Military Review

Nuclear submarines with ballistic missiles such as K-19. Project 658 (Hotel-I class)

The experience that was gained during the design and construction of the first Soviet atomic torpedo submarines and diesel-electric missile carriers Ave B-611 and 629, made it possible to start in the middle of the 1950-s. to the creation of the first domestic nuclear submarine, which is armed with ballistic missiles. The ship was designed to deliver nuclear missile strikes at ports, naval bases, administrative and industrial centers located not only on the coast, but also deep in the territory.

In order to shorten the implementation period of the program, as well as reduce technical risk in creating a fundamentally new class of combat ships, it was decided to develop the first Soviet nuclear submarine with a ballistic missile based on design decisions that were implemented on the 627 torpedo nuclear submarine. In fact, the missile carrier that received the 658 project number was the Leninsky Komsomol boat with an additional missile compartment embedded in the hull.


The party-government decree on the creation of a nuclear missile submarine of project 658 was issued on 26.08.1956/18/1956. The design of the ship was entrusted to TsKB-XNUMX (today, the Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Technology). The development of design documentation began in September XNUMX. The chief designer Kovalev S.N. From the very beginning of the project, deputy chief designer was Spassky I.D., and the main observer from the naval fleet - Captain of the second rank Martynenko K.I. Technical design was completed in the first quarter of 1957 (the preliminary design of the submarine was not developed due to the extremely tight deadlines dictated by the realities of the "arms race").

The ship, according to the original plans, was supposed to equip weapons, the development of which was already coming to an end — with the D-2 missile system and the P-13 liquid-propellant missiles that had a surface launch (tests of this complex, which was originally developed for arming the diesel-electric submarines of the 629 project, were launched in December 1958 of the year). However, in 1958, it was decided to proceed with the development of a project that included re-equipping the submarine with more promising missiles with an underwater launch. It was assumed that the new complex will be installed on nuclear-powered ships in the process of modernization and major repairs.

The start of work on the first Soviet SSBN coincided with similar work in the United States, where in 1956 they began to implement the Polaris program. But if in the USSR the submarine of the 658 project was considered as a kind of synthesis of the already existing technologies, then the US Navy created a fundamentally new weapon system, which was based on a small-sized solid propellant ballistic missile with an underwater launch that had no analogues. The American rocket compared with the Soviet counterpart possessed significantly greater capabilities. At the same time, the first carrier of the Polarisov - a nuclear submarine with a BR "George Washington", like the ships of the 658 project, was developed on the basis of an existing project - a torpedo submarine of the type "Skipjack". Moreover, during the construction of the first series of SSBNs for the US Navy, ready-made nuclear submarine hull structures were used, with the result that the lead submarine carrier transferred the 30.12.1959 fleet, a year earlier than the Soviet nuclear-powered submarine. The small dimensions of the Polarisov, a compact and simple launcher, allowed the installation of sixteen missiles at George Washington (eight mines in two rows).

The limited width of the SSBN hull of the 658 project, taken over from the 627 project, as well as the solid size of Soviet ballistic missiles, complex and cumbersome launching devices (due to the fact that they were designed according to the design standards of heavy-duty submarines) on the submarine only in one row. Three rockets were placed in the wheelhouse fence, which resulted in unusually large, very far from optimal dimensions (in terms of hydrodynamics).

Compared to the torpedo submarine of the 627 project, several significant changes were made to the design of the missile nuclear submarine. For example, for control at high speed, small fodder horizontal rudders were used. The submarine received a more robust and quiet electro-hydraulic system for steering control. It was provided for blowing the main ballast with the help of low pressure air. An autonomous fire extinguishing system was introduced in the reactor compartment. Due to the requirements of ensuring high seaworthiness in the surface position, during the prelaunch preparation and launch of rockets, they abandoned the “torpedo-shaped” shape of the bow of the submarine and returned to the traditional stems.

The first nuclear-powered rocket ship of Soviet manufacture, as compared with a similar American ship, had higher surface and underwater speeds, better combat survivability, increased depth of diving, yielding to it in terms of secrecy and characteristics of information media. The 658 project is very much lost in terms of ship tonnage to the mass of rocket weapons. If the American “George Washington” for each ton of Polaris A-1 accounted for slightly more than 30 tonnes of displacement, then on a Soviet-made boat this value increased to almost 130 tons.

The SSBN of the 658 project, like other Russian nuclear submarines, was a dual-unit type. The solid hull of the submarine was divided into ten compartments. The outer case was performed on the longitudinal system. Thus, significant savings in metal and other technological advantages over the transverse set used earlier on Soviet submarines were provided.

