Yankee class submarine
The Yankee class is the NATO classification for a type of nuclear-powered submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

 that was constructed by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 from 1968 onward. 34 units were produced under Project 667A Navaga (after the fish
Navaga is a relatively small species of fish in the cod family Gadidae. It inhabits the European arctic and subarctic waters of the Barents, White and Kara Seas, from the Kola Bay to the Ob river estuary....

) and Project 667AU Nalim ("burbot
The burbot is the only gadiform fish inhabiting freshwaters. It is also known as mariah, the lawyer, and eelpout. It is closely related to the marine common ling and the cusk...

"). 24 were built at Severodvinsk
Severodvinsk is a city in the north of Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia, located in the delta of the Northern Dvina River, west of Arkhangelsk. Administratively, it is incorporated as a town of oblast significance . Municipally, it is incorporated as Severodvinsk Urban Okrug. The city was founded as...

 for the Northern Fleet while the remaining 10 built in Komsomolsk-na-Amurye
Komsomolsk-on-Amur is a city in Khabarovsk Krai, Russia, situated on the left bank of Amur River. It is located on the BAM railway line, northeast of Khabarovsk. Population: -Geography and climate:...

 for the Pacific Fleet
Pacific Fleet (Russia)
The Pacific Fleet is the part of the Russian Navy that is stationed in the Pacific Ocean, which formerly secured the Far Eastern borders of the Soviet Union. The fleet headquarters is located at Vladivostok and a number of fleet bases are located in the Vladivostok area...

. Two Northern Fleet units were transferred to the Pacific. The lead unit K-137 Leninets, receiving its honorific name 11 April 1970, two and one half years after being commissioned.


The Yankees were the first class of Soviet subs to have comparable ballistic missile
Ballistic missile
A ballistic missile is a missile that follows a sub-orbital ballistic flightpath with the objective of delivering one or more warheads to a predetermined target. The missile is only guided during the relatively brief initial powered phase of flight and its course is subsequently governed by the...

 firepower to their American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 counterparts. Yankee subs were quieter than their Hotel-class predecessors and had smoother lines that improved their submerged performance. The ships were armed with 16 ballistic missiles during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, and served in the Soviet front lines: in the 1970s up to three Yankees were continually stationed in a "patrol box" east of Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

 and off the US Pacific coast. Their forward deployment was seen as a balance against the presence of American and NATO nuclear weapons in Western Europe.

One ship of the class, K-219
Soviet submarine K-219
K-219 was a Navaga-class ballistic missile submarine of the Soviet Navy. She carried 16 SS-N-6 liquid-fuel missiles powered by UDMH with IRFNA, equipped with an estimated 34 nuclear warheads....

, was lost on October 6, 1986 after an explosion and fire on board. The ship had been near Bermuda, and sank due to loss of buoyancy due to flooding. Four crewmen died before rescue arrived. At least one other ship in the class was involved in a collision with an American submarine. As a result of the SALT I and START I/II
START II was a bilateral treaty between the United States of America and Russia on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. It was signed by United States President George H. W...

 treaties, all boats of the Yankee-class have been decommissioned and/or disarmed.


There were eight different versions of the Yankee subs (all of which are no longer in service):
  • Yankee I (Project 667A): The baseline configuration, these were ballistic missile submarine
    Ballistic missile submarine
    A ballistic missile submarine is a submarine equipped to launch ballistic missiles .-Description:Ballistic missile submarines are larger than any other type of submarine, in order to accommodate SLBMs such as the Russian R-29 or the American Trident...

    s that first saw service in 1968; 34 were built. The subs carried 16 SS-N-6 missiles, had 6 torpedo tubes, and carried 18 Type 53 torpedo
    Type 53 torpedo
    Type 53 is the common name for a family of 53 cm torpedoes manufactured in Russia, starting with the 53-27 torpedo and continuing to the modern UGST....

    es. They were the first Soviet SSBNs to carry their ballistic missiles within the hull (as opposed to the sail).

  • Yankee II (Project 667AM/Navaga M-class): A single-ship class, this was a Yankee I submarine (K-140) converted to carry 12 SS-N-17
    RSM-45 R-31 was a Soviet SLBM missile.Development for the missile began in the early 1970s. It was fitted on only one Yankee II class submarine, originally for evaluation purposes. A first test flight took place from the Yankee II Class submarine K-140 in December 1976...

     missiles, which was the Soviet Navy's first solid-fuelled SLBM. The existence of this individual prototype led to several theories about the Yankee II having a unique role in the Soviet arsenal that justified maintaining a single ship with such a unique weapon. One theory suggested that it was designed to perform an emergency satellite-launching function. Subsequently, it was proposed that the SS-N-17 may have had a retargeting capability to allow strikes on aircraft carrier battle groups.

