Reviewed by Vladimir Yakubov

A predecessor of the Alfa class, K-162 can be regarded as an experiment, but was also fully combat capable. The uniqueness of the ship was in that it was the first submarine in the world build with a fully titanium hull. It was said that to build it and the follow on titanium hulled submarines Soviet Union invented the whole large scale titanium industry. In fact the submarine earned the nickname "Goldfish" in the Soviet navy for its price. Started in 1963 and commissioned in 1969 K-162 still holds the record for the fastest underwater speed of 44.7 knots. Through this performance didn't come without a price - at speeds over 35 knots the submarine was extremely noisy, the noise inside the hull reached up to 100 decibels.

Another innovation was its armament - eight anti-ship cruise missiles capable of submerged start. Up until then Soviet submarines had to surface to launch its missiles making them extremely vulnerable to NATO aircraft. The drawback of this was the reduced range since 1960s technology couldn't guarantee the start of air breathing engine after exiting the water; the missile was powered by solid propellant - which meant that its range was only 70km (compared to the previous generation missiles' range of 250+km).

The sub was being used for various experiments until 1972, after which it was transferred to the regular navy. In service submarine proved its experimental nature and turned out to be unreliable. Both the engine and the missiles were causing numerous problems and the sub only made several deployments in the 1970s and in 1980 during a refit one of its reactors was damaged and it was laid up for the next 30 years. The scrapping of this unique sub started in 2010. Soon after the completion there were plans to build a series of 7 subs to the modernized project 661M, but cost and various problems caused the navy to rethink it and instead 11 conventional Charlie class (Project 670) SSGNs were built.


The kit is very simple consisting of only 5 parts and a stand. Besides the hull, the tips of the propellers are included. The real sub was 106.4m long, which in 1/700 scale comes out to 152mm, the kit's hull measures out at 149mm and when the propeller and its tip (~3mm) are added the length becomes spot on. The width of the real thing was 11.5m which in 1/700 scale is 16.4mm, while the kit measures out at 16.2mm, which is perfect. The casting on the hull is good with various hatches and holes accurately modeled. There are no periscopes included in the kit, but those are better scratchbuilt anyway from brass rod, so it's not a big loss.


A small photoetch fret with the side fin and the screws is included..

Given the simplicity of the kit, the instructions are very good.

This is the second kit of the sub on the market, the previous one being Samek, which I believe is no longer being produced. This kit has much better hull details than the Samek kit and is more accurate. This would be a perfect filler for any Soviet Cold War sub collection. Highly recommend it. Pacific Front Models for $27.00.