The first nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine is 60 years old

November 12, 2020 (Google Translation) – On November 12, 1960 at Sevmash (part of USC) the acceptance certificate of the head nuclear-powered ship of Project 658 was signed. It was named K-19. It was the first submarine with surface-launched ballistic missiles and a nuclear power plant.

The Project 658 cruising submarine was intended to strike at naval bases, ports, industrial and administrative centers located on the coast and in the depths of enemy territory. The project was developed at TsKB-18 (now the Rubin Central Design Bureau of Marine Engineering) under the leadership of Sergei Kovalev. In total, 8 nuclear submarines of this project were built at Sevmash.

“It was very interesting to work on the lead nuclear-powered ship,” said Valentin Repin, a veteran of Sevmash, Hero of Socialist Labor, who at that time worked in a team of ship fitters. “Everything was completely new, I had to learn a lot.”

Note that the first nuclear submarines of Project 658 had to surface to perform rocket firing. This unmasked the nuclear-powered ship. After the development of missiles with the possibility of an underwater launch of nuclear submarines, the series was re-equipped. The nuclear submarine K-19 was the first of the nuclear missile carriers to launch the R-21 rocket from under water in 1964. The submarine made six autonomous cruises.

The creation of the nuclear submarine K-19 made it possible in a short time to lay the foundation for the naval component of the country’s strategic nuclear forces.

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