November class Submarines (1957)

Project 627 “Kit” nuclear attack submarines

14 submarines 1957-63: One project 627, twelve project 627A, one project 645

Soviet Cold War Subs
Pr.613 Whiskey | Pr.611 Zulu | Pr.615 Quebec | Pr.633 Romeo | Pr.651 Juliet | Pr.641 Foxtrot | Pr.641 buki Tango | Pr.877 Kilo
Pr.627 kit November | Pr.659 Echo I | Pr.675 Echo II | Pr.671 Victor | Pr.671 skat Charlie | Pr.705 lira Alfa | Pr.949 antey Oscar | Pr.945 barrakuda Sierra | Pr.971 bars Akula | Pr.885 graney Yasen | Pr. 545 Laika
Pr.629 Golf | Pr.658 Hotel | Pr.667A Yankee | Pr.667B Murena Delta I | Pr.667D Delta II | Pr.667BDR Kalmar Delta III | Pr.667 BDMR delfin Delta IV | Pr. 941 akula Typhoon | Pr.995 borei Dolgorukiy | Pr.09851 Khabarovsk

Known in the west by NATO identifier “November”, Project 627 “Kit” (whale) were the first Soviet class of nuclear-powered attack submarines. They were in service from 1958. These were a concern for the USN, soon after USS Nautilus entered service. These submarines also brought a number of innovations, between their hull shape and 30+ underwater speed. They came as a schock and strongly reinforced the stance towards better ASW escort in the USN. However the initial project sanctioned by Stalin was even more radical, with the thermonuclear-tipped T15 “tsar torpedo”. Deemed unrealistic, the project was completely redesigned, but still kept a number of innovations. The rushed nature of its powerplant however would earn this serie the undesirable reputation of “widowmakers”. Despite of this they served until 1990. K-3 was preserved as a memorial ship in Saint Petersburg.

K5 underway in the 1960s


This class of submarines came from a 1952 requirement for an attack submarine capable of firing nuclear-tipped torpedoes on coastal American cities. If it’s sounds familiar look no further than the modern Russian “Poseidon” nuclear torpedo project. The nuclear power was not initially planned but rapidly came up front and center when news of the construction of USS Nautilus came clear.
This was the most ambitious program for any Soviet submarine at the time, with more than 135 Soviet organizations taking part in it: 20 design bureaus, 35 research institutes, 80 various technical sub-units.

Stalin’s “doomsday” project, the “Tsar” super-torpedo.

On September 12, 1952 indeed, Staling personally signed the decree “On the design and construction of object 627” and this included a nuclear powerplant, in response to news about the nuclear submarine USS Nautilus in construction. A. P. Aleksandrov was appointed scientific director, assisted by N. A. Dollezhal as chief designer for the nuclear steam production plant. Leningrad SKB-143 (later PKB Malakhit) was in charge of the overall project under V.N. Peregudov and S. A. Bazilevsky from 1953.

The decision of this sub as a carrier for a thermonuclear-tipped torpedo was initiated by Stalin and confirmed by the First Main Directorate of the Council of Ministers was seen as a pre-emptive strike and deterrence alternative to cruise and ballistic missiles at the time still in their infancy. The Navy itself was not initially involved in Project 627 development indeed… It was just to be the carrier for the T-15 strategic super torpedo, supposed to occupy 22% of of the whole submarine’s length. The payload had a yeld estimated to 100 megatons.
Chief designer for the whole project was V.N. Peregudov, research supervisor academician A.P. Alexandrov. The best minds had been sollicited for this new class, originally design to sneak in major US east coast ports (and west coast as well if needed), targeting naval bases by using a single battery-powered T-15 torpedo, fitted with the smallest available Soviet thermonuclear warhead at the time. The T-15 torpedo was not compatible with existing tubes and systems. It was 1,550 mm in diameter (61 inches) for 23.5 m in lenght (76 feet) for a range between 40 and 50 km (430-540 yards).
It really was the cancelled forerunner of the actual “poseidon”.

However the Navy was left out of this, since it was mostly a deterrence program. By July 1954, a group of Navy experts under Rear Admiral A.E. Orel were invited to take deeper knowledge with the Project. These Navy experts, advised by Commander-in-Chief of the Navy N.G. Kuznetsov, soon expressed their discontent and concerns about the realism of the whole program, pleading that the very concept was considered “highly dubious” at best. It was aslo recoignized than modern ASW weapons would doom the submarine trying to approach within 40 km to a foreign shore to launch its torpedo, making it an easy target, with chances of a successful torpedo launch close to zero. Engineers meanwhile noted the many other technical inconsistencies of the program. They underlined that after firing a giant torpedo, the mass and center of gravity of the submarine would change so fast it would inevitably acquired positive buoyancy, and pivot from the stern, going up to the surface and thus, revealing itself… In short, the whole program looked good on paper but was a very bad idea overall. In the end, the Navy and engineers prevailed over the Politburo.

Reajustments to a more conventional approach

The “doomsday torpedo” program was eventually scrapped after taking many of these complementary advices, depite initial support of Stalin. The role of the new attack submarine, just a carrier for one single T-15 torpedo (plus two 533 mm tubes), was changed to standard attacks on enemy warships, their nuclear propulsion used for extra oceanic, distant sea routes operation. They went to apocalypse instruments to more classic commerce raiders. Project 627 was developed this time with eight 533 mm torpedo tubes. Project 627/627A however innovated as being able to fire these under 100 m depth to hide their wake…

Commemorative stamp of “Leninsky Komsomol”

SKB-143 thus scrapped the T-15 torpedo program entirely. The readjusted program now included eight bow torpedo tubes with 20 spares torpedoes. What motivated this decision was also the fact Soviet scientist shad been able to create small enough tactical nuclear wahread to tip standard 533 mm torpedoes, negating the whole “super torpedo” program. By June 1955, the project was completed with planning of the construction start of the lead in 1956. But already numerous were changes were made to the project to inrease its survivability, modernized its equipment, relocated the hydroacoustic station notably.
The project nevertheless was in now way comparable to the whole panoply of conventional attack submarines still built at the time: The Project 613 (“Whiskey”), 611 (“Zulu”) or 615 (“Quebec”). The new Project 627 was very different from all previous submarines designs. It had a brand new hull and power plant. Questionable decisions were underlined as initially the submarine did not carried any naval gun or AA, nor had any external mooring devices, and thus a special tug was supposed to be sent to guide her in port each time. The sub also lacked anchors. Howver the abandon of the T-15 program freed a compartment that would be used by emergency diesel generators.

