Aviation & Aerospace - Airpower 2024 - Aircraft by Country - Aircraft Manufacturers Vehicles & Artillery - Armor 2024 - Armor by Country - Armor Manufacturers Infantry Small Arms - Warfighter 2024 - Small Arms by Country - Arms Manufacturers Warships & Submarines - Navies 2024 - Ships by Country - Shipbuilders U.S. Military Pay 2024 Military Ranks Special Forces by Country

S-99 (Project 617 / Whale-class)

Diesel-Electric Attack Submarine

Soviet Union | 1956

"S-99 was the only submarine completed by the Soviets to the Whale-class standard - it served as an experimental platform."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 12/23/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Both the Soviets and Americans benefitted from captured German submarine technology in the period following the end of World War 2 (1939-1945) with both respective navies taking different paths to achieve the powerful nuclear-propelled versions seen today. During this time, the diesel-electric attack submarine still maintained its value around the globe and German engineers developed their more impressive designs towards the end of the conflict - namely the unfinished wartime Type XXVI.

The Type XXVI U-boat was intended as a long-range, deep water solution utilizing the Walter "Air-Independent Propulsion" (AIP) system as part of its propulsion scheme. While build contracts were handed out to ship-builder Blohm und Voss before the end, only sections of the boats were completed when Germany capitulated in May of 1945. it was this framework that made up the Project 617 boat of Soviet origin - known to NATO as the "Whale-class" - and only a single experimental type was completed for the Soviet Navy. The earlier Project 616 work benefitted the subsequent Project 617 (Whale-class), being able to reach underwater speeds of some 19 knots. Project 617 was started in 1949.

The boat's profile was traditional for the time, the sail/fin being set at midships. The bow was well-rounded though still boat-like as seen in World War 2 types. The aft section included the rudder controls set aft of the spinning propeller shaft. The submarine was armed through six torpedo launch tubes all fitted as bow-facing mountings with twelve reloads carried. The torpedo room too its usual place at the bow of the submarine and other sections included crew living quarters, battery room, diesel and electric engine rooms, a sealed turbine room, and the command room. The typical crew complement reached 54 personnel.

Propulsion was through a diesel-electric arrangement including an AIP Walter turbine system giving the boat good power. This allowed the design to maintain a surfaced cruising speed close to 11 knots but, more importantly, reach beyond 20 knots when submerged. Endurance was up to 45 days and the hull could sustain the boat to depths of over 550 feet.

The single submarine example began construction on February 5th, 1951 and was launched in an incomplete state exactly a year later to undergo its requisite sea trials. During this period, the boat achieved speeds of up to 22 knots while submerged, making it the fastest undersea boat in Soviet Navy history and propelling the service towards the future. She was completed on March 20th, 1956 and undertook additional trials into the latter part of the decade. When tested near a depth of 260 feet during a 1959 trial, an explosion forced her to surface and return home under the power of her batteries. This marked the end of the project and the boat was decommissioned and ultimately scrapped after 1959.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one sea-going vessel design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for S-99 (Project 617 / Whale-class).
Diesel-electric propulsion scheme with AIP Walter turbine unit driving shaft arrangement at the astern.
11.0 kts
12.7 mph
Surface Speed
20.0 kts
23.0 mph
Submerged Speed
261 nm
300 miles | 483 km
The bow-to-stern, port-to-starboard physical qualities of S-99 (Project 617 / Whale-class).
204.0 ft
62.18 meters
O/A Length
20.0 ft
6.10 meters
16.8 ft
5.12 meters
Displacement (Submerged)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of S-99 (Project 617 / Whale-class).
6 x 533mm torpedo tubes (all bow-facing) with 12 x Torpedo reloads.
Ships-in-Class (1)
Notable series variants as part of the S-99 (Project 617 / Whale-class) family line as relating to the Whale-class group.
Global operator(s) of the S-99 (Project 617 / Whale-class). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national naval warfare listing.
National flag of the Soviet Union

[ Soviet Union (retired) ]
Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to seaborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
S-99 (Project 617 / Whale-class) Diesel-Electric Attack Submarine appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.

©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)