Soviet Navy Project P-2 combination submarine

Triton

Donald McKelvy
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In 1949 a preliminary draft for a missile submarine designated Project P-2--to strike enemy land targets--was drawn up at TsKB-18 (later Rubin) under chief designer FA Kaverin. The submarine was to have a surface displacement of almost 5,400 tons and carry 12 R-1 ballastic missiles, a Soviet copy of the V-2, as well as the Lastochka (Swallow) cruise missile. The problems of such a submarine were unsormountable at the time.

Model was photographed at the Central Naval Museum in Leningrad, now Saint Petersburg, in 1973.

Source:
Cold War Submarines: The Design and Construction of U.S. and Soviet Submarines by Norman Polmar and Kenneth J Moore, Brassy's, Inc., 2004
 

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covert_shores

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I'm working on a cutaway of the P-2 (or U-2??)

What are the three pressure hulls labelled '4'? The annotation says "midget submarines' but I am not sure if that is the correct translation.
nW3Zi2S.jpg


Online sources
http://militaryrussia.ru/blog/topic-711.html
http://www.deepstorm.ru/DeepStorm.files/45-92/dns/p2/list.htm
http://coollib.com/b/186531/read
http://www.submarine.itishistory.ru/1_lodka_35.php
 

Tzoli

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This is a modular design submarine. The various sections of the hull can be interchanged with each other or insert different modules for the appropriate mission. The no.4 on the drawing are spaces for mini subs.
 

covert_shores

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The thing is that there were no midget sub progrsms at that time, at least not ones that were progressed. And the illustration doesn't look much like mini subs to me. Hmmm
 

Tzoli

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covert_shores said:
The thing is that there were no midget sub progrsms at that time, at least not ones that were progressed. And the illustration doesn't look much like mini subs to me. Hmmm

That is not accurate. There are multiple such subs in use by the Soviet Red Navy at that time and even before WW2!
Air launched APSS of 1935:
http://www.navypedia.org/ships/russia/ru_ss_apss.htm
APL/Pigmey class of 1935/36:
http://www.navypedia.org/ships/russia/ru_ss_apl.htm
Ex Italian TM-4 of 1941/44
http://www.navypedia.org/ships/russia/ru_ss_tm4.htm
SH type of 1948:
http://www.navypedia.org/ships/russia/ru_ss_sh.htm
 

covert_shores

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Good list but none of those where active development or construction projects in 1949. The first postwar soviet 'midget submarines' were the Sirena and Trition-1 which were not really operationalized until about 1960 (more specific info in Covert Shored book ;) )

There was the midget submarine gap scare in naval intelligence circles about this time but it was way off the mark (easier to say with hindsight)
 

Avimimus

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Tzoli is right - a modular design. That is 'up to' twelve R-1 missiles. The layout in the cross-section only has four. The cruise missile armament could also be increased in a dedicated cruise missile version (56 missiles I think?).

Four reward firing torpedo tubes... and 12 forward firing is pretty impressive in itself.
 

covert_shores

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The sub in triton's original post looks very different from the schematics. Anymore info on this alternative design?

The missiles look quite different from SS-1 amd Swallow-10X also.
 

covert_shores

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Looking at the plans more closely, particularly cross sections C and D, it looks like the 'midget submarines' are cylinders containing T-34 tanks or BTRs. Haven't checked the measurements though. Still don't get this aspect of the design.
 

Abraham Gubler

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covert_shores said:
Looking at the plans more closely, particularly cross sections C and D, it looks like the 'midget submarines' are cylinders containing T-34 tanks or BTRs. Haven't checked the measurements though. Still don't get this aspect of the design.


