School of shipbuilding

Proship Design Bureau is based in the very center of Russian nuclear shipbuilding. It was here, in Severodvinsk, that the foundations of the engineering industry were laid at one time, design yards, plants and enterprises were among the first in the country. The experience and knowledge handed down from generation to generation still play a key role today – many specialists are trained and educated in the field of shipbuilding here, and the continuously improving technologies and design methods are a priority for the industry to this day.

Sudostroy settlement and the town of Molotovsk

May 31, 1936

Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b), the Council of Labor and Defense of the USSR on the basis of the survey adopted a decree № 0-137ss for the construction of a shipyard near the Nikolsk mouth of the Northern Dvina.

There began a major construction of the plant and Sudostroy settlement, which in 1938 received the status of the city of Molotovsk, and now (since 1957) called the city of Severodvinsk.

Steamship Ivan Kalyaev, which delivered the first builders to the mouth of the Northern Dvina.

April 1, 1937

By the Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, a new settlement at the shipbuilding plant in the Primorsky District of the Northern Region received its official status and was referred to the category of workers’ settlements. In 1938, Sudostroy received the status of a town and the name “Molotovsk” in honor of the Soviet party leader V.M. Molotov.

Piling for a residential house.

Prefabricated houses on plot 6.

Plant №402

The country needed a large plant on the coast of one of the seas of the Arctic Ocean. The place in the delta of the Northern Dvina River was chosen as the most protected from the sea due to the narrow neck of the White Sea. The official date of starting the production activity is December 21th 1939 – the day when the first ship, battleship S-102 “Sovetskaya Belorussia” of the project 23 was laid down on the slipway.

A view of the pier at the first site.

Interior view of the mechanical compartment of the R.M.Z.

First shipyard projects

The Combat Statute of the Naval Forces of the Red Army in 1930 (BU-30) recognized battleships as the main strike force of the fleet, and the course towards industrialization opened up real prospects for their creation.

In October 1940 an order was given to suspend the construction of the battleship “Soviet Belorussia” ready for 1% and to concentrate main efforts on the battleship “Soviet Union”. Because of the beginning of the war the construction of battleships was stopped (the readiness of the battleship “Soviet Union” was 19.44%, and the battleship “Soviet Ukraine” – only 7%). At the end of the war the unfinished battleships were dismantled.

Battleship ``Soviet Union`` on the slipway

The Great Patriotic War


During the war years, the city of Molotovsk, together with Arkhangelsk and Murmansk, was one of the main ports that received the cargoes of the Allies under the Lend-Lease Treaty. For many years the history of the northern convoys was associated only with Murmansk and Arkhangelsk. Severodvinsk (Molotovsk) remained in the shade. Due to the characteristic activity of the main industrial enterprises, the city was mentioned as rarely as possible in the USSR.

Unloading at the pier.

Northern Convoy.

Plant №402

During the Great Patriotic War, plant No. 402 worked at an accelerated pace. Construction of three line ships was stopped (after the war they were dismantled altogether), and the plant production solved the following problems: repair and modernization of combat surface ships, already in the first winter navigation damaged ships began to arrive for repair, also from compression by ice; construction of “sea hunters” (ships acting against submarines and carrying out patrol service); construction of polar submarines, destroyers, floating bases, workshops and others. The efficiency of the enterprise was achieved largely due to the fact that the best engineers of other machine-building enterprises worked there. They were involved in the implementation of bold design and technological solutions into production.

The security frontier at the plant.

The 50th Shop of the plant

The post-war years

Plant №893

On July 1, 1954, Plant No. 893 began its production activity. This day is considered the official birthday of the plant. The first orders were a diesel submarine, two big hunters and the icebreaker Pronchischev.

Only five years later the plant was given the task of mastering the repair of nuclear submarines. By the Decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR Plant No.893 was ranked among the most important economic construction projects. From the early 1960s, new workshops, slipways, and special facilities were intensively built and put into operation at the plant.

Construction of a missile submarine.

September 24, 1955

The first torpedo nuclear-powered Project 627 nuclear-powered submarine was laid down. Three years later the submarine was handed over to the Navy for trial operation, in 1962 it was named “Leninsky Komsomol”. For the construction of the ship and the high quality of work, plant No. 402 was awarded the Order of Lenin. A large group of workers involved in the construction were awarded orders and medals. A total of 13 nuclear submarines of this project were built at Sevmash. On their account more than 90 autonomous voyages and the first trip under the ice to the North Pole.

NPS of the second generation of Project 661.


Shipyard №893 handed over to the Navy after overhaul the first two nuclear submarines – a Project 658M missile submarine and a Project 627A torpedo submarine. The yard mastered repair of the first generation nuclear submarines. In the same year, the shipyard commissioned a specialized propeller production facility, which is now Russia’s largest manufacturer of both propellers and other types of propulsion systems.

Zvezdochka Machine-Building plant

In 1966, Plant No. 893 was renamed. The company was given the name “Zvezdochka Machine-Building plant”.

In 1970, Zvezdochka completed the repair and modernization of the world’s first nuclear-powered icebreaker Lenin. During the repair of “Lenin” unique work on replacing the nuclear propulsion system of the ship was carried out. In 1970 for successful fulfillment of the state plan the plant was awarded the highest award of the Soviet Union – the Order of Lenin. In the beginning of the 1970s, the company expanded its ship repair competence. Two Project 667A strategic missile carriers were accepted for repairs.

Project 705K submarine K-123.

Cold War

The second-generation Project 667A nuclear-powered submarines were built as a response to the construction of George Washington submarines with ballistic missiles aboard in the early 1960s. The lead ship was handed over to the Navy in 1967. Within five years, 24 nuclear-powered missile carriers were put into service. Parity with the United States in the naval component of nuclear forces was achieved. In 1972-1974, 10 project 667B nuclear submarines with 12 intercontinental ballistic missiles were built in Severodvinsk. NPS of the project 667BD project were armed with 16 missiles. In 1976 the Navy began to receive 667BDR project submarines, and in 1984 667BDRM, armed with 16 MIRVs.

In 1969 Sevmash built the world’s first Project 661 titanium submarine. During tests, it reached the submarine maximum speed of 44.7 knots.

Reconstruction of SEVMASH

In the mid-1970s a major reconstruction of the enterprise was carried out. Sevmash’s production capacity was doubled in order to build third-generation submarines. In 1980 the first project 949 third generation submarine armed with 24 anti-ship cruise missiles was built. One year later the lead submarine missile-carrying submarine of project 941 (now cruiser “Dmitry Donskoi”) with the missile system “Typhoon” entered service. This nuclear submarine was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest nuclear submarine in the world. In 1983 it was transferred to the Navy an experimental deep-water titanium NPS of project 685 with a depth of 1000 m – the deepest operational NPS in the history of submarine building. In the 80-90’s a series of multi-purpose submarines of project 971 was built.