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Project 705 Lira
Alfa class
Attack Submarine (Nuclear Powered)

The Project 705 Alfa class constitued the world's fastest and deepest diving submarines of their time. The submarine featured a high power-to-weight reactor to increase the power-to-weight and volume ratios of her propulsion plant, the first use of titanium for the hull, extensive automation, and advanced drag-reduction configuration.

The Soviet military pursued two major goals in the design of the Lira class: firstly, they sought to change the character of naval warfare in the North Atlantic and the Arctic; secondly, they wanted to bolster technological development, by implementing innovations that future underwater craft would incorporate.

The Lira class certainly met the second criterion. Following an interim design (the K-162 'Papa'-class cruise-missile submarine), the Liras had a titanium hull in order to produce tolerances necessary for high speed and for extreme deep diving. To keep the size of the crew small, the Lira class employed advanced techniques for automating key systems, a decision which also enhanced the combat reaction speed of the crew, although it made at-sea repairs and maintenance extremely difficult.

It had a superbly streamlined hull and an overall length of about 79 meters.[1] Engineering calculations gave it a surfaced displacement of some 2,600 tons,[2] with a submerged displacement of about 3,700 tons.

Though extremely fast, the boats were unreliable, poorly armed and with sensors that were unique, hard to maintain and frequently defective. Series production of the Project 705 boats began in the mid-1970s, and the program ended in 1983 with the sixth production unit. Eventually four of the seven Project 705s were inactivated due to reactor failures. One boat was retired by the end of 1987, and four others were decommissioned in 1990-1992. At least one [and possibly two] was modified with VM-4 pressurized water reactors from Project 671B and used for test activities prior to being decommissioned in 1995.

A February 2016 interview given by an unnamed Russian defense industry source to Lenta.ru and quoted by Sputnik evoked memories of the Cold War-era innovative underwater craft in Western media. "We spent twenty years using the Lira (Project 705) subs during the 1970s through 1990s… It was a very promising project but it was eventually shelved due to the abundance of new technological ideas simultaneously implemented in one boat," the defense source told Lenta.ru, adding that now the Russian Navy is considering the creation of new robotic nuclear submarines.

Western experts read between the linesthat Russia was preparing to restart the Soviet-era top secret Project 705. "There was no need for the unnamed source to specify that the Russians are going to revive the controversial Lira-class, as the majority of experts have already got it," Czech journalist Lukáš Visingr noted in his March 2016 op-ed for Echo24.cz. For his part, Defense Editor of The National Interest Dave Majumdar wrote in February 24, 2016 that Moscow's future underwater fleet is about to continue "a trend that was pioneered in the late 1970s by the Soviet Union's Project 705 Lira-class attack boats," while commenting on the issue.

There is no small confusion among sources as to the diving depth of this submarine. Given the assumed strength of the titanium hull, Western sources tend to ascribe rather marvelous capabilities to these boats, with reported diving depths in the range of 2,000-4000 feet, at least twice that of their Western counterparts. in constrast, Russian sources generally report that, although a titanium-hull submarine, the Alfa - like the Papa SSGN - was not a deep diver, suggesting diving depths of 1,000-2000 feet.

The first K-64 cruiser of a new type in December 1971 was put into trial operation. And although only six ships of this type were in combat service, the appearance of a new Soviet anti-submarine submarine in the ocean made a lot of noise and was an unpleasant surprise for the US Navy. American submarine strategic missile carriers were put in a difficult tactical position. The small size of the project 705 submarines, a significant range of depth of immersion, high speed full speed allowed it to maneuver at maximum speed, which is impossible for all other types of submarines, and even move away from anti-submarine torpedoes. The ships of this project for their speed and maneuverability were listed in the Guinness Book of Records.

“Now, looking back,” writes the chief designer of the SPBMP “Malachite” (where the boat project was developed) R.A. Shmakov, - it should be recognized that this boat was a project of the 21st century. She overtook her time by several decades. Therefore, it is not surprising that for many specialists, testers, and personnel of the Navy, it was too difficult to master and operate. ”

“The idea of creating such a boat, which was the PLA of project 705,” says B.V. Grigoriev, - could only be realized in the 1960s, when Soviet society was on the rise, new areas of research and development opened up, and the country's defense was the most important state priority. "" Project 705 nuclear submarine, as the Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee and Minister of Defense of the USSR D.F. Ustinova, “became a national task, became an attempt to make a breakthrough to achieve military-technical superiority over the Western bloc.”

In any event, it was the most beautiful and elegant in its contours among domestic Soviet submarines.

Lira - Lyrefish

A lyrefish is a gurnard, Trigla lyra, of the family Triglidæ, found in the Mediterranean and on the coasts of England and France.The gurnard fish, which are marine, all afford excellent food. They have a scaly body, of a uniform shape, compressed laterally, and attenuated towards the tail. The head is broader than the body, and slopes towards the snout, where it is armed.with spines ; the upper jaw is divided, and extends beyond the lower. The eyes are near the top of the head, large and prominent, particularly the upper margin of the orbits. The dorsal fins are unequal, the first short, high and acideate \ the second long, sloping and radiate. The ventral and pectoral are unconunonly large, and from their base hang three loose and slender appendages. Many of the species utter a peculiar noise when taken ; many of the species are provided with pectoral fins, sufficiently large to enable them to spring out of the water. One of the species has been denominated the lyre fish, on account of its bifurcated rostrum, which bears a faint resemblance to that instrument. "As mute as a fish" has come to be proverbial, nevertheless there are many fishes which can and do utter sounds more or less musical. The gurnards, one of which is known as the lyre-fish, emit a grunting sound when being taken out of the water-due, it is said, to the escape of gas from the air-bladder.

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