B-44 / MUROM


General cargo vessel MUROM (type B-44)

Keel laid:                               8 December 1962

Launched:                             29 June 1963

Delivered:                             31 December 1963

 

A modern general cargo vessel for Soviet customers, the type B-44 was an example of a creative development of the successful B-54 design. Seven such vessels were also built in Szczecin.

This model is also a symbol of the political dependence of Poland’s economy: out of the thousand such vessels built at Gdańsk Shipyard, 588 sailed under the Soviet flag.

Technical specifications:

capacity:        10 106 GRT; 5570 NRT; 12,500 DWT;

dimensions: 155.1 x 20.2 x 9.0 m

propulsion:    Sulzer-Cegielski 6RD76 diesel engine with 7800 hp

speed:           17.2 knots

crew:              65

Thirty type B-44 vessels were built in 1962-1967, all for Soviet shipowners.


Russia, and then the USSR, was always considered a land superpower. However, we should remember that over 60% of the country’s borders, almost 50,000 kilometres, are maritime borders. Additionally, there are inland waterways where seagoing vessels can sail, like the River Yenisei with the port Igarka, 900 km from the Kara Sea coast, where oceangoing vessels can call. So it is no wonder that regardless of the political system, the Russians have striven to increase their navy and merchant marine since the 18th century.
World War II inflicted enormous losses on Russia, also at sea. From among 800 oceangoing vessels, 329 were lost, with a capacity of almost 700,000 GRT. The Soviet shipyards were unable to make up for these losses fast enough, not to mention quickly enlarge the merchant fleet to exceed its pre-War size. This is why they took advantage of the economic potential of the countries in the Soviet areas of influence. Finnish shipyards began to work at full steam already in the 1940s. The East German shipyards that had been plundered by the Red Army a few years prior were rebuilt. Modern shipbuilding industries were established in Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, and even in Hungary.
Results were quick to follow. Already in 1946, the total capacity of the Soviet merchant vessels was at ca. 1,300,000 GRT. By the time the first ships to sail under the Soviet flag came out of Polish shipyards in the early 1950s, the tonnage of the Soviet merchant marine was already at 2 million GRT. Less than 10 years later (in 1960), the Soviet merchant fleet was the 12th largest the world with vessels at a total capacity of 3.4 million GRT. By 1973, it was the world’s sixth largest fleet with over 1600 vessels and a total capacity of 17.4 million GRT, which made up 3 % of the global tonnage. Just 40% of the new tonnage was made in Soviet shipyards. Another 40% was produced in the shipyards of the countries belonging to the Soviet-led CMEA Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, the rest was bought by the USSR in Western shipyards.
The vessels built in Poland for the USSR included 30 type B-44 general cargo ships. Twenty-three such ships were built at Gdańsk Shipyard in 1962-1967, and another 7 in Szczecin in 1965-1967. They were an extension of the tried and true B-54 design for general cargo vessels. The B-44’s operational parameters (size, speed and type of handling equipment) corresponded to those of the Krasnograd vessels built in Finland.
The ship Mozdok (B-44/2, launched on 2 October 1963) went down in the history of the Polish shipbuilding industry by having the two-millionth deadweight ton made by the Polish shipbuilding industry. The Fiodor Gładkow (B-44/23, launched on 11 February 1967), in turn, had the millionth deadweight ton built in Gdańsk Shipyard’s Department K-2 and the two-millionth deadweight ton of capacity built in the Shipyard as a whole.
The first ship of the series, called the Murom (named after a city in Central Russia, by the River Oka) was launched on 29 June 1963 and handed over to its owner on 31 December 1963. It sailed with no misadventures until 1987, when it was scrapped in Chittagong, Bangladesh. A different fate befell the Mozdok, the second vessel in the series, which in January 1972 collided with the tanker Lom in a storm near Odessa. There was an explosion on the tanker and both vessels sank. Ten people perished: one from the Mozdok and nine from the tanker. The other vessels of this type were luckier and were decommissioned only in 1987-1997.
The final two vessels of the series designated by the symbols B-44/14 and B-44/15 were completed as new improved type B-40 vessels, named the Kommunist (B-40/1) and the Kommunisticheskoye Znamya (B-40/2).
The first 10,000 DWT ship was built over 17 months in 1955-1956. The last type B-40 vessel was built in only 8 months.

