Soviet’s Victor class, Project 671, SSN-nuclear powered attack submarine

The Victor class submarines were designed to engage enemy ballistic missile submarines, antisubmarine taskforces, and to protect friendly vessels and convoys from enemy attacks. They were significantly faster but also had much higher noise levels, in the first two variants designers made no significant effort to reduce noise emissions. The reactor plant of all Victor class submarines is similar to that used with theYankee and Delta class Ballistic Missile Nuclear Submarines (SSBNs). The two reactors are mounted in a side-by-side configuration.

Victor I/Soviet`s Ersh Project 671:

The Victor I featured an advanced tear-drop hull design for high underwater speeds. Two small, two-blade propellers were fitted on the stern planes for slow-speed operation. Two external torpedo tubes hold a single nuclear-tipped E53-65K torpedo. The hull of the Victor I class was divided into seven compartments. The Project 671 boats were retrofitted to handle the TEST-68 wire-guided torpedo weapons under the designation Project 671B/Soviet`s Kefal (sometimes written Project 671V). A pair of Project 671 submarines were subsequently equipped with the new "Kolos" non-acoustic detection system, and redesignated as Project 671K/Soviet`s Ersh.

Victor II/Soviet`s Segma Project 671RT:
The Victor II class was enlarged to provide additional weapons capabilities and improved fire-control system. The new generation of 650mm heavy torpedoes was longer than earlier models, and required power assistance to handle them in the torpedo room. The hull of the Victor II class was divided into eight compartments. While the Project 671RT class was under construction some new information emphasized the acoustic vulnerability of the design, construction was curtailed pending an improved design.

Victor III/Soviet`s Ersh II Project 671RTM and Shchuka Project 671RTMK:

An improved version of the Victor II, the Victor III was an interim effort to apply some level of silencing to their submarines. The hull was lengthened by nearly 20 feet to accommodate the rafting and sound insulation for the turbine machinery. The design also featured improvements in electronics, navigation systems, and radio and satellite communication systems, accommodated in the additional hull space forward of the sail. Victor II and Victor III submarines were equipped with radio buoys allowing the submarine to maintain communications while submerged. The outer hull is coated with anti-hydroacoustic materials to reduce the possibility of detection. The outer hull of the Victor III was made partly from light alloys, and was distinguishable by a high stern fin fitted with a towed array dispenser- the first Soviet submarine fitted with a towed array. The large pod was needed so that the array could be reeled over a large radius, solve early problems with cracks in the rubber coating. Some Project 671RTMs were upgraded to the 671RTMK configuration, and all units of this variant were fitted for the new `Granat` strategic cruise missiles. The Project 671RTMK also incorporated for the first time a fully integrated submarine combat direction and fire control command system. The `Viking` system, said to be based on that developed for the Norwegian Ula class submarines, ran on computers allegedly obtained from the Toshiba Corporation of Japan.

Specifications, Victor I/II/III class, Project 671 and its variants:
Double-hull configuration with high-speed hull design. The first Soviet attack submarine considered by Western officials to have been developed primarily for the anti-submarine role-first Soviet class to use Low Frequency sonar.

Displacement (srf/sub tons):
Dimensions (L*B*D feet): Vic.I-311`7*32`10*23`0,Vic.II-344`7*32`10*23`0,Vic.III-347`8*32`10*23`0
Propulsion: 2*75MWt OK-300 VM-4 Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR), geared steam turbines 30,000hp,Vic.I: one shaft 5 bladed propeller, Vic.II: one shaft 5 bladed propeller, Vic.III: one shaft, tandem 8-bladed propeller
Speed (sub knots): Vic.I: 32+,Vic.II: 30-,Vic.III: 30-
Range (srf/sub miles@knots): not relevant
Diving depth (feet): 1,312 (400m)
Complement: 15-17 officers 70-80 enlisted
Missile: SLCM sub-launched cruise missiles: only in Vic.III: Reduga SS-N-21 Sampson/Granat (1,620 n/miles nuclear warhead 200kT)
SSM sub-launched anti-ship missiles:Vic.I: Novator SS-N-14 and SS-N-15 Starfish/Tsakra (24 n/miles nuclear warhead 200kT), Vic.II: Novator SS-N-16 Stallion (54 n/miles nuclear warhead 200kT), Vic.III: Novator SS-N-15 Starfish and Novator SS-N-16, Novator SS-N-27 Alfa (97 n/miles conventional warhead 200kg)
Torpedo: Vic.I: 6*21" (533mm) bow torpedo tubes, total mixture of 18 missiles or torpedoes, Vic.II: 2*21" (533mm) bow torpedo tubes, 4*25.5" (650mm) bow torpedo tubes, total mixture of 18 missiles or torpedoes, Vic.III: 2*21" (533mm) bow torpedo tubes, 4*25.5" (650mm) bow torpedo tubes, total mixture of 24 missiles or torpedoes
36 mines in lieu of torpedoes


Victor I
-a total of 15 units were built, all laid down by Admiralty shipyard, St. Petersburg, during 1965 to 1972.

Victor II-
a total of seven units were built in this project. Four hulls by Admiralty shipyard in St. Petersburg,and three more hulls were laid down by Krasnoye Sormovo, Gorkiy-all seven hullslaunched from 1972 to 1977.

Victor III
-a total of 26 units were constructed, in two groups. The first group of 21 Project 671RTM boats were built by the Admiralty shipyard in St. Petersburg, eleven hulls, ten more hulls were laid down by Shipyard 199, Komsomolsk-Na-Amur-all between 1977 and 1985.An additional group of five Project 671RTMK boats were built at the Admiralty shipyard in St. Petersburg, equipped with the new "Kolos" non-acoustic sensor suite, 1985 to 1991.

All Victor Is and IIs had been decommissioned by 1996. Of the 26 units of the Victor III class, only 8 to 10 units are currently, 2002, in operational service.

Back to History Index

Image Country Year Description
Guinea-Bissau 2001 Victor class (type 671), SSN
Russia 2006 Nuclear submarine SSN Victor I class, Project 671 (1968) (sheet of 14 stamps)
Russia 2006 Nuclear submarine SSN Victor I class, Project 671 (1968)
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