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Delta III class

Ballistic missile submarine

Project 667 BDR Kalmar (Delta III class) submarine

The Delta III class boats carried the first Soviet sea-based nuclear missiles with multiple warheads

 
 
Country of origin Soviet Union
Entered service 1976
Crew 130 men
Diving depth (operational) ?
Diving depth (maximum) 390 m
Sea endurance ?
Dimensions and displacement
Length 155 m
Beam 11.7 m
Draught 9 m
Surfaced displacement ?
Submerged displacement ?
Propulsion and speed
Surfaced speed 12 knots
Submerged speed 24 knots
Nuclear reactors 2 x VM-4-2
Steam turbines 2 x 90 MW
Armament
Missiles 16 x R-29RKU2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles
Torpedoes 4 x 533 mm and 2 x 400 mm bow tubes

 

   Although the Soviets were pioneers in firing missiles from submarines, their early systems were short-ranged. The 34 boats, known in the West as Yankee class, built between 1967 and 1974, were apparently based on stolen American plans for the Benjamin Franklin class. These provided the foundation for the follow-on Delta class, an enlarged development of the Yankee design. The first Deltas entered service in 1972, the original Delta I design being succeeded by the interim Delta II with 16 missiles rather than the original 12. These were followed from 1976 by the Project 667 BDR Kalmar, better known to the West as the Delta III class. These had a larger and longer turtle-back abaft the sail. A total of 14 Delta III class submarines were built at Severodvinsk.

   The Delta III submarines originally housed R-29R submarine-launched ballistic missiles (Western designation SS-N-18 Stingray). It was the first Soviet sea-based multiple-warhead system. Though later used version, the R-29RL had a single 450 kT warhead. Currently the surviving Delta III class boats carry improved R-29RKU2 intercontinental ballistic missiles. These missiles have a range of 9 000 km and can reach all targets in China, Europe and the United States.

   Development of the follow-on Project 667 BDRM Delfin, known to West as the Delta IV, began in 1975. The first boat was commissioned in 1985. It is a further modification of the Delta III, with an increased diameter pressure hull and a longer bow section. Displacement has increased by 1 200 tons and it is 12 m longer.

   The Delta III submarines which served in the Northern fleet formed a division and were based at Sayda and at Olyenya port. In the early 90s the ballistic missile submarines were transferred to Yagyelnaya. Pacific Fleet Delta IIIs were based on Kamchatka.

   In 1990 Soviet Navy operated a total of 13 Delta III class submarines. By 2017 only 3 of these submarines remain in service with the Russian Navy. These boats are already exceeding their planned service lives. It is likely that in the near future all Delta III class boats will be decommissioned. Currently a number of new Borei class ballistic missile submarines are being built in Russia. Once in service these will replace both the Delta III and Delta IV class boats.

 

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
K-424 1974 1976 1976

decommissioned in 1995, scrapped

K-441 1974 1976 1976

decommissioned in 1995, scrapped

K-449 1974 1976 1977

decommissioned in 2001, scrapped

K-455 1974 1976 1976

decommissioned in 2000, scrapped

K-490 1975 1977 1977 decommissioned in 2003, scrapped
K-487 1975 1977 1977

decommissioned in 1998, scrapped

Borisoglebsk (K-496) 1975 1977 1977

decommissioned in 2009, scrapped

Zelenograd (K-506) 1975 1978 1978

decommissioned in 2010

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy (K-211) 1976 1979 1979

in reserve since 2010, to be scrapped

Podolsk (K-223) 1977 1979 1979

active, in service

K-180 1977 1980 1980

decommissioned in 2003, scrapped

Sviatoy Georgiy Pobedonosets (K-433) 1979 1980 1980

active, in service

Orenburg (KS-129, ex K-129) 1979 1981 1981

converted to special purpose submarine, currently in repairs

Ryazan (K-44) 1980 1982 1982

in repairs since 2011. Was scheduled to return to service in 2016

 

 
Project 667 BDR Kalmar (Delta III class) submarine

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Project 667 BDR Kalmar (Delta III class) submarine

Expand image

Project 667 BDR Kalmar (Delta III class) submarine

Expand image

Project 667 BDR Kalmar (Delta III class) submarine

Expand image

Project 667 BDR Kalmar (Delta III class) submarine

Expand image

Project 667 BDR Kalmar (Delta III class) submarine

Expand image
 
Project 667 BDR Kalmar (Delta III class) submarine

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