Already during serial construction, part of the submarines was equipped with a noise-absorbing coating for the outer skin. The coating was made of special rubber, and it was difficult to monitor the enemy’s sonar systems operating in active mode (it should be noted that such coatings were introduced for the first time in the world to the Soviet Navy). However, the coverage of the first generation was not very durable, and by the 1970 years, almost all ships of the 658 project sailed “stripped”.

The submarine had a main power plant with a capacity of 35 thousand l. s., including 2 water-cooled VM-A reactors with a capacity of 70 mW (they were placed successively in the middle part in the center plane of the vessel one after the other) with steam generators and 2 turbo-gear 60-D units. In addition, the SSBN had a 2 PG-116 electric motor (power of each 450 hp) and 2 DG-400 diesel generator with M-820 diesel engines. The submarine was equipped with a DC electrical system (380 B, 400 Hz).

On the ship was installed high-altitude navigation system "Sigma" having an astrocorrector. The hydroacoustic armament consisted of the Arktika hydroacoustic station (Arktika-M), the first domestic hydroacoustic system with a reflex combined antenna, which ensured operation in the mode for measuring distance and noise-finding. In the direction finding mode, the station had a range of 1 ... 18 km, echo direction finding - 8 km.

Torpedoes nuclear submarine carrying ballistic missiles consisted of 4-x nasal 533-millimeter torpedo (in ammunition included 16 torpedoes 53-61, 53-65K and ETB-65) and 2-x 400-millimeter fodder small torpedo (6 torpedoes ). Torpedo tubes of caliber 400 mm, intended for firing anti-submarine torpedoes, served for self-defense and provided firing at depths up to 250 meters. 533-mm could be used at a depth of 100 m. Fire control system - "Leningrad-658".

The submarine could use MG-14 (hydroacoustic countermeasure devices), which were fired from torpedo tubes, for detachment from the enemy. They were replaced in the 1967 year by the MG-24 - a self-propelled acoustic noise device with a mass of 7 kilogram, used at a depth of 30-40 meters within 30 minutes. MG-24 was shot through a special device VIPS. In the same year, the submarines entered service with the MG-34 drifting combined compact device, which is used at depths of 30-200 meters. He also shot through VIPS.

Nuclear submarines with ballistic missiles such as K-19. Project 658 (Hotel-I class)

The submarines of the 658 project were equipped with the D-2 missile system having three P-13 ballistic missiles (ind. 4К50, designation in the west SS-N-4 "Sark"). Start was carried out from the surface position. P-13 were the first specialized ballistic missiles in the world, designed to arm submarines. The single-stage rocket, whose launch mass was 13,7 tons, carried a detachable warhead equipped with a high-power thermonuclear charge. The launch range is 650 kilometers, the circular probable deviation is 4 kilometers, which ensured the destruction of only area targets (mainly naval bases and large cities on the coast). TG-02 fuel and AK-27I oxidizer were used to operate the rocket engine. Since the used, self-igniting when combined, a pair of fuel components was a source of increased fire hazard, it was decided to store the rocket in the mine, which was filled only with an oxidizer. The fuel was in special tanks (separate for each of the three missiles) outside the strong submarine hull and was fed to the rocket during the pre-launch preparation. To control the firing of ballistic missiles, the Dolomit-1 system was used.

At the first domestic nuclear-powered rocket ships, the habitability conditions, in general, differed slightly from those on large diesel-electric submarines of post-war construction. However, each member of the SSNR 658 crew of the project had its own sleeping place (this is still not the case with the American submariners serving on the third-generation nuclear submarines of the Los Angeles type). The rich content of the provisional cameras of domestic submarines in the 1960-70-ies. largely offset domestic inconvenience.

In 1960, during tests, K-19 - the main nuclear submarine with ballistic missiles - with 80 percent reactor power developed the submarine speed of the 23,8 node, which, in terms of 100-% power, ensured the speed at 25,9 nodes. In October, the first successful missile launches were performed on 1960.

The characteristics of the missile system significantly limited the combat capabilities of the 658-10 submarines. From the ascent of the submarine to the launch of the 3 th missile, it took about 12 minutes, which made the ship in close proximity to the coast of the potential enemy (due to the short range of ballistic missiles), an excellent target for American anti-submarine aircraft.

The appearance in the USSR Navy of the first nuclear missile carriers for US naval intelligence, of course, did not go unnoticed. Soon the new ships were assigned the NATO designation "Hotel class".


