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In 1958 OKB-18 started the development of a new ballistic missile submarine. Initially work was undertaken on two versions, of which only one was authorized. A.S. Kassatsiyer, the author of both versions was designated as chief designer. The development of the submarine faced significant problems regarding the launch system. During elimination of the problems the project underwent fundamental changes and as a result the completely new submarine design received the new designation 667A. The new chief designer was S. I. Kovalev. The revised 667A submarine was both developed and authorized in 1962.

The external contours of the submarine were designed to achieve minimal resistance when operating under water. Unlike previous submarines, the horizontal hydroplanes were arranged on the sail. The cylinder-shaped pressure hull is divided into 10 compartments and has an exterior diameter of 9.4m.

The SSBN 667A is equipped with the D-5 launch system and 16 R-27 missiles with a range of about 2400 km. They are arranged in two rows in the fourth and fifth compartments. The missiles can be launched from a depth of 40-50 meters below the surface, while the submarine is moving at a speed of up to 3-4 knots. The missiles are fired in four salvos each comprising four missiles. The time needed for pre-launch preparation is 8 minutes, and within a salvo the missiles are fired at intervals of 8 seconds. After each salvo the submarine needs three minutes return to the launching depth and between the second and third salvo it takes 20-35 minutes to pump water from the tanks into the launching tubes.

The primary propulsion machinery includes two self-contained units [port and starboard], each of which consists of a pressurized water reactor reactor, and an independent turbogear assembly. The maximum speed when submerged is 27 knots. The auxiliary propulsion motors can be used for torpedo firing, to maintain electric power during emergency and provide for stand-by capability of the boat while on the surface.

To reduce the noise of the submarine special propellers were created, the pressure hull was covered with sound-absorbing rubber and the external hull was covered with a antihydroacoustic coating. The footings under the main and auxiliary propulsion systems are also isolated by a layer of rubber.

The 667A SSBNs were equipped with the "Cloud" battle management system which could receive signals up to a depth of 50 meters with the help of the towed antenna "Paravan." The first four 667A Yankee submarines employed the "Sigma" navigation system whereas the follow-on ships were equipped with the "Tobol" -- the first Soviet navigational system that used a satellite navigation system. This system provided reliable navigation in the Arctic Region and in the Pacific Ocean and also sustained the operational capability of the missiles at high latitudes down to 85 degrees.

The first 667A Yankee submarine, with the tactical designation K-137, was launched in 1964 at the Northern machine-building enterprise in Severodvinsk. In July 1967 the submarine "K-137" completed sea trials and at the end of 1967 it was introduced into the Northern fleet. Between 1967 and 1974 a total of 34 strategic submarines of the 667A class were build. 24 submarines were launched in Severodvinsk and 10 in Komsomolsk na Amure.

In 1972-1983 the Yankee submarines along with older submarines were re-equipped with the D-5U launch system and R-27U missiles. The R-27U missile had a greater range -- up to 3000 km -- and carried multiple reentry vehicles. The upgraded submarine was designated as 667AU.

In 1967 the first 667A ballistic submarines to form part of the Northern fleet were incorporated into the 31st division of strategic submarines, which was based in the port of Sayda. At the end of the 60s the 19th division of strategic submarines was also equipped with 667A submarines. Both divisions formed part of a structure consisting of 12 squadrons, which in December 1969 was transformed into the 3rd flotilla of submarines.

Two divisions of 667A submarines of the Pacific fleet 8th and 25th- - were based at Kamchatka. In the middle of the 1970s a unit of 667A SSBNs was transferred to Pavlovsk.

In May, 1974 near the Navy base in Petropavlovsk a ballistic missile submarine of the 667A class collided with the American attack submarine "Pintado" (SSN-672) in a depth of about 65m. The Soviet submarine was only lightly damaged.

On 03 October 1986 on board of the ballistic missile submarine "K-219" of the 667AU class an explosion took place that sparked off a fire. The cause was a depressurization of the reactor pit. The submarine was located 970 km east of the Bermuda Islands. The crew of a boat managed to surface the submarine and muffle the reactors. As a result of the accident four people were killed. The submarine was towed but on 06 October it had to be scuttled into a depth of 5,500 meters. The United States Navy normally does not comment on submarine operations. But the US Navy issued a statement regarding the release of the book "Hostile Waters" and an HBO movie of the same name, based on the incidents surrounding the casualty of the Russian Yankee submarine K-219. The United States Navy "categorically denies that any U.S. submarine collided with the Russian Yankee submarine (K-219) or that the Navy had anything to do with the cause of the casualty that resulted in the loss of the Russian Yankee submarine."

