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Sevmashpredpriyatie [Sevmash] - History
Shipyard No. 402
Northern Mashinebuilding Enterprise

The necessity of shipbuilding yard establishment in the North appeared in five-year plan time, when in 1926 in country the military shipbuilding program was accepted. The government decided to modernize shipbuilding plants and start establishment of new ones as soon as possible. In March, 1936 government committee headed by the chief of design organization “Soyuzproektverf” T.V. Safronov arrived in Arkhangelsk in order to choose site for new shipbuilding plant. As a result of inspection, in March 1936, the Government Commission determined the site for the construction of a new, most powerful shipyard - the territory in the area of the Nikolsky estuary of the Northern Dvina River. The only capital structure on the swampy shore of the bay was the abandoned Nikolo-Korelsky monastery - stone buildings of the 17th century.

For the first time the monastery is mentioned in the Dvina chronicle of 1419. In 1553 the ship of the English navigator Richard Chensler landed at its pier. And until the emergence of the city of Arkhangelsk (1584), the first commercial port of Russia operated near the walls of the Nikolo-Korelsky monastery. By the beginning of the 20th century, the ancient monastery had lost its former greatness, and after 1917 all cultural values were removed from the monastery.

According to the original of the first general plan in 1936, the designer reported to Stalin about how the future shipyard in the north of the country would look like. In terms of capacity, the enterprise had to correspond to two large shipyards of Nikolaev. Two master plans, handed over by the design organization, make it possible to study the process of changes in the design of Sevmash. According to the first scheme, two huge slipways with loading docks and horizontal slipways were provided on the territory of the plant. The buildings of the Nikolo-Korelsky monastery were supposed to be demolished, and in their place the main factory buildings were to be built. On the neighboring shore, across the water area, it was planned to open a shipyard of the enterprise with dry docks. Now it houses the Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center.

After carrying out detailed survey work, the industrial site was displaced downstream of the river, where today Sevmash is located. The buildings of the monastery were preserved. The temple was recognized as an architectural monument of the 18th century. In 1939, due to the fact that the government ordered to reduce the design capacity of the plant, a new master plan of the shipyard was issued. A number of objects were excluded from it. So, open slipways with an inclined descent were dismantled, as they did not justify themselves in severe climatic conditions, three-kilometer malls were not built to enclose the outlet channel. But even despite the changes, Sevmash today is the largest shipbuilding enterprise in the country.

The first brigades of builders arrived in the Nikolskoye estuary on the steamer "Ivan Kalyaev" in July 1936. For four months, a railway line to Arkhangelsk was built, construction of sheds of the plant, residential houses and social facilities began at a rapid pace. The working village was named Sudostroy.

Molotovsk 1944Designated as Plant No. 402, the enterprise started operating on December 21, 1939, when the keel of the battleship Sovetskaya Belorussia (Soviet Belorussia) was laid at one of its slipways. The shipyard was intended to build first-class warships, including cruisers and battleships, assembled submarine chasers, destroyers and diesel-powered submarines.

During the Great Patriotic War, the shipbuilding program was suspended. In June 1941, the war violated the grandiose plans of shipbuilders, the shipbuilding program of plant No. 402 changed (the so-called Sevmash) - the creation of project 30 destroyers was temporarily suspended, and the laying of a whole series of ships was canceled. The battleships “Soviet Belarus” and “Soviet Russia”, six project 30 destroyers were under construction then, and it was planned to lay down six more of this series. The company has become the main in the north of the country for the construction and repair of surface ships and submarines. Large hunters for submarines and cruisers went into battle right from the slipway of the youngest defense enterprise at that time ( the history is counted from December 21, 1939, when the first ship was laid down).

With the outbreak of war, the construction of a plant in Molotovsk (now Severodvinsk) was suspended, of the 30 workshops, only the foundations of bulk docks, a hull workshop, part mechanical, tool, mechanical repair, woodworking and coating workshop were commissioned. More than 30 workshops remained unfinished.

Women and teenagers stood up to the machines. During the war, the team consisted of 500 adults and 6,000 teenagers. “The plant did not build a single ship by October 1942, and never once completed the plan ... The quantitative, age and qualification composition of the plant’s personnel was almost the only one in its discrepancy throughout the country,” wrote the director of the shipyard Sergey Bogolyubov. - The giant plant, which was also unfinished everywhere and in everything, had 6,000 boys and girls, about half of each sex, aged 15–18 years with a three-month education in factory schools. War and labor mobilization wrested la them from Arkhangelsk villages where electricity was not everywhere, and gave our plant."

