Ultra-small submarines of the Triton family

Ultra-small submarines of the Triton family

Carrier divers "Triton" on a transport trolley. Photo Deepstorm.ru


In 1957, work began in our country to create the so-called group submarine carriers - ultra-small submarines (SMPL) of the Triton family. This technique was intended for combat swimmers and was supposed to provide patrol, reconnaissance and sabotage operations, etc. For several years, within the framework of this family, three types of equipment have been created.

First Triton


History of the Triton family begins in 1957, when the specialized research institutes of the Ministry of Defense began to study the appearance of promising means of transport for divers. In April of the following year, the Leningrad TsKB-50 received an order to create a carrier for divers “NV”. Already in August on the Caspian Sea the tests of the experimental “NV” were carried out, according to which the project was continued. Then the code "Triton" appeared.

Tests and refinement of the Triton continued until the end of 1959, after which it was adopted and put into serial production. Quite quickly, the NV Triton arrived at the disposal of the special units of all fleets and were mastered by personnel. During various exercises, combat swimmers repeatedly showed all the advantages of such a technique. It facilitated patrolling, access to a given area with cargo, etc.


Triton-1M on land. Photo Russianarms.ru

The Triton was distinguished by the extreme simplicity of its design. It had a cylindrical lightweight housing with sealed bow and stern compartments. In the bow was the battery of T-7 batteries, in the stern there was a 2 hp electric motor. with screw in rotary ring nozzle. The central compartment was designed for two divers in wetsuits and scuba gear. The compartment was made “wet” and covered with a light transparent lantern.

The length of the Triton was 5,5 m with a diameter of 700 mm. Weight - 750 kg. Underwater speed did not exceed 2,3-2,5 knots, range - 8-10 nautical miles. The depth of immersion was limited to 35-40 m and depended on the physical capabilities of divers. A new type of SMPL / HB could deliver two divers and small loads, such as mines for sabotage, to a given area.

Project 907


A new stage of work began in 1966 and was carried out at the Volna Central Design Bureau. Their first leader was J.E. Evgrafov. At the same time, two projects were being developed - “907” and “908” with different technical features and capabilities. They were implemented and brought to production almost simultaneously.

A draft version of pr. 907 Triton-1M was ready in 1968. The technical project was completed in 1970, after which the Leningrad Novo-Admiralty Plant (now Admiralty Shipyards) began construction of the lead boat. Tests of the new SMPL started in 1972 and lasted several months. After that, the plant received an order for serial construction. The Navy wished to receive 32 units of new equipment.


The scheme of the submarine. Figure Russianarms.ru

The Triton-1M boat was built in a drop-shaped, fragile hull, divided into compartments for various purposes. The bow of the hull housed a two-seater cabin for wet-type divers, covered by a transparent lantern. The crew had at their disposal the MGV-3 sonar station, navigation aids, a heading automatic and a radio station.

The central sealed compartment contained the SC-300 silver-zinc batteries; in the "dry" feed installed P32M electric motor with a capacity of 4,6 hp The engine rotated the screw in a rotary ring nozzle, which provided directional control.

The SMPL with a length of 5 m and a width / height of less than 1,4 m had a total displacement of 3,7 tons. A low-power engine provided acceleration to 6 knots, batteries gave a range of 35 miles. The immersion depth remained at the level of 40 m. Autonomy during operation was limited to 7,5 hours. If necessary, Triton-1M could remain on the ground for up to 10 days, and then continue to move.

Project 908


Together with Triton-1M, a larger underwater vehicle, project 908 Triton-2, was created at Volna Central Design Bureau. Due to the increased size, he had to transport a larger number of swimmers. In addition, it was possible to obtain higher driving characteristics and other advantages over smaller large submarines.


Dashboard in the cockpit. Photo Zonwar.ru

A prototype of the future Triton-2 was built in 1969 at the Krasny Metallist factory. Design work was completed in 1970, and the next 1971-m full documentation went to the Novo-Admiralty Plant. A larger and more complex submarine was built long enough, the tests began only in 1974. After their completion, mass production began.

