Soviet`s Whiskey class, Project 613 submarine
Project 613 emerged from a WW-II program to build a successor to the prewar S and Shch class medium-submarines or as it was define for Project 608-a modified version of the S class submarines incorporating war experience. This called for a 640 ton submarine, capable of 18kts surfaced and 10kts submerged. Armament was set at six 533mm torpedo tubes (four bow, two stern), a 76mm and a 25mm AA gun. Project 608 was to be equipped with sonars derived from those supplied by the British under Lend-Lease.
However, in 1944, the Soviet Navy raised a German Type VIIC submarine, the U-250, that had been mined in the Gulf of Finland. Inspection of the wreck showed that Soviet submarine technology had fallen far behind that of Germany and other countries; in order to maintain the viability of the Soviet submarine fleet, a radical rethink was necessary.
Postwar acquisitions included examples of the German Type XXI design, some features of which (principally increased underwater speed) were incorporated in the new specifications. The final specifications for Project 613 were issued in 1948 and featured a much larger boat that the S class based Project 608. There was also a subtle difference that was to become very significant; not being based on pre-war Soviet design art, Project 613 was not affected by the emergency diving depth restriction that hit Project 611 and all prewar Soviet designs.
By the late 1950s, the design of Project 613 was becoming dated. A modernization program, designated Project 613U saw a drastic series of changes to the boats. The gun armament was removed, the superstructure streamlined and a snort installed in the rear of the sail. The sonars were upgraded; a new fire control system installed and additional fuel tanks were provided. A total of 22 units were brought up to Project 613U standard.
A less drastic series of modernizations, that deleted the guns, streamlined the sail and installed a snort but did not include providing new electronics or additional fuel became Project 613M. A total of 38 units had been brought up to Project 613M standard when additional modernizations were canceled.
The Project 613 class is directly comparable with the German Type VII/Type IX U-boats of World War II and can, in many ways, be regarded as `Guppied` versions of that design. Contrary to much mythology, the Project 613 owed little if anything to the German Type XXI.
A few of the Whiskeys were converted to SSG boats in order to serve as test platform and to carry the SS-N-3 Shaddock Guided Missiles-Soviets first cruise missile.
Specifications, Whiskey class, Project 613:
The submarine was of double hull construction, the pressure hull being externally framed, divided into seven compartments. Each shaft had a pair of electric motors, a normal sized motor for cruising and a smaller one for creep drive. For the first time in a Soviet submarine, the machinery was shock-mounted.
Displacement (srf/sub tons): 1,050/1,350
Dimensions (L*B*D feet): 246`9*20`8*16`1
Propulsion: diesel electric, 3*2,000hp Kolomma 37D diesel engines,2*1,250hp electric motors and 2*50hp electric creep motors, 2 shafts (3 and 4 bladed propellers)
Speed (srf/sub knots): 17/13.5
Range (srf/sub n/miles@knots): 15,000@10 or snorting 6,000@5/210@8
Diving depth (feet): 650
Complement: 6 officers 50 enlisted
Torpedo: 4*21" (533mm) bow torpedo tubes, 2*21" stern torpedo tubes, total of 12 torpedoes
Armament: 1*100/51cal. main deck gun abaft the conning tower, later on replaced with 1*2*57mm, 1*2*25mm AA gun in front of conning tower
A production of some 236! Units were completed from 1951 to 1957, the largest submarine class in history except for the German Type VII of WW-II. Krasnoye Sormovo in Gorkiy served as the lead yard or the class-first hull completed in 1950, the Nosenko/Marti yard in Nikolyev delivered its first unit in 1951 followed by Amur River/No.199 yard, Komsomolsk in 1954 and the Baltic Shipyard, Leningrad in 1955.
Pre fabricated of twenty-one units were delivered to China for final assembly and 43 Whiskeys have been transferred to other navies such as: Albania, Bulgaria, Poland, Cuba, Indonesia, Egypt, Syria, and Algeria.
Final disposition; un-modernized boats in this class not transferred abroad were scrapped in the 1970s. The Project 613M class followed in the 1980s and the last survivors of the Project 613U class went to the breakers in the early 1990s.