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Delta IV class

Ballistic missile submarine

Delta IV class submarine

The Delta IV class ballistic missile submarine is a further development of the Delta III class

Entered service 1985
Crew 135 men
Diving depth (operational) 300 m
Diving depth (maximum) 400 m
Sea endurance 90 days
Dimensions and displacement
Length 166 m
Beam 12.3 m
Draught 8.8 m
Surfaced displacement 13 500 tons
Submerged displacement 18 200 tons
Propulsion and speed
Surfaced speed 14 knots
Submerged speed 24 knots
Nuclear reactors 2 x ?
Steam turbines 2 x  44.7 MW
Diesel generators 2 x 1 074 hp
Auxiliary motors 1 x 1 007 hp
Missiles 16 x SS-N-23 'Skiff' nuclear ballistic missiles, SS-N-16 'Stallion' ASW missiles
Torpedoes 4 x 533-mm bow tubes for up to 18 torpedoes


   Development of the Project 667 BDRM Delfin class, known to NATO as the Delta IV, began on 10 September 1975. The first boat, K-51 was commissioned into Northern fleet in December 1985. Between 1985 and 1990, seven Delta IVs were constructed by the Sevmashpredpriyatiye Production Association in Severodvinsk.

   The Delta IVs were constructed in parallel to the Typhoon class, in case the larger boats proved unsuccessful. The Delta IV 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 IV is a strategic platform, designed to strike military and industrial installations and naval bases. The submarine carries the RSM-54 Makeyev missile (NATO designation: SS-N-23 'Skiff'). The RSM-54 is a three-stage liquid-propellant ballistic missile with a range of 8 300 km. The warhead consists of four to ten multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles (MIRVs), each rated at 100 kT. The missile uses stellar inertial guidance for a CEP of 500 m.

   The submarine can also launch the Novator (SS-N-15 'Starfish') anti-ship missiles or Mk 40 anti-ship torpedoes. 'Starfish' is armed with a 200 kT nuclear warhead and has a range of 45 km.

   The operational lifetime of these submarines was estimate to be 20-25 years, assuming normal maintenance schedules, but in the 1990s everything changed. When the START-1 treaty was signed in 1991, five Delta IIIs served in the Northern and nine in the Pacific Fleet.

   Russia was scheduled to dismantle one Yankee-class, five Typhoon-class and 25 assorted Delta-class ballistic missile submarines by the year 2003.

   By September 1999, US specialists had helped disassemble one Yankee and six Deltas, while the Russians had destroyed another five ballistic missile subs on their own using US equipment.

   As of June 2000, the Russian Navy claimed that it operated five Typhoon-class submarines, seven Delta IV-class submarines, and 13 Delta III-class submarines, which between them carry 2 272 nuclear warheads on 440 ballistic missiles. With the chronic funding shortages affecting the Russian Navy, it is likely that many of these boats were of suspect seaworthiness. However, the Russian Navy reportedly believed that 12 nuclear ballistic missile submarines was the minimum necessary force structure for national security. It is likely that this force goal was maintained up until 2010 at least.

   From 1999 the K-64 submarine was converted to a special purpose boat. All of its missile silos were removed. After conversion in 2002 it was renamed the BS-64. It is believed to be a mothership for mini submarines and used for underwater intelligence gathering. After protractile conversion it was relaunched in 2015. Between 2002 and 2014 remaining 6 Delta IV class submarines were overhauled and upgraded with Sineva missiles.

   By 2015 a total of 6 Delta IV class ballistic missile submarines remain in service with the Russian Navy.


Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
Verhoturye (K-51) 1981 1984 1985

active, in service

Ekaterinburg (K-84) 1982 1985 1985

active, in service

Podmoskovye (BS-64, ex K-64) 1982 1986 1986

converted to special purpose submarine. Active, in service

Tula (K-114) 1984 1987 1987

active, in service

Bryansk (K-117) 1985 1988 1988 active, in service
Karelia (K-18) 1986 1989 1989

active, in service

Novomoskovsk (K-407) 1987 1990 1990

active, in service



Delta IV class submarine

Delta IV class submarine

Delta IV class submarine

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