Soviet Submarine U-434/B-515
Soviet submarine B-515 was a Tango-class submarine of the Soviet and Russian Navies. She remained in active service until 2001. She is currently docked in Hamburg and is open to the public as a museum exhibit. The submarine is sometimes referred to as U-434, which derives from the pennant number painted on the vessel.
This submarine was used for hunting, espionage, and patrol purposes. A 78-man crew operated the boat.
The submarine U-434 came from the Krasnoye Sormovo submarine shipyard in Nizhny Novgorod and was built in 1976 in just eight months. It was placed in the service of the Soviet Northern Fleet and remained in service until April 2002. Because of the long period in which the vessel was inactive and the extensive modifications made when B-515 became a museum ship, all major systems such as engine and hydraulics were deactivated. It has a six-centimeter thick rubber coating, so it was harder to locate using sonar.
After being decommissioned, investors bought it for one million Euros and brought it to Hamburg. The transport of the vessel cast a further million Euros. A prerequisite for the transfer was that the submarine was not allowed to carry out the journey itself, but had to be towed. The Russian Navy detained the submarine before the transfer and removed many technical facilities, mainly weapon systems and control systems, as well as other technical equipment subject to secrecy rules. After arrival in Hamburg, further modifications were made to the submarine. Larger holes were cut in the fuselage at the bow and stern to provide visitors with entry and exit points. Due to these modifications, the submarine is no longer capable of diving or independent operation. Until April 15, 2010, the submarine was in Hamburg's HafenCity. B-515 is now moored at St. Pauli fish market in the immediate vicinity of the jetties and serves as the "Submarine Museum Hamburg".