In 1921 – 1939 in Leningrad acted Special technical Bureau for military inventions (Sptecbureau), it was headed by engineer V. I. Bekauri. In 1934 in a 1st division Sptecbureau was formed by a group of dedicated submarines. Her first project embodied in the metal, was the midget submarine APSS (aerobody self-propelled projectile), representing odnostolpnoy the boat-the torpedo with a displacement of 8.5 tons. APSS was controlled by radio (VHF and LW) during visual tracking of a plane or ship. There was a possibility and manual control.

Two boats of APSS was built in 1935 and 1936 the Leningrad shipbuilding and mechanical plant №196 “sudomekh”. On arms did not take them, and before the beginning of world war II the two samples taken.
Following submarine Sptecbureau called APL (aeroportnaya boat). Initially, it is also designed as a radio-controlled projectile. In the future, the project is made in ultra-small submarine with the crew. This boat was involved in a group of engineers, headed by F. V. Shchukin. By August 1935, the plant № 196 “sudomekh” was made a prototype of a single submarine with a displacement of 18 tons with two 457-mm side torpedo tubes open and a crew of four people.
In August 1935, the submarine came to the factory tests in Oranienbaum. There were several exits in the Gulf of Finland. In November 1935 by rail midget submarine, which received the symbol “Pygmy”, was taken in Balaklava, Sevastopol base Sptecbureau for acceptance testing. But even before they started the people’s Commissar of defence has signed the order about construction of a 10 serial the Premier League, but progress is extremely slow. Sptecbureau parts were given to plant No. 196 project documentation for the “pygmies”, and the factory wanted to complete the project. Only in August 1936 at the factory number 196 under the guidance of an engineer. Scheglova started to build the head submarine series.
Meanwhile, Balaclava brigade of workers “Sudomeh” under the leadership of K. A. Shchukin and V. A. Shabalin brought the submarine to the condition required by the Navy. Testing began in October 1936 and was carried out in the mode of secrecy in Quarantine Bay mostly at night.
In December, the commander of the boat senior Lieutenant B. A. Uspensky addressed to the chief of the naval forces to cease testing. Habitability conditions on the boat was extremely heavy, and each appearance was accompanied by malfunctions of equipment. Misalignment of the motor with line shaft caused a strong vibration, and the magnetic compass due to the close laying of power cable, giving the error to 36°. Experimental diesel is heavily smoked and basked, his roar was heard for miles, and the motor outputs after the unit just burned down. When testing torpedo tubes at the first torpedo when fired, not cocked the trigger, and she drowned. The second torpedo in the shot grazed the hull of the boat and moved to the circulation, almost hitting at the next round of the Premier League.
In the autumn of 1937, the state Commission admitted the mini boat is not suitable for acceptance.
Of course, the construction of reliable and efficient ultra-small boats requires not only initiatives of the engineering teams, and years of experience of underwater shipbuilding. But the main reason for the cessation of work was that in late 1937 – early 1938, the NKVD arrested almost all the leading experts Sptecbureau. 23 February 1938 Shchukin was shot.
After that, the nuclear submarines dismantled and moved from Balaklava on a test basis of the marine weapons in Feodosia. In the summer of 1942 she was in the hands of the Germans. In August 1942 the boat was inspected in Feodosia Italian divers from the 110th squadron of the midget submarines. In the Italian archives have been preserved a few photos of the “Pygmy”.
Submarine “Triton-2” on the arms yard of the Military historical Museum of the Pacific fleet in Vladivostok
Boat “Triton-114” in the parade. Under normal conditions, during transportation of the divers in the boat was not sitting, and white streaks on the hull and rudders are not applied
After the liberation of the Crimea “Pygmy” are never found. The disappearance of boats for many years was shrouded in mystery. And only in 1980-ies near Feodosia (44°56’22″N, 35°25’43″E) at a depth of about 50 meters, divers found an unknown midget submarine. Apparently, during the retreat the Germans decided not to leave the submarine to the Soviet troops, and just took her out to sea and sunk.
Continuing the conversation about the first of the midget boats, not to mention that in 1947 in Leningrad, the plant № 196 “sudomekh” tested captured German boat “Seehund”, adapted to the needs of the Navy. Further work had.
October 22, 1938 in the Pacific fleet were held doctrine in which underwater saboteurs landed via torpedo tube of the submarine U-112. According to the scenario, frogmen did a passage in the anti-submarine nets in the Bay of Ulysses, and then secretly went ashore, where they held a demonstration diversionary action. After that, they returned to the submarine waiting for them on the ground, and went into the base. The teachings were perfect, but these tasks during the years of world war frogmen are not fulfilled.
