Russian Sub Museum
Russian Sub Museum
Known as a Podvodnaya Lodka Raketnaya Krylataya (PLRK/PLK)-type submarine, this cruise missile (SSG) attack submarine was built by the Soviet Union in a production run that began in the late 1950s. Seventy two of these boats were originally envisioned - that was eventually scaled back to thirty five, with only sixteen of these actually entering the submarine fleet. The Juliett class is diesel-powered; a nuclear propulsion variant of the platform became what was known in the west as the ECHO class.
The Juliett class submarine was of double-hull construction with exceptionally large reserve buoyancy, and is one of the largest non-nuclear submarine types ever built. Its principle mission during the 1960s was to serve as a land-attack platform, primarily targeting cities along the eastern region of the United States. The advent of true ballistic missile submarines in the Soviet Navy made this mission superfluous - the primary mission of the Juliett class then evolved into its new role as an anti-ship platform, targeting capital ship assets of the American Navy - the USS Saratoga being a prime target. Now armed with four huge SS-N-3A 'Shaddock' anti-ship/land-attack cruise missiles and a relatively quiet submerged posture while running slow on batteries, the Juliett boats were a major headache for the US Navy all through the Cold War.
Juliett-class submarines were withdrawn from active service beginning in 1988. The K-77 was decommissioned sometime between 1991 and 1994. By the end of 1994, all Juliett-class submarines had been removed from service. In addition to the K-77, the Juliett U-461 remains on display in Peenemunde, Germany.
In 2002, the K-77 was purchased by the USS Saratoga Museum Foundation and towed from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Collier Point Park in Providence, Rhode Island. The Russian Submarine Museum was formally opened to the public in August 2002. Today, the K-77 offers public tours and a comprehensive educational program in accordance with New Standards and attuned to the advancement requirements of both Girl and Boy Scout programs.
Some sources say that the boat we know as Juliett 484 was called K-81 (renamed B-81). Other sources say this is K-77 (later renamed B-77).
When the Saratoga Museum Foundation took possession of the submarine it was described as K-81, and we repeated that information in our initial press releases. However, we spent several months refurbishing much of the interior, and in so doing removed several bulkheads, moved large pieces of equipment and went deep into the bilges. We found an astonishing amount of equipment and documents during that ripout process.
The documents provide incontrovertible proof that this sub is in fact K-77/B-77 and not K-81/B-81, no matter what the internet sources say. There are copies of maintenance reports, equipment exchanges, radio messages, duty rosters, log entries and even torpedo firing exercises, all of which identify the sub as K-77/B-77.
Pictures and information were provided by USS Saratoga Museum Foundation
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