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Victor III class

Nuclear-powered attack submarine

Victor III class submarine

About a dozen of the Victor III class submarines were decommissioned in 1996

Entered service 1979
Crew 115 men
Diving depth (operational) 320 m
Diving depth (maximum) 396 m
Sea endurance 80 days
Dimensions and displacement
Length 107.2 m
Beam 10.8 m
Draught 7.2 m
Surfaced displacement 5 000 tons
Submerged displacement 7 000 tons
Propulsion and speed
Surfaced speed 18 knots
Submerged speed 30 knots
Nuclear reactors 2 x VM-4T
Steam turbines 1 x 22.7 MW
Missiles 2 x SS-N-15 'Starfish' anti-submarine missiles, plus 2 x SS-N-21 'Sampson' cruise missiles or 2 x SS-N-16 'Stalion' missiles
Torpedoes 2 x 650-mm and 6 x 533-mm bow tubes (two 533-mm tubes with 406-mm liners). 6 x 650-mm torpedoes an up to 18 x 533-mm
Other 36 ground mines in place of torpedoes


   In 1976 the first of the Victor III units was launched at the Admiralty Shipyard. In 1978 the Komsomolsk yard joined the production team, building two boats per year after the end of Delta I class production. A total of 26 Victor III class boats were built between 1978 and 1992. Given the Soviet designation of Schuka, the Victor IIIs are unofficially known to the US Navy as the Walker class, since many of the improvements in quieting the boats and in providing them with more effective sensors were the product of the activities of the Walker spy ring in the 1970s and 1980s.

   The Victor III's have a 3-m hull extension forward of the fin and a pod mounted atop the upper rudder which deployed a brand new towed sonar array. The extension provided the extra volume for the additional electronic equipment required to process the data from the towed array and two new flank arrays.

   Clusterguard anechoic coatings helped to decrease radiated noise levels as the design was improved, the Victor III class being described officially in US Navy circles as the equivalent to the USS Sturgeon class SSN in quietness. They also have bow hydroplanes that retract into the hull at high underwater speeds or when a boat is on the surface. Like all boats after the Hotel SSBN, Echo SSGN and November SSN classes, the Victor class boats had two of their 533-mm tubes fitted with 406-mm ASW torpedo liners for self-defense use. Two of these weapons are carried in the place of every 533-mm reload offloaded.

   Surviving Victor I and Victor II class boats had been decommissioned by 1996, along with about a dozen of the first Victor IIIs.


Video of the Victor III class nuclear-powered attack submarine

Victor III class submarine

Victor III class submarine

Victor III class submarine

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