Russian B-237 Kilo-class sub was hit about the main pressure hull

On September 13, suggested that a Russian Kilo-class submarine was among the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s warships destroyed following the September 12 Ukrainian attack. Later, various reports confirmed our assumptions. The submarine struck was a [B-237] Rostov-on-Don Kilo-class.

Today, new satellite images reveal more information about exactly where the Storm Shadow missile struck the submarine. According to satellite images distributed by Airbus and after their detailed study, it is most likely that the Ukrainian Storm Shadow hit the front main pressure hull of the submarine.

The front main pressure hull is constructed from high-strength materials such as steel or titanium. These materials were chosen for their ability to withstand the enormous forces exerted by water. The hull is carefully designed to be watertight, preventing any leaks that could compromise the integrity of the structure and endanger the crew.

Russian B-237 Kilo-class sub was hit about the main pressure hull
Photo credit: Twitter

The forward main pressure hull of the Russian B-237 Kilo-class submarine houses two of the key components for conducting underwater warfare. In this section of the submarine, the sonar systems are integrated, as well as the platform for loading the torpedoes. It is assumed, according to various reports in Russian media, that it is in this compartment that the anchor windlass is also located.

Although there is no official information from the Russian side, it is entirely possible that the torpedo tubes and sonar systems were damaged as a result of the impact. These problems can be rectified as well as repairing the integrity of the main pressure hull. However, this will take time.

After the repair, the front pressure hull will undergo rigorous testing and inspection to ensure its strength and integrity. The tests will be for hydrostatic pressure, where it is filled with water and subjected to pressures equivalent to those at various depths. This test confirms that the hull can withstand the expected operating conditions and gives confidence in its ability to protect the crew.

Belonging to the enhanced Project 636.3 class of contemporary Russian maritime vessels, Rostov na Donu is a diesel-electric submarine. Construction for B-237 took place at the Saint Petersburg shipyard, with the keel laid on 21 November 2011. Following this, the vessel was launched on 26 June 2014 and officially commissioned later that year on 30 December. 

Primarily serving within the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the submarine has notably seen deployment in the Mediterranean Sea throughout the early 2020s. This deployment is a testament to the vessel’s tactical versatility and operational endurance. 

In the recent months of 2022, Rostov na Donu set course back to the Black Sea, successfully passing the Bosporus on 13 February. As of this time, it forms a part of the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s complement of four Improved Kilo–class submarines, all equipped with formidable Kalibr land-attack missiles. Of these four submarines, it is believed that at the very least, three are currently active and in commission.


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