At the beginning of the 20th century, people realized that submarines were becoming the most dangerous weapon in the world. Marine technology evolved and improved with each decade. It is terrible to imagine what modern submarines are capable of doing. This is what my post is about.

During World War I, Germany began to use submarines for the first time. Dr. Schottländer had designed the submarine for research purposes; however, the war decreed its fate differently. German forces attacked the coast of France in the north. Opponents were defeated, because they did not know about the existence of this type of weapon.

Here, in order of importance, is a list of the most legendary submarines that ever existed (and still exist):

1. Los Angeles

Considered to be the backbone of the US Navy, it has the largest reserve of the nuclear engine’s “durability” compared to other countries’ submarines.

The main task of this type of submarine is to collect information about the enemy’s location.

The Los Angeles was named the “Hunter Killer” by US classification; it is the 688 series of the US Navy multipurpose nuclear submarines. A total of 62 submarines of this type were built. The first NPS of the series was put into operation on November 13th, 1976; the last (USS Cheyenne) on September 13th, 1996. Newport News Shipbuilding and General Dynamics Electric Boat Division built these ships.

Los Angeles NPSs are equipped with GE PWR S6G water-cooled and water-moderated reactors developed by General Electric, with a capacity of 26 MW; there is a 242-kW auxiliary motor. The service life of the reactor fuel cells is 13 years – significantly longer than the service life of nuclear submarine reactors developed in other countries (approximately 6-7 years).

2. Rubis

Rubis submarines are the series of six French multipurpose nuclear submarines built in 1976-1993. The Rubis submarines are the smallest, but fastest, nuclear submarines in service in the world.

Historically, this submarine class was considered the most inexperienced and difficult to control. Unfortunately, the invention did not meet the expectations of engineers and designers.

The boat’s small size led to the creation of a reactor of reduced power, which allowed the use of the primary coolant’s natural circulation in almost all operation modes. Thus, the power plant reliability was increased, and the pump noise absence favorably affected the boat’s acoustic secrecy .

The first Rubis accident occurred in 1993; the second, a large-scale accident, occurred one year later, killing ten people, according to official figures.

In total, six submarines this type were built.

The second position in the rating is due to its quick dive to a depth of more than two hundred meters and its speed (over 35 knots).

3. «Victor-3» («Shchuka» 671 RTM (K) project)

The «Shchuka» 671 RTM (K) project is a series of second generation Soviet torpedo submarines.

Designed under the guidance of chief designer G. N. Chernyshev, it is a further modification of the “Iorsh” 671 project based on the “Siomga” 671 RT project. The shipyards of Komsomolsk-on-Amur and Leningrad built 21 ships on the 671 RTM project and five ships on the 671 RTMK project. These submarines differed to others due to their relatively low level of external noise production, and, by this indicator, they were close to the Los Angeles-type American nuclear submarines.

This submarine took the place of honor in the heyday of the USSR underwater equipment construction. It had characteristics, such as good sound insulation, corrosion resistance, strength, full serviceability and durability.

Historically, 26 working submarines of this model were recorded, and all worked properly, without interruption.

Four submarines survived under the name “Victor-3.”

Not a single ship was lost or had a serious accident. This project has received the “Black Prince” respectful name in the west for its elegant look and impressiveness.

Third place in the ranking: zero losses and one hundred percent fighting capacity.

4. «Barracuda 945» (971 project)

The “Barracuda” 945 project submarine (NATO designation- “Sierra-I”) is a series of Soviet multi-purpose nuclear submarines built from 1979-1986. “Barracudas” initiated the third generation of multi-purpose nuclear submarines in the Soviet Union, becoming the 971 project basis, whose ships are the Russian Navy multi-purpose submarine forces.

The sub was built based on a two-hull design: the outer hull had an ellipsoidal extremity at the bow and was spindle-shaped at the stern. The pressure hull was made of titanium alloy and had a cylindrical shape in the middle and conical at the ends. Consisting of six waterproof compartments, the submarine had a floating rescue capsule that could accommodate the entire crew.

Submarines of this model are famous for their ability to dive to great depths – there is proof that the boat can go underwater for more than 500 meters. Engineers built four underwater submarines, two of which have survived to the present day.

Fourth place in the ranking because of its immersion depth.

5. «Nautilus». The US Navy commissioned the ship on September 30th, 1954.

USS Nautilus (SSN-571) was the first nuclear submarine in the world. Nautilus, passing underwater below the ice, reached the North Pole in 1958, becoming the first ship in the history of humanity to pass this point of the Earth using its own power.

It differed from diesel-electric submarines, not only in the new power plant presence, but also in the hull design, the tanks, facilities and equipment location. At the same time, the submarine did not differ from diesel-electric ones in the outer hull lines shape.

Built in 1955, the ship had already significantly surpassed its competitors in technical characteristics. It was powered by a nuclear reactor, which allowed it to be underwater for a long period of time. Soldiers could live in the ship for months without endangering their lives. One could say that the underwater diving duration depended on the seafarers’ food stock.

When the submarine passed all the tests, American scientists decided to switch to using nuclear reactors from then on.

