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Project 627 Kit - November - Program

Project 627 began with a 25 November 1952 requirement to develop a strategic attack submarine for firing a large 1550mm nuclear tipped torpedo at coastal American cities. Initially, developers planned to use on a submarine to attack the naval bases of the enemy single thermonuclear torpedo that can hit target at a distance of 50 km. It was seen as a prototype model for a new strategic weapons systems designed to fight the major "potential enemy" - the United States. In accordance with the original plan, proposed by scientists and endorsed by the political leadership, the icebreaker had to deliver nuclear strikes on naval bases and other strategic targets located on the coast of the enemy.

To do this, it was supposed to equip heavy-duty gas-vapor torpedo T-15 (caliber 1550 mm, length 24 m, with a range of 40-50 km), equipped with a nuclear warhead (and final dimensions of the nuclear weapon of that time determined the monstrous dimensions of the torpedoes). But by this time the British and the Americans had already installed anti-submarine lines at a distance of 100 km from the coast.

In May 1954 the technical design of nuclear submarines was finalized, and in July to participate in the program were finally brought naval specialists. Their opinion on the draft of the new boat was not favorable. They questioned the problematic use of the ship in its basic purpose - to deliver nuclear strikes against coastal targets in a potential enemy. With the success of strategic missile programs, including submarine launched cruise missiles, Project 627 was re-oriented as an attack submarine. The submarine was refocused on fighting warships and transports the enemy.

The Naval officers also pointed to the lack of full speed, poor torpedoe load, high noise, low resource and maintainability, and other shortcomings. This led to the inclusion in the draft of a number of radical changes: the submarine lost "supertorpedy" T-15, in return ther was an enhancement of regular torpedoes. As a result, it took almost complete overhauls bow of the hull to the second compartment, inclusive. This increased the maximum speed of the ship underwater from 25 knots to over 30 knots. At the same time the main "ship" elements of the original design were preserved. Layout of the boats premises (for the first time in domestic submarine shipbuilding) was worked out on special wooden natural layouts that were carried out for all submarine compartments.

The most difficult problem was to develop a nuclear power plant, which could be placed on board such a specific vehicle, like a submarine. The first Soviet nuclear power plant, with a capacity of 5 MW, was put into operation in Obninsk in 1954 (it was used to supply the city). Then followed the first naval reactor (the most powerful in the world for its time), placed on the "peaceful" nuclear icebreaker "Lenin", which was actually an experienced ship served for working ship propulsion.

Responsibility for the development of steam supply system for submarine became NII-8 Ministry of Medium Machine Building, headed NA Dollezhal. SLE Kirov Plant (chief designer Kazak MA) in conjunction with the SCR-143 designed a steam turbine power plant. Electrical equipment created by the "Electric power".

Working drawings of submarines "627 Kit" started in March 1954, before the final approval of the technical design, and in June 1954 the factory number 402 in Molotovske (now Sevmash in Severodvinsk), work began on the construction of the first Soviet nuclear submarines, in an atmosphere of extreme secrecy, in a specially fenced off section of the boathouse.

Increasing the depth of the submarine dives requireed the use of a new AK-25 high-strength steeland welding materials for it. The task of creating them successfully was solved the CRI-48 (director G.I.Kapyrin). To test the new designs of steel, experiental compartments and submarines conducted tests of hydrostatic load and resistance to explosion.

These tests, as well as the development of methods and solution of problems of strength performed by specialists CRI -45 (Director V.I.Pershin). This leading scientific center of the shipbuilding industry and other problems were solved methodological and experimental design to ensure the new submarines. In particular, the CRI-45 carried out work to reduce noise and vibration activity mechanisms of lipid peroxidation, complex hydrodynamic tests.

Refinement hydrodynamics submarine, which had a non-traditional form, was carried out in parallel at TsNII-45 and Central hydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) (headed by K.K.Fedyaevsky). Shipbuilders solved the primarily task propulsion, seaworthiness and manageability, and the specialists of TsAGI the testing of the hull shape and protruding parts, the dynamic qualities of the ship.

