Modern submarine development in Russia originated on 22 December 1900 (4 January 1901 in the new style) with the appointment of a commission on submarine construction to design, manage, and test submarines. The combat submarine Delfin was the first product of this effort, built between 1902 and 1904.
This body of designers was soon organized as a division of underwater navigation at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg (called Petrograd from 1914). Several relatively advanced submarine designs emerged from this group, including the Bars class, with 32 submarines built from 1901 to 1917. The group survived the Revolution and Civil War of 1917 through 1920, but with the country in economic ruin and no funds for building warships, it was disbanded in mid-1924.