Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
Release Decision: 
Original Classification: 
Document Page Count: 
Document Creation Date: 
June 19, 2017
Document Release Date: 
June 19, 2017
Sequence Number: 
Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
October 1, 1968
PDF icon DOC_0002775033.pdf629.42 KB
APPROVED FOR RELEASE CIA HISTORICAL RELEASE PROGRAM JUNE 2017 Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 >12, DIRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCE cAJ1,4_, ecret AR 70-14 Intelligence Report The Soviet Y-Class Submarine Construction Program Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 cret Copy No. October 1968 Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 TOPSEeirET CONTENTS Page Summary 1 Y-Class Construction at Possible Construction at Future Force Levels Deployment 3 7 9 11 Appendix History of the First Hulls 13 Construction Cycle 16 Illustrations Y-Class Ballistic-Missile Submarine . ? ? ? 2 Shipyard 5 hipyard 8 Table Soviet Y-Class Submarine Program: Estimated Annual Completions and Midyear Force Levels, 1967-75 Charts Launchings and Deliveries of Y-Class Submarines from Estimated Production Schedule of Y-Class Submarines at T CRET /Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 10 14 . . 17 . . Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 '1'0(j.K..t, 1 CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Directorate of Intelligence October 1968 INTELLIGENCE REPORT The Soviet Y-Class Submarine Construction Program Summary Production of the Soviets' new Y-class ballistic- missile submarine at the shipyard appar- ently will reach a level of six per year by 1969. The evidence also indicates that fewer being built simultaneously at previously believed, but the estimated six per year remains unchanged because construction pace. units are than output of of the faster Since the first Y-class submarine came off the ways two years ago, probably six additional units have been launched--the latest one in mid-September 1968. Note: This report was produced solely by CIA. It was prepared by the Office of Strategic Research and coordinated with the Directorate of Science and Tech- nology and the Office of National Estimates. The data and conclusions in this report are consistent with, but amplify in detail, the judgments of Soviet Strategic Attack Forces. TO CRET _Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 TO 'W,C;R_ET I The current tempo of construction at could result in a fleet of nearly -c ass submarines--believed to be the Soviets' minimum force goal--by 1974 rather than 1975 as previously estimated, participation in the program would enable them to reach this goal a year sooner. Previous Soviet deployment of ballistic-missile submarines and probable targeting requirements suggest that about two-thirds of the Y-class force will be based in the Northern Fleet and the remainder in the Pacific. Y-CLASS BALLISTIC-MISSILE SUBMARINE 7 Feet 100 200 I I i 300 400 42B I I I Propene:- blade-s, outer missile hatch configuration, and Lower stern fin are estimated. 2 TO RET Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 Y-Class Construction at 1. New intelligence regarding Soviet production of the 16-tube, Y-class ballistic-missile submarine at the shipyard indicates that fewer submarines are under construction at one time than previously estimated, but that annual output will re- main about the same because of a shorter construction period for each hull.* 2. For previous submarine building programs, the main construction hall at was divided into six building ways, each with two hull assembly positions. It was originally believed that the same arrangement had been retained for construction of the new and larger Y-class submarines. 1 Thus only four ways are being used or Y-class construction. (See foldout illustration, next page.) The change in spacing of the ways allows room for installing the large stern planes of the Y-class and provides more room for other assembly processes. Since each of the four ways is large enough to accommodate two Y-class hulls end to end, eight units can be under construction simultaneously--four in the first assem- bly positions and four in a more advanced stage in the second positions on the ways. 3. Seven Y-class submarines probably have been launched thus far. The first hull came off the ways in August or September 1966 and completed outfitting at in June 1967. Two more units were * This new information modifies somewhat the judgments in SR IR 68-4, May 1968, Soviets Push Production of Polaris-Type Submarines 3 TO CRET Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 TO ' . RET apparently launched in the fall of 1967 and were com- pleted in the spring of 1968. Two more were launched that spring, another in August, and another in Septem- ber; all four of these units are still outfitting. This construction history (see Appendix for details), combined with the correlation in time between the movement of hull sections into the main construction hall and sub- sequent launchings of completed hulls, indicates that Y-class submarines are being built at in about two years time--16 months in tne construc- tion hall and 8 months at the fitting-out quay. Here- tofore, three years were required to assemble and out- fit nuclear submarines at this shipyard. 