“Triton-2” outwardly looked like a “regular” submarine: a light hull of greater elongation with a pronounced superstructure and a small wheelhouse was provided. The bow compartment of the hull with the crew post was solid, and a sealed instrument compartment with a battery pit was placed behind it. The stern was given under a strong compartment for divers and a volume for an electric motor.

An interesting feature of pr. 908 was the availability of durable airtight compartments for divers. The bow compartment was the cockpit and accommodated two people with equipment, there were four places in the stern. Two cabs when immersed were filled with water and sealed. Regardless of the depth of immersion, divers experienced a constant minimum pressure. Hatches in the upper part allowed to leave the boat and return on board. The crew had at their disposal sonar stations MGV-11 and MGV-6V, as well as a navigation complex with the necessary instruments.


SMPL "Triton-2" on a transport trailer and its crew. Photo Russianarms.ru

The length of Triton-2 reached 9,5 m with a width of approx. 1,9 m. Total displacement - 15,5 tons. P41M electric motor with 11 hp and the screw in the nozzle provided a speed of up to 5,5 knots. Cruising range - 60 miles, autonomy - 12 hours.

Mass production


In 1958, plant No. 3 in Gatchina built two experimental Tritons of the first version. In 1960, the first serial boat was laid. The construction of the series continued until 1964. A total of 18 units were collected. technicians, including prototypes. They were transferred to the customer in 1961-65.

A few years later, construction began on improved SMPLs, pr. 907. The first two Triton-1Ms became part of the USSR Navy on June 30, 1973. Then there was a break, after which mass construction began, with regular delivery of equipment to the customer, and in significant quantities. So, in December 1975 the fleet immediately transferred seven submarines.

The construction of the SMPL pr. 907 continued until mid-1980. In August, the customer accepted the last batch of six units. In total, 32 Triton-1M were built. The boats went to serve as part of all the main fleets of the USSR Navy. They were assigned board numbers of the type "V-482", "V-526", etc., without continuous numbering.


Scheme of the boat, pr. 908. 1 - engine compartment; 2 - aft cabin; 3 - batteries; 4 - instrument compartment; 5 - crew cabin; 6 - systems management; 7 - sonar station. Figure Russianarms.ru

The head Triton-2 was completed in 1972, and the tests continued until 1975. Checks and refinement took a lot of time, because of which the next SMPL was launched only in 1979. A year later, it replenished the fleet. In 1980-85 a dozen boats left the slipway. Finished products were taken in pairs; appropriate events were held irregularly, with intervals of several months.

In total, 13 SMPLs were built, pr. 908 - one head and 12 serial. Having entered the composition of all the main fleets, the boats received side numbers from B-485 to B-554. The numbering was again not continuous, and the ranges of SMPL numbers of two types overlapped.

Tritons in the service


The ultra-small submarines of the three projects were intended to transport combat swimmers - in order to ensure the solution of a wide range of tasks. Using this technique, divers had to patrol the protected water areas of ports and raids, protect the areas from enemy combat swimmers, conduct a survey of the seabed and provide maintenance for underwater structures. In addition, the Tritons could be used in reconnaissance and sabotage operations for the delivery and evacuation of personnel.

Depending on the nature of the operation, the Tritons could operate independently or with a carrier vessel. In the first case, only work was provided near the basing point, and the carrier could deliver SMPL to any given area.


The submarine is a monument in the city of Vladivostok. Wikimedia Commons Photos

Unfortunately, due to the special nature of the service of combat swimmers and their equipment, there are no detailed information on the operation of the Triton SMPL, as well as pr.907 and 908. One can only assume that such equipment did not stand idle and was constantly operated - primarily in order to protect water areas.

According to known data, the active operation of the Triton boats continued until the mid-seventies, when newer and more successful models appeared. The direct replacement for them was the Triton-1M SMPL. They remained in service until the turn of the eighties and nineties. During this period, due to the development of a resource and a lack of finances, the fleet was forced to write off all or almost all such SMPLs. However, according to some reports, individual copies continued to serve almost until the two thousandths. "Tritons-1M" could remain in the fleets of Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan.