Elite crews, trained in advance

The crew was prepared and trained well in advance of any completion. Some of the elite, picked-up officers were involved at project stage and helped considerably improve ergonomics and living conditions, eliminating most glaring flaws spptted at wooden mock-ups stage. Tests of the air regeneration system, also new, were performed aboard the old D-2 “Narodovolets”, but the latter sank near Kronstadt, staying underwater for 60 days. Sure enough, a high-quality crew selection process started, training of the crew on specially built stands, including a full replica of the nuclear power plant at Obninsk started and helped considerably ironing up many issues, greatly helping entering service of the lead boat, K-3, which construction was under constant pressure. The plant notably was considered “crude” and later revealed many shortcomings and problems, so much so these boats would later gain the unenviable nickname of “widow’s makers”.

Design of Project 627 “Kit”

The first Project 627 submarine entered service in 1957, with the status of a prototype, just like USS Nautilus (launched 1957). At the same time, construction was underway for twelve more Project 627A ships. The “A” stands fore the improved variant. During the construction process, significant improvements were introduced, most being aimed at increasing the reliability of the main power plant. It was no luxury…
The initial powerplant was also simplified to be ready on time, and thus, lacked automation, with inexistant coastal infrastructure or previous experience, it required from the crews of the first boats performed a very large share maintainenance commitment and the greatest care. USSR also considerably innovated in hydrodynamic research, and like in other areas, seemed to lead the pack in submarine hull design. Indeed, and unlike the Nautilus, using a classic stem-shaped nose, Project 627 was given for the first time a well rounded and elliptical shape optimized for greater underwater speeds. Apart the general shape, long and narrow, at least the fine entries were a real novelty; Experts would argue later this was not an early “teardrop” hull. Given the rest of the hull and old-fashioned vertical tail or external shafts, most definitely.

Hull and general design

The K-3 hull was designed from scratch, but studied with an emphasis on underwater performance. The overall layout however follwed Project 611 (Zulu) and turned out to be much faster than USS Nautilus with 28 knots in underwater with both reactor used at full power. The max speed was optimistically earmarked at first to be of 31 ot even 32 knots. However due to constant issues with the reactors it was far less in practice.
For most of its length, the hull had a cylindrical shape, a small, well streamlined sail, just thickened to accommodate an optional main artillery magazine, and pronounced tail. However this was external. Much of the internal layout and compartments division was inherited from Project 611 boats (Zulu class). The two aft propellers in the open with struts and horizontal planes were also old-fashioned. For memory, the US would introduced their first true pure “teardrop” hull shape, complete with single propeller aft and “X” shaped tail with the USS Albacore (launched 1953).
Manufacture of the hull started in 1954 with high-strength weldable high-alloy, low-magnetic steel AK-25. They had a tensile strength of 60 kgf/mm² (590 MPa), quite unique at the time. Steel production for the Project 627 was established at the Izhora plant with the help of other metallurgical plants. The steel produced there turned out to be very successful and became a standard for Soviet shipbuilding.


To increase reliability, duplication of systems was introduced, notably explaining the twin-shaft. The two pressurized water nuclear reactors, two turbogenerators were also part of this redundancy. Direct current was used so that the sub could run with just one reactor, one generator. Steam from any reactor could be redirected to the other turbogenerator, mixing port and starboard for maintenance and redubdancy again. When all reactors and generators were operating, top speed was achieved, up to 32 knots officially.
The increased underwater speed spawned automation systems since “Kurs” to stabilize course and direction, “Strela” to stabilize depth at these underwater speeds, completely new fo Soviet submarines. It was believed also the fastest in the world and stayed so for many years. To given an idea, USS Nautilus was capable of ‘only” 23 knots. USS Seawolf 19 knots (35 km/h) submerged.
Next generations like the Skate class were onbly capable of 22 kn (41 km/h; 25 mph) submerged, USS Skate of 16 knots (18 mph; 30 km/h), making any November twice as fast.
This came as an advantage of adopting two powerplants; this speed was not realized until later by the USN and came as an absolute schock, mottivating the construction of faster escorts.

But this came at a cost: The VM-A reactors indeed had a history of unreliablility. It seems that the power plant was just rushed into production and poorly designed, with badly manufactured steam generators and piping system, esoecually for the primary radioactive circuit. Pipelines were long, convoluted at places, and used the wrong type of steel. Even during normal operation, there were microscopic cracks that kept appearing. If the steam generators were carefull managed, the whole system could operate about 3000 hours, after which a radioactive leak risk was most likely. The first boat, K-3, suffered from poorly made welds due to countless alterations, so the primary circuit water leaked radioactivity constantly.


