The repair of the only Ukrainian submarine is finally over. Its activation will not only raise the security of the Ukrainian Black Sea Fleet but also let Ukraine be equal with its neighbors (Bulgaria, Romania and Russia) who already have one working submarine each. This post will tell you what this submarine is and what it was made for.
The submarine is called Zaporozhye and it is one of the diesel-electric patrol submarines of the Project 641 class (otherwise known as the Foxtrot class as well). Here’s a little history about it.
The first Project 641 submarine was finished in 1958 and the last one – in 1983. These submarines played an important role during the Cuban missile crisis. One of them nearly started the Third World War.
At that time the Soviet-American relations were very strained and some Foxtrot submarines loaded with missiles were patrolling the shores of Cuba. On the 27th of October in 1962 a group of 11 American destroyers and an aircraft carrier noticed one of the Soviet submarines and started dropping the depth charges to make it surface.
The captain of the submarine decided the war had broken out and commanded to be ready for firing missiles at the American ships. Fortunately, another officer, who was also aboard, persuaded the captain not to do this but surface and wait for orders from Moscow.
That’s how the Project 641 submarine nearly became Aurora of the nuclear war. Later the Americans admitted that the threat was much closer than everybody thought it to be and the guy whose name was Vasily Arkhipov literally saved the world.
At that time the Zaporozhye submarine hadn’t existed yet. It was launched on the 29th of May in 1970. Over the time of its service it made 17 distant cruises. But then with the appearance of the nuclear submarines the Foxtrot class submarines lost their importance and became “just good ships of the close-in zone”.
In 1990 Zaporozhye was transferred to the Black Sea and in 1997 Ukraine took it under its patronage. Since that moment it has never been launched anymore.
The picture is made in May of 2007.
In 2008 it was decided to find money for its repair which was going to cost about $2.4 million.
On the 18th of March the Zaporozhye submarine was delivered to the floating dock.