Storozhevoy (Project 1135) Frigate / Submarine Hunter Warship
Mutiny on the new Soviet Navy Storozhevoy frigate became the inspiration for the Tom Clancy novel The Hunt for Red October during the Cold War years.
Authored By JR Potts, AUS 173d AB; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
Storozhevoy was a 1135 Burevestnik-class ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) frigate built in 1973 for the Soviet Navy. This series of large frigates was specifically designed to counter the new American missile-capable Polaris-class submarines. By 1975, Premier Leonid Brezhnev had spent vast sums of money upgrading the armed forces and the new Burevestnik ASW frigates were the pride of the Soviet Navy. Brezhnev felt the Soviets needed to keep pace with the American Navy, resulting in an ongoing arms race during the Cold War.
With Communist victories in Southeast Asia and Latin America and a booming national economy in Russia, many felt the Soviet Union appeared to be winning the Cold War. By the early 1970s, the Soviet Union was at the peak of its power. The Communist Party remained the only political party in the Soviet Union and forced economic reforms allowed the Empire to have a strong economy and an increased standard of living for its citizens.
The NATO callsign for the new frigate class was the "Krivak" and the frigate Storozhevoy was attached to the Soviet Baltic Fleet based at Riga at the Gulf of Riga. The design started in 1957 and developed into a large anti-submarine ship in the 1960s. A total of 40-plus ships were built for the Soviet Navy, the KGB Maritime Border Guard, Ukraine and India.
The sleek design was 405 feet long and she weighed 3,300 tons. The vessel could make 32 knots with her gas turbines outputting at 40,000 horsepower. She was on guard against the American submarine threat with upgraded radar - the Don Kay and Don 2. The Storozhevoy featured downward-looking "Eye Bowl" radar along with the "Pop Group" sky-looking radar. Her bow sonar was known as the "Bull Nose" and she towed a sonar array called the "Mare Tail" used in anti-submarine warfare sweeps.
The ship's armament made her a tiger on the high seas with a bow-mounted anti-submarine RBU6000 missile box. She fielded 4 x 533mm torpedo tubes along her deck that would swing out to port and starboard at amidships to counter enemy subs at various angles. Additional submarine missiles aboard included the SA-N-4 "Silex" ASW (Anti-Surface Warfare) missiles and for anti-ship defense and 2 x 76mm Dual Purpose (DP) cannons for close-in aircraft defense. The Storozhevoy was traditionally crewed by 200 personnel made up of both officers and enlisted sailors. The funnel and the angled mast earned it a nickname among US Navy sailors that came from her silhouetted identification - "Hot Dog Pack, Smokestack, Guns in Back - Krivak."