4. The key to this reduction in construction time was a substantial change in facilities that al- lowed larger and more completely fitted submarine hull sections to be produced in subassembly. Facil- ity changes--begun in 1963 and completed in late 1965-- included a 30-percent increase in subassembly space and the installation of a new, heavy-duty transverser for shifting hull sections from the subassembly area to the main construction hall. 5. Not until all eight buildiny way positions were occupied. Y-class submarines launched prior to that All came from the northernmost building ways. The two southern- most ways were not available as early as the northern ways, partly because they were obstructed until late by an H-class submarine which was undergoing extensive modification. No Y-class hulls could be moved into the second building position on either of the two southernmost ways until the H-class was moved into the launch basin 6. The since the fall of 1967 indicates that one assembly position is being loaded about every two months, each submarine spend- ing about eight months on each of the two assembly positions of the way on which it is being built, and that all eight positions were occupied for the first time in early 1968. With this and a two-year construction cycle, a peak output of six submarines per year will be reached by mid-1969. T CRET Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 002775033 Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 002775033 9Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 _L I Possible Construction a 7. The possibility that Y-class submarines are being built at the was suggested in when revealed two submarine hull sections at the shipyard similar in size to Y-class sections observed earlier This indication was strengthened by the of a lar 9e new submarine dock at Because of shallow sighting in transporter water transporter docks must be used to transfer large submarines from to the delivery base at Petrovka. 8. Transporter docks presently in use in the Pacific Fleet are too small to carry Y-class sub- marines. The new dock--the largest ever seen in the USSR--can accommodate submarines up to about 490 feet long and 50 feet wide. The only known class of submarine that would require a transporter dock of this size is the Y-class. The 55-foot-wide stern section of the Y-class might not fit into the new dock, but installation of the stern planes would be a relatively simple operation and probably could await final outfitting at Petrovka. 9. Whatever is being built at Komosomol'sk, the construction capacity of the yard is considerably less than that of Nuclear submarines are built in four covered building docks, each approx- imately 500 feet long and 80 feet wide--too small to accommodate more than one Y-class hull per dock. (See illustration, next page.) Beginning in 1965, how- ever, facilities at have undergone changes similar to those observed at permitting the handling of larger hull sections. As at Severo- dvinsk where such changes apparently enabled the Sovi- ets to reduce submarine assembly and outfitting time from three years to about two, a similar reduction can be expected in the previous th e at As new facilities at are only now nearing completion, however, su marines laid down before the new facilities were ready for use might still take three years to build. Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 TOZ,SeMET 10. If the Y-class is being built at the first hull could have been laid down as early as 1965. The of an uncompleted Krupnyy-class destroyer from e four-dock building at in late 1964 signaled a change in the use of that building. Work on the destroyer is believed to have stopped about 1962, but it was kept inside the build- ing until the end of 1964. The first hull could have been laid down in 1965, after the Krupnyy hull was moved outside. Assuming that Y-class hulls were laid down in each dock as it became available, the fourth hull could have been laid down in 1967, after delivery of the last E-class submarine. If the first one or two units take three years to build, they could be launched in 1968. With a two-year production cycle thereafter, two submarines could be produced each year.* Future Force Levels 11. Although the ultimate Soviet force goal is not known th rrent tempo of Y-class construction at and indications that a second shipyard may be Involved in production point to a large, high- priority program. Production programs for the N and E classes--the most representative of previous Soviet nuclear submarine building programs--spanned some seven to nine years. A similar span for the Y-class would result in at least 35 units brought into ser- vice by mid-1973 if both and were involved in the program. Nearly that many would be operational by mid-1974 if alone were involved. About 50 units could be in service by 1975 if both yards were in production. (See table, next page, for estimated midyear force levels.) 