After the abandonment of the over-ambitious “Tsar Torpedo” T-15 (recycled by Putin as the “Poseidon” in 2022), the Project 627 went from two defensive bow torpedo tubes without spare to eight 8 bow torpedo tubes with 20 spared. This opened up the whole range of existing or developing torpedoes of this caliber in the Soviet Union. The most promising were those with special ammunition with nuclear warheads, motivating to scrap the T-15. It was assumed that over the 20 torpedoes carried, 6 would have nuclear warheads at all times. This was another first in the USSR, alongside the fact they could be fired as low as under 100 meters in depth, controlled by the Thorium automatic system. The nuclear torpedo was seen as the “ultima ratio” against US Aircraft Carrier formations if needed.
At first they were equipped with the older Torpedo 53-39 or ET-80 (1942–1943) electric torpedo.
Likely they also sported the SAET-50M (1955), a 3,638 lbs. (1,650 kg) 293 in (7.450 m) long model carrying a 827 lbs. (375 kg) powered by a Lead-acid battery and carrying a payload at 6,600 yards (6,000 m) and 29 knots. It was a Passive acoustic homing model with a range between 600 and 800 m. SAET-50M had both a more powerful battery and gas-screening system lowering screw propellers noise.
It could also operate the 533 mm (21″) ET-56 (4,409 lbs. (2,000 kg), 291 in (7.400 m) payload 661 lbs. (300 kg), Lead-acid battery for 6,600 yards (6,000 m) at 36 knots.
Most likely also they tested the SET-53 (1958). 3,263 lbs. (1,480 kg), 307 in (7.800 m) long model with a 220 lbs. (100 kg) payload for 8,750 yards (8,000 m) at 23 knots.
Post-1965 however better models were procured.
Since the projects needed to be ready asap, surveillance and communications equipment were not innovative, and just recycled what was used on the projects 611 and 613 boats.

SET-65 Torpedoes

These Heavyweight torpedoes entered service in 1965 (1972 for SET-65M) after a long development between 1960 and 1965 at Gidropribor. The model was denominated Yenot-2 or in alternative, Izdeliye 260 in Turkish service. It was a heavyweight acoustic homing torpedo to deal with other submarines, setup also for deep diving strikes. It had an electric motor and the homing systems were constantly improved. The SET-65 is free running and was further developed as the TEST-71. It is still in use today.

⚙ specifications SET-65

Weight-Dimensions 1.740 kg – 533 mm x 7.8 m long
Propulsion Silver zinc battery, twin propeller wakeless propulsion
Speed 40 knots
Range/depht 16 km at 40 kt, 400 m
Payload 205 kg explosive charge, Contact fuse 10 m radius magnetic
Guidance Active/passive acoustic seeker, 800 m homing range, optional Wire guidance

53-65K Torpedoes

The previous Model 53-27 (1927), carrying a 265 kg (584 lb) TNT to 3.7 km (2.0 nmi) at 45 knots (83 km/h) needed replacement and in 1932 USSR purchased several Italian torpedoes, fore setting up on the Whitehead 53F, leading to design the 53-36, then 53-39 whicg carried a 317 kg (699 lb) payload at 51 knots (94 km/h)) (one of the fastest in the world). The 53-38/53-38U led in 1945 to the development of the SAET-50 (1950) and 53-61, first homing torpedo to exceed 40 knots. The 53-65/53-65K and 65KE/TT-3 became the first mass-produced wake homing Soviet torpedoes, which speed was constantly improved.

⚙ specifications SET-65K

Weight-Dimensions 2,300 kg (5,070 lb), 7.2 m (24 ft) x 533 mm (21.0 in)
Propulsion Kerosene-oxygen turbine
Speed 45 kn (83 km/h)
Range/depht 19,000 metres (21,000 yd)
Payload 307.6 kilograms (678 lb) high explosive
Guidance Wake homing


The panoply included the following:
MG-200 “Arktika-M” sonar system, used for for target detection underwater. Returns usable data for the launching station under 100 m depht.
-“Svet” detection of hydroacoustic signals/underwater sonar communication sonar system
-“MG-10” hydrophone station (“Mars-16KP” on the prototype Pr.627)
-“Luch” sonar system, detecting of underwater obstacles
-“Prizma” detection radar for surface targets/torpedo control
-“Nakat-M” reconnaissance radar.

Crew accommodation

As seen above albeit internal arrangements were close to previous designs, some attention was put on crew’s living conditions for prolongated underwater stays, without contact with the atmosphere and the added issue of having nuclear reactors nearby. There was a comprehensive air conditioning and ventilation system, unique to this class. However there was a fire-hazard associated to the recirculating of oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide. It became the source of frequent problems, even several catastrophic fires. K-8 notably was lost due to the ignition of cartridges of the air regeneration system.

Author’s illustration, 2006

⚙ specifications Pr. 627A

Displacement 3,118/3,414 t standard, 4,750t submerged
Dimensions 107 x 7.9 x 5.6m ()
Propulsion 2x WC reactors VM-A 70 MW, steam generators TBA 60-D, turbine GPM-21, diesels, auxiliary EM, see notes.
Speed 15/31 knots, see notes
Range/test depht 50–60 days/unlimited,300–340 m
Armament 8x 533 mm bow TTs (20 torpedoes SET-65 or 53-65K).
Sensors MG-200 “Arktika-M” sonar, “MG-10” hydro station, Luch, Prizma, Nakat-M
Crew 104–105 (30 officers)

These boats received the prefix “K”, meaning “Kreyserskaya podvodnaya lodka” or “Cruising submarine”, since nuclear power gave them such a range they could be assimilated to the old category going back to WWI of “submarine cruisers”.
Despite their shortcomings, the November class boats remained in service for about 30 years, from 1960 to 1990. They joined the Northern and Pacific fleets and saw active combat service, in any latitudes, ranging from the North Pole to tropical latitudes and included trips around the world. They are a motive of pride for the Soviet Union. Main US competitors, the Nautilus, Skate were no match, but not the Skipjacks. They were the first to start to be a match in speed and diving depth, notably thanks to their teardrop hull derived from the experimental Albacore. Still, the Project 627 boats were larger, had a superior speed, were better armed, but generated far more noise.
All submarines of Project 627A except for K-8 (lost) entered reserve in 1989, by 1992, they all had been decommissioned. The K-159 sinking while in long-term storage, received wide publicity. K-3 Leninsky Komsomol was retired in 1991 and planned for conversion into a museum, but lack of funds condemned her. Still the MoD saved her, replacing her reactor by a turbine compartment with all radiaton cleanred up, she was gutted and left afloat pending further funding.
By September 23, 2021, she was stationed at St. Petersburg, in the Sviyaga floating dock. She was planned to be anchored at the “Museum of Naval Glory” in the “Island of Forts”. However so far nothing really caught up.

