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Old 10-05-2017, 12:11 AM   #1
speed150mph
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Default How did Soviet subs get their NATO code names?

Just curious, but I was thinking about it today and realized that there is seemingly no real method behind how the names were chosen besides being NATO phonetic alphabet letters (with some exceptions such as the Typhoon and Akula)

But seriously, they arnt sorted by types. Alfa is an SSN, charlie is SSGN, delta is SSBN, echo is SSG and foxtrot is SSK.

It's also not by date they entered service. The first SSBN was Hotel class, and much later, Delta showed up. Same with November vs Alfa, Whiskey vs Kilo.

So did whoever in NATO intelligence just pick a random letter whenever a new Soviet sub rolled down the line, or is there some pattern I'm missing?
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Old 10-21-2017, 12:21 PM   #2
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Probably drawn at random like the UK does with its mission names but that is at a guess, but i do know that by the 80's the entire alphabet was used up hence why you got Akula and Typhoon now you have Borei and Severdvinsk Yasen ETC.

In Russia you use Project numbers and Sub project numbers example you have two types of Alfa class Project 705 and 705K, 3 types of November Projects Project 627, 627A & 645

Take a look at the Whiskey class that one is eye watering to follow i even struggle sometimes 3 Project numbers for 5 sub types and 11 sub sub types for a total of 215 boats.

NATO just grouped it all up to make it more easier on them.
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Old 10-21-2017, 02:58 PM   #3
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There used to be a tradition that the crew who first detected it got to name it but that went away by 80's.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:27 AM   #4
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Haha yeah the project numbers can get hairy at times. Also I love the Irony that the first 2 sub classes to break the alphabet naming system was the typhoon and the Akula, being that Akula is the Russian code name for the Typhoon, and Shchuka is the Russian name for the Akula. I'm going to guess that there was an intel mixup between the two subs at some point?
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Old 11-02-2017, 04:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speed150mph View Post
Haha yeah the project numbers can get hairy at times. Also I love the Irony that the first 2 sub classes to break the alphabet naming system was the typhoon and the Akula, being that Akula is the Russian code name for the Typhoon, and Shchuka is the Russian name for the Akula. I'm going to guess that there was an intel mixup between the two subs at some point?

Not quite Schuchka means Pike and Akula means Shark in the Russian language.

Shark has many teeth and a fearsome bit and thus led the Russians to name Project 971 Akula however in the NATO branch of things they called it Typhoon

Pike on the other hand is a carnivorous fish and one that has a bite too but not as big as a shark but still will give a nasty bite so hence the Russians called it that NATO by some coincidence i would believe called it Akula.

Would assume it is just that coincidence given that realistically at the time of inception these two boats would have been concealed to the west even project numbers were classified.
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