Soviet Submarine: Zulu class submarine, Amsterdam
Comtourist is based in Amsterdam so we quickly got in our boat when we heard that somebody bought a Soviet Zulu class submarine and docked it in the Amsterdam harbour. The submarine has been stripped of its interior to serve as a party location but some of its original features are still in place. We were able to climb on the Zulu and enter the sail were the compass is still in place. The submarine turned out to be a bad party location and is now waiting to be sold as scrap metal. Comtourist find’s it a shame that the submarine cannot be saved, but we did shoot some nice pictures of this rare Soviet Cold War vessel.
NDSM terrain Amsterdam North
Soviet submarine in Amsterdam
The Soviet Project 611 or Zulu V class submarine B-80, recently renamed Foxtrot can be found in the Maritime Quarter in Amsterdam North. The Foxtrot used to be a Museum ship in the Dutch Navy port of Den Helder. It was brought to the Netherlands by submarine enthusiasts. Exploitation was probably to expensive and the submarine was sold and is now in use as party location. Unfortunately was the interior dismantled and all original instruments were taken out to make room for it’s new purpose. The Foxtrot can not be visited, it can only be rented as party ship. It lay’s at rest in the middle of the harbour so it is not easy to get close or have a look on the ship. Comtourist visited the Foxtrot with our boat to photograph it from close and even inside the sail.
Where to find the B-80
The B-80 is located in the Maritime quarter, the former NDSM shipyard in Amsterdam North. The maritime quarter is a nice place to visit when in Amsterdam. Many ships can be seen here like Greenpeace ship Sirius, the clipper Pollux and the English light ship Brightside. There is also a trendy cafe/restaurant "the IJ cantina" where visitors can eat or have a drink with a nice view on the waterfront The Maritime quarter can be reached by a Ferry that goes every half hour from the central station. The Amsterdam government has great plans to further develop the Maritime quarter, so more is to be expected in the future.
Around the submarine
Amsterdam is the home base of Comtourist so we took our boat, crossed the IJ and steamed to the Maritime quarter at the former NDSM shipyard. We first sailed around the B-80 to investigate the sub from all sites. A hammer and sickle is painted on the bow but this is probably done by the current owners. The B-80’s bow rises out of the water probably because the engine is taken out. As a result the four bow torpedo tubes can now be seen.
Boarding the submarine
There is a convenient ladder on the port side of the sub so it’s quit easy to board the B-80. Once on board we walked around a bid an shot a photographs of the submarine. There are some nice details that catch the eye like a red white hatch leading to the hull of the B-80. An other interesting detail is a rope attached to the sail that can be operated from the control tower.
Inside the sail
Two doors of the sail are open so we went inside to make some photo’s of the bridge of the sub. The bridge is used to navigate the submarine when it is surfaced. There are still some original levers, a compass holder and the hatch that takes the crew to the control room. Behind the second door of the sail is a small room with a part of the periscope.
Inside the hull
The interior of the submarine was taken out to fit it for it’s current role as party location. Below photo’s show the periscope room, the torpedo room, the engine room and the control room before they were demolished. There are a couple of Soviet submarines in Europe that still have their full interior and can be visited. Comtourist has already visited the b-413 in Kaliningrad and the b-515 in Hamburg.
Technical data: Project 611 (Zulu class) attack submarine
History of the Soviet Project 611 submarine
Development of the Soviet navy’s attack submarine Project 611 (Nat designation Zulu Class) started in 1950. The design of the Project 611 Diesel submarine was influenced by the German Word War II Type XXI U-boat. The Project 611 submarine was assembled in Severodvinsk and some parts of the submarine were delivered from Leningrad. A total of 26 boats were built, the first entering service in 1952.
Six Project 611 submarines were converted to become the world’s first ballistic missile submarines. One was armed with a single F-11FM Scud missile and five others with two Scuds each. The missiles were too long to be contained in the boat’s hull, and extended into the enlarged sail. Soviet submarine B-67 successfully launched a missile on 16 September 1955. The success of the converted Zulus prompted the design of Project 629, the Golf class submarines. In the second half of the 1960s the Project 611 submarines were equipped with hydro acoustic devices and improved navigation and communication systems. They remained in service until the end of the 1980s.