Between 1979 and 1994 all Yankee submarines were removed from operational status and their missile compartments cut out to comply with arms control agreement ceilings. During their operation time the 667A and 667AM Yankee submarines had carried out 590 patrols all over the world. Two of the submarines were taken out of service in 1979, two in January 1980, one in January 1981, two in January 1982, one in November 1982, one in June 1983, one in January 1984, two in April 1985, two in March 1986, two in 1987, and the rest in 1988 and 1989.

A number of Yankee ballistic missile submarines were modified to perform other missions.

Between 1988 and 1994 most converted Yankee submarines were removed from operational status. The converted K-411 (Yankee Stretch) and K-420 (Yankee Sidecar) are reliably reported to remain in service, and some reports also suggest that K-395 [a Yankee Notch] and K-403 [Yankee Pod] may also remain in service.


Soviet Designation

667AU Navaga

667 Am Navaga


Yankee I

Yankee II

Development began


Design Bureau

Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering "Rubin"

Chief designer

S.H. Kovalev

O.YA. Margolin


Komsomolsk na Amure

Construction and Outfit

667A: 1964-1974
667AU: 1972-1983


Service time

667A: 1967-1983
667AU: 1972-1994


Number of ships


1 converted


667A: D-5 launch system with
16 R-27 missiles

667AU: D-5U launch system with
16 R-27U missiles

D-11 launch system with
12 R-31 missiles

4-533mm torpedo tubes
2-400mm torpedo tubes

Power Plant

2 pressurized water reactors
2 steam turbines, 52.000 hp each


132 meters


11.6 meters


8 meters


7760 m3 Surfaced

9600 m3 Submerged

10000 m3 Submerged

Maximum depth

400 meters


12 knots Surface

25 knots Submerged

24 knots Submerged


120 men

130 men


70 days

Class Listing

#numberName Laid Down Launched Comm. Stricken
1K-137 Leninets 402 Sevmash 11/09/1964 08/28/1966 11/05/1967 ---------- 1994 deactivated
1998 planned to scrap
2K-140 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 12/30/1967 199008/23/1968 reactor accident
1977-80 project 667AM converted (Yankee II)
3K-26 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 09/03/1968 ----------
4K-32 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 10/26/1968 19991999 dismantled
5K-216 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 12/27/1968 ---------- in storage in Sayda Bay
6K-207 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 12/30/1968 ----------
7K-210 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 08/06/1969 ---------- in storage in Severodvinsk
8K-249 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 09/27/1969 ----------
9K-253 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 10/28/1969 ----------
10K-395 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 12/05/1969 1982-91 project 667AT("Grusha") converted to SSGN(Yankee Notch)
1999 remains operational
11K-408 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 12/25/1969 ---------- 1982-91 project 667AT("Grusha") converted to SSGN(Yankee Notch)
12K-411 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 08/31/1970 project 09780 converted to a midget carrier(Yankee Stretch),redesignated KS-411
remains operational
13K-418 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 09/22/1970 1999project 667AT("Grusha") converted to SSGN(Yankee Notch)
14K-420 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 10/29/1970 1979-80 project 667M("Andromeda")converted to SSGN(Yankee Sidecar)
15K-423 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 11/13/1971 ---------- project 667AT("Grusha") convertedto SSGN(Yankee Notch)
16K-426 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 12/22/1970 ----------
17K-415 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 12/30/1971 19941982-91 project 667AT("Grusha") converted to SSGN(Yankee Notch)
1994 dismantled
18K-403 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 08/20/1971 1978-80 project 09774("Akson") converted to a special operation ship(Yankee Pod),redesignated to KS-403
1999 remains operational
19K-245 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 12/16/1971 ----------
20K-214 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 12/31/1971 ----------
21K-219 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 12/31/1971 198610/06/1986 lost
22K-228 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 12/31/1972 1995? dismantled
23K-241 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 12/23/1971 1994? dismantled
24K-444 402 Sevmash ---------- ---------- 12/09/1972 ---------- in storage in Severodvinsk
25K-399 199 Komsomolsk ---------- ---------- 12/24/1969 ---------- 1982-91 project 667AT("Grusha") converted to SSGN(Yankee Notch)
26K-434 199 Komsomolsk ---------- ---------- 10/21/1970 ----------
27K-236 199 Komsomolsk ---------- ---------- 12/27/1970 ---------- 1982-91 project 667AT("Grusha") converted to SSGN(Yankee Notch)
28K-389 199 Komsomolsk ---------- ---------- 1970----------
29K-252 199 Komsomolsk ---------- ---------- 1971----------
30K-258 199 Komsomolsk ---------- ---------- 1971----------
31K-446 199 Komsomolsk ---------- ---------- 1971----------
32K-451 199 Komsomolsk ---------- ---------- 1971----------
33K-436 199 Komsomolsk ---------- ---------- 1972----------
34K-430 199 Komsomolsk ---------- ---------- 1972----------

Sources and Resources

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