Of the 40 thousand residents of the city 14 thousand people went to the front. The company ensured the combat effectiveness of the ships of the Northern Fleet and the repair of foreign transports participating in the Northern Convoys. During the war years, 139 ships and ships were repaired. In 1941–1945, the port of Molotov became one of the main ports in the north of the country, providing supplies of lend-lease. Local port workers handled about 200 vessels, 60 thousand railway wagons, received about 1 million tons of military cargo. The enterprise facilitated the combat readiness of the Soviet Northern Fleet's warships and repaired vessels delivering Lend-Lease aid via the Northern Sea Route.

According to Sevmash’s archives, during the war, 75% of the plant’s employees were young people and women — former housewives who showed themselves to be excellent workers in the workplace. Most of the team was made up of teenagers - recent graduates of the factory and factory training school and craft school. They strove to become leaders in production. And to strengthen their spirit and maintain working capacity, rest days (once a week) and a vacation of 12 working days were established.

For unauthorized departure from the workplace threatened 6-8 years in prison. However, the number of people convicted was growing, and desertion had to be stopped. Then the plant received permission to independently determine the need to bring the fugitives to court. By order of the director dated June 27, 1941, the workshops were transferred to two-shift work - each for 11 hours. Lack of food, exhausting work shifts, unsettled life and lack of medicines were a difficult test for the health of the residents remaining in the city. There were massive diseases of tuberculosis, scabies, dysentery and scurvy.

So, in January 1942, when scurvy quickly spread, a recipe for a drink with great healing properties was published on the pages of newspapers. It could be made from spruce and pine needles available to all. "Nettle cabbage soup was served for everyone at the factory cafeteria for lunch, which was cut in wastelands near the plant, and after an obligatory eleven-hour working day, one herring fried in hydro-fat. People fell asleep standing at the machine tools and fell from exhaustion," he recalled later Deputy Head of the mine-sweeping department Sergey Bondarevsky.

By a resolution of the State Defense Committee of August 13, 1941, the shipyard was ordered to build large sea hunters for Project 122A submarines. They were intended to fight enemy submarines at a relatively small distance from naval bases and along the paths of the deployment of the fleet. In the fall of the 41st, the laying of four large sea hunters took place.

From the autumn of 1941 to the fall of 1942, two submarines of the XIII-38 series — the L-20 and the L-22 (underwater mine loaders) were completed. They were transferred to Molotovsk from the Baltic Plant along the White Sea-Baltic Canal. It is known that then these ships participated in the war - in search and mine-protecting operations off the coast of Northern Norway. July 6, 1945 L-22 was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.

In 1943, the M-200 submarine was tested here. (Notorious for the fact that on November 21, 1956 she collided with a destroyer in the waters of the Baltic Sea - her crew died. This was one of the first submarines lost by the Soviet Navy in the post-war period.) During the war she was given the name "Revenge" and she actively participated in the fighting in the North, having made several military campaigns. So the Sevmash shipbuilders received the first experience of underwater shipbuilding during the war years.

However, from the beginning of the war, the workshops switched to production of products that were urgently needed for the front and the navy: tanks for liquid fuel and gasoline, heads and shells of armor-piercing shells of 76 mm BS (360 thousand were made in total), high-explosive bombs of the FAB (283 thousand units), pontoons, fuses for deep bombs (54 thousand units), artillery towers, propellers (51 units), bridge railway structures, gas tank cars (500 units) and much more.

However, from the beginning of the war, the workshops switched to production of products that were urgently needed for the front and the navy: tanks for liquid fuel and gasoline, heads and shells of armor-piercing shells of 76 mm BS (360 thousand were made in total), high-explosive bombs of the FAB (283 thousand units), pontoons, fuses for deep bombs (54 thousand units), artillery towers, propellers (51 units), bridge railway structures, gas tank cars (500 units) and much more.

From 1941 to 1945, 139 ships and auxiliary vessels of the Navy were repaired, including 24 icebreakers, 12 Soviet and 70 foreign transports. Their total displacement was 850 thousand tons. Many ships needed inter-cruise repair, which was carried out by plant No. 402. Allied caravans were escorted into the ice of the White Sea by icebreakers, for which they were urgently re-equipped. So, during repairs, artillery mounts, large-caliber anti-aircraft machine guns and 85-mm anti-aircraft guns were installed.

For the implementation of the defense order program in 1944, the plant was awarded the Red Banner of the State Defense Committee. “I congratulate the plant’s staff on a major production victory. By the decision of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions, the People’s Commissariat following the results of the All-Union Socialist Competition in November, your plant was awarded the first place and the Banner of the State Defense Committee ... People’s Commissar Nosenko,” the government telegram addressed to the director of the enterprise said.

For labor during the war years 457 factory workers were awarded high state awards. A total of 4,260 workers at Plant No. 402 were called up to the front, of whom 1,512 were killed or disappeared.