Project 645

Project 627, K3

Project 627A

Project 645, K27 for comparison – profiles by Mike1983Russia

This was K-27, laid down on 15 June 1958, launched on 1 April 1962, commissioned on 30 October 1963 after official tests. Studied by OKB-16 (later Malakhit Central Design Bureau). Placing a pair of experimental VT-1 nuclear reactors using liquid-metal coolant (lead-bismuth eutectic) into a modified hull was the novelty here. NATO did not have a reporting name for this one.
Her first experimental patrol was in Central Atlantic on 21 April–12 June 1964 over 52 days under Captain 1st rank I.I. Gulyaev (later awarded with the Hero of the Soviet Union) and later in the Mediterranean on 29 June–30 August 1965 (60 days). She mocked an attack on USS Randolph during NATO naval maneuvers, off Sardinia. Captain P.F. Leonov skillfully disengaged after making a “kill” at range, and detected. She was reassigned to the Red Banner Northern Fleet as test submarine.
Her port-side reactor failed on 24 May 1968 in the Barents Sea while submerged at full speed: The automatic control rod raised up spontaneously and there was a masive power drop during 60–90 sec. There was already a reported incident on 13 October 1967 but this was not fixed. The release brought a surge of gamma rays in the reactor while radioactive gas spread in other compartments. The whole crew of 124 were irradiated, and it seemed that an overconfident Captain P.F. Leonov hesitated to resurface immediately. K-27 eventually resurfaced, the crew took turn on deck, and she returned to home with her starboard reactor. V. Voevoda, V. Gritsenko, V. Kulikov and A. Petrov died of irradiation within a month. Electrician I. Ponomarenko died on watch on 29 May. 30 sailors died between 1968 and 2003 and the whole incident was hidden by the government until 1991.
K-27 was placed in reserve from 20 June 1968, testing various cooling solutions for its, tests being made until 1973, but full replacement of the port-side reactor was abandoned. She was decommissioned on 1 February 1979, her reactor room filled with a mix of furfurol and bitumen in the summer 1981 at Severodvinsk shipyard. The hull was sunk in the Kara Sea on 6 September 1982 NE of Novaya Zemlya. This is still a hazard due to the relative shallow waters.

Read More/Src

K-159 in the 2000s

K14 fin monument as of today.


The Encyclopedia of Warships, From World War 2 to the Present Day, General Editor Robert Jackson.
Kolesnikov A. and Il’in V. Illyustrirovanny Spravochnik. Podvodnye Lodki Rossii
Conway’s all the world’s fighting ships 1947-1995

Links WTRussian_post-WWII.php 627a/k8/k8.htm November-class_submarine


On sub brief

Model Kits

On scalemate
Zvezda/Flagman 1:350


on to download

Sovietskaya Flota K3

K3 was laid down on September 24, 1955 in Severodvinsk, plant No. 402 (now Sevmash) factory No. 254. In August 1955 she was completed under supervision of captain 1st rank L. G. Osipenko.
Launched on August 9, 1957, reactors were first fired by September 1957 and she was commissioned on July 1, 1958, on July 4, 1958 and by December 17, 1958, was accepted for service after ironing out all deficiencies. After further testing, Capt. Osipenko became Hero of the Soviet Union while mate Zhiltsov and armament commander Akulov were awarded the Order of Lenin, while the rest of the officers received Ushakov medals.
At the same time, a relevant coastal infrastructure required to support this new type of sub was built. By March 12, 1959, she entered the 206th separate submarine brigade, based in Severodvinsk.
In October 1959, she was moved to her new homeport Zapadnaya Litsa, the first SSN dedicated base in USSR. She made a first underwater cruise in the Atlantic in 1961.
From July 11 to July 21, 1962, she made a long trip under the ice of the Arctic and passed the North Pole twice. Under command of Lev Mikhailovich Zhiltsov on July 17, 1962 she surfaced near the North Pole. The crew hoisted the State Flag. After returning to Yokanga, K3 was greeted triumphally by Chairmain N. S. Khrushchev and MoD R. Ya. Malinovskyy. Rear Admiral A.I. Petelin, Captain 2nd Rank L.M. Zhiltsov, and Captain 2nd Rank Engineer R.A. Timofeev were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union whereas the personnel were awarded orders and medals. On October 9, 1962, K3 was officially named “Leninsky Komsomol” inherited from the honored WW2 “M-106” of the Northern Fleet.
However nehing the curtains, K3 underwent still many improvements and alterations. Maintenance needed a constantly drilled, very qualified crew capable of performing complex repairs at sea. The fact that she was able to make a first trip to the Pole under such adverse conditions was remarkable.
Osipenko and Zhiltsov reported however that power engineer Genrikh Gasanov asked for K3 not being risked at sea due to main power plant issues.For her polar trip, K3 went on anyway, making most of her voyage using diesel engines and only starting the nuclear powerplant for the final leg under the ice.
The steam generators were a constant source of worries. Osipenko and Zhiltsov’s book “Nuclear Underwater Epic” mentioned that K3 made her underwater trip at just 1/3 power. One steam generator was shut down due to leaks. At best she ran at 60%. She went home with her second generator estimated to last less than 800 hours, and leaks appeared indeed after her historical trip.

