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Project 661 Anchar / Papa - Program

Dubbed 'Golden Fish' by Russian sailors because of the color of its titanium alloy hull, it has been the world's fastest underwater vessel for almost 40 years. Commissioned in December 1969, the K-222 could travel at 44.7 knots - that's over 80 kph. Armed with 10 anti-ship cruise missiles, it was designed to destroy aircraft carriers. However the record swiftness came at a cost. Running at full speed, the Golden Fish was very noisy and the crew found the vibrations uncomfortable. It was also far from cheap - some said the nickname referred to the huge cost of the submarine. It's no surprise that only one vessel of this type was ever built.

The ship was intended for striking cruise missiles and torpedoes at large enemy surface ships. The SSGN was also planned to be used for the development of new structural materials (in particular, titanium alloy for the submarine hull) and the testing of new types of weapons and technical equipment. At the beginning of 1960, the pre-sketch project and the main tactical-technical elements of the SSGNM were submitted and approved by a resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, and in May of the same year - a draft design. At the same time, it was confirmed that the projected use of previously mastered equipment, equipment, automation systems, instruments and materials on the designed submarine. This, though, stimulated the search for new technical solutions, but at the same time, the terms of design and construction of the SSGN were extended which to some extent predetermined her fate and was another manifestation of the voluntarism of top management.

In 1961, after the approval of the technical project, the production of working drawings began, and already in the next - 1962 - the production of the first hull structures made of titanium, which was first used in world submarine shipbuilding, began at the SMP. When deciding to use titanium, its anti-corrosion, low-magnetic and high strength were taken into account, although there was no basis for its production - it was created simultaneously with the construction of the boat.

The K-162 submarine (Anchar, in the classification of NATO - PAPA) was laid down on December 28, 1963 in Severodvinsk and put into operation on December 31, 1969. Submarine construction lasted almost 10 years. This was due to delays in the supply of titanium, various component equipment, a long cycle of creating a missile complex, which was put into service only in 1968. As it turned out, the titanium hull required other methods for calculating the strength than steel - ignoring this led to the breakdown of the hydraulic tests of some ship blocks.

However, at the state tests in 1969, the submarine at 80% of the power of the power plant showed a submerged speed of 42 knots instead of 38 provided by the specification requirements, and after the submarine was transferred to the fleet when tested at the measuring mile in 1971, the submarine at 97% of the reactors reached a speed of 44.7 knots (82.78 km / h) at a depth of 100 m, which to this day has not been surpassed by any submarine in the world.

Initially it was assumed that after the construction of the lead (experimental) submarine of the 661 project, another 10 production ships of this type would be laid. However, in the future, the number of serial SSGNs was reduced to five, then to three, and in the new five-year plan adopted in 1964 they decided to limit themselves to the construction of one nuclear-powered 661th project. This was largely due to the lack of titanium in the country, as well as technological difficulties that significantly delay the construction of such a unique ship.

In 1970, the question of laying a series of SSGNs of an improved project, 661M, was again discussed. Three versions of the submarine, differing in displacement (from 5197 to 6208 tons), underwater speed (39 - 42 knots), GEM (43 000 - 55 000 hp) and other parameters were worked out. However, by this time serial construction was already deployed which did not possess such high speed characteristics, but much cheaper and low-noise submarines of the 670 project, which had comparable strike power.

On 30 November 1980 submarine K-222 was at the plant in Severodvinsk. It was undergoing a comprehensive check of main power plant. Troops left the ship for lunch, and the staff of the plant remained on the submarine. In violation of instructions have been filed on food management compensates grills without power at the control devices. As a result of improper functioning of the automatic compensation lattice spontaneously began to walk up. There was unauthorized access to the nuclear power reactor. As a result, reactor core had been damaged. Official data does not report on the levels of pollution submarine, the environment and levels of exposure of troops.

In 1989 the submarine was excluded from Naval Fleet and in 1999 towed to Sevmash for recycling. But project originality did not allow using traditional technologies of submarine cutting. Within ten years Sevmash civil crew provided ship survivability, and moved the submarine to ship repairing center "Zvezdochka". Builders of this submarine came to part with the submarine. Farewell sirens were heard from Sevmash berths.

In July 2008 the Nuclear submarine K-222 (until 1978 - K-162) was moved from PO "Sevmash" to berth of ship repairing center "Zvezdochka" for future utilization. K-222 was being dismantled in the northern naval port of Severodvinsk at the only Russian factory capable of cutting its titanium hull. To mark the significance of the vessel, veterans proposed transforming its control cabin into a monument. Taking into account significance of K-222 in the history of shipbuilding, the community and Naval Fleet veterans suggested keeping submarine deckhouse as memorial.

The dismantling of the boat began in March 2010 at Sevmash, the only company that can handle the Golden Fish titanium hull. In March 2015, dismantling of the sole submarine of the 661 project was officially completed. In March 2015 at Zvezdochka they completed a unique operation on unloading spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and sealing nuclear submarine reactors. The three-compartment unit remaining from the submarine disassembly was planned to be towed to Sayda-guba on the Kola Peninsula, where the reactor compartment should be transferred to a long-term storage facility.

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Page last modified: 16-05-2019 18:50:56 ZULU