Submarines gained popularity in world war II. Pre World war II, the British and USA used steamed engine submarines to fight the war.
Before the launch of the USS Nautilus, the World’s first nuclear-powered submarine, in 1955, submarines had to be operated manually and were painfully sluggish.
Since then, these vessels have become the most lethal attack craft in the World, capable of speeds between 25 and 35 knots.
Submarines are now a crucial feature of every nation’s naval force. They provide a nuclear deterrent while also aiding in surveillance and patrolling within territorial waters.
In this article, we will find out the top 10 Biggest submarines ranked based on their length
Top 10 Biggest submarines in the World
10. Akula Class, Russia
In 1986, Russia debuted ten Akula-class submarines. Because of their twin hulls, these attack submarines are more buoyant than their Western counterparts.
In order to detect variations in temperature, they employ a novel wake detection technique. The attack ships have four launch pads on each side and can fire Type 53 and Type 65 torpedoes. They are a formidable opponent with 110 meters in length and a weight of 13,700 tons submerged.
The Soviet U-boats are quieter than their Western counterparts, and their hidden rescue chamber can hold up to ninety survivors. Out of the nine ships that make up the Russian Northern and Pacific fleet, India leased a submarine in 2012; this vessel is now INS Chakra of the Indian Navy.
The Akula submarines have a range of 3000 kilometers and can carry 28 cruise missiles. However, the INS Chakra’s maximum range of 300 kilometers is much more restrictive.
9. Sierra Class, Russia
There are four attack submarines in the Sierra class. All of them were built as part of either Project 945 Barrakuda or Project 945A Kondor.
The ships were originally constructed during the Cold War and received a makeover in the 1990s. They had lightweight titanium hulls, which allowed them to cruise at a speed of 35 knots.
These subs were 112 meters long and weighed 10,500 tonnes with superior weaponry. They had a larger range than their American counterparts since they were powered by a water reactor (OK-650).
Six launch tubes on Sierra Class I boats could fire off 40 torpedoes or anti-submarine missiles. There were twice as many tubes in the Sierra Class II, and reloading was automated.
On the other hand, they were challenging to build and highly expensive. The only weakness was the MGK-500 Shark Gill sonar, which seemed relatively new in Russia. At the same time, more accurate sonars were installed in American submarines.
8.Triomphant Class, France
The six submarines of the Le Redoutable class got decommissioned in the 1990s. Later, in 1997, the first Triomphant class submarine entered into service.
Four of these ships were built and are still used in the French navy. These ships have a displacement of 14,335 tonnes and are 138 meters long and 12.5 meters wide.
On average, they can move 25 knots underwater and 17 on the surface. These boats can stay underwater for up to nine weeks.
The first three ships in this class are equipped with 16 M45 ballistic missiles and a TN-71 thermonuclear bomb with five MIRVs ( multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles).
Le Terrible, the fourth submarine in the French navy, went into service in 2010 and is equipped with the more sophisticated M51 missile type.
By 2035, it is expected that the third generation of ultra-modern submarines will have completely superseded this class. Thales, a French corporation, is developing the submarines’ sonar system.
7. Yasen/Graney Class, Russia
Yasen submarines, also known as the Graney class, were built by Sevmash, Russia’s largest shipyard, which the Malakhit Marine Engineering Bureau designed.
In 2013, the Severodvinsk, the class’s pioneering ship, entered service. In 2021, two additional, Kazan and Novosibirsk, went live.
These modern cruise missile submarines are based on older designs like the Akula and Alfa class, but they are more powerful and effective in battle.
Five Yasen-class ships are being built, with their debut scheduled for 2029. These ships allegedly come equipped with cruise missiles for use in attacking shorelines.
There are ten launch pads on each Yasen submarine, each of which can hold 32 cruise missiles. Russia’s first spherical sonar-equipped submarines are 140 meters long and displaced 14,000 tons.
Submarines of the Yasen class have a single steel hull and automation technologies, which eliminate the need for manual control. A security system created specifically to verify the proper operation of all critical components.
The ships are powered by a nuclear reactor from the fourth generation and can accommodate up to eighty passengers. The unit may operate indefinitely without refueling for up to 30 years.
Finally, a KTP-6 reactor powers a noise suppression system included in these ships. Building each submarine is expected to exceed one billion US dollars.
6. Vanguard Class, UK
Four ballistic missile submarines were built under the Trident nuclear program in 1994 for the Royal Navy.
Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering built these ships between 1985 and 1999. It is based out of Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, which is just about forty kilometers from Glasgow.
Each ship has 16 missile tubes and 16 Trident II D5 nuclear missiles that can hit a target 5000 miles away. Each ship can carry 192 warheads.
It has the best sonar system, which can find ships 50 miles away. But in the 2030s, the Dreadnought class would replace the Vanguard. They are equipped with four torpedo tubes and sixteen spearfish torpedoes with a maximum range of 65 kilometers.
It includes three periscopes equipped with thermal imaging cameras, standard optical technology, and a command system built specifically for this class of submarines.