The life support for personnel was a new problem, given the long-term stay in airtight rooms without communication with the atmosphere. For this purpose, there was first developed complex systems of ventilation, air conditioning and regeneration. It provided a comfortable temperature and humidity parameters of air, regeneration and maintenance of optimal gas composition, clean air from harmful impurities and radiation control. Full-scale testing of the new equipment and habitability conditions was conducted on a specially converted submarine "D-2" ( "Narodovolets"). During the 50 days on board the crew has been isolated from the outside atmosphere, and continued to operate successfully. Diverse electrical equipment designed and manufactured by the Leningrad plant "Electrosila".

After examination of the project in SKB-143 Captain 1st rank A.F.Zharov was appointed Commissioner of the Office of Naval shipbuilding engineering, and a group of officers frommilitary shipbuilding become more fully acquainted with the ship, looking almost all produced drawings and design materials. According to the results of the examination, it was decided to adjust the technical project that SKB-143 held by mid-1955 with the simultaneous re-release of working drawings.

TTE study
Average tonnage (t)2650 - 2700 2896 3050 3050
Maximum underwater
displacement (tons)
4500 4746 4750
Maximum diving depth (m) 250 - 300 275 - 300 300 300
Complete underwater speed (kt) 22 - 24 24 - 25 24 - 24.5 24 - 25
Autonomy (days) 50 - 60 60 50 - 60 50 - 60
crew (people) 70 75 76 85
TA 1550 mm caliber1 1 1 -
TA 533 mm caliber 2 2 2 8
Ammunition torpedoes
caliber 1550 mm
1 1 1 -
Ammunition torpedoes
caliber 533 mm
2 2 2 20

In the final version of the pr. 627 submarine large-caliber 1550mm torpedo "T-15" was excluded from the weapons, but instead housed torpedo caliber 533 mm guns. The strike weapons of the submarine were 8 torpedo tubes with a total ammunition load of 20 torpedoes. The failure of the feasibility of large-caliber "T-15" torpedo was also justified by the fact that by this time the Soviet Union had managed to create nuclear warheads for torpedoes caliber 533 mm. Having a powerful torpedo armament, the first Russian nuclear submarines were now designed to combat warships and transports the enemy on the distant ocean and sea lanes.

The construction of the K-3 took part the whole country, but most participants did not even know about it. On the capital plant developed a special steel, which allowed to dive to the incredible depth in those years 300 meters. In Gorky the Leningrad Kirov Plant made the reactors, and steam-turbine plant.

In the spring of 1956, SKB-143 initiated a technical project to improve the ship, and in the autumn of the same year they completed the processing of shop drawings and maintenance documentation. In 1955, without waiting for the test results of the first nuclear-powered, they completed design work and Severodvinsk turned to the construction of a series of 12 ships of project 627A.

On October 22, 1955 the Council of Ministers adopted a decree on the establishment of serial submarine pr. 627A, which had to take into account the experience of the development of the first nuclear submarine. Serial submarines retained the main technical solutions, the main power plant, equipment and weapons that have been used on an experimental ship. However, at the suggestion of experts of the Navy, to monitor the development of the project (the main observer I.F.Bavykin), they increased the strength of the propulsion bulkhead compartments, holding the reinforcement structures of the outer hull. They increased the supply of high pressure air, and for the replenishment periscope position established RCP unit (compressor operation under water). The Project 627A was armed with advanced communication and navigation.

By the spring of 1956 SKB-143 completed the technical design, and completed in the fall re-released the working drawings and operational documentation. According to its TTE, the 627A submarine was not much different from the experimental submarine.

In August 1956 the lead ship was laid forth in the factory number 402, Project 627A Submarine "K-5". In September 1958, it was lowered into the water, and at the end of 1959 submarine "K-5" under the command of Captain 2 rank S.S.Salova entered the state tests. After their successful completion of December 27, 1959 submarine was adopted by the Commission gospriemka ships of the Soviet Navy. During the tests submarine "K-5" power was not limited to 60%, as in submarine "K-3", and 80% of the nominal. For the first time a long submerged speed of 28 knots was achieved in domestic submarine fleet.

In the process of serial construction ther was continued improvement in the design of the ship and the nuclear power plant. It dramatically increased the reliability of steam generating plants, replaced various pieces of equipment, installed a new control system of torpedo firing, and amplified the electronic equipment.

Originally the reliability of boats of the "627 Kit" and 627A was relatively low. The reason for this lay in the first place in low resources of the main power plant steam generators. After a few hundred hours of operations, there arose in the steam generators tube bundles microscopic cracks through which water from the primary circuit leaked into the second loop, increasing the level of radioactivity in it.

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