Triton-2 was used longer, until the late nineties. However, the specific situation in the armed forces and the development of the resource did their job, and the boats had to be decommissioned. It is not ruled out that individual SMPLs can be retained as part of the fleets of the three countries, although this is unlikely.


An updated version of pr. 907. Graphics SPMBM "Malachite" / malachite-spb.ru

As far as we know, the carriers of the Triton divers have not survived. Most of the decommissioned nuclear submarines Triton-1M also went for disposal, but at least 7 survived, now they are monuments or in museums. Perhaps in the future the number of such samples will increase. Also 5 items became exhibits and monuments. "Triton-2." Some of the monument boats are available to the public, others are in closed areas.

Prospects for Directions


In 1974, Volna Central Design Bureau became part of the newly formed SMBM Malachite, and this organization was engaged in the design support of the Tritons of two types. In recent times, "Malachite" continued the development of the direction and offers customers two options for the modernized SMPL.

The modern project 09070 "Triton-1" provides for the refinement of the base pr. 907 with the restructuring of the original design and the use of modern components. In particular, more compact batteries and an electric motor were used. An improved version of the boat, project 09080 Triton-2, is distinguished by a different layout of the battery and inhabited compartments, as well as the use of modern units.


Development Option pr. 908. Graphics SPMBM "Malachite" / malachite-spb.ru

Materials on the new pr. 09070 and 09080 regularly appeared at various exhibitions, but there is no information about real orders. Most likely, the SMPL does not attract the attention of potential buyers.

Although the Tritons of the first three projects were decommissioned and mostly disposed of, the special units of the Navy were not left without special equipment. At the beginning of the last decade, a new submersible carrier boat for divers, project 21310 Triton-NN, developed by the Lazurit Design Bureau, entered service. Unlike its predecessors, it combines the qualities of a submarine and a high-speed surface vessel. In addition, the boat carries a set of various modern equipment. Thus, the development of the direction of carriers of divers / ultra-small submarines continues, but now it is based on fundamentally new ideas.
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  1. Pvi1206 8 June 2020 18: 10 New
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    distributed weapons systems have greater survivability, which means they are more likely to fulfill their function ...
    1. Pvi1206 8 June 2020 18: 24 New
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      Amendment: distributed weapons control systems ...
  2. polpot 8 June 2020 18: 13 New
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    Thank you, very informative, sorry for the combat use of these boats, we will not know soon.
    1. Vicontas 8 June 2020 19: 42 New
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      Read Sergei Moskvin "Sea Devils", a series of "Special Forces." It is clear that fiction, but the author himself is from the special, and as you know, every fairy tale has a basis from reality.
  3. gridasov 8 June 2020 18: 15 New
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    On such small submarines, you can work out a new mover.
  4. Avior 8 June 2020 18: 51 New
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    The use of the Triton submarine is described in one of Bushkov’s books in a series of books on Masuria.
    It can be seen from the text of the book that Bushkov had a vague idea of ​​the real construction of the boat.
    One phrase that the minisubmarine engine did not start due to poor diesel fuel is worth it :)
    1. KVU-NSVD 8 June 2020 19: 16 New
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      Quote: Avior
      The use of the Triton submarine is described in one of Bushkov’s books in a series of books on Masuria.
      It can be seen from the text of the book that Bushkov had a vague idea of ​​the real construction of the boat.
      One phrase that the minisubmarine engine did not start due to poor diesel fuel is worth it :)

      Bushkov has many mistakes, but it’s interesting to read ...
      1. WapentakeLokki 9 June 2020 19: 06 New
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        ... and it’s for sure Bushkov and not Koretsky ??? .. I don’t remember something from him this episode ... don’t mention which one of the books of the Piranha series mentioned SMPL Triton ???
        1. KVU-NSVD 9 June 2020 19: 11 New
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          Quote: WapentakeLokki
          don’t mention, but in which of the books of the Piranha series was mentioned SMPL Triton ???

