18 torpedoes
36 mines in lieu of torpedoes
2 21-in (533-mm) bow
4 26-in (650-mm) bow 18 torpedoes
36 mines in lieu of torpedoes
2 21-in (533-mm) bow
4 26-in (650-mm) bow
2 x BA-111 Schkval
36 mines in lieu of torpedoes
  • MRK-50 Topol Surface Search radar
  • MG-29 Khost Underwater communications
  • Sigma-671 Navigation system
  • Metel Combat direction system
  • Leningrad-671 Fire control system
  • MGK-300 Rubin,active/passive Sonar
  • MG-24 Luch mine detection Sonar
  • Zhaliv-P ESM/ECM
  • MG-14 Sonar intercept receiver
  • Nikhrom-M IFF
  • MRK.50 Topol Surface Search radar
  • MG-29 Khost Underwater communications
  • Medvyeditsa-671 Navigation system
  • Metel Combat direction system
  • Kiparis, Anis, Sintez and Kora Communications antennas
  • Molniya-671 Communications System
  • Paravan Towed VLF array
  • MGK.400 Rubikon,active/passiveSonars
  • MG-24 Luch mine detection Sonar
  • Zhaliv-P ESM/ECM
  • 2 MG-74 Korund (torpedo-sized noise generators)
  • MT-70 Sonar intercept receiver
  • Nikhrom-M IFF
  • MRK-50 Topol Surface Search radar
  • MG-29 KhostUnderwater communications
  • Medvyedista-671 Navigation system
  • Tsunami-B Satellite communications
  • Kiparis, Anis, Sintez and Kora Communications antennas
  • Paravan Towed VLF Antenna
  • PZKG-10 Periscope
  • Vodopod Combat direction system [on 671 RTM]
  • Viking Combat direction system [on 671RTMK]
  • Leningrad-671 Fire control system
  • MGK-400 Rubikon,active/passive Sonars
  • Akula flank arrays
  • pithon towed array
  • MG-24 Luch mine detection Sonar
  • Bulava ESM/ECM
  • 2 MG-74 Korund noise simulation decoys (torpedo-sized)
  • MT-70 Sonar intercept receiver
  • Nikhrom-M IFF
  • Class Listing

    #numberName Laid Down Launched Comm. Stricken
    Project 671,671V,671K ("Yersy" type), NATO code "Victor I"
    1K-38 SY 194PAC01/**/1965 10/**/1965 11/05/1967 1992 1992 in reserve
    2K-69 SY 194NOR19661994 19681994 1972 redesignated B-369
    1994 in reserve
    3K-147 SY 194NOR1966----------19681994 ? 1994 in reserve
    ? 1996 in service
    4K-53 SY 194PAC1967---------- 19691994 1994 in reserve
    5K-306 SY 194NOR1967---------- 19691995 1995 in reserve
    6K-323 50 Let SSSR SY 194NOR1968---------- 19701995? 1970 named
    1995 in reserve at Severodvinsk
    7K-370 SY 194NOR1968---------- 19701995 1995 in reserve
    8K-438 SY 194NOR1969---------- 19711995 1995 in reserve
    9K-367 SY 194NOR1969---------- 19711995 1995 in reserve
    10K-314 SY 194NOR1970---------- 19721989 project 671V
    08/10/1985 reactor accident
    1989 in reserve
    11K-398 SY 194NOR1970---------- 1972---------- 1995 in reserve
    [not K.498]
    12K-454 SY 194PAC1971197210/30/1973 1989 project 671V
    renumbered 610?
    1985 damaged during refueling
    03/21/1989 in reserve
    13K-462 SY 194NOR1971197219741996 1996 in reserve
    14K-469 SY 194NOR1971197219741996 project 671V
    1996 in reserve
    15K-481 SY 194NOR19721972197419931993 de-fueled
    Project 671RT("Semga" type), NATO code "Victor II"
    1K-387 SY 19404/02/1971 09/02/1972 12/30/1972 ---------- 1995 in reserve
    2K-371 SY 194197219741974---------- 1996 in reserve
    3K-476 SY 1941973197519751999hull NO. possibly K-467
    1996 in reserve
    11/26-12/04/1996 defuelled
    4K-488 SY 194197419761976---------- 1996 in reserve
    5K-495 SY 194197519761976---------- 1996 in reserve
    6K-513 SY 194197619771977---------- 1996 in reserve
    7K-517 SY 1941977197710/28/1978 ---------- 1996 in reserve
    Project 671RTM ("Schuka" type), NATO code "Victor III"
    1K-138 SY 194NOR---------- 08/**/1977 1978
    2K-218 SY 194NOR---------- 19781978---------- 1996 in reserve
    3K-242 50 Let Komsomolsk-na-Amur SY 199PAC---------- 19781979---------- 1996 in reserve
    4K-244 SY 194NOR---------- 19791979---------- 1996 in reserve
    5K-247 SY 199PAC---------- 19791980---------- 1996 in reserve
    6K-251 SY 199PAC---------- 19791980---------- 1996 in reserve
    7K-254 SY 194NOR---------- 19801980---------- 1996 in reserve
    8K-255 SY 194NOR---------- 07/**/1982 1983
    9K-264 SY 199PAC---------- 19801981---------- in reserve
    10K-292 SY 194NOR---------- 19801981---------- in reserve
    11K-298 SY 194NOR---------- 19811982---------- in reserve
    12K-299 SY 194NOR---------- 19811982---------- 1997 in reserve
    13K-305 SY 199PAC---------- 19811982---------- 1997 in reserve
    14K-324 SY 194NOR---------- 19821983---------- 1997 in reserve
    15K-355 SY 199PAC---------- 19821983---------- 1997 in reserve
    16K-358 Murmansky Komsomolets SY 194NOR---------- 19821983---------- 1990 named
    1997 in reserve
    17K-360 SY 199PAC---------- 19831984---------- 1997 in reserve
    18K-388 SY 194NOR---------- 07/**/1983 1984
    19K-412 SY 199PAC---------- 06/**/1984 1985
    20K-414 SY 194NOR---------- 19841985---------- in reserve
    21K-448 SY 194NOR---------- 19851986---------- in reserve
    22K-492 SY 199PAC---------- 19871987---------- in reserve
    23K-502 SY 194NOR---------- 06/**/1988 1989
    24K-507 SY 199PAC---------- 08/**/1989 1990
    25K-524 SY 194NOR---------- 08/**/1989 01/**/1991
    26K-527 SY 194NOR---------- 10/**/1991 10/**/1992

    Victor I

    Victor II

    Victor III

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