Sierra-class submarine

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Sierra class SSN.jpg
A Sierra II-class submarine on the surface
Class overview
Builders: Designed by Lazurit
Preceded by: Alfa class, Victor class
Succeeded by: Akula class
Built: 1979–1992
In service: 1984–present
In commission: 1984–1993
Completed: 4
Active: 2 (+1 undergoing and 1 awaiting modernization)
General characteristics
Type: Submarine
  • Sierra I:
  • 7,200 tons (surfaced)
  • 8,300 tons (submerged)
  • Sierra II:
  • 7,600 tons (surfaced)
  • 9,100 tons (submerged)
  • Sierra I: 107.16 m (351.6 ft)
  • Sierra II: 110 m (360 ft)
  • Sierra I: 12.28 m (40.3 ft)
  • Sierra II: 14.2 m (47 ft)
  • Sierra I & II: 1 × PWR, 190 MW
  • 2 × 1,002 hp (747 kW) emergency motors
  • 1 shaft, 2 spinners
  • Sierra I & II: 10 knots (18.5 km/h) (surfaced)
  • Sierra I: 34 knots (63.0 km/h) (submerged)
  • Sierra II: 32 knots (59.3 km/h) (submerged)
Range: Effectively unlimited, except by food supplies
Complement: Sierra I & II: 61
  • Sierra I & II:
  • 4 × 650 mm (26 in) torpedo tubes
  • 4 × 530 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes
  • SS-N-21 Sampson SLCM
  • SS-N-15 Starfish anti-submarine weapon: 200 kt depth charge or 90 kg HE Type 40 torpedo
  • SS-N-16 Stallion, 200 kt depth charge or 90 kg HE Type 40 torpedo
  • Minelaying configuration: 42 mines instead of torpedoes

The Sierra I class is the NATO reporting name for a type of nuclear attack submarines intended for the Soviet Navy and Russian Navy. The Soviet designation is Project 945 (Barrakuda). The Sierra class has a light and strong titanium pressure hull which enables the class to dive to greater depths, reduce the level of radiated noise and increase resistance to torpedo attacks. It is powered by a single OK-650 pressurized water reactor.
The upgraded version is the Sierra II class or Project 945A (Kondor) with improved quieting and sonar.[1] The Sierra II class was specifically developed for search and destroy missions against US nuclear submarines. It has a smaller turning circle than any other modern submarine, with speeds and diving depth greater than its American counterparts.[citation needed]


Sierra I[edit]

Project 945

The first submarine of the Project 945, Carp, was laid down in May 1982 at the Gorky shipyard and was launched in August 1983 before being transferred to Severodvinsk for fitting out. It was laid up in 1987. The next hull to be built was Kostroma, which was launched in July 1986 and was commissioned in September 1987. K-276 Kostroma was put into a drydock after its 11 February 1992 collision with the US submarine USS Baton Rouge in the Barents Sea, off Kildin Island.[2][3] The submarine was repaired on 3 June 1992 and was renamed Krab on 6 April 1993, but in 1996 its original name, Kostroma was returned and it is in active service with the Russian Northern Fleet.[4][5] The Sierra I class was also fitted with a releasable escape pod for the crew.[6] The pod is covered by a V-shaped casing on the port side of the sail.

Sierra II[edit]

Project 945A

The Project 945A has a considerably larger sail which is 5 m (16.4 ft) longer than the Sierra I class. The sail also has a curious flat, square leading edge. The masts are offset on the starboard side to make way for two escape pods in the sail. The starboard side also has a 10-point environment sensor fitted at right angles to the front end of the sail. Also, the Sierra II class has a much larger pod on its after fin. The pod houses the Skat 3 passive very low frequency towed sonar array.

In October 2012, a submarine of the Sierra II class was deployed to the North Atlantic and carried out a patrol off the US East coast.[7]

Sierra III[edit]

Project 945AB

The sole possible submarine of the Project 945AB was laid down in March 1990 but was scrapped in November 1993 before completion.[8]


In January 2013 a contract for refit and recommission of the submarines Carp and Kostroma of Project 945 was signed with the Zvezdochka. The necessary upgrade work was expected to take three years and would be carried out in Zvezdochka Shipyard at Severodvinsk.[9][10] It was expected that the submarines would be transferred to the Zvezdochka before end of April 2013 and the overhaul of the submarines would begin in summer 2013. Zvezdochka would carry out ship defects, repair mechanical parts, replace nuclear fuel and all electrical equipment of the submarines. The submarines were also expected to receive a new sonar station, combat information management system, the GLONASS navigation system and new armament consisting of the Kalibr cruise missiles.[11] In March 2015 it was reported that the final decision on the modernization of submarines Carp and Kostroma was yet to be made due to cost issues.[12][13][14]


# Name Project Laid down Launched Commissioned Fleet Status Notes
B-239 Carp 945 20 July 1979 29 July 1983 29 September 1984 Northern Fleet Undergoing modernization To be reactivated in 2017.[15]
B-276 Kostroma 945 21 April 1984 26 July 1986 27 November 1987 Northern Fleet Awaiting modernization[16]
B-534 Nizhniy Novgorod 945A 15 February 1986 8 July 1989 26 December 1990 Northern Fleet Active Overhaul completed in 2008.[17][18]
B-336 Pskov 945A 29 July 1989 28 July 1992 14 December 1993 Northern Fleet Active Overhaul completed in 2015.[19][20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Polmar, Norman; Moore, Kenneth J. (2004). Cold War submarines : the design and construction of U.S. and Soviet submarines. Washington, DC: Brassey's. p. 283. ISBN 9781574885941. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  2. ^ "Submarine safety" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 October 2006. 
  3. ^ "Уникальные подводные лодки проекта 945 "Барракуда" с титановым корпусом возвращаются в строй – Центр военно-политических исследований". Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  4. ^ "945 Sierra class". Archived from the original on 2013-02-19. 
  5. ^ "В состав Северного флота вернули титановый подводный истребитель". Archived from the original on 25 February 2016. 
  6. ^ "12 real escape pods". Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  7. ^ "Report: Russian Nuclear Attack Submarine Detected Near US". 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2013-03-09. 
  8. ^ Apalʹkov, Ju. V. (2003). Korabli VMF SSSR : spravočnik v četyrech tomach. Sankt-Peterburg: Galeja Print. ISBN 5-8172-0076-7. 
  9. ^ Nilsen, Thomas (2013-03-05). "Brushes dust off 25-year old sub". Barentsobserver. Retrieved 2013-03-09. 
  10. ^ "Russia to Resurrect Titanium Submarines | Defense | RIA Novosti". Retrieved 2013-03-09. 
  11. ^ "ВМФ России вернет в строй подводные лодки с титановыми корпусами". Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  13. ^ "В России приостановили модернизацию титановых субмарин-истребителей". Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  14. ^ ""Карп" второй свежести". 3 March 2015. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "k-534 Nizhny Novgorod". Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ Sputnik. "Russian Nuclear Sub Pskov Returns to Northern Fleet After Reparation". Retrieved 28 August 2016. 

Further reading[edit]