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Project 611 Zulu class

Ambitious German plans to build Walter-designed ocean-going submarines, such as the 1,600-ton Type XVIII, were thwarted by the unsuccessful course of the war, The Type XVIII was modified into the highly successful Type XXI "Elektroboots" ["electro-boat"] in which larger batteries provided a submerged speed of 17 knots, which could be maintained for 90 minutes. That innovation, and the adoption of the snorkel, yielded a potent combination that strongly influenced the postwar design of conventionally-powered submarines on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Type XXI U-boats were the first submarines designed to operate entirely submerged, rather than as surface ships that could submerge as a temporary, awkward mode of operation.

Following the Second World War the German U-Boat technology provided the Soviet Navy with technological improvements. The German Type XXI submarine was capable of 18 kts submerged, could dive to nearly 1,000 feet and included a schnorchel (snorkel) mast to allow for diesel operations and battery charging while submerged.

During the five years following the end of World War II, Soviet exploitation of the Type XXI lagged significantly behind American fears. US intelligence initially foresaw in 1946 a force of 300 Soviet Type XXI equivalents by 1950. But it was not until 1949 that the first postwar Soviet submarine designs -- the Whiskey and the Zulu -- put to sea. The Zulu was a true Type XXI, equipped with a snorkel, capable of 16 knots submerged, and possessing the size, habitability, and range necessary for long range, blue water interdiction operations. But only 21 Zulus were commissioned between 1949 and 1958.

During the 1950s, including efforts to convert Zulus into ballistic missile submarines (SSBs). The world's first SLBM submarines were the Soviet Zulu-class, diesel-electric-propelled vessels armed with two SS-N-4 missiles. These undersea craft, converted to the SLBM role in 1958-1959, were followed by the new-construction Hotel (nuclear) and Golf (diesel) classes, each of which carried three missiles. Class Zulu Build 1952 - 1955 Length 90 m Width 7.5 m Speed (surface/submerged) 18/16 knots Maximum depth 200 m Displacement (surface/submerged) 1900/2350 ton Crew Size 75 Diesel-electric powered patrol/attack submarines (SS); Zulu I - 28 (out of 40 planned) built; in service 1952; 10 torpedo tubes for Type 53 torpedoes; Zulu II - converted from 'Zulu I'; Zulu III - converted from earlier 'Zulu'; Zulu IV - converted from earlier 'Zulu'; Zulu V - 6 converted from earlier 'Zulu'; 2 SS-N-4; 10 torpedo tubes for Type 53 torpedoes; Zulu 1 611P One P-10 missile in a container Zulu II 611AV Radar picket version Zulu III 611R Test Ship for the Yenisei sonar,only one converted Zulu IV Zulu V 611AV Ballistic missile version

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 15:46:13 ZULU