Diesel and electric submarines forever went down in history in 1959, although the Nautilus performance parameters seriously failured in the future. The boat itself could not cope with the stated loads, as the engine power was very high. In 1966, an accident, associated with an attempt to break through the ice in the Arctic, occurred. Two years later, there was a fire on the ship that lasted several hours.

Despite some shortcomings, the ship served its country for more than a quarter of a century. The submarine is now stored in Groton, CT as an exhibit.

Fifth place in the ranking: the first submarine in the world to reach the North Pole.

6. «Ohio»

Ohio-type submarines (Ohio class SSBN / SSGN) were the series of American strategic third-generation nuclear-submarines, launched from 1981 to 1997. Ohio-type boats form the US strategic offensive nuclear forces basis and constantly go on combat patrols, spending 60% of their time at sea.

It is the only type of missile carrier that has been in service with the US Navy since 2002. At present, 14 of the 18 submarines of the series are armed with 24 intercontinental ballistic missiles of the Trident system, equipped with individually targeted warheads. The remaining four submarines are cruise missile carriers.

The submarine structure does not differ from conventional submarines; however, it has increased combat stability. Through experimentation and research, design engineers were able to eliminate the magnetic, thermal and radiation fields’ effects. The actual location of the submarine is ket top secret.

Only a few senior officers know the submarine’s exact coordinates. That is why the ship is considered to be the best suited for military conduct.

Despite the fact that the submarine “Ohio” was created more than 30 years ago, it still meets all the stated standards and requirements. The US Department of the Navy plans to operate this submarine until at least 2035.

Sixth place in the ranking: the Ohio-type SSBN holds the world record for the number of deployed missile pits – 24 – and is rightfully considered to be one of the most advanced in its class (at the moment).

According to experts, the French “Triomphant” type submarines are the only built missile carriers that can compete with them on the noise level.

7. «Shang»

Made in China, this is the modern, nuclear submarine. 093 project «Shang» submarine (Chin. 09III型核潜艇) is a series of Chinese multi-purpose nuclear submarines built from 2005—2010.

Three submarines of this model have been built. This submarine speed is higher than analogues of all Asian developments. It differs in parameters such as durability, wear resistance, durability and good noise insulation.

Seventh place in the ranking: the first submarine in the world (not owned by the US, the USSR {Russia}, European Navy) to reach a speed of more than 30 knots.

8. «Vanguard»

Vanguard type submarines, considered to be the largest in the world, are a series of four British strategic nuclear submarines built in the 1990s. They replaced the four nuclear submarines of the “Resolution” type in the early 1990s and were their further development.

Englishmen developed the submarine in that historical period when the United States and the Soviet Union were able to make significant progress in naval development. Therefore, Britain had to go to a new level of underwater technology.

Four submarines of this model were built, though it was originally planned to create seven units. The first «Vanguard» submarine entered service in 1987. This invention weighed almost 16 thousand tons and has 15 “Trident-2 D5” type ballistic missiles for attacks.

“Vanguard” type SSBNs are currently the only carriers of UK nuclear weapons (after the WE177 air bombs were removed from service in April 1998).

The eighth place ranking is due to its comfort; the Vanguard submarine crew consisted of 135 people. There were personnel mess rooms, as well as a dining room, an assembly hall and rest rooms. Crew members could improve their education, as there was a large library on the ship. A distinctive feature of the “Vanguard” class submarine is that the crewmembers were provided with the greatest possible comfort, allowing longer (up to 3 months) trips in the North Atlantic and the Norwegian Sea.

9. «Akula»

The strategic missile submarine cruisers of the 941 “Akula” project (SSBN “Typhoon,” according to NATO codification) are a series of Soviet and Russian submarines, the largest nuclear submarines in the world (and submarines in general). LPMB “Rubin” (Leningrad) or CDB NE “Rubin” now develop the project . The assignment for the development was issued in December 1972.

Experts consider this sub to be the largest in the world. It makes no sense to specify the ship’s numerical characteristics. To better understand the monstrous dimensions, just imagine something as tall as a nine-story building and as long as a wheat field.

Before commencing its construction, the sub was the debate of Soviet engineers about whether or not such a boat was suitable for military operations. The “Akula” construction, which began in 1976, was finished and ready in the eighties; there were 20 ballistic missiles on board for attacks. Due to its huge dimensions, the submarine could break ice with a thickness of up to five meters. Russia owns six “Akula” model submarines now.

Ninth place in the ranking: the world’s largest nuclear submarines.

10. «Jin»

«Jin» 04 project submarines (Chin. 晋级潜艇) were a series of Chinese strategic nuclear submarines built between 1999—2010.

Its building commenced at the turn of the 21st century. Little is known today about the submarine, as China prefers to keep all its developments a secret. Launched in 2004, the submarine’s length is 140 meters. China currently has six “Jin” submarines ready for combat.

According to American intelligence, the 094 type submarines carry 12 ballistic missiles, such as Julan-2 (JL-2), each with a range of 8-12 thousand km. These missiles are the underwater version of the latest Chinese land-based DF-31strategic missiles.

Russian experts believe that the JL-2 is a separate development: the three-stage DF-31 is too large to be placed in the missile pits of the submarine cruiser.

Tenth place in the ranking: total secrecy on the construction project and the submarine data.

Read more: History of shipbuilding with Oliver Davis ...