Project 941

"Unique in all respects" is the characteristic that the heavy strategic missile submarine cruiser of Project 941 deserves.

Special features of the project are as follows:

  • a missile complex remarkable for its tactical and technical characteristics
  • the unique architecture (a multi-hull submarine catamaran with high reserve buoyancy; missile tubes located between two pressure hulls) which provided the submarines with reliability and survivability parameters earlier unachievable
  • the capacity of surfacing in areas with thick solid ice cover
  • habitability conditions and conditions to ensure the crew performance unique for a submarine (a gymnasium, sauna, swimming pool and lounge room)

The tactical and technical assignment for the development of the cruiser was given by the government in December 1972. The Project was developed under the supervision of Sergey N. Kovalev, the General Designer for strategic missile submarine cruisers and Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

To meet the Customer requirements to the armament composition with account to the capabilities of shipyards and bases, a wide range of research and development works was performed, among them:

  • more than 200 submarine versions were studied and elaborated
  • large-scale studies in strength, manoeuvrability, acoustics and other shipbuilding and related disciplines were carried out

During the production of this Project series, a number of technological innovations was introduced for the first time in Russia: an aggregate-and-modular construction method, the use of assembly units of various levels, etc.

Heavy strategic missile submarine cruisers of Project 941 were the largest in the history of underwater shipbuilding worldwide. For a development project of this scale, they were designed in the shortest time possible considering conditions and capacities of their time.

A submarine cruiser of this Project set the record of continuous submerged sailing for more than 120 days.

In 1980s, the introduction of these submarines to the service in the Russian Navy became an important factor for maintaining the strategic balance.