K3 thus needed repairs, including replacement of the while compartment. The increased level of radioactivity in the primary circuit water and numerous welds greatly took their toll. There was also a noted lack of technological culture and careful maintenance for such complex systems. It revealed itself as clearly insufficient. To reduce radiation while submerged, periodic mixing of air between compartments was practiced for a better distribution of contamination. But the while crew was irradiated anyway in mission. Radiation sickness became commonplace, so much so that after her thord deployment, an ambulance was waiting on the pier. Many victims had false diagnosed records to try to hide the issue.
From February 1963 to October 1965, K-3 stayed under repair, with full replacement of her reactor compartment, spent nuclear fuel unloaded, and the compartment flooded in Abrosimov Bay; During that time she received the new Sigma navigation system, new control systems.
On September 8, 1967 while in the Norwegian Sea she suffered a massive fire in cpmpartment I and II, killing 39. The torpedo explosions, some with nuclear warheads was narrowly avoided. Emergency repairs were done so that she can return without assistance. This was blamed on a poor sealing gasket in hydraulic systems (paronite gasket) and there was a leak of flammable hydraulic fluid in concact with a leftover electric torch without its standard protective cap. Anatoly Zhukov became her new commander. In 1988 K3 was withdrawn from service after 128,443 miles, 14,115 hours underwater. By 1991, she was decommissioned from the Northern Fleet but mothballed under 2002, delivered for disposal at Polyarny, had her nuclear fuel unloaded and by 2006, she was transferred to Snezhnogorsk at Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center for further cleaning.

In 2008 under MoT Igor Sergeevich Levitin she was be converted into a museum by the design Bureau “Malakhit”.
In all 50 million rubles were required, conversion done by 2019, and she was installed in Sayda Bay facility.
From 2023, she is now a key exhibit at the Museum of Naval Glory in Kronstadt with first visits scheduled for January 2024.

Sovietskaya Flota K5

K5 was Laid down on August 13, 1956 at workshop No. 42, Northern Machine-Building, launched on September 1, 1958. From October 10, 1958 to September 22, 1959, she was in trials and tests of equipment. Factory sea trials went on by September 22-25 1959. State tests on October until December 1959. On December 27, 1959, she was officially completed, after reaching 80% of her nominal output, recording the world’s the highest underwater speed at 28 knots, 30 in projected Calculations. She was assigned to the Northern Fleet on August 17, 1960, 206th separate submarine brigade in Western Litsa under Captain 2nd Rank V.S. Salov.
In 1960, she made 10 sorties (8,195 nautical miles, 7,107 submerged). From November 1960 to December 1962 she was overhauled at Zvezdochka shipyard. January 1964 to September 1965 saw her under command of Captain 2nd Rank L. N. Stolyarov. In 1965 her fuel rods depressurized and she was in urgent emergency repairs until September 1967. Eventually the whole compartment was removed and replaced. In her 1967-1971 campaign, she made five autonomous combat missions over 300 days. In February 1970 she was transferred to the 17th Division, Gremikha.
Between July 1971 and August 1973 she had another overhaul and new reactor cores. 1974-1978 saw her in several sorties over 81 days.
From December 11, 1981 to August 17, 1982 she had another overhaul and made two osrties over 49 days in 1982-1985.
From 1986 to 1989, she trained off the base. On March 14, 1989, she was reclassified B-5. July 1, 1990 saw her decommissioned, stricken in 1992, and disposed of at SRZ-10, Polyarny until 2000.

Sovietskaya Flota K8

K8 was built at shipyard No. 402 Molotovsk, Launched on May 31, 1959 and between December 1960 until May 1962, under command of Captain 2nd Rank D. N. Golubev. She was plagued by radiation accidents. The first occured on October 13, 1960, 1.5 months after entering service in the Barents Sea; She had a cooling circuit pipe rupturing in one reactor, coolant leak. The crew managed to prevent a meltdown of the reactor core by exposing itself and welding back the coolant pipes. Radioactive gas condemned three crew members with 13 more badly exposed. She had a major overhaul and replacement of the steam generator at the Zvezdochka plant until July 1968 but she had another incident on June 1, 1961, and by October 8, 1961.
Each time the poor material used for the cooling pipes were noted. She was deployed in the Mediterranean Sea and North Atlantic, taking part in “Ocean-70” until April 22, 1970.
On the evening of April 8, 1970 while off the Azores, she surfaced from 160 meters for a radio communication session when a fire broke out in the hydroacoustics room fought back successfully by the crew. But soon after submerging agains another fire broke out in the 7th compartment and it spread to the main power plant and the entire first shift in the power plant died, but managed to shut down the nuclear reactors, preventing a nuclear explosion.
Many took refuge in the eighth compartment and only 4 were able to escape. In total the submarine lost 30 sailors. 19 people were rescued from the ninth compartment. Part were saved by the Bulgarian cargo ship “Avior” which through Varna, warned the Soviet Navy HQ.
22 remained on board under V.B. Bessonov, and maintained the boat under a force 8 storm, but she started listing by the stern and, sank eventually with its entire combat shift. K-8 in all claimed 52 crew members, the most severe loss of the Soviet nuclear fleet, under 4,680 m, 490 km northwest of Spain.
8″, which significantly helped to understand the course of the accident.
The causes of the fire in compartments 3 and 7 remained unknown. By June 26, 1970, Captain 2nd Rank Vsevolod Borisovich Bessonov was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
The presence of nuclear warhead on board remained a hot topic until today. Details are still classified to this day.

