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Project 957 Cedar

Exploratory research aimed at shaping the appearance of the future 4th generation submarines began in the USSR in the mid-1970s. The topic was about a big nuclear missile torpedo submarine of Project 957 subsequently received the code Cedar.. Soon, the fleet and the corresponding research institutes formed operational-tactical requirements for the new generation submarines. Work on the first nuclear submarine belonging to this generation began on March 26, 1980 (Decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the USSR Council of Ministers No. 252-73) at the Central Design Bureau "Lazurit" under the leadership of Chief Designer L. L. Krasnopolsky.

By 1989, the technical project was completed and on February 28, 1989 a joint decision was made by the Ministry of the Shipbuilding Industry and the Navy on the construction of the lead boat of this project at the Krasnoye Sormovo plant in Nizhny Novgorod with a deadline for delivery to the fleet in the 3rd quarter of 1996. Until 2000, it was planned to build three units with a further increase in the series to 6-8 boats. However, on 27 March 1989 it was accepted a decision (issued in April 1989 by SMEs and the Navy) on the construction of boats at the Leningrad Admiralty Association.

At the same time, the Head of the Lazurit Design Bureau, S.A.Lavkovsky, proposed to develop a version of the boat with a solid non-steel titanium hull for preserving nuclear submarine work in Nizhny Novgorod, which received the designation 957T, with the construction of two units at the Krasnoye Sormovo plant. On April 6, 1989, by a resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers, after considering at the scientific and technical seminar and the board of the Ministry of Industry and Industry the main tactical and technical elements and measures to ensure the pilot and serial nuclear submarines of this project, it was decided to carry out construction at the LAO and at the Northern Machine-Building Enterprise in Severodvinsk.

Subsequently, the proposal to create a 957T titanium project with the prospect of a complete transition from steel to titanium boats was rejected by a commission specially convened to consider this issue on August 8, 1989, as it met resistance from the first Central Research Institute of the Navy in the person of the head of the institute M.M.Budaev. The further fate of project 957T was decided between September 5 and October 5, 1989, when, under the leadership of the Chairman of the military-industrial complex I.S.Belousov, it was decided to consider the issue of building a boat within one month (until November 5).

Considering that at that time the production of titanium submarines was most developed at Krasnoye Sormovo, the mere preservation of this technology justified the transition after the completion of the construction of a series of boats of project 945AB to project 957T. However, on November 21, 1989, after agreement with the Navy in the person of the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy V.N.Chernavin in the Ministry of Industry of the plan for the XIII five-year plan, it was decided to completely abandon the construction of submarines of the 957 project. The reason was said to be the already planned overload of shipyards.

By that time, about 4,000 tons of steel structures and sheet metal were delivered and partially processed at the NSR, the further use of which was impossible due to the mismatch of steel grades and sheet thickness with those adopted on boats of the 3rd and 4th generation, being built or preparing to be built in parallel. Already manufactured deliveries were redirected to boats of projects 935 and 885.

Project 957 was supposed to have similar performance characteristics with the previous torpedo nuclear submarines of the Lazurit Design and Design Bureau, projects 945, 945A and 945AB, but with a sharp tightening of requirements to reduce their own noise. The standard steam generating unit for the 4th generation was supposed to be the single-unit KTM-6, the ground testing stand of which under the designation TM-4 was then tested at NITI in Sosnovy Bor. Two nuclear submarines of the Mars project 945AB, transitional from the third to fourth generation, were to be the first to receive this RPM, however, at the time of the collapse of the USSR, this reactor was not ready and both boats were disposed of on a slipway with a high degree of readiness for hull structures.

The boat had a single hull architecture with a relatively large ratio of length to width. A long and relatively narrow cylindrical pressure hull, somewhat reminiscent of a Los Angeles submarine hull, but with a less pointed shape of the bow, it was a consequence of the need to preserve the immersion depth inherent in the previous-generation Soviet nuclear submarines. Higher requirements for the low noise of the new generation of submarines made it agree with the single-hull architecture of the Navy. Horizontal bow rudders for the first time on Soviet torpedo nuclear submarines were moved from the bow of the hull to the fence of retractable devices. Zonal equipment mounting blocks with hard damping and other measures to reduce the level of internal noise were already used as standard. For rational use of the space inside the boat, the Lazurit Design Bureau built full-scale wooden models of the turbine and other compartments. In addition, a series of large-scale self-propelled and towed models was built to optimize the hull contours.

It is worth noting that even in the process of substantiating the characteristics of the 4th generation nuclear submarines A.N.Krylova work was carried out to optimize boat contours. As part of these works, the Krasnoye Sormovo plant, for example, built a large towed model that did not, however, correspond to any of the projects being developed then and which is often confused with the towed model of the project 885. Nevertheless, it somewhat resembled in form "Cedar", which suggests that certain elements of this research and development could be implemented in project 957. A partial proof of this is the fact that KB "Lazurit" for the first time implemented the recommendations of the Central Research Institute imeni A.N.Krylova, which described the positive effect on the hydrodynamics of the boat due to the forward sloping front edge of the fence of the retractable devices, as shown in the model.

The complex of hydroacoustic means was supposed to include the SJSC Irtysh-Amphora, as well as on all other boats of the 4th generation.

"Cedar" was supposed to be a relatively simple and massive strike boat specialized in anti-submarine operations. The cessation of work on it was associated not only with the financial difficulties that the USSR experienced in the late 1980s or with a lack of production capacity in the next decade. The massive resistance of the military-industrial complex turned out to be much more important, since the high requirements laid down in the project for the level of vibration-acoustic characteristics and the quality of production of equipment and components were impossible without a major technical re-equipment of enterprises. In addition, there is an opinion that the concept of the 957 project, in many respects repeating the concept of American nuclear submarines of the Los Angeles type, did not meet the requirements of the 1990s, as it implied the creation of a highly specialized boat.

Project 957

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Page last modified: 13-09-2021 17:21:37 ZULU