About the underwater special forces remembered in the early 1950-ies. 24 June 1953 Directive of the chief of the General staff of the Soviet Navy in the black sea fleet division was created underwater saboteurs, the first commander of which was captain 1st rank E. V. Yakovlev. In October 1954, a similar special unit was established in the Baltic sea. In March 1955 underwater saboteurs appeared in the Pacific fleet, in November-in the Northern fleet.
Is there a need in special equipment, underwater transporters, which would allow the commandos to covertly and quickly reach the area of the attack and to deliver cargo. Anything like the Soviet Navy at that time was not.
8 January 1958 the command of the Navy made the decision on creation of means of delivery divers. In April, the development apparatus for the transport of legkomolyabb performed TSKB-50. In August of the same year in Kaspiysk was tested and adopted double conveyor legkomolyabb “Triton”. Just to 1966, the Navy received 2 experienced and 16 serial devices of this type.
Parallel to the development of a similar project was conducted by the Leningrad shipbuilding Institute, and built – Leningrad plant № 151 “Engine”. By July 1958 he was ready breadboard double underwater vehicle “Siren”.
The first “Siren” was made on the basis of captured German torpedoes G-7E. Act laboratory tests self-propelled apparatus “Siren” in the pool and then at sea was signed on 5 November 1958. The special laboratory was instructed to remedy the defects and to develop fixtures for production of self-propelled apparatus “Siren” with divers on Board of the torpedo tube of a submarine at depths up to 20 m.
When the naval Museum in Gdynia is organizing a traveling exhibition, the only surviving copy of the boat Blotniak transported on this trailer
When the naval Museum in Gdynia is organizing a traveling exhibition, the only surviving copy of the boat Blotniak transported on this trailer
When the naval Museum in Gdynia is organizing a traveling exhibition, the only surviving copy of the boat Blotniak transported on such a trailer
The picture in the brochure of the machine Marina (civil conversion
The picture in the brochure of the machine Marina (civil conversion “Sirens”):
length 7.8 m, width 0.6 m, weight 900 kg, speed up to 4 knots

Yugoslav boat R2-M - analogue of the
Yugoslav boat R2-M – analogue of the “Triton-1M” from Croatia
Re-plant tests of two prototypes of “Siren” in the July-September 1959 in the district of Kaspiisk and state tests in December 1959 in Feodosia showed the inconvenience of cabs with prolonged driving. It was decided the state tests are not to be counted, to improve the habitability, to address deficiencies and order the installation batch of 10 devices.
In February – April 1960 were tested on the habitability of a prototype of the “Sirens” in the pool. The findings were disappointing:
– cabin is too close, the movement of legkomolyabb difficult, there is a rapid exhaustion and cooling;
the crew is not always able to independently open or close the cover of the cabin, with the lid closed, it is difficult to switch from personal breathing apparatus on a stationary system and Vice versa;
when water temperature is below 6°C in the cabin to find over 1 h 40 min leads to hypothermia.
After the tests, steel sheathing of the middle part of “Sirens” is replaced by aluminum-magnesium alloy. Manufacturing installation batch of 10 vehicles was moved to 1962. In August – September 1962, in the area of Feodosia were receiving three prototypes of the “sirens” checking release them from the submarine without moving and on the go in position and a submerged position at a depth of 20 meters.
After testing, the devices “Siren” was returned for revision and revision of the mechanisms, followed by sending in the special forces for use in combat training. Completion of underwater transporters ended in may 1963. In June and July in the Gulf of Riga in the area of Ust-Dvinsk, experiments were conducted on release “sirens” from devices submarines on the go with the divers on Board in a submerged position. March 29, 1965, the carrier of divers-scouts “Siren” was adopted. By 1966 in the battle of the Navy had 12 towers “Siren”: 3 – ktof, 4 -DKBF and 5 in the CFP.
In the years 1960-1962 were working on improved devices “Siren-U” in two ways:
“Siren-UT” thermal power plant on hydrogen peroxide;
“Siren-UE” with the electric power plant.
New samples were made a number of improvements, including the location of the divers in the cabins. The development only got the unit with the motor.
In October of 1963 in the area of the lake Berezan was tested stabilizer the depth of SG-PAM on the device “Siren-U”. The stabilizer provides a secure hold of the conveyor at a predetermined depth. However, the apparatus was still far from perfect. In June 1971, on the 1st ground of the Navy in the Gulf of Hara-Lalt measurements were performed for the noise carrier “Siren-1”, and in July of the same year, on a torpedo range in Feodosiya conducted measurements of the level of underwater noise machine “Siren-U”. It turned out that the noise level of the conveyor underwater saboteurs above the level of noise emitted by nuclear submarines.