 


Russia, and then the USSR, was always considered a land superpower. However, we should remember that over 60% of the country’s borders, almost 50,000 kilometres, are maritime borders. Additionally, there are inland waterways where seagoing vessels can sail, like the River Yenisei with the port Igarka, 900 km from the Kara Sea coast, where oceangoing vessels can call. So it is no wonder that regardless of the political system, the Russians have striven to increase their navy and merchant marine since the 18th century.
World War II inflicted enormous losses on Russia, also at sea. From among 800 oceangoing vessels, 329 were lost, with a capacity of almost 700,000 GRT. The Soviet shipyards were unable to make up for these losses fast enough, not to mention quickly enlarge the merchant fleet to exceed its pre-War size. This is why they took advantage of the economic potential of the countries in the Soviet areas of influence. Finnish shipyards began to work at full steam already in the 1940s. The East German shipyards that had been plundered by the Red Army a few years prior were rebuilt. Modern shipbuilding industries were established in Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, and even in Hungary.
Results were quick to follow. Already in 1946, the total capacity of the Soviet merchant vessels was at ca. 1,300,000 GRT. By the time the first ships to sail under the Soviet flag came out of Polish shipyards in the early 1950s, the tonnage of the Soviet merchant marine was already at 2 million GRT. Less than 10 years later (in 1960), the Soviet merchant fleet was the 12th largest the world with vessels at a total capacity of 3.4 million GRT. By 1973, it was the world’s sixth largest fleet with over 1600 vessels and a total capacity of 17.4 million GRT, which made up 3 % of the global tonnage. Just 40% of the new tonnage was made in Soviet shipyards. Another 40% was produced in the shipyards of the countries belonging to the Soviet-led CMEA Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, the rest was bought by the USSR in Western shipyards.
The vessels built in Poland for the USSR included 30 type B-44 general cargo ships. Twenty-three such ships were built at Gdańsk Shipyard in 1962-1967, and another 7 in Szczecin in 1965-1967. They were an extension of the tried and true B-54 design for general cargo vessels. The B-44’s operational parameters (size, speed and type of handling equipment) corresponded to those of the Krasnograd vessels built in Finland.
The ship Mozdok (B-44/2, launched on 2 October 1963) went down in the history of the Polish shipbuilding industry by having the two-millionth deadweight ton made by the Polish shipbuilding industry. The Fiodor Gładkow (B-44/23, launched on 11 February 1967), in turn, had the millionth deadweight ton built in Gdańsk Shipyard’s Department K-2 and the two-millionth deadweight ton of capacity built in the Shipyard as a whole.
The first ship of the series, called the Murom (named after a city in Central Russia, by the River Oka) was launched on 29 June 1963 and handed over to its owner on 31 December 1963. It sailed with no misadventures until 1987, when it was scrapped in Chittagong, Bangladesh. A different fate befell the Mozdok, the second vessel in the series, which in January 1972 collided with the tanker Lom in a storm near Odessa. There was an explosion on the tanker and both vessels sank. Ten people perished: one from the Mozdok and nine from the tanker. The other vessels of this type were luckier and were decommissioned only in 1987-1997.
The final two vessels of the series designated by the symbols B-44/14 and B-44/15 were completed as new improved type B-40 vessels, named the Kommunist (B-40/1) and the Kommunisticheskoye Znamya (B-40/2).
The first 10,000 DWT ship was built over 17 months in 1955-1956. The last type B-40 vessel was built in only 8 months.

 

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