Victor-class submarine

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Victor III class submarine 1997.jpg
A Victor III-class submarine underway.
Class overview
Builders: Soviet Union
Preceded by: November class
Succeeded by: Alfa class, Akula class
In service: 1967–present
In commission: 1967–1992
Completed: 48[1]
Active: 3
Retired: 45
General characteristics
  • 4,950 tons light surfaced
  • 6,990 tons normal surfaced
  • 7,250 tons submerged
Length: 93–102 m (305 ft 1 in–334 ft 8 in)
Beam: 10 m (32 ft 10 in)
Draft: 7 m (23 ft 0 in)

One VM-4P pressurized-water twin nuclear reactor (2x75 MW), 2 sets OK-300 steam turbines; 1 7-bladed or 2 4-bladed props; 31,000 shp (23,000 kW) at 290 shaft rpm—2 low-speed electric cruise motors; 2 small props on stern planes; 1,020 shp (760 kW) at 500 rpm

Electric: 4,460 kw tot. (2 × 2,000-kw, 380-V, 50-Hz a.c. OK-2 turbogenerators, 1 × 460-kw diesel emergency set)[verification needed]
Speed: 32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph)
Endurance: 80 days
Complement: About 100 (27 officers, 34 warrant officers, 35 enlisted)
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Radar: 1 MRK-50 Albatros’-series (Snoop Tray-2) navigation/search
  • Sonar: MGK-503 Skat-KS (Shark Gill) suite: LF active/passive; passive flank array; Barrakuda towed passive linear
  • array (Victor III only); MT-70 active ice avoidance
  • EW: MRP-10 Zaliv-P/Buleva (Brick Pulp) intercept; Park Lamp direction-finder

The Victor class is the NATO reporting name for a type of nuclear-powered submarine that was originally put into service by the Soviet Union around 1967. In the USSR, they were produced as Project 671 (Russian: Проект 671). Victor-class subs featured a teardrop shape, which allowed them to travel at high speed. These vessels were primarily designed to protect Soviet surface fleets and to attack American ballistic missile submarines. Project 671 begun in 1959 and design task was assigned to SKB-143, one of the two predecessors (the other being OKB-16) of the famous Malachite Central Design Bureau, which would eventually become one of the three Soviet/Russian submarine design centers, along with Rubin Design Bureau and Lazurit Central Design Bureau.


Victor I[edit]

Project 671

Soviet designation Project 671 Yorsh (Ruffe) - was the initial type that entered service in 1967; 16 were produced.[2] Each had six torpedo tubes for launching Type 53 torpedoes and SS-N-15 cruise missiles and mines could also be released. Subs had a capacity of 24 tube-launched weapons or 48 mines (a combination would require fewer of each). They were 92.5 m (303 ft) long. All disposed.[3]

Victor II[edit]

Project 671RT

Soviet designation Project 671RT Syomga (Atlantic Salmon)- entered service in 1972; seven were produced in the 1970s.[2] These were originally designated Uniform class by NATO. They had similar armament to the Victor I class. The Soviet Union discovered through its spy network that Americans could easily track Victor II-class subs and subsequently halted production of this type to design the Victor III class. They were 101.8 m (334 ft) long. All disposed.[4]

Victor III[edit]

Project 671RTM

Soviet designation Project 671RTM/RTMK Shchuka (Pike) - entered service in 1979; 25 were produced until 1991.[2] Quieter than previous Soviet submarines, these ships had four tubes for launching SS-N-21 or SS-N-15 missiles and Type 53 torpedoes, plus another two tubes for launching SS-N-16 missiles and Type 65 torpedoes. 24 tube-launched weapons or 36 mines could be on board. The Victor III class caused a minor furor in NATO intelligence agencies at its introduction because of the distinctive pod on the vertical stern-plane. Speculation immediately mounted that the pod was the housing for some sort of exotic silent propulsion system, possibly a magnetohydrodynamic drive unit. Another theory proposed that it was some sort of weapon system. In the end, the pod was identified as a hydrodynamic housing for a reelable towed passive sonar array; the system was subsequently incorporated into the Sierra and Akula-class SSNs. In October 1983 the towed array of K-324, a Victor III operating west of Bermuda, became tangled with the towed array of US frigate USS McCloy. K-324 was forced to surface, allowing NATO forces to photograph the pod in its deployed state. The Victor III class was continuously improved during construction and late production models have a superior acoustic performance.[5] They were 106 m (348 ft) long. 21 disposed.[6]


Last active units
# Name Project Laid down Launched Commissioned Fleet Status Notes
B-138 Obninsk 671RTMK 7 December 1988 5 August 1989 30 December 1990 Northern Fleet Active Overhaul completed in 2014 and 2016.[7]
B-414 Daniil Moskovskiy 671RTMK 1 December 1989 31 August 1990 30 December 1990 Northern Fleet Active[8]
B-448 Tambov 671RTMK 31 January 1991 17 October 1991 24 September 1992 Northern Fleet Active[9]
A Victor III-class submarine on the surface.


  • In 1981 USS Drum collided with a Victor III-class submarine while attempting to photograph the odd pod on the back. The event was covered up and never made public, though it nearly cost the lives of the sailors on USS Drum.[10]
  • On 21 March 1984, K-314 collided with the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk in the Sea of Japan. Neither ship was significantly damaged.
  • Soviet cargo ship Bratstvo collided with the Soviet submarine K-53 of Victor I class in position Latitude 35 deg 55 min North and Longitude 005 deg 00 min West, at the exit from the Gibraltar Strait in Alboran Sea, on the 18th (as per ship's time due to ship's time) or 19 (as per submarine time) of September, 1984.
  • On 6 September 2006, a Victor III Daniil Moskovskiy suffered an electronics fire while in the Barents Sea, killing two crew members. The boat was 16 years old and was overdue for overhaul. It was towed back to Vidyayevo.[11][12]

In media[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Includes all three Victor classes
  2. ^ a b c Submarines of the Russian and Soviet Navies 1718-1990, Norman Polmar and Jurrien Noot, Naval Institute Press, 1991
  3. ^ "671, 671, 671". Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "671". Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Run Silent, Run Deep - Navy Ships
  6. ^ "671 ()". Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Reed, Craig, "Red November, inside the secret US-Soviet submarine war"
  11. ^ "Fire aboard Russian nuclear submarine kills 2 crew members". China Post. 7 September 2006. Archived from the original on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
  12. ^ "Northern Fleet accidents and incidents - Bellona". Archived from the original on 2006-08-23. Retrieved 2006-08-23. 

External links[edit]