Russian Oscar II Class, Tomsk K150, Nuclear SSGN Submarine
Introduction to the Oscar II Class SSGN
However, after the fall of the Soviet Union, due to severe financial considerations, the submarine force fell into a state of disrepair except for a few units. The Soviet force of scores of nuclear attack, guided missile, and ballistic missile submarines fell off to the point where the Russian Navy did all it could to maintain perhaps 8-10 of each type (and some times less) in a seaworthy state.
For the guided missile submarines, the newest and most capable class they had built was the Oscar Class (or Porject 949A) submarines. A slightly improved version, called the Oscar II was built with the last several boats. These vessels were built and commissioned from 1989 through the end of the 1990s. They were large duble-hulled boats, displacing over 16,000 tons full load, and their main armament consists of 24 anti-ship P-700 long range Granite missiles, called SSN-N-19 Shipwreck in the west. They also carry six torpedo tubes and a total of 28 internal weapons for those tubes.
Altogether 13 of these massive guided-missile submarines were built. The US Navy had no equivalent until in the early 2000s, four of the Ohio class ballistic missile submarines were converted to guided missile submaries. They are among the quietest in the world, and they converted 22 of their Triden missile launchers to launch seven Tomoahawk missiles each for a total of 154 cruise missiles for each sub.
Today, due to the severe finincial situation that Russia faced after the fall of the Soviet Union, only six of the Oscar class SSGN submarines remain active.
Perhaps the best known of the Oscar class submarines was the Kursk, K141. In the year 2000, when she was six years old, she was a part of the largest Russian nval exercise in more than ten years in the Barent Sea. Over 30 Russian vessels were particpating. The exercises were called "Summer-X."
On the first day of the exercise, Kursk successfully launched a Granite missile armed with a dummy warhead. Two days later, on the morning of August 12, 2000, she prepared to fire dummy torpedoes at the Kirov-class battlecruiser Pyotr Velikiy. These practice torpedoes had no explosive warheads and were manufactured and tested at a much lower quality standard than warshot torpedos which did have warheads and which the Kursk had aboard. At 11:28 AM local time, there was an explosion aboard Kursk while she was preparing to fire. A little over two minutes late there was a second, much larger explosion.
The Russian Navy's final report on the disaster concluded that the explosion was due to the failure of one of Kursk's hydrogen peroxide-fueled Type 65 torpedoes. These were experimental, super-cavitating torpedos and were to be tested. A subsequent investigation concluded that HTP, a form of highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide used as propellant for the torpedos, seeped through a faulty weld in the torpedo casing, came into contact with a catalyst, rapidly expanded and generated vast quantities of steam and oxygen. The pressure produced by this ruptured the fuel tank in the torpedo, and set off the initial explosion. A second explosion 135 seconds after the first was much larger and is speculated to have been the detonation of actual warheads on the vessel. This explosion was equivalent to 3-7 tons of TNT and blew a large hole in the forward hull and collapsed the first three compartments, killing all but 23 of the 118 personnel aboard. The submarine sank in relatively shallow water (354 ft deep) 84 miles off Severomorsk. The 23 surviviors held out for several hours, but then, an oxygen cartridge came in contact with the oily sea water in the compartment, this triggered a flash fire that consumed the remaining oxygen in the ninth compartment where they had taken refuge and all died.
The Russians performed a rescue effort, but it was delayed, and they initially refused any foreign assistance. Five days after the accident, on August 17, 2000, Russian President Putin accepted British and Norwegian assistance. On August 19, 2000, at 20:00, the Norwegian ship, Normand Pioneer, arrived with the British rescue submarine LR5 on board. Six teams of Russian, British, and Norwegian divers helped.
On Sunday, August 20th, the Norwegians lowered a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to the submarine. They found that the first 59 feet of the ship had been destroyed by the explosions. The entire bow of the ship was a mass of twisted metal and debris. There were no survivors.
Utlimately the Russians raised the sub, and from the pictures taken of her, you can see the massive damage that cost the lives of all 118 personnel aboard.
Four other Oscar II submarines were laid down after the Kursk. Two of those were completed and made active. One of the others was completed, but never outdfitted for its intended role. It has since been made into a experimental boat also used for special operation missions.
I am building this model to represent the K150 Tomsk, which was the last Oscar II commissioned as an SSGN in 1996.
