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667BDRM Dolphin DELTA IV

The 667BDRM Delta IV submarine, which was constructed parallel to the Typhoon class, is a further modification of the previous Delta. In comparison with the Delta III submarine the diameter of the pressure hull was increased and the bow was lengthened. As a result the displacement of the submarine was increased by 1,200 tons and it was 12 meters longer. To increase the reliability of the pressure hull, the tip and intercut-off bulkheads are made of specially processed steel.

The Delta IV submarines employs the D- 9RM launch system and carries 16 R-29RM liquid-fueled missiles which carry four multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles.Unlike previous modifications, the Delta IV submarine is able to fire missiles in any direction from a constant course in a circular sector. The underwater firing of the ballistic missiles can be conducted at a depth of 55 meters while cruising at a speed of 6-7 knots. All the missiles can be fired in a single salvo.

The 667BDRM Dolphin submarines are equipped with the TRV-671 RTM missile-torpedo system that has four torpedo tubes with a calibre of 533 mm. Unlike the Delta III, it is capable of using all types of torpedos, antisubmarine torpedo-missiles and antihydroacoustic devices. The battle management system "Omnibus-BDRM" controls all combat activities, processing data and commanding the torpedo and missile-torpedo weapons. The "Shlyuz" navigation system provides for the improved accuracy of the missiles and is capable of stellar navigation at periscope depths. The navigational system also employs two floating antenna buoys to receive radio-messages, target destination data and satellite navigation signals at great depth. The submarine is also equipped with the "Skat- VDRM" hydroacoustic system.

During the development of the 667BDRM SSBN several measures were included to reduce its noise level. The gears and equipment are located on a common base isolated from the pressure hull, and the power compartments are also isolated. The efficiency of the antihydroacoustic coatings of the light outer hull and inner pressure hulls have been increased. Newly designed five-bladed propellers with improved hydroacoustic characteristics are employed.

The development of the Delta IV submarine began on 10 September 1975 by the Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering. The first Dolphin submarine was launched in January 1985 and in December 1985 the first Dolphin submarine was introduced into Northern fleet. Between 1985 and 1990 seven Dolphin SSBN were constructed by the Sevmashpredpriyatiye Production Association in Severodvinsk.

Initially all the Delta IV submarines were based with the Northern Fleet at Olenya. All the submarines of this class serve in the 3rd flotilla of strategic submarines of the Northern fleet, which has relocated to Yagyelnaya.

The operational lifetime of these submarines is estimated to be 20-30 years, though in order to operate a ship for this period requires that a major overhaul be performed every 7-8 years. Otherwise, a submarine's service life shrinks to 10-15 years. The four-year repair works on the first Delta-IV (K-51) submarine were completed in November 1999 at Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk. The submarine was expected to operate from its home base in Gadzhievo at the Kola Peninsula for 5-7 more years.

As of June 2000 the Russian Navy claims that it operates 26 strategic nuclear submarines carrying 2,272 nuclear warheads on 440 ballistic missiles. This force is said to consist of 5 Typhoon class submarines, 7 Delta-IV class submarines, and 13 Delta-III class submarines [which only adds up to 25, not 26 submarines]. Not all of these submarines are presently seaworthy. The Russian Navy reportedly believes that 12 strategic nuclear submarines with ballistic missiles represent the minimum necessary force structure. According to media reports a classified presidential decree of 04 March 2000 established this force goal for the period through 2010.


Soviet Designation

667BDRM Dolphin


Delta IV

Development began

September 1975

Design Bureau

Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering "Rubin"

Chief designer

S.H. Kovalev


Nr. 402 Severodvinsk

Construction and Outfit

February 1981-1992

Service time

December 1985-

Number of ships



D-9 RM launch system with
16 R-29 RM missiles
4-533mm torpedo tubes

Power Plant

2 pressurized water reactors, 90 MW each
2 steam turbines, 20.000 hp each


2 7 blade fixed-pitch


167 meters


12 meters


8.8 meters


11,740 tons Surfaced
18,200 tons Submerged

Operational depth

320 meters (design)
400 meters (maximum depth)


13-14 knots Surface
22-24 knots Submerged


130 men


80 days

Class Listing

#numberName Laid Down Launched Comm. Stricken
1K-51 402 Sevmash 02/23/1981 01/**/1985 12/29/1986 1996-11/1999 deactivated for refit
2000 in service
2K-84 402 Sevmash 11/**/1984 12/**/1985 02/**/1986 in service
3K-64 402 Sevmash 11/**/1985 12/**/1986 02/**/1988 in service
4K-114 402 Sevmash 12/**/1986 09/**/1987 02/**/1989 late 1999 planned to dismantle at Zvezdochka
5K-117 402 Sevmash 09/**/1987 09/**/1988 03/**/1990 in service
6K-18 402 Sevmash 09/**/1988 11/**/1989 02/**/1991 in service
7K-407 Novomoskovsk 402 Sevmash 11/**/1989 01/**/1991 02/20/1992 in service
8K-???402 Sevmash Cancelled under construction
9K-???402 Sevmash Cancelled under construction

Sources and Resources

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