Project 941 Akula: Typhoon Submarines in Rare Photos

The Typhoon-class ballistic missile submarines stand as iconic symbols of Cold War military power, leaving an indelible mark that few submarines of their era can match.

As the largest submarines ever built, Typhoons played a key role in significantly increasing the capabilities of Soviet submarines in the early 1980s.

Beyond their enormous size and firepower, these formidable ships had a profound economic and political impact for the Soviet Union.

These massive Typhoon-class submarines represent not only technological marvels, but also mark a strategic shift in naval warfare during the Cold War era.

Their enormous size and advanced missile systems marked a notable milestone in the development of Soviet naval power.

As a result, they ushered in a new era of maritime influence and strengthened the USSR's position as a formidable maritime power on the global stage.

The enormous costs associated with the design, construction, and maintenance of these Titanic ships placed a strain on the country's resources.

In turn, this fiscal stress had an impact on the broader Soviet economy, contributing to economic challenges that ultimately played a role in the dissolution of the USSR.

With a submerged displacement of 48,000 tons, the Typhoons are the largest submarines ever built, able to accommodate comfortable living facilities for a crew of 160 while submerged for months.

NATO reporting The source of the name is unclear, although it is often claimed that it is related to the use of the term "typhoon" ("тайфун") by Communist Party General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev in a 1974 speech describing a new type . As a response to the United States Navy's new Ohio-class submarine, a nuclear ballistic missile submarine.

The Typhoon class was developed under Project 941 as the Soviet Akula class, meaning shark.

It was developed with the aim of matching the SLBM armament of the Ohio-class submarines, which are capable of carrying 192 nuclear warheads, each of 100 kt, but with a significantly longer range.

To accommodate this increase in range, Soviet SLBMs were significantly larger and heavier than their American counterparts. The submarine had to be scaled accordingly.

In addition to their missile armament, the Typhoon class included six torpedo tubes designed to handle RPK-2 missiles or Type 53 torpedoes.

A Typhoon-class submarine can remain submerged for up to 120 days under normal conditions, and possibly longer if deemed necessary (for example, in the case of nuclear war).

Their primary weapon system was composed of 20 R-39 ballistic missiles, each carrying a maximum of 10 MIRV nuclear warheads.

Technically, the Typhoons were capable of deploying their long-range nuclear missiles moored to their docks.

Typhoon-class submarines have multiple pressure hulls that simplify the interior design while making the ship much wider than a normal submarine.

In the main body of the sub, two long pressure rudders are located parallel to them with a third, shorter pressure rudder above them (which protrudes just below the sails), and two other pressure rudders for the torpedoes and steering gear.

This also greatly increases their survivability – even if one pressure hull is breached, the crew members in the other are safe and less likely to flood.

The Typhoon was capable of traveling at a speed of 28 kn (52 km/h; 32 mph).

Six Typhoon-class submarines were built between 1976 and 1985. Originally, submarines were designated by hull number only.

Four ships retained by the Russian Navy after the dissolution of the Soviet Union were later named. During the time of the Russian Federation, these boats had to be sponsored by a city or company.

In September 2011, the Russian Defense Ministry decided to write off all Project 941 Akula nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines by 2014.

The reason for decommissioning the Typhoon-class ships is the sanctions imposed on Russia by the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and the successful testing of the new Borei-class submarine.

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