  • Yankee Notch (Project 667AT/Grusha-class): This conversion subs were attack submarines that first appeared in 1983; four Yankee I boats were rebuilt to this configuration. They incorporated a "notch waisted" center section, which replaced the old ballistic missile compartment, featuring eight 533 mm (21-inch) torpedo tubes for up to 40 SS-N-21 missiles or additional torpedoes. The forward torpedo tubes were retained as well, with some reports suggesting that the vessels may have also been able to fire 650 mm (26.5-inch) Type 65 torpedo
    Type 65 torpedo
    The Type 65 is a torpedo manufactured in the Soviet Union/Russia. It was developed to counter the US Navy's aircraft carrier battle groups as well as to be used against large merchant targets such as supertankers...

    es. The emphasis on additional SS-N-21 missile carriage suggested a tactical role for these submarines, or as second-strike nuclear submarines. Their configuration was a combination of SALT
    Strategic Arms Limitation Talks
    The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty refers to two rounds of bilateral talks and corresponding international treaties involving the United States and the Soviet Union—the Cold War superpowers—on the issue of armament control. There were two rounds of talks and agreements: SALT I and SALT...

     treaty limitations (which affected SLBMs but not cruise missiles) and a typical Soviet unwillingness to completely discard any military hardware that might still have some use. The conversion increased the overall length by 12 m (39.4 feet) to 141.5 m (464.2 feet), with a displacement of up to 11,500 tons submerged. While classed as SSNs (attack subs), these boats might also be considered SSGNs by virtue of their heavy missile armament.
  • Yankee Sidecar (Project 667M/Andromeda-class) Also known as Yankee SSGN, this was another single-ship (in this case K-420) class, converted into an SSGN. It appeared in 1983, carrying 12 SS-NX-24
    The Kh-90 was Soviet cruise missile which was supposed to replace subsonic intermediate range missiles in Soviet inventory. The missile was an ambitious project since the target was to ultimately develop it into hypersonic missile...

     nuclear-tipped cruise missiles instead of the original ballistic missiles. The SS-NX-24 was an experimental cruise missile, with a supersonic flight regime and twin nuclear warheads. It was meant as a tri-service strategic weapon, and thus would have filled a rather different role than the tactically-oriented Oscar
    Oscar class submarine
    The Project 949 and Project 949A Soviet Navy/Russian Navy cruise missile submarines ....

    -class SSGNs of the same era. In the end, the missile was not adopted, and the K-420 became a weapon system without a weapon. It was fully 13,650 tons displacement (dived), and was even longer than the Yankee Notch to accommodate the massive cruise missiles; it was 153 m (501.8 feet) long overall.
  • Yankee SSN 16 of this type were converted from the basic Yankee I specification. Some were not completely converted, although they cannot carry ballistic missiles, so they were called Yankee SSNX. They retained only their forward torpedo tubes, with the central missile sections having been removed. Some are being scrapped.
  • Yankee Pod (Project 09774 "Akson") The Yankee Pod (also known as the Yankee SSAN) is a converted trials submarine K-403 "Kazan'", which was used for sonar equipment, with the namesake pod mounted atop the rudder (a la Victor III
    Victor class submarine
    The Victor class is the NATO reporting name for a type of nuclear-powered submarine that was originally put into service by the Soviet Union around 1967. In the USSR, they were produced as Project 671. Victor-class subs featured a teardrop shape, which allowed them to travel at high speed...

    -class SSNs. It had other sensor systems incorporated as well, notably alongside the sail.
  • Yankee Stretch (Project 09774) K-411, the Yankee Stretch conversion, is a "mothership" for Paltus
    Paltus class submarine
    The Paltus Class submarine is a Russian special purpose mini-submarine of project 10831. It was reported only one completed submarine AS-12...

    -class mini-submarines. It is fully 160 m (525 feet) in length, making it the largest of the Yankee conversions. Like the Yankee Pod, it lacked missile armament. Its mission was believed to be a combination of oceanographic research, search and rescue, and underwater intelligence-gathering.

  • Yankee Big Nose (project 09780 "Akson-2") is K-403 "Kazan'" modified again for trials of acoustic system for Russian submarines of 4-th generation: sonar system "Irtysh" with spherical antenna "Amfora", which occupies whole nose section of submarine. Other sumbarine, K-415, modification started in 1987, but due to end of Cold war and lack of funds she has never been completed.

General characteristics (Yankee I)

  • Length: 128.0 m (420 ft)
  • Beam: 11.7 m (38 ft)
  • Draught: 9 m (29 ft)
  • Displacement: 7,760/11,500 tonnes surfaced/dived
  • Speed: 28 knots (55 km/h)
  • Power plant: 2 VM-4 reactors
    Pressurized water reactor
    Pressurized water reactors constitute a large majority of all western nuclear power plants and are one of three types of light water reactor , the other types being boiling water reactors and supercritical water reactors...