12. A force of 35 Y-class submarines, together with existing H- and G-class units, would provide * Deliveries from are limited by the navi- gation season?June through uctober--on the Amur River. In the past, most nuclear submarines built at Rom- somolisk have been delivered to Petrovka during October and have spent only a few weeks in final outfitting there before beginning sea trials. - 9 - SECRET Approved for Release 2017/06/16 CO2775033 Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 002775033 Soviet Y-Class Submarine Program: Estimated Annual Completions and Midyear Force Levels, 1967-75 COMPlehinns_(ie_nd) Operational Force Levels (Midyear) Cumulative Total Annual Cumula- tive Annual Cumula: tive Total 1967 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1968 2-3 3-4 1-2 1-2 4-6 1 0 1 1969 6 9-10 2 3-4 12-14 4-5 1-2 5-7 1970 6 15-16 2 5-6 20-22 9-10 3-4 12-14 1971 6 21-22 2 7-8 28-30 15-16 5-6 20-22 1972 6 27-28 2 9-10 36-38 21-22 7-8 28-30 1973 6 33-34 2 11-12 44-46 27-28 9-10 36-38 1974 0-6 33-40 0-2 11-14 44-54 33-34 11-12 44-46 1975 0 33-40 0 11-14 44-54 33-40 11-14 44-54 Note: A submarine is considered completed when it has been fitted out after launch, undergone acceptance sea trials, and been accepted by the navy. It then undergoes shakedown trials and training with operational crews before becoming operational. Completions are tabulated on a calendar year basis, but operational force levels are midyear figures to conform to the practice used in National Intelligence Estimates, Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 002775033 Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 TOI>REVRET the Soviets with about the same number of ballistic- missile launchers as in the current US Polaris force-- probably their minimum force goal. If Soviet leaders desire comparability with the US in terms of launchers continuously on station, a force of about 50 Y-class units probably would be required because of the long distances between Soviet submarine bases and patrol areas off the US. 13. A force of 50 submarines would make the Y- class the most expensive submarine program ever under- taken by the Soviets. Procurement of the submarines alone would represent an investment on the order of $5 billion to $6 billion measured in equivalent US terms. Missiles and other system investments would add some $2 billion to $3 billion. This does not include operational and maintenance costs which would also be substantial. Estimated annual procurement expenditures for the Y-class through 1975 would be more than two-thirds the average annual outlay for all submarines built during the 1958-1967 period and would comprise nearly half the estimated average annual procurement expenditures for all of the submarines likely to be produced during the 1968-1977 period. 14. New policy decisions or the development of a new missile system could, of course, result in a shorter production run than the 35-50 currently estimated. Operational experience might also dictate design changes which could cause production rates to fall short of the current estimates. Deployment 15. The firs Y-class unit to be completed was transferred from to the operational sub- marine base at Guba Sayda on he Kola Peninsula in late 1967. The second unit is believed to have been delivered there last spring and the third in late August or early September. One of the first two units apparently returned to the launch basin at in mid-May along with another Y-class unit which probably had been outfitting. TOP ET ?Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 TOPS1C,12 FT/ activity could be observed on the other unit, which returned to the outfitting quay after spending about two months in the launch basin. The first unit left again in late August or early September. 16. It is not known why either of these units re- turned to the launch basin, but difficulties of one kind or another can be expected to plaque early units in any new program. 17. Deployment of the Y-class probably will follow past Soviet practice for ballistic-missile submarines. A substantial increase in missile storage capacity at Guba Sayda and Guba Litsa in the Soviet Northern Fleet and at Petropavlovsk and Dunay in the Pacific Fleet since 1965 suggests that Y-class submarines will be deployed to these existing missile submarine bases. Since most potential targets are in the Atlantic area, about two-thirds of the force will probably be deployed in the Northern Fleet. - 12 - ET Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 ,-Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 / APPENDIX History of the First Hulls Unit 1 The first Y-class submarine served for the first time in of moved out of to be built was ob- the and was It had been construction hall sometime after observed alongside the outfitting quay. , however, the submarine was back at the outfitting quay with work under way on the missile compartment. Since unit 2 could not have completed outfitting by then (see be- low), and ice at the entrance to remained unbroken from early the Y-class submarine observed at Guba Sayda on must have been unit 1. - 13 TOP ET Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 TOIRE-CRET Launchings and Deliyeries of Y-CIT Submarines from Through September 1968 UNIT WAY Period of Launch Period of Delivery 30-31 Dec Best Estimate \ I I -, MISSIONS IE i ? I E i 1966 1967 1968 4? TOJ8ECRET .-Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 Unit 2 Circular hull sections being moved into the construction hall at onl are believed to have been for unit 2. Since the stern section is the first to enter the hall, the stern for this unit could have been in position on the assembly way as early as Some 16 months later, almost certainly unit 2 basin on track A. This fitting quay between mained until at leas a path was suggesting and transferred to Guba on was unit was what is in the launch moved to the out- Unit 3 where it re- Between cleared through the ice exiting that unit 2 had been completed Sayda. tained between of was ob- Poor-quality liQf showed two submarines at the fitting-out quay which were probably units of the Y class. Since unit 1 apparently had already been transferred to Guba Sayda, the two on the 27th probably were units 2 and 3. If so, unit 3 must have been launched between A stern section probably for hull 3 was bein moved into the construction hall inl With a 16-month assembly period, the most likely launch date for this unit would be September 1967. Since unit 2 was launched from track A, unit 3 must have come from track B. Unit 3 apparently left Sev- erodvinsk for sea trials in early[ hit was not transferred to Guba Sayda until Or early Unit 4 of showed evidence of preparations for another launch- ing: track A had been cleared of snow. I later, hull sections for most of a Y-class unit were seen being moved into the con- struction hall, suggesting that another hull had been moved forward on the building way subsequent to a launching. Two units were observed alongside the outfitting quay on both but on the latter TOP RET Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 date one of the units was pointing away from the launch basin, suggesting that it might be a new unit, presumably number 4. had been cleared through the ice exiting sug- gesting that one of the fitting quay on -probably unit 2--had left the shipyard for Guba Sayda, Hence, unit 4 probably was launched from track A between units observed at the out- outfitting. Unit 5 5, had quay on from trac B. etween was still another submarine, probably unit ined the two which were at the outfitting This unit probably was launched keel blocks used to support a floating crane just south of track B. A crane resting on these blocks would partially obstruct track C, but could properly service a submarine being launched from Track B. As of this unit also was still outfitting. Units 6 and 7 another new submarine, probably unit 6, was T_ Iwhile being launched from track D. On , this unit was seen along- side the outfitting quay, and another new unit, prob- ably unit 7, was observed being launched from track C. Construction Cycle Except for the first unit, all Y-class submarines built to date apparently have spent about 16 months in the construction hall--eight months on each of two building way positions--and another eight months out- fitting. It is not known how much time is spent on fabri- cation of hull sections in the subassembly buildings before the sections are moved into the main construc- tion hall. Major movements in the construction pro- cess apparently occur at eight-month intervals, how- ever, so it is logical to assume that about eight months are spent on fabrication of hull sections for each Y-class before the sections are moved onto the building ways for final assembly. This construction cycle probably will hold true for future units of the Y-class as well, The fold- out chart, opposite, shows the estimated Y-class production program at assuming continu- ation of the current construction cycle, 6 - TO ._,CRET Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 HR70-14 Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 002775033 Estimated Production Schedule of Y-Class Submarines at A Sn Assembly Position 1 Assembly Position 2 Outfitting Quay Stern Section Observed A Circular Hull Sections Observed 1 Unit 1 LEAD UNIT Unit 61 14 1 ? 181 221 261 301 341 381 Unit 7 11 15 111111111=1111111111 A 19 231 27 31 351 39 3' A 13 A 17 21 25 29 33 1111111111111111.111 111111111111Milill111 37 Unit 2 I E?1111111112111111111 8 A 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 002775033 1971 1972 1978 1974 ret Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033 cret Approved for Release: 2017/06/16 CO2775033