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Evolution of Subs

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Definitions of “beam,” “draft,” “displacement”

1967: Victor Class (Soviet)
Streamlined for Speed


Soviet: Victor Class
Victor-class sub disabled off South Carolina, 1983
Photograph from CORBIS

Victor-class submarines were designed mainly to attack enemy ballistic-missile submarines and to protect convoys of Soviet surface ships. A teardrop-hull design gave them increased speed over their predecessors.

The Soviets halted construction of the second Victor design after learning through spy information that existing Victor II subs were loud enough for NATO forces to easily track them. The Soviets then designed the quieter Victor III submarine.

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Length: 303 ft (93 m) to 335 ft (102 m)

Beam: 33 ft (10 m)

Draft: 24 ft (7 m)

Displacement: 6,085 tons to 6,990 tons

Propulsion: 2 pressurized-water reactors, 1 propeller

Crew: Approx. 100

Armament: 6 torpedo tubes, cruise missiles, mines

First Sub Commissioned: November 5, 1967

Maximum Speed: 32 knots (35 mph/56 kph)