List of Soviet and Russian submarine classes

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Submarines in the Soviet Navy were developed by numbered "projects," which were sometimes but not always given names. During the Cold War, NATO nations referred to these classes by NATO reporting names, based on intelligence data, which did not always correspond perfectly with the projects. See:

The NATO reporting names were based on the British (and later American) habit of naming submarines with a letter of the alphabet indicating the class, followed by a serial number of that class. The names are the radiotelephonic alphabet call sign of a letter of the alphabet. For security purposes, the "pennant numbers" of Soviet submarines were not sequential, any more than those of Soviet surface vessels were.

Most Russian (and Soviet) submarines had no "personal" name, but were only known by a number, prefixed by letters identifying the boat's type at a higher level than her class. Those letters included:

  • К (K) — крейсерская (kreyserskaya, "cruiser")
  • ТК (TK) — тяжелая крейсерская (tyazholaya kreyserskaya, "heavy cruiser")
  • Б (B) — большая (bolshaya, "large")
  • С (S) — средняя (srednyaya, "medium")
  • М (M) — малая (malaya, "small")

Any of those prefixes could have С (S) added to the end, standing for специальная (spetsialnaya) and meaning "designed for special missions":

  • New weapon, engines and armanent testing,
  • Submarines for long-range radio communications,
  • Target submarines for anti-submarine training,
  • Rescue service submarines,
  • Covert operations.

Diesel-electric[edit]

Russo-Japanese War[edit]

World War I Era[edit]

World War II Era[edit]

Project Series Image Built Assignment
Dekabrist class submarine Series I Shadowgraph Dekabrist class I series submarine mod.svg 6 large positional submarine
Leninets class submarine Series II, XI, XIII, XIII-1938 L-4 Garibaldiec 2.JPG 25 Mine layers
Shchuka class submarine Series III, V, V-bis, V-bis-2, X, X-1938 Shadowgraph Schuka class III series submarine 01.svg 86 Medium-sized patrol submarines.
Pravda class submarine Serie IV Shadowgraph Pravda class IV series submarine mod.svg 3 Squadron submarines.
Malyutka class submarine Series VI, VI-bis, XII, XV Shadowgraph Malyutka class VI series submarine.svg
Shadowgraph Malyutka class VI-bis series submarine.svg
Shadowgraph Malyutka class XII series submarine.svg
Shadowgraph Malyutka class XV series submarine.svg
110 Small submarines for coastal patrols.
Soviet S class submarine Series IX,IX-bis Shadowgraph S-56 submarine.svg 41 Medium submarines, built using German project (early version of Type IX).
K class submarine (Soviet) Serie XIV Shadowgraph Kreiserskaya class submarine.svg 11 Cruiser submarines with combined arms.

Post War era[edit]

Attack submarines[edit]

Project NATO reporting name Silhouette/Image Built Assignment
611, AB611 Zulu class Zulu II class SS.svg 26 Large oceanic submarines
613 Whiskey class Whiskey class SS.svg 215 Medium multi-purpose submarines
615 Quebec class Quebec class SS.svg 30 Small submarines with full-diesel propulsion
617 Whale class Whale class SS.svg 1 Experimental submarines which had a Walter engine fuelled by high test peroxide (HTP)
633 Romeo class Romeo class SS.svg 20 Medium submarines
641 Foxtrot class Foxtrot class SS.svg 75 Large oceanic submarines
641Б Cом (Som, catfish) Tango class Tango class SS.svg 18 Large oceanic submarines
690 Кефаль (Kefal, mullet) Bravo class Target submarine for torpedo exercises
877, 877Э, 877ЭКМ, 877В, 877ЛПМБ, 877ЭК Paltus (turbot) Kilo class Kilo class SS.svg 24 Large submarines
636, 636М (Varshavyanka, after Warsaw Pact) Improved Kilo class Improved Kilo class SS.svg 31 Large submarines
677 Лада (Lada, goddess of love) Lada class S.Peterburg.svg 1 Large submarines
1650 Амур (the Amur River) Amur 1650.jpg 0 Modification of Lada class for export
865 Пиранья (Piran'ya, piranha) Losos class (Salmon) 2 Midget submarines

Guided missile submarines[edit]

Project NATO reporting name Silhouette/Image Built Assignment
P613 Whiskey Single Cylinder Whiskey class SS.svg 1 × SS-N-3 cruise missile
644 Whiskey Twin Cylinder Whiskey class SS.svg 2 × SS-N-3 cruise missile
665 Whiskey Long Bin Whiskey class SS.svg 4 × SS-N-3 cruise missile
651 Juliett Submarine Juliett class.jpg 16 Four SS-N-3 Shaddock (P-5 or P-6), or SS-N-12 Sandbox (P-500 4K-80 Basalt)

