P-821 Heroj Submarine Celebrates 50th Birthday

Total Croatia News

We might have missed the party, but it’s never too late for good wishes.

A very special lady celebrated her 50th birthday on August 27, 2017 – a prominent member of the Yugoslav Navy, the P-821 HEROJ submarine was launched in the Special objects shipyard in Split in 1967!

Heroj is on display in the Porto Montenegro Museum these days. Known as a maritime wonder when it was first built, the diesel-electric attack submarine still leaves hundreds of visitors in awe. Dražen Jovanović, the coordinator of the Naval Heritage Collection and a former submarine crew member, keeps the guests of Porto Montenegro informed about the monumental beauty.

The vessel was laid down in 1965, and the construction of the newest member of the Yugoslav Navy was kept strictly confidential for two years. The submarine measured 50.4 metres in length, 4.7 metres in width and had a displacement of 704.6 tonnes; it was finally launched in 1967. “After the finishing touches and a couple of sea trials, the ship was made part of the fleet in 1968 and went on to operate in the 88th submarine division for the next 23 years”, said Jovanović.

Heroj was then seen as a pinnacle of shipbuilding and the overall technology mastered in the former Yugoslavia, one of the rare countries equipped to design and build submarines at the time. When Heroj started operating, it was known as one of the best-designed submarines of that type in the world, according to Jovanović. Two other projects of the same type were soon to follow: submarines JUNAK and USKOK were completed not long after the first one.

After Heroj was raised from the sea one last time, in 1991 in Tivat, it had accumulated 726 days in operation, had 910 completed dives and had passed 46.659 nautical miles. It was restored in 2013, when it set off for a new leg of its journey, as a ship-museum that now stands as a central attraction in the nautical village of Porto Montenegro.

Getting the chance to stand at the helm of a submarine and learn about the 28-member crew that made history of the former Yugoslav fleet is a rare opportunity, even in the wider European are. The submarine is entered through an opening at the hull, leading to the confined space filled with well-preserved pieces of equipment. Personal stories of crew members bear witness to month-long underwater journeys, all the dangers they faced, but also the small daily habits: having lunch while sat on torpedo pipes and sleeping on folding bunk beds wherever they could find a spot.

Heroj remains one of the biggest attractions in Tivat, symbolising the city’s relation to submarine tradition. To mark the 50th anniversary of the launch, the submarine is getting featured on the list of the American website Museumships that promotes naval heritage.


Source: Pomorac.net


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