St. Petersburg, December 31. Today is 40th anniversary of the day when the first Warshavyanka, the lead unit of Project 877, was handed over to the Russian Navy. It was the beginning of one of the most successful series in the world non-nuclear submarine shipbuilding of the late 20th - early 21st centuries. Submarines of Project 877 and its modernised version, Project 636, have incorporated the most advanced engineering solutions. These two projects were developed under leadership of Yuri Kormilitsin, Chief Designer, then General Designer of submarines of Projects 641, 685 (Komsomolets), 877, 636 and 677 (Lada). A task set by State Customer - to create the third generation of non-nuclear submarines, which would be superior to opponent in duel situation: low-noise, with powerful sonar complex and effective armament - has been accomplished.
The lead submarine B-248 was built by shipyard named after Leninist Komsomol (now Amur Shipyard). Later on, ships of Project 877 for Soviet and Russian Navy were built in Komsomolsk-on-Amur and at shipyard Krasnoye Sormovo; export versions 877EKM and 877E - at Admiralty Shipyard and Krasnoye Sormovo.
For Project 877, Central Research Institute Morfizpribor (now Concern Okeanpribor) has designed sonar complex, which proved its efficiency in anti-submarine warfare several times. Moreover, submarine of Project 877 was equipped with Combat Information Control System, the most advanced by that time; it had an extended functionality, and however small overall dimensions. The System was developed by Leningrad design bureau of Ministry of Electronics Industry (later on incorporated into NPO Pozitron).
Name Warshavyanka came out since it was supposed to deliver these submarines not just to Russian Navy, but also to naval forces of the Warsaw Pact countries. However, geography of foreign cooperation became much more wide approximately from the beginning of serial construction of Project 877. In 1986, one submarine of Project 877E was delivered to Poland and one - to Romania, and the first unit from ten of Project 877EKM was delivered to India. Totally, the export versions of Projects 877 and 636 were supplied to navies of eight countries.
From the very beginning, the Project allowed for significant possibilities for follow-on modernisations, therefore during repairs the ships were re-equipped with new radio-electronic equipment and armament, and new equipment was installed onboard. Family of ships of Project 877EKM for Indian Navy got missile complex Club-S, which till now is a key advantage of the Russian naval engineering.
Modern requirements to submarines, including those for combat effectiveness, have been realized during creation of the improved modification - Project 636.
Today submarines Warshavyanka are recognized and highly appreciated everywhere. Series-production submarines of Projects 877 and 636 are now in service with the Russian Navy and navies of several foreign countries. For her stealthiness Warshavyanka is named "Black hole in the ocean".
Over 40 years 71 submarines of Projects 877 and 636 have been built, and all of them were delivered to customers in terms stipulated in the contracts.
Photo courtesy of Oleg Kuleshov and CDB ME "Rubin"