After careful refinement of the apparatus the specialists of the plant “Engine” appeared highly efficient and reliable specimen, named “Sirena-UME”. Transporter “Sirena-UME” actively offered for sale in all international military exhibitions, where it participates “Rosoboroneksport”.
In 1966, the order of the first Deputy Minister of shipbuilding industry of the USSR Central design Bureau “Wave” was instructed to carry out work on the project ultra-small submarine for special forces, named “Triton-2M”. The construction of the apparatus entrusted to the Leningrad Admiralty plant.
In 1967 began designing the prototype model of the six-midget submarine-Transporter of legkomolyabb “Triton-2” and a new device of type “Triton-1M” is designed for two people.
Design project “Triton-1M” was developed in 1968. In April 1970, the engineering team BSC “Wave” began development of working drawings and technical documentation for “Triton-1M”, which in the III quarter of the same year was transferred to the plant.
Devices “Sirena-UME” at the Fourth International naval Salon IMDS-2009, 27 June 2009
In 1971-1972 at the Novo-Admiralty plant was built the first two prototype “Triton-1M”. Mooring trials of these boats were completed in July 1972, the factory sea trials ended on 10 January 1973.
State testing took place from February 1 to June 9, 1973. June 10, both “Triton” was put to the revision of the mechanisms and colouring after June 30, 1973, was made the control output in the sea. On the same day was signed the adoptive acts on both devices. After adjusting for designers working drawings and documentation of Novo-Admiralty plant and Leningrad Admiralty Association built and handed over to the Navy 32 submarines “Triton-1M”.
“Triton-1M” was a midget submarine “wet” type, which was absent a robust housing for the crew and frogmen in the included personal breathing apparatus were permeable to sea water cabin. Sealed compartments of the small size the boat was designed for the battery type SC-300 and the motor П32М in the rear end. The hull was made of aluminum-magnesium alloy. Control was carried out with propulsion-steering complex of the DRC-1 and automatic control system rudders КМ69-1.
Our database of boats “Triton-1 M” was kept on the keel blocks or on the transport platform. The launching was performed using a truck crane with a capacity of not less than 2 tons. The operation of boats of this type were carried out until the end of 1980-ies, after which they were mostly written off, and some boats ended up in museums.
A good midget boat became the progenitor of similar systems in socialist countries. Yugoslav shipbuilding company “Brodosplit” in the 1980-ies started production of double midget submarine of the type R2-M, which in its layout repeated “Three-ton-1M”. Yugoslav R2-M has a normal surface displacement of 1.4 tons, a length of 4.9 meters, develops underwater speed of 4 knots and has a cruising range of 18 miles.
“Close” relatives “of newt” refers, Polish single midget submarine Blotniak В155 created in 1978 by specialists of the Highest naval school in Gdynia and produced by the Research center of the torpedo weapon of the Polish Navy. The boat was in service with the Polish underwater special forces – FORMOZA. The submarine was developed in two versions – with a sitting and recumbent position of the operator-diver. Chief designer of the project was Lieutenant Begalskaya (J. Biegalski).
It was assumed that the midget boat Blotniak will be transported to the area of combat use of submarines in tow or surface vessels (boats fell into the water with a crane). In exceptional cases, the submarine could “import” into the water by transport truck or dump aboard a transport helicopter from a height less than 5 meters. Now the only instance of the boat is in the exposition of naval Museum in Gdynia, however, he is not genuine, who served in the Navy, and only the reconstruction using the miraculously preserved fragments.
Boats “Triton-1M” was developed long ago and do not meet the requirements that apply to the boats of this class. So SPMDB “Malahit” developed a modernized version of the boat, retaining the designation of “Triton-1M”.
Upgraded “Triton-1M” is designed for two people and has endurance of 6 hours with a speed up to 6 knots. The immersion depth of the mini-submarines is about 40 meters and is not determined by the strength of the compartments of the submarine, and the ability of the respiratory system used by divers. The hull shape is made smoother, which allows him to develop more speed at a lower cost of electricity. Battery as an energy source on upgraded variants remained, but now the developers are considering not only a silver-zinc or acid batteries, but lithium.
It is clear that domestic midget submarines are quite “on the level” world of samples and represent a significant component in the system of naval arms.

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