In 1958, the development of the new D-4 RK and P-21 missiles, which could be launched from a submarine underwater and had an increased range, was started. The new rocket in February 1962 was demonstrated to Khrushchev, and the following year it was put into service. This made it possible to begin re-equipping the SSBN of the 658 project with the D-4 complex. The upgraded boats were assigned the 658-M project number.

For the placement of the P-21, the same launchers were used as for the P-13 missiles, since they initially had a larger internal diameter. To start the P-21, the mines were filled with water. The launch mass of a single-stage ballistic missile was 19,65 tons. She could deliver 1420 kilometers of an 0,8 megaton combat unit to a range of 1,3, while the QUO was 4 kilometers. Since the D-16 complex was installed on the boat, it was necessary to ensure the vessel was kept at a predetermined depth when the rocket was launched from a submerged position (the combined effect of the force impulses that occurred during the rocket launch was the reason that the boat was rising from the current depth by almost 658 meters, which made it difficult to launch the next rocket in the salvo). Therefore, for the SSBN project XNUMX-M developed a so-called containment system that provides automatic preservation of a given depth.

During the modernization of the design of the submarine made other improvements. For example, they changed the ship's KSPPO (system for pre-launch preparation and maintenance). For prelaunch filling the annular gap (the space between the rocket body and the shaft wall), special water was installed. tanks equipped with a transfer system.

In 1965-1970, the modernization and re-equipment of 658-M Ave. was carried out during the overhaul of seven submarines (except for K-145). At the same time in the West, these submarines were given the designation "Hotel-II class".

The development of project А-658 was also conducted. It included the re-equipment of the submarines of the 658 project with the D-5 missile system. The program was closed at the advanced project stage.

The K-145 SSBNs in 1969-1970 were upgraded according to the 701 project for the final stage of the flight tests of ballistic missiles for submarines P-29. An additional 15 meter section of the hull was inserted into the central part of the submarine, where they placed the X-NUMX mines of the D-6 complex. The logging fence has also been lengthened.

In the year 1977, upon the entry into force of the US-Soviet SALT-1 treaty on the limitation of nuclear weapons, it was decided to remove the strategic weapons from the submarine of the 658-M project. On six submarines, the missile compartments were cut out together with the mines, and the boats were re-designed according to the 658-T project and reclassified into torpedoes (in the west, “Modified Hotel-II class”).

The submarine K-19 in 1976-79 was converted into an experimental ship of the project 658-С. It was used to test various new devices and systems, including pre-production and experimental ones. She was the first submarine project 658-M, which was removed from the missile system. After that, the submarine was transferred to the class of special purpose submarines. The submarine re-equipment project was developed in TsKB-18. This boat in 1979 was decided to use for testing radio submarine systems. The first sample that passed the state. tested, was towed exhaust device "Zalom".

In the 1980s, the K-55 and K-178 submarines were again re-equipped from torpedoes along 658-U Ave. (in the west, the designation “Hotel-II SSQN class” was assigned). She was transformed into communications ships. Torpedo armament at the same time was saved, but the ammunition decreased in connection with the placement of additional equipment.

Construction program

The construction of the first Soviet atomic-powered nuclear-powered rocket ships was launched at plant number XXUMX in Severodvinsk. When building ships for the first time (for nuclear submarines) for the first time in our country, the block method of construction and other technological innovations began to be used. The first submarine of the 402 project, K-658, was laid on 19, it was launched on 17.10.1958, and 08.04.1959 entered service. 12.11.1960. 06.07 The Northern Fleet has been replenished with a K-1961 nuclear-powered submarine, 33 - K-12.08.1962, 55 - K-28.12.1962, 40 - K-15.05.1963, X-NUMX - K-16 - K-19.12.1963 and 145,12.02.1964 - K-149. Thus, for six years, they successfully implemented a large-scale, unique for the Soviet defense complex program of building a series of nuclear missile-carrying 30.06.1964, which carried, in total, 176 BR with high-power thermonuclear combat units.

Status on 2007 year

The first two submarines of the 658-th project, which joined the Federation Council in 1960-1961, were sent to the Western Person base. There they, together with the torpedo nuclear submarines of the 627-A project, formed a brigade. On the basis of this brigade, in January 1962 deployed the 1 submarine flotilla, consisting of 2's divisions - the Third (627-A project) and the Thirty-first (658 project). The division of nuclear missile carriers in 1964 was transferred to Gadzhiyevo (Yagelnaya base, Sayda bay) as part of the Twelfth Squadron. Subsequently, the squadron was transformed into the 3 fleet of nuclear submarines.

