Russian Cargo Submarine

In 1942 the U.S. Navy used submarines run the Japanese naval blockade and bring munitions and supplies to the beleaguered soldiers on Corregidor. Shortly after this event President Roosevelt ordered the Navy to begin developing plans for a cargo carrying submarine. Three WW1 era, V-class submarines were soon brought to Philadelphia and converted to carry military cargo (source).

Roosevelt’s Barracuda class submarines never saw action but the idea has been kept alive and was revisited by all the major participants of the cold war (source) and even included a plan to build Submarine LNG Tankers. Today the idea has been given new life by the Russian submarine design firm Rubin. They explain:

There are outlined engineering and design solutions for creation of a transport submarine on the basis of heavy nuclear submarine cruiser of Project 941 (“Typhoon”) that is able to take aboard and export the payload up to 15,000 tons from the Arctic areas of the Arctic Ocean all year round irrespective of weather and ice conditions. It is achieved due to forming the required submarine buoyancy by means of non-traditional technical solutions. These solutions provide for meeting active requirements to the submarine survivability, reliability and unsinkability as well as crew safety.

The firm has also worked though many of the obstacles of the past and have provided the following notes;

  • Use a horizontal loading of the payload by means of port standard loaders.
  • Creation of special loading hatches of 4.5 m diameter.
  • Design of the submarine forward end structure that allowed cruising by breaking the ice.
  • Speed 16-18 knots in submerged condition.
  • Speed of about 2-3 knots in surface condition under conditions of solid ice cover up to 2.6 m.
  • Optimum variant of transport cargo traffic to be obtained with the use of three converted nuclear submarines

You can find out more about this unusual ship design at Rubin’s website located HERE.

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  • TBR

    The Russians/Soviets have a long line of almost built (i.e. full design work done and cancelled at the last moment) but never were designs of cargo submarines and "landing submarines" (since some of theme were to be nuclear powered "submersible landing ship" would give the wrong impression) and thus archives full of designs and research history that they are trying to push every five to ten years. Those "Russian cargo submarines" are a recurring if strange theme. Their commercial viability is highly doubtful, especially with the beginning opening/de-icing of the northern routes the civilian was planned to serve.

    The reason those designs never made it onto the slips were mostly conflicting higher prioritys (SSN's and SSBN's) and the drive to make them multitaskable (usually when a singlepurpoose design just had been finalised but deprioritised) i.e. to turn them into submarine AOE's (including provisions for submerged at sea transfer of stores, fuel and ammunition/topredoes) as well as landing ships, which was IMO just crazy and destined the designs to failure.

  • TBR

    The Russians/Soviets have a long line of almost built (i.e. full design work done and cancelled at the last moment) but never were designs of cargo submarines and "landing submarines" (since some of theme were to be nuclear powered "submersible landing ship" would give the wrong impression) and thus archives full of designs and research history that they are trying to push every five to ten years. Those "Russian cargo submarines" are a recurring if strange theme. Their commercial viability is highly doubtful, especially with the beginning opening/de-icing of the northern routes the civilian was planned to serve.

    The reason those designs never made it onto the slips were mostly conflicting higher prioritys (SSN's and SSBN's) and the drive to make them multitaskable (usually when a singlepurpoose design just had been finalised but deprioritised) i.e. to turn them into submarine AOE's (including provisions for submerged at sea transfer of stores, fuel and ammunition/topredoes) as well as landing ships, which was IMO just crazy and destined the designs to failure.

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