Victor-class submarine

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Victor III class submarine 1997.jpg
A Victor III-class submarine on the surface.
Class overview
Builders: Soviet Union
Preceded by: Project 627 (November class)
Succeeded by:
In service: 1967
In commission: 5 November 1967
Completed: 48[1]
Active: 4
General characteristics
Displacement: 4,950 tons light surfaced; 6,990 tons normal surfaced[verification needed]/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

Victor I - Soviet design designation Project 671 Yorsh (Ruffe) - was the initial type that entered service in 1967; 16 were produced.[2] Each had 6 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 92.5m long. All disposed.[3]

Victor II[edit]

Project 671RT

Victor II - Soviet design designation Project 671RT Syomga (Atlantic Salmon)- entered service in 1972; 7 were produced in the 1970s.[2] These were originally designated Uniform class by NATO. They had similar armament to Victor I. 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 101.8m long. All disposed.[4]

Victor III[edit]

Project 671RTM

Victor III - Soviet design designation Project 671RTM Shchuka (Pike) - entered service in 1979; 25 were produced until 1991.[2] Quieter than previous Soviet submarines, these ships had 4 tubes for launching SS-N-21 or SS-N-15 missiles and Type 53 torpedoes, plus another 2 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 caused a minor furore 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 Victor-III's pod was identified as a hydrodynamic housing for a reelable towed passive sonar array; the system was subsequently incorporated into the Sierra class and Akula-class submarine SSNs. The Victor III class was continuously improved during construction and late production models have a superior acoustic performance.[5] They were 106m long. 21 disposed.[6]

Active submarines:


  • In 1981 the USS Drum (SSN-677) collided with a Victor III class sub 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 the USS Drum.[11]
  • On 21 March 1984, K-314 collided with the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) 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 September 6, 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.[12][13]

In popular culture[edit]

A depiction of a Victor class submarine was used prominently in the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough as a key element in the film's antagonists' (Renard & Elektra) plan.

In Tom Clancy's 1986 novel, Red Storm Rising, a Victor III submarine attacks the USS Pharris causing extreme damage (the bow forward of the ASROC mounts was torn off), warranting an extensive repair.


  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. ^
  11. ^ Reed, Craig, "Red November, inside the secret US-Soviet submarine war"
  12. ^ "Fire aboard Russian nuclear submarine kills 2 crew members". China Post. 7 September 2006. Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  13. ^ Northern Fleet accidents and incidents - Bellona

References and external links[edit]