Foxtrot-class submarine

The Foxtrot class was the NATO reporting name of a class of diesel-electric patrol submarines that were built in the Soviet Union. The Soviet designation of this class was Project 641. The Foxtrot class was designed to replace the earlier Zulu class, which suffered from structural weaknesses and harmonic vibration problems that limited its operational depth and submerged speed. The first Foxtrot keel was laid down in 1957 and commissioned in 1958 and the last was completed in 1983. A total of 58 were built for the Soviet Navy at the Sudomekh division of the Admiralty Shipyard (now Admiralty Wharves), St. Petersburg.[1] Additional hulls were built for other countries.

Foxtrot class
A Cuban Foxtrot underway
Class overview
Builders: Sudomekh, Leningrad
Operators:
Preceded by: Zulu-class submarine
Succeeded by: Tango-class submarine
Built: 19571983
In service: 19582014
In commission: 19582014
Completed: 74
Lost: 1
Preserved: 7
General characteristics
Type: Submarine
Displacement:
  • 1,952 long tons (1,983 t) surfaced
  • 2,475 long tons (2,515 t) submerged
Length: 89.9 m (294 ft 11 in)
Beam: 7.4 m (24 ft 3 in)
Draft: 5.9 m (19 ft 4 in)
Propulsion:
  • 3 × Kolomna 2D42M 2,000 hp (1,500 kW) diesel engines
  • 3 × Electric motors, two 1,350 hp (1,010 kW) and one 2,700 hp (2,000 kW)
  • 1 × 180 hp (130 kW) auxiliary motor
  • 3 shafts, each with 6-bladed propellers
Speed:
  • 16 knots (30 km/h) surfaced
  • 15 knots (28 km/h) submerged
  • 9 knots (17 km/h) snorkeling
Range:
  • 20,000 nmi (37,000 km) at 8 kn (15 km/h) surfaced
  • 11,000 nmi (20,000 km) snorkeling
  • 380 nmi (700 km) at 2 kn (3.7 km/h) submerged
Endurance: 3-5 days submerged
Test depth: 246–296 m (807–971 ft)
Complement: 12 officers, 10 warrants, 56 seamen
Armament:

The Foxtrot class was comparable in performance and armament to most contemporary designs. However, its three screws made it noisier than most Western designs. Moreover, the Foxtrot class was one of the last designs introduced before the adoption of the teardrop hull, which offered much better underwater performance. Also, although the Foxtrot was larger than a Zulu class submarine, the Foxtrot class had 2 of its 3 decks dedicated to batteries. This gave it an underwater endurance of 10 days, but the weight of the batteries made the Foxtrot's average speed a slow 2 knots at its maximum submerged time capability. Due to the batteries taking up 2 decks, onboard conditions were crowded with space being relatively small even when compared to older submarines such as the much older American Balao-class submarine. The Foxtrot class was completely obsolete by the time the last submarine was launched. The Russian Navy retired its last Foxtrots between 1995 and 2000;[2] units were scrapped and disposed of for museum purposes.[3] During the division of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet, in 1997 one Foxtrot class submarine (later renamed as Zaporizhzhia) was passed to Ukraine as it was not operational since 1991. The ship never effectively served in the Ukrainian Navy and was under repair. In 2005 Ukrainian Ministry of Defence wanted to sell it, but was unsuccessful. Following successful post-repair trials in June 2013, it was recognised as operational.[4] However, on March 22, 2014 it was surrendered to or captured by Russia as part of the Russian annexation of Crimea.[5] Russia decided not to accept it due to its age and operational unsuitability. Its subsequent status was unknown.

Cuban Missile Crisis

Foxtrots played a central role in some of the most dramatic incidents of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Soviet Navy deployed four Foxtrot submarines to Cuba. US Navy destroyers dropped practice depth charges near Foxtrot subs near Cuba in efforts to force them to surface and be identified. Three of the four Foxtrot submarines were forced to surface, one eluded US forces.[1]

Units

Following is a list of the 58 submarines built during the Soviet Project 641.