All of these active SSGN vessels are extremely powerful vessels and pose a very critical risk to opponents. They were desinged particularly to be a significant threat to US aircraft carriers and their strike groups.
Specifications of the Oscar II class indlude:
Displacement: 16,500 tons
What's in the Box
This model is specifcally meant to be of the Oscar II SSGN submarine Kursk, K141, but I am building it to represnt the Tomsk, K150, which was the last Oscar II boat built and commissioned into the Russian Navy as an SSGN.
The hull comes in two pieces, an upper and lower half which dry fit well together. The sail comes in four pieces and does provide an interior level into which the sensors/persicopes fit thrugh their hatches. This is a nice feaure.
The details on the hull have been molded well. The prop assembly looks good, with little of no flash on the pieces.
The kit comes with the two sprues that contains the sail, dive planes, and all of the antennae and sensors for the masts. This makes for a total of 40 parts which should allow for a fairly quick build.
The instructions are decent and well organized. There is no adequate paint scheme.
Here's how it looks out of the box:
I started by glueing together the sail with the upper surface open to show the sensors and periscopes, and with its lower section. I then glued this to the upper hull along with the upper control surface, and the dive planes. I then painted the upper hull, including the missile areas. I am using a very dark gray made from Gunship gray with (3 parts) and one part flat black.
The missile compartments are already modled into the upper hull and are pretty bland, but I intend to provide some detail. I then painted the lower hull, having added its control surfaces. At this poini I glued the upper and lower hulls together, and then added the missile compartment doors.
The model comes with options to show all the doors closed or open on either side...they are a single piece. But in reality, there is a separate door for every two missiles and I decided to show the first two missile comparments open on the port side, and the two center comparments open on the starboard side.
I then painted a number of spare parts, including some photo etch parts, to add some detail to the inner surfaces of the missiles compartments that I was showing open. I then added these parts to the model.
This is looking pretty good. Here are some pictures of the vessel as she sits now:
During the next session I will add the propellers and all of the sensors and antennae/periscopes to the sail, with the hatch doors open.
I started this session by painting the propellers. Each Oscar II SSGN submarine has two shafts and two proellers. I then painted all of the various antennae, sensors, and periscopes for the sail. I then added all of these to the vessel.
At this point it was time to add the decals. There are not too many of them, but they make a big difference in the look and authenticity of the model. Hatch covers, insignia, outlines for the sail windows, and depth markings.
With that, I just needed to add the stand, and also do touch up work. Then it was time for the two finish coats of flat, dull coat and the model was completed,
...and a couple of close ups:
Those SS-N-19 Shipwreck missiles are massive. They and their compartments on each side are what makes this vessel so wide, and have such a heavy displacement (in addition to the two reactos and the double hull).
So, there you have it, the Russian Oscar II SSGN nuclear guided-missile submarine, Tomsk, K150. She is now offically a part of my Russian aircraft carrier strike group.
The completion of the PLAN Carrier group was centered on the already completed Trumpeter's 1/350 scale PLA Navy's Aircraft Carrier CV-16, Liaoning, (in addition to the other escorts already completed) included Mini Hobby's's PLAN Guangzhou, DDG-168. I recently pre-ordered a 1/350 scale model of the PLAN Type 071 LPD, Yuzhao Class, announced by Trumpeter and due out in October, 2013. I will end up adding two of those, propbably LPD-998 Yuzhao and LPD-999, Jinggangshan, add the PLAN- DDG-139, Ningbo, and the PLAN DDG-115, Shenyang, along with the PLAN Weifang, FFG-550 and thus build a PLAN ARG.
The completion of the US Carrier Strike group was centered on the completed Tamyia's 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-65, (in addition ot the other escorts already completed) included Trumpeter's, USS Freedom, LCS-1, Dragon's USS Preble, DDG-88 and Hobby Boss's USS Texas, SSN-775. When a 1/350 scale USS Enterprise, CVN-80 (or any Gerald R. Ford Class) is released from Trumpeter, Tamiya, Dragon, or whomever else, I will add it to this group along with another AEGIS Cruiser. Whichever Ford Class coms out in 1/350 scale, I will build it as the USS Enterprise, CVN-80.