The C-D section of the hull appears to have upwards opening hatches similar to that in the B section used to unveil a missile launching ramp. Once these hatches are open there is space within the hull to lower down three pressure containers which are stacked on top of each other and secured to the submarine by a rack on either side at the bottom of the container. Outboard of this space is the pressure hulls for the submarine's engine rooms (aft) and accommodations (fwd). Each container also has a sail/conning station like pressure section on top the container and a similar cut away on their bottom for the 'sail' of the container beneath to lodge. Allowing for lock in lock out access between the containers. The containers could conceivably be replaced by a midget submarine of similar outer mould line or could even (quite likely) be midget submarine landing craft themselves. It would also appear that the horizontal missile launching space in section B and the vertical missile launching space in section E could be replaced by a second three midget submarine/container space as in section C-D. Or a three way vice versa.
 

covert_shores

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Additionally there are access hatches to each container/midget sub on the port side of the boat. There is a corresponding access tower above and below.

The vehicles visible in the cross section are about 2.8m wide and 2.8m high, which isn't exactly a T-34 but is likely restores entice of one in my view. BTRs cake later.

These 'midget submarine' landing craft do not seem very viable IMO.
 

Tzoli

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Soviets had many ship designs which would use weapons still in development but the cancellation of said weapon cancels the ship design as well. Like the USN Typhon CSGN design.
 

Abraham Gubler

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covert_shores said:
These 'midget submarine' landing craft do not seem very viable IMO.


Probably more viable than a full size submarine landing craft, which is not to say actually viable. You could always make such a size challenged beast amphibious with tracks like the German WWII midget submarine (Seetufel?) so it can crawl its way out of the depths and then open up and unload a landing party. Even the RN looked at such a vessel (tracked, midget submarine) but for MCM where it was apparently the first place solution from a trade study into what eventually became the Hunt class mine hunter/sweeper (D.K. Brown's "Rebuilding the RN").
 

covert_shores

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Have been thinking on that point. When you look at midget sub types and operations during the war, on all sides, the universal truth is that craft which employed relatively unskilled pilots/crew were without exception unsuccessful. The answer lay not just in good craft, but also in highly trained 'special forces'. And even then the operational tempo was extremely low and losses quite high. And most of the craft I'm thinking of were better suited/equipped than the ones in the illustration.
The soviets do appear to have been influenced by midget submarine /frogman propaganda at the end of the war, particularly of British exploits. The Italians were on the losing side so their incredible feats were less noticed, and the German and Japanese craft were considered failures (they mostly were but some types has their merits and Japanese were ahead in many respects) but the British x-craft was hailed a wonder weapon. Which it was to an extent.

So I think that the idea of self-propelled midget subs to carry tanks is actually quite flawed. Especially one as crude as in the images, probably with the tank crew operating it. I imagine most of them getting lost, getting stuck or sinking when they open their main hatch. And all to put a handful of tanks ashore.
 

Avimimus

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It'd seem plausible from the drawings that they are floating canisters that could be towed to shore unmanned. If enemy surveillance is imperfect you could use such cargo canisters to drop off the supplies/equipment and unpack later. It'd still be stealthier than trying to use a surface ship. Of course, this would require some type of motor-launch to tow the canister in to shore...?
 

covert_shores

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The MS Paint drawing and article http://www.hisutton.com/Stalins%20Super%20Sub%20-%20Project%20P-2.html

Full size http://www.hisutton.com/images/P2_annotated4000.jpg
sZ5lRXa.jpg
 

RAP

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Wow! 16 torp tubes, V-1 and V-2 type launchers, multiple cannons and two mini-subs?! Sure Irwin Allen did not design this? Thanks for posting this.
 

airman

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Nice, in alternate history could be first nazi submarine with ballistic missiles ! :D
 

fightingirish

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Awesome! B) :)




airman said:
Nice, in alternate history could be first nazi submarine with ballistic missiles ! :D


Yeaa, the "L##-Klasse" or the "Reichsadmiral Doenitz-Klasse". ;)
I have seen such ideas at Shipbucket.
 

covert_shores

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typical, why do Russian articles never give the link to where they stole their artwork from??!!!? Not overally bothered that they use it, that's cool, but a courtesy reference would be nice.
 

Tzoli

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covert_shores said:
typical, why do Russian articles never give the link to where they stole their artwork from??!!!? Not overally bothered that they use it, that's cool, but a courtesy reference would be nice.

They maybe thought that the link on the image is enough.
 

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