Project 641 (NATO: Foxtrot Class)
NumberShipyardProjectLaid downLaunchedDecommissionedStatus
B-94Yard 196 Leningrad641 3 October 195728 December 19571 October 1984Decommissioned for scrapping[1]
B-95Yard 196 Leningrad641 2 February 195825 April 195822 February 1980Decommissioned for scrapping[1]
B-36Yard 196 Leningrad641 29 April 195831 August 195824 August 1993Decommissioned for scrapping[1]
B-37Yard 196 Leningrad641 18 July 19585 November 195811 January 1962Sank after fire and multiple explosions
B-133Yard 196 Leningrad641 27 September 195826 January 19591 October 1983Renamed B-833
B-135Yard 196 Leningrad641 20 December 195830 March 19591 July 1977-
B-80Yard 196 Leningrad641 1 July 1977Positioned at NDSM Werf Amsterdam
B-139Yard 196 Leningrad641 25 February 195930 May 19591 October 1976Renamed B-839
B-116Yard 196 Leningrad641 9 June 195910 October 195928 September 1994-
B-130Yard 196 Leningrad641 22 August 195917 December 19591 October 1988-
B-85Yard 196 Leningrad641 23 December 195919 March 196019 April 1990-
B-59Yard 196 Leningrad641 21 February 19606 June 196019 April 1990-
B-156Yard 196 Leningrad641 20 April 19602 August 196019 April 1991-
B-153Yard 196 Leningrad641 6 August 196031 January 196124 June 1991Renamed B-854
B-164Yard 196 Leningrad641 26 October 19602 August 19603 July 1992-
B-33Yard 196 Leningrad641 3 February 196127 April 196124 June 1991-
B-105Yard 196 Leningrad641 1 July 19611 October 196124 August 1993-
B-169Yard 196 Leningrad641 17 August 196129 November 196119 April 1990-
B-38Yard 196 Leningrad641 30 October 196131 January 196225 April 1989-
B-53Yard 196 Leningrad641 8 January 196212 April 196219 April 1990renamed B-853
B-50Yard 196 Leningrad641 7 March 196215 June 19623 July 1992-
B-8Yard 196 Leningrad641 9 May 196221 July 196219 April 1990-
B-31Yard 196 Leningrad641 18 August 19623 November 196224 June 1991-
B-2Yard 196 Leningrad641 27 October 196225 January 196324 June 1991-
B-55Yard 196 Leningrad641 22 January 19635 April 19633 July 1992renamed B-855
B-98Yard 196 Leningrad641 4 April 196315 June 19632001Renamed 292 Wilk
B-101Yard 196 Leningrad641 19 June 196330 August 196330 June 1993-
B-6Yard 196 Leningrad641 9 August 196330 November 196324 August 1994-
B-103Yard 196 Leningrad641 14 December 196316 April 196424 June 1991-
B-109Yard 196 Leningrad641 22 February 196417 June 196428 September 1997-
B-107Yard 196 Leningrad641 18 April 196425 July 19644 August 1995renamed B-807
B-112Yard 196 Leningrad641 19 June 196427 October 196419 April 1990-
B-25Yard 196 Leningrad641 26 August 196422 December 19643 July 1992-
B-205Yard 196 Leningrad641 17 June 196929 August 196931 January 1996-
B-143Yard 196 Leningrad641 21 October 195917 February 196024 June 1991ex-Seafront Zeebrugge Museum, Belgium. 2019 towed away for scrapping in Ghent.
B-15Yard 196 Leningrad641 10 October 196321 February 196429 October 1992-
B-427Yard 196 Leningrad641 10 April 197122 June 197128 April 1994Museum, Long Beach, California, USA
B-39Yard 196 Leningrad641 9 February 196715 April 19675 July 1994Museum, San Diego, California, USA
B-440Yard 196 Leningrad641 1 June 197016 September 19701999Museum, Vytegra, Russia
B-435Yard 196 Leningrad641 24 March 197029 May 1970UnknownAs U-01 "Zaporizhiya" in the Ukraine
B-9Yard 196 Leningrad641 26 December 196431 March 196517 July 1997-
B-4Yard 196 Leningrad641 14 June 19603 October 196024 June 1991-
B-57Yard 196 Leningrad641 23 April 195915 August 195924 June 1991-
B-7Yard 196 Leningrad641 14 April 196129 June 196119 April 1990-
B-21Yard 196 Leningrad641 29 October 196416 February 19653 July 1995-
B-26Yard 196 Leningrad641 6 May 196510 August 196524 June 1991-
B-28Yard 196 Leningrad641 24 May 196510 August 196530 June 1993-
B-34Yard 196 Leningrad641 13 August 196516 November 196524 June 1991-
B-40Yard 196 Leningrad641 24 September 196516 November 196530 June 1993-
B-29Yard 196 Leningrad641 25 March 196620 May 196620031988 Renamed 293 Dzik
B-41Yard 196 Leningrad641 7 April 196620 May 196624 August 1993-
B-46Yard 196 Leningrad641 13 August 196624 December 196630 June 1993-
B-49Yard 196 Leningrad641 12 October 196624 December 196631 December 1993Museum, Rochester, Kent, England
B-397Yard 196 Leningrad641 7 May 196722 August 196730 June 1993-
B-400Yard 196 Leningrad641 29 May 196722 August 196724 September 1991-
B-413Yard 196 Leningrad641 28 June 19687 October 19681999Museum, Kaliningrad, Russia
B-416Yard 196 Leningrad641 18 July 196825 February 19693 July 1992-
B-213Yard 196 Leningrad641 1 October 196920 January 197030 June 1993-
B-409Yard 196 Leningrad641 18 December 19702 March 197130 June 1993-

Operators

Most saw service in the Soviet Navy. Foxtrots were also built for the Indian Navy (eight units, from 1967 to 1974), Libyan (six units, from 1978 to 1980), and Cuban (six units, from 1978 to 1983) navies. Some Soviet Foxtrots later saw service in the Polish and Ukrainian navies.

On display

Several Foxtrots are on display as museums around the world, including:

References

  • Miller, David (2002). The Illustrated Directory of Submarines of the World. London: Salamander Books. ISBN 1-84065-375-2.
  • А.Б. Широкорад: Советские подводные лодки послевоенной постройки (A.B. Shirokorad: Sowjet Submarines built after WWII) Moscow, 1997, ISBN 5-85139-019-0 (Russian)
  • Y. Apalkow: Корабли ВМФ СССР. Многоцелевые ПЛ и ПЛ спецназначания ("Ships of the USSR - Multi-purpose submarines and Special submarines"), St Petersburg, 2003, ISBN 5-8172-0069-4 (Russian)
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