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629 GOLF

Along with initiating development of the first experimental ballistic missile submarine under Project V-611, the governmental order of 26 January 1954 provided for the development of a diesel-powered ballistic missile submarine. On May 1954 the headquarters of the Navy assigned OKB-16 the task of developing the Golf submarines. The development of the Golf I submarine and its corresponding launch system D-2 was authorized on 11 January 1956. In March 1956 the complete technical design of the submarine was submitted to the Navy shipbuilding headquarters.

Originally the new submarine was designed to carry the R-11FM missiles, which had a range of 250 km, and only 150 km when carrying a nuclear warhead. American antisubmarine defense precluded using such a short-range missile to carry out effective strikes against targets at any meaningful distance from the coastline. As the development of the submarine encountered significant delays, it was nevertheless decided to equip the first three submarines with R-11FM missiles.

The basic design of the Golf submarine is based on the 641 Foxtrot, and the electromechanical installation for a surface and underwater navigation, the hydroacoustic system, the radar facilities and the radio communication systems were incorporated without change. The 629 Golf has a cylindrical pressure hull divided into eight compartments, with three missile tubes located in the fourth compartment.

The large fin of the submarine contains the missiles that are stored in vertical containers directly behind the sail. The missiles are fired by raising the launch platform to the edge of the tube. Launches are conducted on the surface at a speed of up to 15 knots. The battle management system records the current flight coordinates automatically, considerably reducing the time necessary for pre-launch preparation. The pre-launch procedures are conducted underwater and take approximately one hour. Another four minutes was needed after the submarine surfaced, and a total of 12 minutes elapsed until all three missiles were fired.

In comparison with the AV-611 submarine the 629 had several advantages. It was outfitted with an additional missile and their range was four times greater. By employing stronger steel for the pressure hull, the maximum navigable depth was increased. The range of sailing was increased both for the surface and the underwater mode and special five-bladed fixed-pitch propellers were developed to reduce the noise.

In January 1959 the USSR decided to sell the construction and design plans of the 629 SSBN to the People's Republic of China. After the relations between the USSR and China deteriorated, Soviet specialists were mostly withdrawn in August 1960, though the documentation and equipment for the project remained in China.

The construction of submarines of the project 629 was begun in 1957 at Severodvinsk and Komsomol Na Amur. Less than one year later the submarines were launched and at the end of 1958 trial runs were carried out and the vessels were moored. By 1960 seven 629 submarines had been launched, five of which were incorporated into the Northern fleet and two into the Pacific fleet. In 1961 another five submarines entered the Northern fleet and one entered the Pacific fleet. In 1962 the last two boats arrived at the Pacific fleet. A total of 23 submarines were built: 16 in Severodvinsk and 7 in Komsomol Na Amur.

In March or April 1968 the "K-129" submarine sank in the northern Pacific Ocean (1390 kms northwest of Oahu harbor). According to the official version of the Soviet Navy, the submarine exceeded its maximum depth and came to rest on the ocean bottom at a depth of over 5 km. The collapse of the hull was detected by the American SOSUS acoustic system, and in July 1974 parts of the submarine were recovered.

The 629 SSBNs of the Northern fleet were organized in the 16th Division that was based in the Olyenya port. This division formed part of the 12th Squadron, which was headquartered in Yagyelnoy. In May 1962 the Soviet government approved a plan for the deployment of a Group of Soviet Forces to Cuba, which in October 1962 precipitated the Cuban Missile Crisis]. Initially the plan called for the deployment of a squadron of submarines, comprising the 18th Division of missile submarines of the Project 629 class [NATO Golf or G-class], consisting of 7 submarines each with 3 R-13 [SS-N-4] missiles with range of 540 km. This element of the plan was in fact not implemented. In September 1968 two 629A submarines were transferred from the Northern to the Pacific fleet and another four from October 1971 till November 1974. At the end of the 1970s the 16th Division, consisting of six 629A submarines, was transferred from the Northern to the Baltic fleet.

The 629 submarines that served in the 29th submarine division of the Pacific Fleet were first based on Kamchatka and later on in the Pavlovsk bay. In the middle of the 1970s seven 629A submarines were still in service in the Pacific Fleet.

In 1989 four 629A submarines still served in the Baltic and two in the Pacific Fleet. In 1990 however, all submarines were decommissioned.



Soviet Designation




Golf I

Golf II

Development began

January 1956

March 1958

Design Bureau


Chief designer

N.N. Isanin


Nr. 402 Severodvinsk
Nr. 199 Komsomol Na Amur

Construction and Outfit



Service time

Since 1959


Number of ships


14 (converted from Golf I)


D-1 launch system with
3 R-11FM missiles
D-2 launch system with
3 R-13 missiles

D-4 launch system with
3 R-21 missiles

6-533mm torpedo tubes

Power Plant

Diesel and electrical engines


98.4 meters

98.9 meters


8.2 meters


7.85 meters

8.5 meters


2,794 tons Surfaced

2,300-2,820 tons Surfaced

3,553 tons Submerged

2,700-3,553 tons Submerged

Operating depth

260 meters (design)
300 meters (maximum depth)


15 knots Surface

15-17 knots Surface

12.5 knots Submerged

12-14 knots Submerged


80 men

83 men


70 days

Class Listing

#NumberName Laid Down Launched CommisionedStricken
1B-92 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 01/20/1960 1991redesignated K-96 (or K-61)
12/1976 project 629R converted to SSQ,redesignated BS-167
2B-40 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 1959-62 1991redesignated K-72
project 629A converted (Golf II)
1974 redesignated K-372
3B-41 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 1959-62 1991redesignated K-79
project 629A converted(Golf II)
4B-42 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 1959-62 1991redesignated K-83
1978 project 629R converted to SSQ,redesignated BS-83
5B-121 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 1959-62 ---------- redesignated K-102
1973 project 605 converted(Golf IV)
6B-125 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 1959-62 ---------- redesignated K-167
7B-45 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 1959-62 ---------- redesignated K-88
12/28/1966 first project 629A converted(Golf II)
8B-61 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 1959-62 1991redesignated K-93
project 629A converted(Golf II)
9B-15 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 1959-62 1974redesignated to K-113
project 629E converted(minelayer)
10K-118 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 1959-62 12/1976 project 601 converted(Golf III)
11K-36 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 1959-62 1980redesignated K-106
12K-91 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 1959-62 1980
13K-107 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 1959-62 19911977 project 629R converted to SSQ,redesignated BS-107
14K-110 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 1959-62 ---------- project 629A converted(Golf II)
15K-153 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 1959-62 1992projext 629A converted(Golf II)
1978 project 619 converted(Golf V)
1991 redesignated BS-153
16K-142 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 1959-62 19911967 project 629A converted
17B-93 199 Komsomolsk ---------- ---------- 1959-62 ---------- redesignated K-126
project 629A converted(Golf II)
18B-103 199 Komsomolsk ---------- ---------- 1959-62 08/30/1968 redesignated K-129, lost 03/08/1968
19B-109 199 Komsomolsk ---------- ---------- 1959-62 ---------- redesignated K-136
project 629A converted(Golf II)
20B-113 199 Komsomolsk ---------- ---------- 1959-62 ---------- redesignated K-139
project 629A converted(Golf II)
21K-75 199 Komsomolsk ---------- ---------- 1959-62 ---------- redesignated B-575
project 629A converted(Golf II)
22K-99 199 Komsomolsk ---------- ---------- 1959-62 ---------- project 629A converted(Golf II)
23K-163 199 Komsomolsk ---------- ---------- 1959-62 ---------- project 629A converted(Golf II)

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