After the World War II, three generations of diesel-electric submarines were built for the Russian Navy to Rubin's designs.
The design of the first post-war diesel-electric submarines - Projects 613 (Whiskey class), 611 (Zulu), and 641 (Foxtrot) - was based on the experience gained during pre-war and war time, with respect to naval combat operations worldwide. Later, more powerful second-generation ocean-going Project 641B (Tango) submarines were developed based on these projects.
The task set for the designers to considerably reduce the submarine acoustic signature was successfully solved by the Rubin team when producing Project 877 submarine (Kilo class). Conspicuous improvement of the Project 877 acoustic stealth compared to the previous generations was ensured by the use of low-noise equipment, sound-absorbing hull coating, and state-of-the-art measures preventing generation and propagation of acoustical disturbance onboard.
The submarine design used a single-shaft concept of the propulsion plant, axially symmetric hull shape, and an improved length-to-diameter ratio. Not only did this enable reduction of submarine's hydrodynamic noise and interference to the sonar, but also increased full submerged speed and submerged cruising range. To enhance stealth, a brand new gas exhaust system was used, with practically no wake when snorkelling. The submarine architecture ensures her surface unsinkability even if she has a compartment and two main ballast tanks adjacent to it at the same side damage-flooded. Her streamlined hull and plane design provided high manoeuvrability when sailing both in shallow waters and at the operating depth, and allowed maintaining the periscope depth at high sea.
The power plant was made following the full electric propulsion scheme; this ensured flexibility of power generation and distribution system, and optimized snorkelling and battery charging. Reserve propulsion system gave the submarine a consistent functionality to navigate on surface and submerged as well with main shaft and propeller damaged, to cross minefields and to do mooring manoeuvres in shallow and confined waters.
Improvements to the control of weapons and engineering systems ensured reasonable combination of automated and manual operations, which made it possible to reduce the crew number, high reliability retained. The characteristics of the submarine electronic warfare were qualitatively improved while the occupied space reduced.
Project 877 submarines are capable of anti-submarine and anti-ship tasks away from harbour both in high seas and in confined waters. Their excellent capacity for upgrade allows refitting with new equipment, electronic warfare and weapons, including missiles.