Submarines Scuka class

Russian Scuka or ShCh submarine class of World War II.
History, development, service, specifications, pictures and model.

Russian submarine SC 404
The Russian submarine SC 404 returns form a patrol.

ShCh or Scuka class (between 90 and 100 boats).
Type: Russian submarines, built 1933-1948.


This class, also known as ShCh, Scuka or SC-class, was the first originally Soviet submarine design. The class got their type designation of the first letter of the prototype Schuka (Russian for ‘pike’).

The first boats of the series III were developed and constructed in the late 1920s. They could remain on patrol for 20 days at sea, and the following boats of the V series (of which there were two variants) had a larger endurance and an enhanced tower and another gun. The boats of the first series III ran only 11 knots during the tests, while the V series were faster. The X series was not only again faster but also had a larger endurance, and with the X-bis series the performance could be increased even more.

As far as known, the surviving boats of the first groups were brought to the standard of the X-bis series. The first boats were given fish names and numbers. The submarines of the Baltic fleet got numbers from 300, for the Arctic fleet from 400, for the Pacific fleet from 100 and for the Black Sea Fleet from 200.

The performances in WW2 remained nearly without highlights – like most of the Red fleet. Only a few ships of the Axis powers were lost by Russian submarine attacks while on the other side the Russian subs suffered heavy losses. This poor performance was caused probably more in the inadequate equipment and poor training than in the actual design of this class.

SC 305 was rammed and sunk by the Finnish submarine Vehehinen in 1942. An Italian motor-torpedo boat torpedoed SC 214 in the Black Sea. Altogether, 34 boats of the ShCh class were sunk during the war.

User: Soviet Navy.

Pictures Russian submarines of Scuka class

Specifications for I 15 class


ShCh class Series X-bisspecification
Displacement 589 tons surfaced; 705 tons submerged
Length (overall)192.6 ft
Bream21 ft
Draught12.5 ft (Series III)
Engines Diesel and electric engines with two shafts
Power 1,370 hp surfaced, 800 hp submerged (Series III)
Speed surfaced 14 kts; submerged 8.3 kts
Range surfaced 3,250 nm at 8.3 kts; submerged 110 nm at 8.3 kts (Series III)
Diving depth?
Crew 37 (Series III)


ShCh class Series X-bisspecification
Main Armament six 533-mm (21-in) torpedo tubes: four forward and two on aft, with 10-12 torpedoes
Secondary Armament two 47-mm guns (also for anti-aircraft)
Anti-Aircraft two 12.7-mm machine guns

Service statistics:

Scuka classfigures
Submarines between 90 and 100 boats build from 1933-1948 in Leningrad, Nikolayev and Vladivostok
Remaining 34 boats sunk 1941-45, 3 boats lost by accidents. Remaining boats scuttled in the 1960s

Model of Russian Scuka class submarine

Russian Scuka class submarine
Russian Scuka class submarine.

References and literature

Fighting Ships of the World (Antony Preston)
Kriegsschiffe von 1900 bis heute – Technik und Einsatz (Buch und Zeit Verlagsgesellschaft)
The Illustrated Directory of Warships from 1860 to the present day (David Miller)
U-Boote seit 1919 (Antony Preston, John Batchelor)
U-Boote im Duell (Harald Bendert)

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