The US ARG will include Tamiya's 1/350 scale, USS Iowa, BB-62 (which I have already completed), Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS Iwo Jima LHD-7, Gallery's 1/350 scale USS Sommerset, LPD-25, Bronco Models 1/350 Scale USS New York, LPD-21, Cyber Hobby's USS Independence, LCS-2, Acadamy's 1/350 scale USS Rueben James, FFG-57, and another Flight IIA US AEGIS class detroyer based on Trumpeter's 1/350 scale USS Lassen, DDG-82...all of these models which I already own.
The completion of the UK Group featured the Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Illustrious, R06 as its centerp[iece until a 1/350 scale Queen Elizabeth carrier is released. When that happens, I will add that carrier to the group as its centerpiece. The Royal Navy CSG will also include two Airfix 1/350 scale Daring Class DDGs (one of which is already completed), two Trumpeter 1/350 scale Type 23 HMS Duke class Frigates (one of which is already completed), and the Hobby Boss 1/350 scale HMS Astute SSN (which is also already completed) and Airfix 1/350 scale HMS Tragalgar SSN. One day, when a 1/350 scale HMS Ocean LPD come out, I will use tt to start building a Royal Navy ARG.
The French CSG was completed and is centered on Heller's 1/400 scale Charles De Gualle, R91. I also built the 1/400 scale Heller French De Grasse, D612 DDG, which is an ASW DDG, and the French Aconit D612 FFG and Gueprattet F714 FFGs, both of which are Lafayette class frigates. These four vessels round out my French CSG. As soon as a French Robin class nuclear sub, like the French Perale S606 SSN is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale, I will add that to the group. Also as soon as the Forbin D620, Horizon class anti-air DDG is released in 1/350 or 1/400 scale, I will purchase it and add it to the CSG. One day, when the models come out, I will purchase two 1/350 scale Mistral Class LPDs so I can create a French ARG with those vessels.
The completion of the Japanese JMSDF group was centered on Fujimi's very finely detailed, 1/350 scale Hyuga, DDH-181. It will be escorted by Trumpeter's 1/350 scale DDG-177, Atago, an AEGIS class DDG and the JMSDF, DDG-174, Kongo class (which I own), Trumpeters's 1/350 scale DDG-114 Susunami and DDG-111 (both of which are Takinami Class DDGs which I own), and by the 1/350 scale SS-503 Hakuryu (which I own), one of Japans new, very modern and capable AIP Diesel Electric submarines. As soon as a DDG-115 Akizuki in 1/350 scale is released, I will add it to this group. Should a 1/350 scale Osumi Class LPD be relased, I will buy two of those vessels and create a JMSDF ARG.
The completion of the Russian CSG (centered on Trumpeter's Kuznetsov which I own) the Russian Kirov Class nuclear battle cruiser (CGN), the Peter the Great, by Trumpeter (which I own), the Russian Slava Class cruiser, Varyag by Trumperter, a Trumpeter 1/350 scale Udaloy DDG, Hobby Boss's Akula II class SSN, the new Yasen class Russian SSN, and the Zevzda Oscar II SSGN, all in 1/350 scale.
Recently I purchased Heller's 1/400 scale Foch, the Clemceau Class carrier that was sold to the Brazilians in 2000 and in 2002 was refitted and became the Brazilian CV, Sao Paulo, using steam catapaults. I built the model as the Sao Paulo and thus started a Brazilian group. I will need to find a 1/350 scale Type 22 DDGs and the FFGs the Brazilians use which are not available at present. I did purchased a set of 1/400 scale A-4 Skyhawks and S-3 Trackers and built those as a suitable airwing for the Sao Paulo.
Then, again, once the models are available, I'd like to build an Italian Carrier Strike Group centered on the Cavour and their Horizon DDGs, a Spanish Carrier Strike Group centered on the Juan Carlos and their F-100 AEGIS FFGs, and ultimatly an Australian Strike Group centered on the new Canberra Class LPD and the Hobart class AEGIS DDGs. If they ever build the models, an Indian Carrier Strike Group centered on either the Vikramaditya or their new ADS Carrier, the Vikrant, and their Kolkata class DDGs and Shivlak class FFGs would also be nice.
Years more worth of work!
You can see all of these actual carriers, read their histories and specifictions at my site:
...and most of their surface escorts at:
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