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Project 651 / Juliett

The submarines of this project were designed to attack combat ships and vessels of probable enemy by self-guided winged missiles while operations on sea and ocean communications, as well as naval bases, ports and other units ashore and inland. Diving limit increased by 100 m in comparison with diesel-electric submarines being in service at that time.

Project 651 (NATO designation - Juliett) was ordered by the Soviet Navy in the late 1950s to provide a nuclear strike capability against the US homeland, particularly East Coast cities. The Juliett had four nuclear armed cruise missiles on board, and ten torpedo tubes with up to 22 torpedoes. The time required for the first missile launch was about 4.5 minutes, with the second after 10 seconds. The missiles were launched from the surface, while the submarine was moving at a speed of up to 4 knots. Initially armed with the P-5 [SS-N-3c Shaddock] inertially-guided missile, it was subsequently equipped with more accurate cruise missiles [the P-6 SS-N-3a Shaddock, and the later P-500 4K-80 Bazalt SS-N-12 SANDBOX] which were deployed on these submarines for targeting American aircraft carriers.

The Juliett is about 4 times larger than WWII submarines. The Project 651 is of double-hull construction with an exceptionally large reserve buoyancy. The hull itself contained eight compartments: I. forward torpedo room, II. living accommodations and forward batteries, III. Missile control room and batteries, IV. submarine control room, V. living accommodations and two banks of batteries, VI. Diesels and generators, VII. electric motors and VIII. after torpedo room. The submarine's hull is covered by two inch thick black tiles made of specially profiled sonar/ sound absorbing hard rubber. The silver zinc batteries allow travel submerged with a maximum speed of 17,5 kn. for 1.5 hours, with a maximum underwater range of 810 miles. Another advancement was a low magnetic signature austenitic steel hull. A special 10m2 target guidance radar was built into the forward edge of the sail structure, which opens by rotating. The boats were eventually fitted with the Kasatka satellite downlink for targeting information.

It was originally planned to build 35 of these submarines to augment nuclear-powered Project 675 (ECHO II) class submarines which with 8 missile launchers were an enlarged nuclear version of the Juliett. In fact only 16 submarines were actually built from 1962 to 1968, most of them by Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard in Gorky. The Juliett's were in active service through the 80's with the last one decommissioned in 1994.

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