(known in the Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....
as Project 613, 644, and 665
) are a class of naval submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...
s that the Soviet Union built in the early Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...
The initial design was developed in the early 1940s as a sea-going follow on to the S-class submarine
The S-class or Srednyaya submarines were part of the Soviet Navy's underwater fleet during World War II. Unofficially nicknamed Stalinets , boats of this class were the most successful and achieved the most significant victories among all Soviet submarines...
. As a result of war experience and the capture of German technology at the end of the war, the Soviets issued a new design requirement in 1946. The revised design was influenced by the German Type XXI submarine
Type XXI U-boats, also known as "Elektroboote", were the first submarines designed to operate primarily submerged, rather than as surface ships that could submerge as a means to escape detection or launch an attack.-Description:...
and was developed by the Lazurit Design Bureau based in Gorkiy.
Between 1949 and 1958 a total of 236 of an envisaged 340 submarines of this type were commissioned into the Soviet Navy
The Soviet Navy was the naval arm of the Soviet Armed Forces. Often referred to as the Red Fleet, the Soviet Navy would have played an instrumental role in a Warsaw Pact war with NATO, where it would have attempted to prevent naval convoys from bringing reinforcements across the Atlantic Ocean...
. The vessels were initially designed as coastal patrol submarines. These patrol variants are known in the west as Whiskey I, II, III, IV, and V
and were called Project 613
in the Soviet Union.
- Whiskey I − twin 25 mm
25 mm automatic air defense gun M1940 was a Soviet 25 mm caliber anti-aircraft gun. The gun was created in the beginning of 1940 at 8th Kalinin Artillery Plant in Kaliningrad under the guidance of its Chief Designer Mikhail Loginov....
guns in conning tower
- Whiskey II − twin 57mm
57 mm AZP S-60 ; literally: Automatic anti-aircraft gun S-60) is a Soviet towed, road-transportable, short- to medium-range, single-barrel anti-aircraft gun from the 1950s. The gun was extensively used in Warsaw Pact, Middle Eastern and South-East Asian countries.-History:In the late 1940s, the...
guns and twin 25mm guns
- Whiskey III − guns removed
- Whiskey IV − 25 mm guns - fitted with snorkel
- Whiskey V − no guns - streamlined conning tower and snorkel
In the 1950s and 1960s some Whiskey submarines were converted to guided missile submarines. These boats had the capability to fire one to four SS-N-3 Shaddock
The P-5 "Pyatyorka" was a Cold War era turbojet-powered cruise missile of the Soviet Union, designed by the Chelomey design bureau. The missile entered service in 1959...
A cruise missile is a guided missile that carries an explosive payload and is propelled, usually by a jet engine, towards a land-based or sea-based target. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high accuracy...
s. In 1956, the first prototype was ready. It was a regular Whiskey-class submarine which was fitted with a launch tube aft of the sail that contained a single SS-N-3 anti-ship missile. This vessel was known in the west as Whiskey Single Cylinder
. Between 1958 and 1960, six additional Whiskey-class submarines were converted to carry guided missiles. These boats had two missile tubes behind the sail, and were known in the west as the Whiskey Twin Cylinder
(Soviet designation:Project 644
Between 1960 and 1963, six boats received an extended sail that could contain four Shaddock missiles. These were called Whiskey Long Bin
in the West and Project 665
in the Soviet Union. All guided missile variants of the Whiskey class had to surface in order to fire their missiles. The boats of the single and twin cylinder class also had to raise their missile tubes, which were normally positioned horizontally.
The "Long Bin" boats did not handle well, the missile launchers caused stability problems and water flow around the missile fittings was very noisy (Weir and Boyle 2003). All were soon retired from service. Four were converted to radar picket
A radar picket is a radar-equipped ship, submarine, aircraft, or vehicle used to increase the radar detection range around a force to protect it from surprise attack. Often several detached radar units encircle a force to provide increased cover in all directions.-World War II:Radar picket ships...
boats Project 640
(which were called Whiskey Canvas Bag
). Two vessels were converted to submarines for 'fishery research' and 'oceanographic research' purposes. In the Soviet navy, the patrol variants of this class were replaced by Romeo-class submarine
The Romeo class is a class of Soviet diesel-electric submarine, built in 1950s. The origin of the Romeo class can be traced to the World War II German Type XXI Elektroboot U-boat. At the end of World War II, the Soviets obtained several Type XXIs, from which they were able to obtain certain key...
s. The guided missile variants were replaced by Juliet-class submarines.
The Soviet Union built a total of 236 or 215 Whiskeys (sources vary). VADM Burov, head of the Soviet Defense Ministry's Shipbuilding Institute from 1969-1983 confirms 215 units built. The building programme is shown below.
Patrol submarines of the Whiskey class were exported to:
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...
(four vessels, all retired)
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...
(two vessels, retired)
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...
(five vessels, and another 21 built locally from parts provided by the Soviet Union, known as Type 03, all now retired)
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...
(seven vessels, retired)
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...
(twelve vessels, and two as a source of spare parts, retired)
- North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...
(four vessels, 1962-1986, retired)
- ORP Orzeł (292)
- ORP Bielik (295)
- ORP Sokół (293)
- ORP Kondor (294) - 10 June 1965 raising of the banner, 30 October 1985 lowering of the banner.
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....
ordered used Whiskey-class submarines for use as battery charging hulks. The guided missile and radar picket boats were never exported.
By 1982, only 60 boats remained in the Soviet Navy (45 active, 15 in operational reserve); all were retired by the end of the Cold War.
Incidents involving Whiskey-class submarines
- On 27 January 1961, S-80
S-80 was a diesel-electric submarine of the Soviet Navy.Her keel was laid down on 13 March 1950 at Krasnoye Sormovo as a Project 613 unit . She was launched on 21 October, and delivered to Baku on the Caspian Sea on 1 November for tests, then transferred north via inland waterways in December...
was lost due to accidental flooding while the boat was submerged. The valve that should have prevented water from entering the snorkel did not work properly.
- On 24 November 1972, Royal Norwegian Navy's submarine "KNM Sklinna" had "contact" with what they presumed was a Whiskey-class submarine, after 14 days of "hunt" in the Sognefjord of Norway. Newly released military documents confirms this episode.
- On 21 October 1981, S-178
С-178 was a Project 613B diesel submarine of the Soviet Navy.-Collision and loss:On 21 October 1981, S-178, under the command of Captain Third Rank V.A. Marango, was transiting on the surface at , returning to base after two days of sound trials. The sea state was 2 and night time visibility...
was run down by the merchant vessel Refrizherator-13 in Golden Horn Bay
Zolotoy Rog Bay is a sheltered horn-shaped bay separated from the Peter the Great Gulf of the Sea of Japan by Shkota Peninsula on the north-west, Cape Goldobina on the east-north-east, and Cape Tigrovy on the west. The bay is seven kilometers long, with a width of about two kilometers and a depth...
The city is located in the southern extremity of Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula, which is about 30 km long and approximately 12 km wide.The highest point is Mount Kholodilnik, the height of which is 257 m...
- On 27 October 1981, S-363 ran aground in Swedish
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....
territorial waters near the Karlskrona naval base.
- On 5 February 2007, the decommissioned S-194 took on water and sank off the coast of Denmark while being towed to become part of a naval museum.
- In 2009 a previously unknown and unidentified sunken Whiskey class submarine was discovered within Swedish EEZ close to the island of Gotland. It was a decommissioned submarine which sank while under tow to be scrapped in Denmark. News of the discovery was not made public until March 2011.