The K-55 and K-178 boats in 1963 and 1968 were transferred to the Pacific Fleet, where they were in the forty-fifth division of nuclear submarines based on Kamchatka (the submarines to 1970 were upgraded according to the 658-M project).

The K-19, the first Soviet nuclear-powered rocket ship, began its service at the end of 1960, 04.07.1961, during the Arctic Circle exercise, when the submarine cruiser (commander, second rank captain Zateev N.V.) followed to the specified area of ​​the North Atlantic, where it was necessary to make a rocket launch, emerging from under the ice of the Arctic, the left-side reactor was out of order - the auxiliary and main circulation pumps were wedged. Within only two hours, the crew was able to mount the abnormal system for emergency cooling of the reactor, thus eliminating the threat of its explosion. But during the struggle for the life of an atomic submarine, 14 people received heavy doses of radiation and died. The approaching diesel-electric submarines and surface vessels managed to evacuate the crew and tow the submarine to West Face. During the repair, which was carried out from 1962 to 1964, both nuclear reactors were replaced by the vessel. Old reactors with nuclear fuel were flooded in the Abrosimova bay. Today, such actions seem blasphemous, but in the 1960s, at the height of the US-Soviet nuclear confrontation, both opposing sides did not attach particular importance to such things and proceeded mainly from considerations of those. expediency.

The tragedy that occurred at K-19 became a good lesson for the developers of nuclear power plants: at all designed and operating reactors, similar to those installed on PLBR K-19, standard water emergency spill systems were installed.

Submarine K-19 after the accident 1961, among the sailors received the nickname "Hiroshima" and has earned the reputation of "unlucky" ship. It should be noted that K-19 very actively justified its reputation. 15 November 1969 of the year K-19 collided in the Barents Sea with the US nuclear submarine SSN-615 "Gato" (such as "Thresher"), which was trying to keep secret tracking of the nuclear-powered naval vessel of the USSR. Both ships were damaged. A fire broke out aboard the Hiroshima northeast of Newfoundland 24 in February 1972, causing the death of 28 crewmembers (the 5, 8 and 9 bays were burned out). It was decided to turn the next repair of the “unlucky” submarine into an experiment to determine the mobilization capabilities of the ship repair industry: the Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk was able to complete the work in less than five months. The repaired K-19 submarine was taken over by a former crew that had recently survived a catastrophe. To go to Gadzhiyevo, he was “diluted” by sailors from other vessels of the same type.

The return of the K-19 submarine to Gadzhiyevo was again marked by an emergency: during the entrance to the Saida lip, a strong fire broke out on board the ship again — excess paint and fuels and lubricants ejected from the shipyard and hidden in the felling felled by the diesel engine. The crew eliminated the fire, there were no casualties. Sailors on the Gadzhievsky piers, watching a smoking submarine surrounded by tugboats and firefighting vessels, looked at each other knowingly: “Hiroshima” returned ... ”K-19 and later faced with troubles.

The service of other submarines of the 658-th project was carried out more safely. K-115 in 1963 made the transition to the Pacific Fleet from the Northern Fleet, passing under ice for six days 1,6 thousand miles. In 1968, the submarine K-55 made the transition to the Pacific Fleet under the ice. A feature of this transition was the presence of full-time nuclear weapons on board the boat.

The creation of the first nuclear-powered submarine missile-carriers and the introduction of the diesel-electric rocket submarines of the 629 project into the fleet allowed laying the foundations for the underwater component of the USSR strategic nuclear triad in a short period of time. In addition, a counterweight was created to American nuclear-powered submarines with ballistic missiles. Another "positive" factor was the fact that the potential adversary was forced to launch a comprehensive, costly program to improve its own anti-submarine forces.

Despite outdated equipment, high noise level, relatively low habitability conditions, as well as some other disadvantages, the submarines of 658-M ave. In 1970-s. remain combat-ready fleet combat units solving the tasks assigned to them. These ships, patrolling in close proximity to the American coast (sometimes the crew could observe the coast of New England with a periscope), provided extremely short flight time to the missiles placed on them. This made it difficult for the potential adversary to organize measures to counter the missile strike (but on the other hand, it made the return of the nuclear-powered ships to their native shores after the completion of the assigned task a very problematic matter).

The service of five nuclear submarines with a BR of the 658-M project (later - the 658-T project) as part of the Federation Council continued until the 1988-1991. PLAYERS K-16, -33, -40 and -149 were written off in 1988-1990's. They were laid up in the Deer lip and Gremikha. The head submarine of the series - K-19 - the naval flag was the last to lower it, in 1991. Atomic cruises until the end of the 1990s. were located in the Polar Reservoir (in the SRH-10 water area).