Sovietskaya Flota K14

In 1960, the K14 made 9 sorties (1,997 nautical miles surfaced, 11,430 miles submerhed) and became the first Soviet nuclear submarine in the Bay of Biscay, for the “Meteor” exercise.
In January 1961, she was transferred to the 3rd division of nuclear submarines, first flotilla, Northern Fleet. In 1961, she made four sorties (1,356 miles/1,967 miles). In 1961, was performed the first experimental reloading of the reactor core, directly at the submarine base. In 1962-1964 reactor protection failed and it was was cut out and replaced.
From August 30 to September 17, 1966, she made the passed from the Arctic to the Pacific Ocean, Northern Sea Route, submerged. She made 19 sorties in the North Pole area in search of the station North Pole-15. By the Decree of November 25, 1966, Captain D. N. Golubev and captain N. K. Ignatov were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
K-14 was assigned to the 10th submarine division, Krasheninnikov Bay, 15th submarine squadron (Red Banner Pacific Fleet). 1966-1970 saw her in 160 days sorties. From December 1967 to January 1968, she cruised along the US West Coast in reconnaissance and during the Vietnam War famously raced and caught up with USS Enterprise, ready to fire. However her radiation situation forced her back to base.
From December 1970 to March 1973, she had an overhaul, and by November 1973, she joined the 10th Division, 2nd flotilla. 1973-1975 saw her sortied for 135 days with combat missions between 1979 and 1982, overhaul between December 1982 and March 1986 and transferred to the 28th Submarine Division. She was on guard station of Sovetskaya Gavan Bay and by May 1986, transitioned from Kamchatka to her permanent base. On February 12, 1988 a fire broke out in the 7th compartment, extinguished by using LOX, killing one.
Since 1988, it was barred from sorties and used for local training until decommissioned on April 19, 1990. In September 2005, she was moved tp Bolshoi Kamen, Zeya dock, Zvezda plant to be BU until 2006.

Sovietskaya Flota K52

Launched on August 28, 1960, K52 was seen in Joint sea trials from November 3 to December 10, 1960. December 10, 1960 she was completed officially, assigned to the Northern Fleet by December 23, 1960, 206th separate submarine brigade, Western Litsa under Captain 2nd Rank V.P. Rykov. January 1961 saw her transferred to the 3rd Submarine Division.
1961, saw her making five sorties (13,105 nautical miles underwater). On April 1961, she sailed under pack ice under Franz Josef Land and Spitsbergen.
From April 4 to April 10, 1962, she took part in the Northern Fleet exercise “Veil” in which she suffered a rupture of her starboard steam generator pipe and returned home surfaced under stormy conditions, using her left plant. Overexposure of the crew forced a new one to be recruited. She was overhauled from October 1965 to February 1967 and in 1967-1969 made three sorties over 185 days. From May 4 to 8, 1967, she portrayed K3 for her historic voyaged to North Pole for a movie. While in the Mediterranean Sea, she collided with the SSBN USS Madison and her reactor compartment was flooded with sea water. She managed to be back to base and was repaired between December 1969 and December 1972, modernized with new steam generators.
1973-1984 saw her performing 8 sorties, over 295 days. In 1974, she was versed into the 11th submarine flotilla, Gremikha. On July 15, 1977, salinization of the second circuit was leaking in the port side unit but the issue was fixed underway at sea and contamination was moderate.
In 1985-1986,she trained locally. September 16, 1986, her poor condition forced her transfer to the reserve. From October 9, 1986 to September 12, 1987, she was overhauled and by late 1987, she was decommissioned. Until 1996, she became a temporary storage facility unit afloat. In 1996-1997 she was stricken and BU.

Sovietskaya Flota K21

K21 was laid down on April 2, 1960 at workshop No. 42, Northern Machine-Building, launched June 18, 1961 and tested between January 22 to August 30, 1961, with Factory sea trials in September 12-16, 1961, State tests September 21-October 31, 1961 and completed by October 31, 1961, commissioned with the Northern Fleet in November 1961, 3rd Submarine Division, Western Litsa under Captain 2nd Rank V.N. Chernavin. By late 1961, she covered 5,906 nautical mile (3,524 submerged). Until May 14, 1962 she made a 51-day sortie over 10,124 nautical miles, trying to achieve full autonomy. She supported the K-3 submarine’s voyage to the North Pole in 1962, carrying out ice reconnaissance underwater and tested firing live torpedoes.
From April 23 to May 21, 1964, she sailed in the Norwegian Sea and North Atlantic and by 1965, the Barents Sea then back to Zvezdochka for mid-life overhaul until 1966. In 1967-1970 she made three sorties over 170 days.
1973 to 1975 saw her in overhaul and reactor cores replaced. 1975 saw her transferred to the 17th submarine division, Gremikha. For her 1976-1980 campaign, she made four sorties over 200 days. From 1983 to 1985 she was inn overhaul and from 1986 to 1991, stayed close to base for exercizes. April 19, 1991, saw her decommissioned, stricken. In 2002 she wwas in storage at Gremikha, disposed of since.

Sovietskaya Flota K11

K11 was was built at the same yard, launched on September 1, 1961 and underwent tests from September 11 to November 2, 1961, factory tests from November 26 to December 1, 1961, Joint sea trials from December 2 to December 30, 1961 and completed on December 30, 1961, commissioned with the Northern Fleet in March 1962, 3rd Division, 1st Submarine Flotilla under Captain 2nd Rank Kalashnikov Yu. N. In November 1963 to November 1964, she was in repairs at Severodvinsk. By November 1963, depressurization of fuel rods was discovered and it was decided to reload both reactor cores. On February 6, 1965, the cover of the aft nuclear reactor blown up and by February 7, the lid was lifted without installing a stop for the compensating grid rod. There was a release of steam-air radioactive mixture from under the lid. Radiation measures went off scale and all staff was evacuated. No work was carried out for five days until specialists tried to find the cause. On February 12, 1965, the lid was lifted again with a second contamination and a fire started. The reactor compartment was flooded with seawater, fire extinguished. Part of the K-11 crew died, the rest received large doses of radiation. Official data remains classified to this day. The reactor compartment was eventually cut out and replaced with repairs completed in August 1968.
K11 was in operations in 1968-1970, five sorties over 305 days. In November 1971, she was back to Zvezdochka for mid-life upgrades until September 1974.
Her 1975-1977 saw foour sorties over 173 days. On February 28, 1975 while under 90 meters, a leak was discovered in the second compartment and she rushed back to base, after inspection her diving depth was limited. From January to August 1982 she was in overhaul.
1980-1982 saw her making two sorties over 78 days, 14,937 miles. In 1982-1985 she made 5 sorties over 144 days and by 1986-1989, she trained at base. In 1990, she was decommisioned, and discarded, scrapped from 1995.