          Quote: WapentakeLokki
          don’t mention, but in which of the books of the Piranha series was mentioned SMPL Triton ???

          I don’t remember the name, but there he was in Yemen and, accordingly, through Bab el-Mandeb drove to otvetka to the amers on the other side
    2. IL-64 9 June 2020 00: 39 New
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      This is you lying. There were no words about diesel fuel.
      1. Avior 9 June 2020 00: 57 New
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        Something with the ignition, definitely. You can try again until dawn. But “Triton” is not “Zaporozhets”, you won’t lift the hood for it, you won’t get into the engine, you won’t get on with a wrench. Any repair is possible only at the base, and without the apparatus you cannot reach the base by sea. Thirty kilometers in scuba gear ... Unrealistic. And before dawn is not so far away, the enemy may descend earlier. Your mother’s leg, maybe the catch is that the lousy terminal or crappy diesel fuel of el-Bahlak origin failed[i] [/ i] ...

        Man, politeness - good quality ....
        1. Aag
          Aag 9 June 2020 10: 06 New
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          And the "ignition" with the "diesel fuel" is somehow not very interconnected. I'm talking about "mistakes" ...
        2. IL-64 12 June 2020 11: 20 New
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          Do not like the "lie"? Excuse me. I’ll say it’s fantasized or forgotten. It is only better to avoid statements if you do not remember exactly.
          1. Avior 12 June 2020 11: 58 New
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            Have you read my quote from Bushkov? smile I marked the necessary place in bold there.
            1. IL-64 15 June 2020 10: 50 New
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              Yes you are right. Googled. I apologize. It is strange that Bushkov missed such a mistake. Or maybe that Triton had a propulsion system of a cunningly closed cycle? wassat
              However, all blunders happen. Even my beloved Nikolai Leonov, a former cop, in a series of detectives about Lev Gurov, wrote a couple of times how a hero jerks a pistol shutter, and only then removes it from the fuse.
    3. Subtext 9 June 2020 13: 20 New
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      One phrase that the minisubmarine engine did not start due to poor diesel fuel is worth it :)

      The phrase is correct. The devices, in particular, use unloaded engines and batteries.
      In fact, engines and batteries are installed in sealed enclosures, filled with diesel fuel and put on a rubber cover. As a result, the materiel is airtight, unloaded by pressure (the rubber cover "breathes" when immersed and ascended).
      Why was diesel fuel bad? There are probably many reasons, but maybe they did not comply with the requirement for this diesel fuel, it should be "winter".
      1. Avior 9 June 2020 14: 04 New
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        About ignition just a mistake.
        as for diesel fuel
        The central sealed compartment contained the SC-300 silver-zinc batteries; in the "dry" feed installed P32M electric motor with a capacity of 4,6 hp

        can you give a link to the description of the structure, where it will be written about filling with diesel fuel?
        I haven’t seen this anywhere. are you sure?
        If the cap is breathing, then pressure is transmitted to the battery case.
        Yes, and other questions arise. How, for example, does an engine run without lubrication of shaft bearings?
        1. Subtext 9 June 2020 15: 26 New
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          If the cap is breathing, pressure is transmitted to the battery housing