Ballistic missile submarines[edit]

Project NATO reporting name Silhouette/Image Built Assignment
629, 609, 601, 605, 619 Golf Golf II-class submarine 24 3 × Project 629 boats D-1 launch system with R-11FM missiles

Auxiliary submarines[edit]

Project NATO reporting name Silhouette/Image Built Assignment
940 Ленок India An India class submarine carrying two DSRVs in 1985 2 2 × Poseidon class DSRV's
1710 Макрель Beluga T283.jpg 1 It was an experimental vessel used for testing propulsion systems, hull forms, and boundary-layer control techniques.
1840 Lima 1 Large special. It was used for trying out new technologies, research, or special mission support

Nuclear-powered[edit]

Attack submarines[edit]

First generation[edit]

Project NATO reporting name Silhouette/Image Built Assignment
627 Кит, 645 Кит-ЖМТ November November class SSN 627 project.svgNovember class SSN 627A project.svg 14

Second generation[edit]

Project NATO reporting name Silhouette/Image Built Assignment
671, 671B, 671K, 671R Ёрш Victor I
Project 671
16
671RT Victor II
Project 671RT
7
671RTM Щука Victor III
Project 671RTM
26

Third generation[edit]

Project NATO reporting name Silhouette/Image Built Assignment
705, 705K Лира Alfa Alfa class SSN.svg 7
945 Барракуда Sierra I
Project 945
2
945A Кондор Sierra II
Project 945A
2
685 Плавник Mike K-278 Komsomolets 1 Record submergence depth of 1,020 metres (3,350 feet)

Fourth generation[edit]

Project NATO reporting name Silhouette/Image Built Assignment
Project 971 Щука-Б Akula AkulaSchema2.svg 15
Severodvinsk Yasen Северодвинск (АПЛ).jpeg 2 Planned 12

Guided missile submarines[edit]

First generation[edit]

Project NATO reporting name Silhouette/Image Built Assignment
659 Echo I Echo I class SSGN.svg 5
675 Echo II Echo II class SSGN.svg 29

Second generation[edit]

Project NATO reporting name
661 Анчар (Anchar, upas) Papa
667AT Груша (Grusha, pear) Yankee Notch
667M Андромеда (Andromeda, the constellation) Yankee Sidecar
670 Скат (Skat, ray) Charlie I
670M Скат-М (Skat-M, ray) Charlie II
06704 Чайка-Б (Chaika-B, seagull) Charlie

Third generation[edit]

Project NATO reporting name
949 Гранит (Granit, granite) Oscar I
949A Антей (Antey, Antaeus) Oscar II

Fourth generation[edit]

Project NATO reporting name
885 Ясень (Yasen, ash) Severodvinsk

Ballistic missile submarines[edit]

First generation[edit]

Project NATO reporting name
658, 701 Hotel

Second generation[edit]

Project NATO reporting name
667A Навага, 667AУ Налим (Navaga; Nalim, burbot) Yankee I
667AM Навага-М (Navaga-M) Yankee II
Delta class, comprising:
667Б Мурена (Murena, eel) Delta I
667БД Мурена-М (Murena-M, eel) Delta II
667БДР Кальмар (Kal'mar, squid) Delta III
667БДРМ Дельфин (Del'fin, dolphin) Delta IV

Third generation[edit]

Project NATO reporting name
941 Акула; (Akula, shark) Typhoon

Fourth generation[edit]

Project NATO reporting name
955 Борей (Borei);in production Borei

Auxiliary submarines[edit]

Project NATO reporting name
1910 Кашалот (Kashalot, cachalot) Uniform
977.4 Аксон (Akson) Yankee Pod
978 Yankee Stretch
20120 (Kalitika or "Sargan-mod"?); in development? Unconfirmed.[3]

Footnotes[edit]

  • Showell, Jak M. U-Boat Century, German Submarine Warfare 1906-2006. Chatham Publishing, Great Britain (2006). ISBN 1861-7624-10.
  1. ^ Showell, p. 22, 23, 29
  2. ^ Showell, p. 29
  3. ^ It is not resolved whether this is a diesel-electric or a nuclear-powered vessel. See Kommersant, 2007-SEP-12: Submarine: Military Secret Shows Up on the Internet. Retrieved 2007-SEP-12.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]