Sovietskaya Flota K133

Built at the same yard, K133 was launched on July 5, 1962. From July 6 to September 14, 1962, she was locally tested, followed by Factory sea trials in September 14-25, 1962, state tests by September 26 to October 29, 1962 and she was completed officially on October 29, 1962, commissioned with the Northern Fleet on November 14, 1962, 3rd Submarine Division, Western Litsa under Captain 2nd rank Slyusarev Georgy Alekseevich. After a training cruise on August 17, 1963 submerged she had a left reactor accident with radioactive release. Within 38 hours, the situation was controlled by the crew, and she resumed operations using her starboard engine. In 1963, she made a trip to equatorial Atlantic, a first for the Soviet Navy, over 51 days.
From October 1964 to September 1965, she was in overhaul. From February 2 to March 26, 1966, she escorted the SSGN K-116, making the world’s first transition from the Northern Fleet to the Pacific Fleet along the southern route, and Drake Passage all underwater, under command of 1st submarine flotilla CiC Rear Admiral A.I. Sorokin while she was under command of captain 2nd rank Stolyarov L.N. covering 21,000 nautical miles in 52 days.
Commander Stolyarov, and Rear Admiral A.I. Sorokin, were awarded titles of Heroes of the Soviet Union and by April 14, 1966, the whole K-133 crew was awarded the honorary title of Guards.
On November 14, 1966, K-133 was relocated to the Pacific Fleet in Vilyuchinsk and in 1966-1968 made two sorties over 103 days.
From October 1968 to December 1970, she was overhauled at Zvezda, Vladivostok. In 1971-1976 she made two sorties over 93 days. In 1976, the insulation resistance of power cables decreased below the permissible level, replacement being required. This was done between October 1976 to April 1977, and later that year she made a 48 days sortie. Between May 1980 and January 1982, she underwent a medium overhaul with her reactor cores replaced. From 1983 to 1986 she made another sortie but stayed close to base. On May 30, 1989, she was decommissioned and is in storage for scrapping since 2006, at Postovaya Bay.

Sovietskaya Flota K181

K181 was from the same yard. She was launched on September 7, 1962, had mooring tests in October 11 to November 21, 1962, Factory sea trials in November 22-24, 196, then State tests until December 27, 1962, completion siged this day. She was commissioned into the Northern Fleet on January 11, 1963, 3rd Submarine Division, Western Litsa under Captain 2nd Rank Yu. A. Sysoev.
From September 25 to October 4, 1963, she made an Arctic voyage to the North Pole, surfacing on 29th, 1963, at the calculated point of the North Pole. State and naval flags were raised, photos taken after a trip over 9 days and 3 hours, under 3464 nautical miles in 219 hours, 1800 under packice over 107 hours. This was under supervision of Northern Fleet Admiral Vladimir Kasatonov, by captain 2nd rank Sysoev. Representatives of the press, research institutes, were there in addition of navy personal, so 124 total and scientific tests carried out as well as the underwater navigation complex “Sigma” and prototype receiver indicator. The commander of “K-181” was later awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
From March 16 to April 14 and from June 17 to August 15, 1964, K-181 made two sorties in the Norwegian Sea, North Atlantic. 1965 to 1970 same story, over 134 days. In 1966, she shadowed long-term the US Navy USS Saratoga Carrier Strike Group.
Between December 1967 and October 1968, she was in overhaul, change of reactor cores. On February 20, 1968, K-181 was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.
In December 1968, she made the first call by a nuclear Soviet submarine to a foreign port, Alexandria. 1971 to 1974 saw her in overhaul. In 1974, she was transferred to the 17th submarine division, Gremikha. 1976-1981 saw her in four sorties over 150 days. On October 18, 1976, under 180 meters, she had a leak of sea water in the 5th compartment, she was forced to surface to compress the nuclear lid. In 1979, she had a colling leak and the 1st circuit filter was turned off.
In 1984, she stayed close to base. In October 1984, she started an overhaul until 1987, stopped, it was decided to have her decommissioned by September 16, 1987, and she was stored until 1997 in a temporary storage facility, by 1998, after dismantling of the reactor compartments, she was disposed of.

Sovietskaya Flota K115

K115 was built a the same yard, launched on October 22, 1962, having moored tests between October 25 to December 10, 1962, Factory sea trials in December 10-12, 1962, State tests in December 12-31, 1962, completion signed that day. She was commissioned with the Northern Fleet on January 11, 1963, 3rd Submarine Division, Western Litsa under Captain 2nd rank Dubyaga I.R. and there was a crew swap from the Pacific Fleet.
In September 3-17, 1963, K-115 made her first sub-ice trans-Arctic crossing. On September 10, she surfaced in an ice hole, just 3.4 nautical miles from the Soviet drifting research polar station “Severny”. She used for the first time a special hydroacoustic “noisemaker” beacon linked to the station. On September 11, she met at a RDV point in the Chukchi Sea, with the icebreaker Peresvet. On September 17, she was back at Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky after covering 1,570 nautical miles in 121 hours. Multiple awards were decerned and Captain 2nd Rank I.R. Dubyaga, became Hero of the Soviet Union, transition Captain 1st Rank V.G. Kichev, the Order of Lenin.
On October 23, 1963, K-115 joined the Red Banner Pacific Fleet in Vilyuchinsk. In 1965 to 1967, she was overhauled at the Zvezda plant, Vladivostok. 1967-1971 saw two sorties over 69 days. On April 7, 1970, she was awarded the Lenin Anniversary Certificate of Honor. In 1971 her crew was sent to a new Project 671 submarine (Victor).
From November 1971 to 1973, September 1975 to April 1976, she was in overhaul. 1976-1980 saw a single cruise over 50 days. On January 16, 1977, a fire and explosion occurred in the oxygen regeneration cartridge RP-200, from a PDU-1 individual breathing device, in the 5th compartment. One was severely burnt and died. In July-August 1977 and October 1978, she suffered muktiple electrical fires while underway. Full replacement of the wiring was done. In the summer of 1980 she had a leak in the primary circuit, port side reactor. She was repaired in 1981-1983, the defective reactor cover replaced, using one spare from K-122, Project 659 (Echo), lost due to a fire herself.
On October 31, 1985, K-115 ended her overhaul period and in 1986, it was proposed to have her decommissioned, done on July 16, 1987. In 2000, she was in a temporary storage facility at Krasheninnikov Bay. She is assumed scrapped now.

