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Sierra II class

Nuclear-powered attack submarine

Sierra II class submarine

The titanium-hulled Sierra II class boats can descent to unprecedented depths

Country of origin Soviet Union / Russia
Entered service 1990
Crew 61 men
Diving depth (operational) 520 m
Diving depth (maximum) 750 m
Sea endurance ?
Dimensions and displacement
Length ~ 111 m
Beam ~ 11.5 m
Draught 9.4 m
Surfaced displacement 7 600 tons
Submerged displacement 9 100 tons
Propulsion and speed
Surfaced speed 10 knots
Submerged speed 32 knots
Propulsion One pressurized water reactor, rated at 190MW delivering power to one shaft, 2 x 1002 hp emergency motors
Missiles SS-N-15 Starfish or SS-N-16 Stallion anti-submarine missiles; SS-N-21 Samson cruise missiles
Torpedoes 4 x 650 mm and 4 x 533 mm torpedo tubes
Other 42 mines in place of torpedoes


   The Project 945A Kondor class (NATO designation Sierra II) is a follow-on to the Sierra I class. It was a small and expensive project. As well as its predecessors, the Sierra II class boats had titanium hulls. It has a considerably larger sail than the Sierra I class. Masts are offset on the starboard side to make way for two escape pods in the sail instead of one on the previous Sierra I class. A prominent, much larger, pod on the after fin houses the Skat 3 passive, very low frequency towed array.

   The two light and strong titanium hulls enabled the boats to operate at great depths and provided reduced radiated noise levels as well as increased resistance to damage of torpedo attacks. Soviet titanium technology was far in advance of the West, requiring fewer passes to achieve a successful weld. However the cost of the hulls limited the numbers built, despite advantages in depth and underwater speed.

   One notable feature of the Sierra II class is the large space between the two hulls, which has obvious advantages for radiated noise reduction and damage resistance.

   These submarines operate at a depth of a whooping 520 meters. These are among the deepest diving Russian submarines.

   Two Pskov (ex-Zubatka) and Nizhny Novgorod (ex-Okun) remain operational at Russia's Northern Fleet. A third of class, Mars, was laid down in 1990. This boat was built to an improved Project 945B (NATO designation Sierra III class). However it was scrapped before completion in 1992.

   The Sierra II class was supplemented by Akula class nuclear-powered attack submarines. These boats lacked titanium hulls, but were easier and cheaper to build and eventually were built in much larger numbers. However The Akula class boats were not as fast as the Sierra II class boats and could not dive that deep.


Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
Nizhny Novgorod (B-534) 1986 1988 1990

active, in service

Pskov (B-336) 1990 1992 1993

active, in service

Mars 1990 ? -

never commissioned, scrapped



Sierra II class submarine

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Sierra II class submarine

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