  • Hull: Low magnetic steel
  • Crew: 114
  • Compartments: 10
  • Armament:
    • 6 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tube
      Torpedo tube
      A torpedo tube is a device for launching torpedoes. There are two main types of torpedo tube: underwater tubes fitted to submarines and some surface ships, and deck-mounted units installed aboard surface vessels...

      s for 18 Type 53 torpedo
      The modern torpedo is a self-propelled missile weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, and designed to detonate either on contact with it or in proximity to it.The term torpedo was originally employed for...

      es or mine
      Naval mine
      A naval mine is a self-contained explosive device placed in water to destroy surface ships or submarines. Unlike depth charges, mines are deposited and left to wait until they are triggered by the approach of, or contact with, an enemy vessel...

    • 16 SS-N-6 liquid-fueled ballistic missiles


Yankee class — significant dates
# Project Shipyard Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
K-137 667A, 667AU SEVMASH, Severodvinsk November 4, 1964 September 11, 1966 November 6, 1967 Decommissioned April 3, 1994 for scrapping<
K-140 667A, 667AM SEVMASH, Severodvinsk September 19, 1965 August 23, 1967 December 30, 1967 Decommissioned April 19, 1990 for scrapping
K-26 667AU SEVMASH, Severodvinsk December 30, 1965 December 23, 1967 September 3, 1968 Decommissioned July 17, 1988 for scrapping
K-32 667A SEVMASH, Severodvinsk February 25, 1966 April 25, 1968 October 26, 1968 Decommissioned April 19, 1990 for scrapping
K-216 667A SEVMASH, Severodvinsk June 6, 1966 August 6, 1968 December 27, 1968 Decommissioned 1985 for scrapping
K-207 667A SEVMASH, Severodvinsk November 4, 1966 September 20, 1968 May 30, 1968 Decommissioned May 30, 1989 for scrapping
K-210 667A SEVMASH, Severodvinsk December 16, 1966 December 29, 1968 August 6, 1969 Decommissioned July 17, 1988 for scrapping
K-249 667A SEVMASH, Severodvinsk March 18, 1967 March 30, 1969 September 27, 1969 Decommissioned July 17, 1988 for scrapping
K-253 667A, 667AT SEVMASH, Severodvinsk June 26, 1967 June 5, 1969 November 28, 1969 Decommissioned for scrapping
K-395 667A, 667AT SEVMASH, Severodvinsk September 8, 1967 July 28, 1969 December 5, 1969 Decommissioned for scrapping
K-339 667A Leninskiy Komsomol Shipyard, Komsomolsk February 23, 1968 June 23, 1969 December 24, 1969 Decommissioned April 19, 1990 for scrapping
K-408 667A, 667AT SEVMASH, Severodvinsk January 20, 1968 September 10, 1969 December 25, 1969 Decommissioned July 17, 1988 for scrapping
K-411 667A, 667AN SEVMASH, Severodvinsk May 25, 1968 January 16, 1970 August 31, 1970 Decommissioned for scrapping
K-418 667A SEVMASH, Severodvinsk June 29, 1968 March 14, 1970 September 22, 1970 Decommissioned March 17, 1989 for scrapping
K-420 667A, 667M SEVMASH, Severodvinsk October 12, 1968 April 25, 1970 October 29, 1970 Decommissioned for scrapping
K-423 667A, 667AT SEVMASH, Severodvinsk January 13, 1969 April 7, 1970 November 13, 1970 Decommissioned for scrapping
K-434 667AU Leninskiy Komsomol Shipyard, Komsomolsk February 23, 1969 May 29, 1970 November 30, 1970 Decommissioned March 17, 1989 for scrapping
K-426 667A SEVMASH, Severodvinsk April 17, 1969 August 28, 1970 December 22, 1970 Decommissioned April 19, 1990 for scrapping
K-236 667AU Leninskiy Komsomol Shipyard, Komsomolsk November 6, 1969 August 4, 1970 December 27, 1970 Decommissioned September 1, 1990 for scrapping
K-415 667A, 667AK-2 SEVMASH, Severodvinsk July 4, 1969 September 26, 1970 December 30, 1970 Decommissioned August 6, 1987 for scrapping
K-403 667A, 667AK-1 SEVMASH, Severodvinsk August 18, 1969 March 25, 1971 August 12, 1971 Decommissioned - Scrapping underway in 2010
K-389 667A Leninskiy Komsomol Shipyard, Komsomolsk July 26, 1970 June 27, 1971 November 25, 1971 Decommissioned April 19, 1990 for scrapping
K-245 667AU SEVMASH, Severodvinsk October 16, 1969 August 9, 1971 December 16, 1971 Decommissioned March 14, 1992 for scrapping
Soviet submarine K-219
K-219 was a Navaga-class ballistic missile submarine of the Soviet Navy. She carried 16 SS-N-6 liquid-fuel missiles powered by UDMH with IRFNA, equipped with an estimated 34 nuclear warheads....

