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Victor-class submarine
File:Victor III class submarine 1997.jpg
A Victor III class submarine on the surface.
Class overview
Builders: Soviet Union
Operators:  Soviet Navy
 Russian Navy
Preceded by: Project 627 (November class)
Succeeded by:

Operational replacement: Project 971 (Akula class)

By sequence of construction: Project 705 (Alfa class)
In service: 1967
In commission: November 5, 1967
Completed: 48[1]
Active: 8
General characteristics
Displacement: 4,950 tons light surfaced; 6,990 tons normal surfaced[verification needed]/7,250 tons submerged
Length: 93 to 102 meters (303 to 335 feet)
Beam: 10 m (33 ft)
Draft: 7 m (24 ft)

One VM-4P pressurized-water twin nuclear reactor (2x75 MW), 2 sets OK-300 steam turbines; 1 7-bladed prop; 31,000 shp at 290 shaft rpm—2 low-speed electric cruise motors; 2 small props on stern planes; 1,020 shp 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 (56 km/h, 35 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

2 bow torpedo tubes, 650 mm (8 weapons - Type 88R[verification needed]/SS-N-16 Stallion cruise missiles, Type 65-76 torpedoes)

4 bow torpedo tubes, 533 mm (16 weapons - Type 83RN/Type 53-65K/USET-80 torpedoes, Type 84RN[verification needed]/SS-N-15 Starfish cruise missiles, VA-111 Shkval rocket torpedoes, MG-74 Korund and Siren decoys, or up to 36 naval mines)

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 ("Lazurit" is the Russian word for lazurite).


Victor I

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 less of each). They were 92.5m long. All disposed.[3]

Victor II

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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

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 2 tubes for launching SS-N-21 or SS-N-15 missiles and Type 53 torpedoes, plus another 4 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 SSNs. The Victor III class was continuously improved during construction and late production models have a superior acoustic performance.[5] They were 106m long. 23 disposed.[6]

Active submarines:

  • B-388 Petrozavodsk - commissioned November 1988
  • B-138 Obninsk - commissioned May 1990
  • B-414 Daniil Moskovskiy - commissioned December 1990.
  • B-448 Tambov - commissioned September 1992


  • 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.[7]
  • 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.
  • 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.[8][9]

In popular culture

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.


  1. Includes all three Victor Classes
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Submarines of the Russian and Soviet Navies 1718-1990, Norman Polmar and Jurrien Noot, Naval Institute Press, 1991
  5. Run Silent, Run Deep - Navy Ships
  7. Reed, Craig, "Red November, inside the secret US-Soviet submarine war"
  8. "Fire aboard Russian nuclear submarine kills 2 crew members". China Post. 7 September 2006. Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  9. Northern Fleet accidents and incidents - Bellona

References and external links

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