          the battery is not sealed (unloaded)! Even though it’s good: o)
          Uh, I’ll explain. He described technical solutions for deep-sea vehicles (underwater vehicle - up to 500 m, deep-sea vehicle - below 500). So, in elementary school they explained that the water is incompressible. When diving for several kilometers, it normally squeezes. Here for this case, the materiel is unloaded.
          With engines a question. The rotor in diesel fuel, brush contact with the collector is relevant.
          If "an electric motor was installed in the" dry "feed", then the issue of not penetrating water inside is also solved in an original way
          1. Avior 9 June 2020 15: 46 New
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            not a sealed battery - does the solarium get inside?
            Nowhere did I find that the P32M engine with a degree of protection IP23 in the solarium environment is allowed. Have you seen this somewhere? give a link, not found in any directory.
            do you really think this boat is plunging several kilometers? if not, then why a strange example?
            Answer, please, directly about the solarium, is this your guess, or can you give a link to the description, where is it written directly about this?
            And then there is no subject of discussion.
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            2. Subtext 9 June 2020 20: 06 New
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              http://militaryrussia.ru/blog/topic-576.html
              1. Avior 12 June 2020 12: 05 New
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                There is a completely different apparatus, not a word about the solarium.
                If you read about diving engines there, these are engines of a special design, P32m does not apply to them.
  5. Avior 8 June 2020 18: 56 New
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    The author also missed the last Soviet development - ultra-small boats pr865 Piranha.
    Made in the amount of 2 pieces, one of them starred in the movie Features of national fishing.
  6. Fizik M 8 June 2020 19: 01 New
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    the main problem of special delivery vehicles is that they were used from special carriers in the USSR Navy (under which the fleet usually gave "to those gods that we are not worth it" ... in the end, carriers of "golden" specialists and equipment in the form of "roaring cows" were obtained ( etc.)
  7. Thank. Interesting article.
  8. Bormanxnumx 8 June 2020 19: 27 New
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    Triton-1M in the Balaklava underground museum complex. His neighbor is funny - the Soyuz spacecraft capsule)
    1. Alex 1970 9 June 2020 07: 28 New
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      The same hall in 2016, the capsule of the "Union" was not
      1. Bormanxnumx 9 June 2020 14: 04 New
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        And now there is)
        1. Alex 1970 9 June 2020 14: 21 New
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          I wonder what side does this have to do with the submarine base? wink
        2. Alex 1970 9 June 2020 14: 28 New
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          In general, the museum left the impression of some ersatz, all dilapidated and groomed. That at least this mine, rust climbs out, maybe now something has changed?
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          2. Bormanxnumx 9 June 2020 14: 35 New
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            In 2019, it was already more or less decent. You probably got into the "transition" period))))
            1. Alex 1970 9 June 2020 15: 00 New
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              Yes, in the years 15-16 they worked in the Crimea, they pulled the gas pipeline. Well, and went accordingly everywhere and everywhere. Although before that I came to Crimea to rest, but here almost a year! Where just were not.
  9. KSVK 8 June 2020 20: 40 New
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    An interesting feature of pr. 908 was the availability of durable airtight compartments for divers. The bow compartment was the cockpit and accommodated two people with equipment, there were four places in the stern. Two cabs when immersed were filled with water and sealed. Regardless of the depth of immersion, divers experienced a constant minimum pressure. Hatches in the upper part allowed to leave the boat and return on board.


    The author, and let me clarify how the opening of the hatch was realized at a certain depth? Why flooding and subsequent sealing of the compartments is done is understandable. Water is practically incompressible and external pressure will not affect the crew. But open the hatch with a pressure difference of even 1 atm. it will be possible only with the help of a powerful servo. And such an "instant" compression can oooh very negatively affect the health of the crew. And pressure equalization with an overboard valve raises the question of the design of this valve. After all, when pressure is equalized, it is necessary to make this very equalization gradual, which is quite simple in the case of gases and quite difficult in the case of liquids. Remember what the attempt to “squeeze” the liquid in the ICE cylinder leads to? So here, with a change in the microscopic volume, the pressure will change by huge quantities. Well, the question remains about the passage of decompression. By crew members who worked at certain depths.

    Threat I do not quiver. I'm really curious. Maybe the author will look at the materials used to write the article and complete the picture? what
    1. Aag
      Aag 9 June 2020 20: 08 New
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      Quote: KSVK
      An interesting feature of pr. 908 was the availability of durable airtight compartments for divers. The bow compartment was the cockpit and accommodated two people with equipment, there were four places in the stern. Two cabs when immersed were filled with water and sealed. Regardless of the depth of immersion, divers experienced a constant minimum pressure. Hatches in the upper part allowed to leave the boat and return on board.