Sovietskaya Flota K159

Laid down at the same workshop No. 42, Northern Machine-Building Co, K159 was launched on June 6, 1963 and from June 11 to August 20, 1963, mooring tests were performed, State tests from September 11 to October 9, 1963 and she was completed that day, commissioned into the Northern Fleet on November 4, 1963, assigned to the 3rd Submarine Division, Western Litsa under Captain 2nd Rank Sinev B.S. In 1963-1966 she made two sorties over 74 days. On March 2, 1965, there was a micro-leak in the cooling tubes of the condenser, main turbo-gear unit, port side and she had to return to base. From December 30, 1966 to November 5, 1968, K-159 had the full replacement of steam generators made at Zvezdochka shipyard.
Her 1981-1984 campaign saw four sorties over 138 days but in 1985-1988 she stayed close to base. In 1989, she was reclassified B-159. She was decommissioned on May 30, 1989, and from 1989 to 2003, was in a temporary storage facility afloat. She sank on the night of August 30, 2003 near Kildin Island under 170 m while being towed from Gremikha for disposal at Nerpa. 9 died including commander Sergei Lappa, only 3 of the crew escaped. By August 2011, Rosatom proposed to have her lifted, done in 2012. She was examined by scientists on September 2014, and was greenlighted to stay at such submerged for 20 years. So far no lifting has been done.

Sovietskaya Flota K42

K42 was launched on August 17, 1963, performed her mooring tests from August 23 to October 22, 1963, factory sea trials from October 22 to October 26, 1963, state tests from October 27 to November 30, 1963, completion signed, and commission into the Northern Fleet on December 14, 1963, 3rd Submarine Division, Western Litsa under. Captain 2nd Rank I. I. Panov.
From September 7 to October 2, 1964, she made a sortie, shadowing and observing NATO “Felix-64” exercise.
In 1965-1966, she trained in base new crews for nuclear submarines, still making 2,200 nautical miles surfaced, 4,200 underwater
From December 1966 to February 1968, she was overhauled and had her steam generator replaced.
From August 20 to September 5, 1968, K-42 sortied with K-55 (Project 658, Hotel) for an under-ice transition from the Northern Fleet to the Pacific Fleet to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky under command of submarine flotilla Northern Fleet, Captain 1st Rank Mikhailovsky, for 1,749 nautical miles underwater, 137 hours and surfacing on August 27, near the drifting polar station North Pole-16.
On September 12, 1968, she was homeprted to Vilyuchinsk. 1968-1972 saw a single sortie of 50 days.
On March 21, 1969, while under 70 meters, the hold of the turbine compartment was flooded, she surfaced with a trim of 5° aft, and the secondary circuit feedwater and circulating oil for the main turbo-gear were contaminated by seawater. After repairs at Zvezda plant, Bolshoy Kamen, reactor cores were recharged.
On June 28, 1978, she collided with a tanker. Damage to her hull and sonar fairing were repaired in 1980. In 1981 she made a 40 days sortie. On May 8, 1981 she was named “Rostov Komsomolets”.
In 1983, she made her longest sortie, over 270 days, over 21,131 nautical miles submerged, 4,096 surfaced.
In 1985 she was overhauled at SRZ-30, Chazhma Bay, and same in 1987-1988. Indeed on August 10, 1985, the reactor of K-431 exploded while recharging its cores in the immediate vicinity of K-42. K-42 was severely irradiated and by 1988, decision was taken to have her decommissioned, she was stored from 1990 to 2004 at Chazhma Bay. Current status unknown.

Sovietskaya Flota K50

K-50 was was laid down in 1957 and was supposed to test carrying the P-20 strategic nuclear missile. But she was completed instead under the Project 627A the first with 650mm torpedo tubes. This program was abandoned in turn and she was repurposed in February 14, 1963 under project 627A in a new slipway as K-50. Launched on December 16, 1963 she had mooring tests from December 18, 1963 to June 11, 1964, Factory sea trials in June 11-14, state tests until July 17, 1964 when commissioned, versed into the Northern Fleet on August 6, 1964, 3rd Submarine Division, Western Litsa under Captain 2nd Rank G. G. Kostev.
From March 4 to April 4, 1965, she made an Atlantic sortie. In May-April 1965, she was in the Barents Sea. In July 1965, she was in the North Atlantic. In 1966, she made another sortie over 1,093 nautical miles/3,797 surfaced/underwater. November 1967 to December 1968 saw her in overhaul. She was transferred to the 17th Submarine Division in Gremikha. In 1969-1973 she made two more sorties over 161 days.
Between April 1973 and September 1975, she was in overhaul, changing of reactor cores. In 1977, she made a 51 days sortie. In 1982-1983, she became “K-60″ and from December 1983 to January 25, 1984, she made another sortie (classifiedp. 1984 to 1989, she stayed close to base. She was decommissioned on April 19, 1991, placed until 2006, in a temporary storage facility afloat and disposed of at Polyarny.

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