People had already realized at the beginning of the 20th century that submarines were becoming the most dangerous weapon in the world. Marine technology has evolved and improved with each decade. It is terrible to imagine what modern submarines are capable of doing. This is what my post today is about.
Germany began to use this type of military equipment for the first time during the First World War. Dr. Schottländer designed the submarine for research purposes. The war decreed the invention’s 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 is the list of the most legendary submarines that ever existed (and still exist) in the world:
1. “Los Angeles”. We put it in the first place, as it is considered to be the backbone of the US Navy and 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.
“Los Angeles” is named the “Hunter Killer” by the US classification; it is 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 with a capacity of 26 MW, developed by General Electric. There is a 242 kW auxiliary motor. The service life of the reactor fuel cells is 13 years that is significantly longer than the service life of nuclear submarines reactors developed in other countries (approximately 6-7 years).
“Rubis” submarines are the series of six French multipurpose nuclear submarines built in 1976-1993. The Rubis submarines are the smallest, but the fastest nuclear submarines in service in the world.
This submarines class was considered the most inexperienced and difficult to control in history. 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 submarine accident occurred in 1993, and a year later a large-scale accident occurred on the ship. Ten people died on Rubis according to official figures.
They built six submarines of this type in total.
The second position in the rating is due to the 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 Soviet torpedo submarines of the second generation.
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 5 ships on the 671 RTMK project in total. These submarines differed to others because of 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.
26 working submarines of this model were recorded in history. They all worked properly, without interruption. Four submarines survived under the name “Victor-3”.
Not a single ship was lost, not a single one had serious accidents. 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)
“Barracuda” 945 project submarines (NATO designation- “Sierra-I”) is a series of Soviet multi-purpose nuclear submarines built in 1979-1986. “Barracudas” initiated the third generation of multi-purpose nuclear submarines in the Soviet Union, became the 971 project basis, whose ships are the Russian Navy multi-purpose submarine forces.
They built the boat on a two-hull design. The outer hull has an ellipsoidal extremity at the submarine bow, and it is of the spindle shape at the stern. The pressure hull is made of titanium alloy and has a cylindrical shape in the middle and conical at the ends. It consists of 6 waterproof compartments. The submarine has a floating rescue capsule that can 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 for more than 500 meters underwater. Engineers built 4 underwater submarines, two of which have survived to the present day.
Fourth place in the ranking because of its immersion depth.
5. «Nautilus». US Navy commissioned the ship on September 30th, 1954.
USS Nautilus (SSN-571) is 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 practically did not differ from diesel-electric ones in the outer hull lines shape.
They built it in 1955. At that time already, the ship had significantly surpassed its competitors in technical characteristics. A nuclear reactor was installed for it, 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 can 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 construction using nuclear reactors.
Diesel and electric submarines forever went down in history in 1959, although the Nautilus performance parameters gave a serious failure in the future. The boat itself could not cope with the stated loads, as the engine power was very high. In 1966, an accident occurred on the submarine associated with an attempt to break through the ice in the Arctic. 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 stored in the city of Groton now, as an exhibit.
Fifth place in the ranking: the first submarine in the world to reach the North Pole.
Ohio-type submarines (Ohio class SSBN / SSGN) are 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 carriers that have 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 4 submarines are cruise missiles carriers.
The submarine structure does not differ from conventional submarines. However, the invention has increased combat stability. Design engineers were able to achieve the elimination of magnetic, thermal, and radiation fields’ effects through experimentation and research. They keep the submarine location top secret as well.
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 a submarine until at least 2035.
Sixth place in the ranking: the Ohio-type SSBNs hold the world record for the number of deployed missile pits – 24 and are rightfully considered to be one of the most advanced in their class at the moment.
French “Triomphant” type submarines are the only built missile carriers that can compete with them on the noise level according to experts.
It is the modern nuclear submarine made in China. 093 project «Shang» submarine (Chin. 09III型核潜艇) is a series of Chinese multi-purpose nuclear submarines built in 2005—2010.
They have built three submarines of this model by now. 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), which reached a speed level of more than 30 knots.
Considered to be one of the largest submarines in the world.
«Vanguard» type submarines 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.
They built four submarines of this model though they planned to create seven units initially. The first «Vanguard» submarine entered service in 1987. This invention weighed almost 16 thousand tons. The ship has 15 “Trident-2 D5” type ballistic missiles for attacks.
“Vanguard” type SSBNs are the only carriers of UK nuclear weapons now (after the WE177 air bombs were removed from service in April 1998).
Eighth place in the ranking is due to the comfort; the Vanguard submarine crew consists of 135 people. There are personnel mess rooms, as well as a dining room, an assembly hall, and rest rooms. Crew members can improve their education together with their service as there is a large library on the ship. A distinctive feature of the “Vanguard” class submarine is that the crewmembers are provided with the greatest possible comfort, due to which longer (up to 3 months) trips in the North Atlantic and the Norwegian Sea are more easily tolerated.
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 it the largest in the world in size. I think 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.
Soviet engineers had a long debate about whether such a boat was suitable for military operations before commencing the construction. The “Akula” construction began in 1976. The ship was ready completely in the eighties. There are 20 ballistic missiles on board for attacks. The submarine can break ice with a thickness up to five meters due to its huge dimensions. Russia owns six “Akula” model submarines now.
Ninth place in the ranking: the world’s largest nuclear submarines.
«Jin» 04 project submarines (Chin. 晋级潜艇) are a series of Chinese strategic nuclear submarines built in 1999—2010.
They started the building at the beginning of the 21st century. We know little about the submarine today, as China prefers to keep all its developments a secret. They launched the ship in 2004. The submarine’s length is 140 meters. Chine currently has 6 “Jin” submarines ready for combat.
The 094 type submarines carry 12 ballistic missiles such as Julan-2 (JL-2) each with a range of 8-12 thousand km according to American intelligence. 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.