      The author, and let me clarify how the opening of the hatch was realized at a certain depth? Why flooding and subsequent sealing of the compartments is done is understandable. Water is practically incompressible and external pressure will not affect the crew. But open the hatch with a pressure difference of even 1 atm. it will be possible only with the help of a powerful servo. And such an "instant" compression can oooh very negatively affect the health of the crew. And pressure equalization with an overboard valve raises the question of the design of this valve. After all, when pressure is equalized, it is necessary to make this very equalization gradual, which is quite simple in the case of gases and quite difficult in the case of liquids. Remember what the attempt to “squeeze” the liquid in the ICE cylinder leads to? So here, with a change in the microscopic volume, the pressure will change by huge quantities. Well, the question remains about the passage of decompression. By crew members who worked at certain depths.

      Threat I do not quiver. I'm really curious. Maybe the author will look at the materials used to write the article and complete the picture? what

      I’ll try to describe how it seems to me ...
      I understand that you were puzzled by opening the hatch at a depth. Of course, you need to equalize the pressure inside and out. The simplest valve design: a pipe (cylinder) one end of which is outside, the other, respectively, inside a sealed housing. Inside, the piston is on a threaded rod. the piston is possible by turning the rod. We rotate the rod, move the piston inward, increase pressure. With a comfortable speed, managing to purge to avoid ear barotrauma.
      It is possible to poison compressed gas from balloons of a submarine (it somehow regulates buoyancy), or by scuba gear of "personnel". True, they probably use closed-circuit breathing apparatus, cryolanges ...)
      On decompression ... And what, be "crew members" without a submarine, they would not need decompression? :-)
      On the contrary, if the cabin of the submarine is airtight, as indicated in the article, this allows the crew to be under pressure for less time. Accordingly, to save air (or breathing mixture) and reduce decompression time (it, among other factors, depends on the time spent at depth (overpressure).
      Apparently, you didn’t take this into account when you wrote: “For what the flooding was done and the subsequent sealing of the compartments is understandable” ...
  10. knn54 8 June 2020 21: 15 New
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    Even before the war, OsTechBuro created the Pygmy mini-submarine. Photos were found in the Italian archives. The submarine itself was discovered by divers near Feodosia, where it sank during towing. at a depth of 40 m.
    In the USSR, the documentation was either not preserved (during the repressions), or is still classified.
    1. Avior 8 June 2020 22: 08 New
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      Airship Pygmy.
      But she was on remote control, there was a torpedo.
      They did it in two different buildings, were not accepted for service, one sank during the evacuation, the other remained in the occupied Crimea.
      The designers were shot before the war, so everything was classified
      on in about her
      https://topwar.ru/155979-bespilotnye-podvodnye-lodki-stalina.html


      on trials

      https://www.simvolika.org/mars_128.htm
      hi
  11. grumbler 8 June 2020 23: 28 New
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    An excellent source on the history of ultra-small submarines (at least for a layman) is a book by A.E. Taras "Ultra Small Submarines. 1914-2004", series "Library of Military History", Minsk, ed. Harvest, 2004. The widest coverage (Italy, England, Germany, Japan, USSR, ..), a detailed description of a number of operations, designs and numerous illustrations.
  12. VyacheSeymour 9 June 2020 01: 32 New
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    To the question of "is there life on Mars?"

    https://vpk.name/news/114759_horvatiya_otremontiruet_azerbaidzhanskie_podlodki.html#comm
  13. mvg
    mvg 9 June 2020 04: 07 New
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    Bet Ryabov is the author. Only he can make such crap
  14. Threaded screw 9 June 2020 10: 07 New
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    Triton is still on the object 820 in the city of the hero of Sevastopol.
  15. Simsimal 10 June 2020 12: 05 New
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    Significant minus hardening of hydraulics at temperatures below +5.
    In the 311th EITI detachment in Kamchatka there were problems with him.
    And there such water temperature is 9-10 months a year.

    In Holua, intelligence standards went to them.
    Photo from there.
    1. Simsimal 10 June 2020 12: 11 New
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      Photo .... lackey.
      1. Simsimal 10 June 2020 12: 13 New
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        More from the weapons catalog.