667AU SEVMASH, Severodvinsk May 28, 1970 October 8, 1971 December 31, 1971 Lost October 3, 1986
K-252 667A Leninskiy Komsomol Shipyard, Komsomolsk December 25, 1970 September 12, 1971 December 31, 1971 Decommissioned March 17, 1989 for scrapping
K-214 667AU SEVMASH, Severodvinsk February 19, 1970 September 1, 1971 February 8, 1972 Decommissioned June 24, 1991 for scrapping
K-228 667AU SEVMASH, Severodvinsk September 4, 1970 May 3, 1972 September 30, 1972 Decommissioned September 3, 1994 for scrapping
K-258 667AU Leninskiy Komsomol Shipyard, Komsomolsk March 30, 1971 May 26, 1972 September 30, 1972 Decommissioned June 16, 1991 for scrapping
K-241 667AU SEVMASH, Severodvinsk December 24, 1970 June 9, 1972 October 23, 1972 Decommissioned June 16, 1992 for scrapping
K-444 667AU SEVMASH, Severodvinsk April 8, 1971 August 1, 1972 December 23, 1972 Decommissioned September 30, 1994 for scrapping
K-446 667AU Leninskiy Komsomol Shipyard, Komsomolsk November 7, 1971 August 8, 1972 January 22, 1973 Decommissioned March 17, 1993 for scrapping
K-451 667AU SEVMASH, Severodvinsk February 23, 1972 April 29, 1973 September 7, 1971 Decommissioned June 16, 1991 for scrapping
K-436 667AU Leninskiy Komsomol Shipyard, Komsomolsk November 7, 1972 July 25, 1973 December 5, 1973 Decommissioned March 14, 1992 for scrapping
K-430 667AU Leninskiy Komsomol Shipyard, Komsomolsk July 27, 1973 July 28, 1974 December 25, 1974 Decommissioned January 12, 1995 for scrapping

Yankees in Fiction

In the Tom Clancy
Tom Clancy
Thomas Leo "Tom" Clancy, Jr. is an American author, best known for his technically detailed espionage, military science, and techno thriller storylines set during and in the aftermath of the Cold War, along with video games on which he did not work, but which bear his name for licensing and...

 book The Hunt for Red October
The Hunt for Red October
The Hunt for Red October is a 1984 novel by Tom Clancy. The story follows the intertwined adventures of Soviet submarine captain Marko Aleksandrovich Ramius and CIA analyst Jack Ryan.The novel was originally published by the U.S...

, Yankee-class submarines, along with the rest of the Soviet SSBN
Ballistic missile submarine
A ballistic missile submarine is a submarine equipped to launch ballistic missiles .-Description:Ballistic missile submarines are larger than any other type of submarine, in order to accommodate SLBMs such as the Russian R-29 or the American Trident...

 fleet, return to their home ports to avoid confusing Soviet hunters during the frantic search for the Red October.

In another Tom Clancy novel, Red Storm Rising
Red Storm Rising
Red Storm Rising is a 1986 techno-thriller novel by Tom Clancy and Larry Bond about a Third World War in Europe between NATO and Warsaw Pact forces, set around the mid-1980s...

, the Soviet Union begins decommissioning its fleet of Yankee-class submarines in an attempt to convince the United States of Russian sincerity in lessening tensions between the two superpowers.

Popular culture

During an October 1986 episode of Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live is a live American late-night television sketch comedy and variety show developed by Lorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title of NBC's Saturday Night.The show's sketches often parody contemporary American culture...

, Weekend Update
Weekend Update
Weekend Update is a Saturday Night Live sketch that comments on and parodies current events. It is the show's longest running recurring sketch, having been on since the show's first broadcast, and is typically presented in the middle of the show immediately after the first musical performance...

 "anchor" Dennis Miller
Dennis Miller
Dennis Miller is an American stand-up comedian, political commentator, actor, sports commentator, and television and radio personality. He is known for his critical assessments laced with pop culture references...

 referred to K-219 (which had recently sunk near Bermuda) as Chernobyl
Chernobyl or Chornobyl is an abandoned city in northern Ukraine, in Kiev Oblast, near the border with Belarus. The city had been the administrative centre of the Chernobyl Raion since 1932....

 Breeze and suggested he had been the Soviet Union's intended entry into the America's Cup
America's Cup
The America’s Cup is a trophy awarded to the winner of the America's Cup match races between two yachts. One yacht, known as the defender, represents the yacht club that currently holds the America's Cup and the second yacht, known as the challenger, represents the yacht club that is challenging...

yacht race.
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