In the first post-war years plant No. 402 remained the main base of Navy ship repairing on the north of the country, took part in program realization “Ten-year Plan of Military Shipbuilding during 1946-1955”. At the beginning of 1950s the first plant order building was over. By the middle of 1950s the Severodvinsk yard handed the fleet 46 ships, including 2 cruisers and over 30 different ships of civil purpose (without taking into account fitting-out and major repair).

During these years, plant started to build diesel electric submarines (DEPL) of project 611 and its modifications. By project 611 the first native submarine rocket carrier was designed. On September, 1955 ship passed the tests and successfully carried out shooting. In all till 1962, 33 DEPLs were built on Sevmash. The Project 611 submarine was used to develop the world's first ballistic missile submarine. In all, Sevmash built 33 diesel-electric submarines by 1962.

On September 24, 1955, the keel of the Project 627 nuclear-powered submarine Leninsky Komsomol of the November class was laid. In three years submarine was handed in naval forces in trial operation, in 1962 it was named “Leninsky Komsomol”. The No. 402 Plant received the Order of Lenin for this achievement and for the top-quality work of its employees. The big group of workers, who took part in building, was awarded to orders and medals. In all on Sevmash berths 13 nuclear submarines of this project were built. It had over 90 independent navigations and the first trip under ice to North Pole. In all, 37 first-generation nuclear-powered submarines were built at Sevmash slipways.

On September 9, 1959, the No. 402 Plant was converted into the Northern Engineering Enterprise. In 1967, the Soviet Navy received the first Project 667A Yankee-I class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine. In five years, 24 second-generation nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines were commissioned, making it possible to attain Soviet-US parity in the sphere of naval nuclear forces. In all, 35 modified Project 667 nuclear-powered submarine versions were built from 1972-1990.

In 1969, Sevmash built the world's first Project 661 K-222 nuclear-powered submarine of the Anchar/Papa class with a titanium alloy hull. During its trial run, the submarine reached a top underwater speed of 44.7 knots, an unsurpassed world record.

The enterprise was overhauled on a grand scale throughout the mid-1970s. Its production facilities were doubled in size in order to facilitate construction of third-generation ships. The first third-generation Project 949 submarine of the Granit/Oscar class featuring 24 anti-ship cruise missiles was built in 1980. The Project 941 ballistic missile submarine of the Akula (Shark)/Typhoon class, the lead sub in the series now called the Dmitry Donskoi, was commissioned a year later. It featured Typhoon missile systems and was listed by the Guinness Book of World Records (Guinness World Records since 2000) as the largest nuclear-powered submarine in the world.

In 1983, the Soviet Navy received the Project 685 deep-sea nuclear-powered submarine K-278 Komsomolets of the Mike class with a titanium hull. The submarine could dive to 1,000 meters, a depth unsurpassed by any other submarine in the history of civilisation. Since the late 1980s and until the early 2000s, the plant built a series of Project 971 attack submarines of the Shchuka (Pike) B/Akula (Shark) class.

Workers at SevMash built Russia's Typhoon-class subs, the world's largest, and Sevmash is engaged in the work of cutting up and dismantling Russian strategic nuclear missile-carrier submarines, including those of the Typhoon class. US officials awarded a contract on 02 September 1999 to SevMash for the dismantlement of a Typhoon-class submarine. Previously submarines were being recycled only at the Zvyozdochka plant, located across the bay from Sevmash.

In early November 1999, it was reported that India and Russia had signed an agreement to sell the Admiral Gorshkov heavy cruiser [the last Kiev-class vessels] to the Indian Navy. The ship is to be modified into an ordinary-type aircraft carrier to provide takeoff operations for the MiG-29K deck fighters. Reportedly, the Nevskoye marine design bureau and the SevMash shipyard planned to conduct the ship's modifications over a two and a half year period.

Repair and rearrangement of the heavy aircraft cruiser (former “Admiral Gorshkov”) was rearranged and repaired for India Republic within military cooperation. This project was one of the most significant for the enterprise both in scope and in novelity of used technologies. Actually cruiser is refurbished in modern aircraft carrier, equipped with the latest technique.

Contract for repair and rearrangement of the ship was signed between FSUE “Rosoboronexport” and India Republic in January 2004. First of all cruiser was taken out of Russia Naval Forces then equipment was dismantled. On the 9th of March 2004 official ceremony of presenting cruiser to Indian part took place, after it according to Contract, ship was given to Sevmash for storage. At present time aircraft carrier is on firm foundation in basin, where dock works are being carried out. At the same time works on upper deck refurbishment are being performed. Many Russian enterprises take part in designing and manufacturing ship systems and equipment.

Under a program of military-technical cooperation with foreign countries, two Project 636 Kilo class diesel-electric submarines were built here in 2003-2005.

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Page last modified: 13-09-2021 17:23:48 ZULU