The main tactical and technical characteristics of nuclear submarines with ballistic missiles such as K-19 Ave. 658:
Surface displacement - 4030 tons;
Underwater displacement - 5300 tons;
The greatest length - 114 m;
The greatest width - 9,2 m;
Draft on KVL - 7,5 m;
Main power installation:
- 2 water-cooled reactor type VM-A, total power - 70 mW;
- 2 GTZA-601;
- 2 PPU OK-150;
- 2 steam turbines, total power 35000 hp (25700 kW);
- 2 turbine generator GPM-21, power of each 1400 kW;
- 2 diesel generator DG 460 V, power of each 460 kW;
- 2 electric motor economical stroke PG-116, power of each 450 hp;
- 2 shaft;
- 2 five-bladed propellers;
Surface speed - 15 nodes;
Submerged travel speed - 26 nodes;
Immersion depth - 240 m;
Extreme depth of immersion - 300 m;
Autonomy - 50 days;
Crew - 104 people (including officers - 31)
Strategic missile weapons:
The R-13 (SS-N-4 "Sark") launchers of the D-2 complex or the CM-87-1 launchers of the Р-21 SLBMs (SS-N-5) of the D-4 complex (after upgrading to the 658- project) M) - 3
Torpedo armament:
- 533-mm torpedo tubes - 4 (bow);
- 533 mm 53-61, 53-65K, SET-65 - 16;
- 400-mm torpedo tubes - 2 (fodder);
- 400 mm torpedoes - 6;
Mine armament:
- can carry instead of a part of torpedoes;
Electronic weapons:
- general detection radar - RLK-101 "Albatross" (Snoop Tray);
Hydroacoustic system:
- Arktika-M;
- “Plutonium” mine detection;
- MG-10 ShPS;
- “Yacht” underwater communication;
Means of electronic warfare:
- Nakat (Quad Loop D / F) RTR;
- “Van” (Stop Light);
GPA tools:
- GPD MG-14, MG-24, MG-34;
Navigation complex:
- Sigma-658;
- radio textant (Code Eye);
- ins;
- ARP-53 radio direction finder;
Radio communication complex:
- VHF and HF radio stations ("Tantalum", "Iskra-1", "Graphite-1", "Onyx-P");
- DV radio "Depth";
State identification radar station - Nichrom-M.


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  1. Trevis
    Trevis 13 October 2012 15: 05
    Surprisingly, Amers made a good film about K-19. I even liked it.
    1. Delta
      Delta 13 October 2012 18: 38
      But in my opinion it’s disgusting to come up with nothing.
      The authors “squeezed” all the accidents on our boat in 1960-61 into one trip.
      Naturally, there was no confrontation between the starpom and the commander, and no one there threatened anyone with guns (the Americans still have a sick fantasy).
      The objective of this film is not to show the courage of our sailors, but to show how sophisticated the communists were.
      It turned out sheer stupidity, and nothing more. The most interesting thing is that those sailors who were really on the boat at that moment, after seeing the picture, said that the truth in this film was only when the bottle of champagne did not break on board. This is where all the truth ends.
      About drunken sailors on board there is nothing to say ....

      The only sensible Hollywood film about Soviet submariners is Hostile Waters. There, however, the sailor also smokes on board right at lunch, Belikov "looks" at the reactor through a glass and much more, but filmed without communist overtones and is technically more competent
      1. Andrey77
        Andrey77 14 October 2012 15: 54
        I'm not a submariner, but I liked the American film. There are only a couple of episodes about the "evil communists".
        1. Alex
          Alex 29 December 2013 00: 03
          Quote: Trevis
          Surprisingly, the Americans made a good film about K-19.

          Quote: Delta
          But in my opinion it’s disgusting to come up with nothing.

          I absolutely agree with Delt-Oh. Anyway, nothing came close to the truth from Hollywood. However, it is understandable: flawed peoples, for lack of their history, always obnazhaet stranger. The inferiority complex, however.
          1. Timofey Astakhov
            Timofey Astakhov 12 November 2021 15: 18
            Well, the case squared 36-80 is the same Hollywood, and the worst sample
          2. Timofey Astakhov
            Timofey Astakhov 12 November 2021 15: 22
            flawed peoples for lack of their history

            America is a great country and a great nation. The one who does not understand it is flawed
            1. Alex
              Alex 9 September 2022 18: 12
              Americans - a nation? Something new...
  2. Dnepropetrovsk
    Dnepropetrovsk 17 October 2012 23: 21
    So this is the Ukrainian submarine Zaporozhye