As with other members of the Victor-class, the Victor-III featured a teardrop shape, which allowed it to travel at high speed. Quieter than previous Soviet submarines, these ships had 4 tubes for launching SS-N-21 or SS-N-15 missiles and Type 53 torpedoes, plus another 2 tubes for launching SS-N-16 missiles and Type 65 torpedoes. 24 tube-launched weapons or 36 mines could be on board. The Victor-III caused a minor furore in NATO intelligence agencies at its introduction because of the distinctive pod on the vertical stern-plane. Speculation immediately mounted that the pod was the housing for some sort of exotic silent propulsion system, possibly a magnetohydrodynamic drive unit. Another theory proposed that it was some sort of weapon system. In the end, the Victor-III's pod was identified as a hydrodynamic housing for a reelable towed passive sonar array; the system was subsequently incorporated into the Sierra class and and Akula-class submarine SSNs. The Victor III class was continuously improved during construction and late production models have a superior acoustic performance. They were 106m long. 21 disposed.