Two steam turbines coupled to a pump jet propulsion system are powered by a Rolls-Royce PWR 2 pressurized water reactor.
They can travel at 25 knots while submerged and are 150 meters long with a displacement of about 16,000 tons. The Vanguard class of British-built submarines is the largest, with a capacity for 149 crew members.
5. Oscar Class Russia/ Project 949 A Antey.
Initiative 949 This Antey is part of the Oscar class of cruise missile submarines, which are also part of Project 949 Granit. They are now being updated to extend their service life as part of the Russian northern fleet.
The Severodvinsk plant made 11 ships that were 154 meters long and 18 meters wide. These ships were made to hold high-tech electronics and a noise-reduction system. It has bigger propellers with seven blades and a larger tail fin than its predecessors.
They have a double hull and a secret capsule that can hold 100 people in case of an emergency. The top fin of this submarine has a bulge that makes it stand out. Each 949A Antey submarine has 24 SS-N-19 missiles with a range of 600 km each.
They have ten separate sections that can be taken apart in case of an accident. With a weight of 24,000 tons, each of these ships can travel underwater at about 30 knots.
4. Delta Class, Russia
The Delta Class is a group of submarines that can carry ballistic missiles. In the 1970s, these submarines were the most important part of the Russian submarine fleet.
It comprises four sub-classes called Delta I, II, III, and IV. Each of these sub-classes was 167 m long and 12.5 m wide.
The Delta I submarines patrolled the Norwegian and Barents Seas while carrying 12 missiles. They were equipped with the Tobol-B and the cyclone-B navigation systems to improve their precision.
Russia made 18 submarines Under the 667B Murena program. However, all ships of this type were retired by 1998 and demolished by 2005.
Submarines of the preceding class were the basis for Delta II’s improvement. It was 16 meters longer, could carry 16 missiles, and was outfitted with anti-noise technology and an extra set of launchers. By 1999, all four of the Delta II submarines had been retired.
Delta III submarines were double-hulled and could strike different targets simultaneously within 7000 to 8000 kilometers.
The Russian Northern fleet still uses the Delta IV submarines built between 1981 and 1993. They have a D-9RM launch system and an acoustic coating on their decks.
3. Ohio-Class, United States
The US Navy commissioned the Ohio class submarines between 1977 and 1998; with a length of 170 meters, they are the World’s third-largest. With a range of roughly 12,000 kilometers, the Trident II missiles stocked on each Ohio-class submarine are formidable weapons.
As a result, they can carry more missiles than the Russian Typhoon and Borei classes. They can carry 18,750 tons of cargo, have four stories, and house 90 crew members. Additionally, they are equipped with a Lockheed Martin sonar processing system, a pressurized water reactor, and two turbines.
Every eighteen submarine has eight launchers, four 533-millimeter torpedo tubes, and an mk118 computerized fire control system.
They possess more than half of the United States thermonuclear arsenal. Torpedoes may travel up to 50 km and penetrate depths up to 3000 ft.
These nuclear-powered ships have a 40-year lifespan, but Columbia class subs will replace them by the end of this decade.
2. Borei-Class Russia/ Project 955 Borei
Borei submarines of the fourth generation were Russia’s first new class of subs built after the fall of the Soviet Union. They were designed to take the place of older Delta III, IV, and Typhoon submarines.
The Rubin Marine Equipment Bureau was responsible for their design, while the Sevmash Shipyard was the one that installed them.
In 2008, the Yury Dolgoruky became the first submarine of its class to carry ballistic missiles. As part of this initiative, eight submarines with various hull configurations were built.
They are smaller and less spacious than the Typhoon class, with a displacement of 24,000 tons and a crew of 107. Borei-class submarines are 170 meters long and 13 meters wide and can go 25 knots while submerged.
An OK-650 nuclear reactor is responsible for powering the sub, an AEU steam turbine, and an advanced hull that cuts down on noise.
Interesting fact: these are the first Russian submarines to use pump-jet propulsion. They can transport 16 Bulava-SLBMs and 6 SS-N-15s.
1. Typhoon Class Russia/ Project 941 Akula Class
Somewhere between the 1960s and 1970s, the Soviet Union constructed this nuclear giant to compete with the United States and its allies.
They were larger than three football fields and boasted expensive amenities like pools, spas, and golf courses.
The length of the largest submarine in the Typhoon class was 566 feet, the width was 76 meters, the height was 38 meters, and the displacement was more than 48,000 tons.
Twenty massive R-39 ‘Rif’ intercontinental ballistic missiles, also known as SS-N-20 Sturgeons, adorned their decks. This formidable arsenal measured 53 feet in length and 8 feet in width.
The largest submarines ever constructed were armed to the teeth with RSM-52 missiles and propelled by an effective magnetohydrostatic propulsion system.
They had a design with multiple hulls and nineteen different compartments. There was a separate control room close to the equipment for launching missiles. They were designed and built to cross the frozen water of the Arctic.
Therefore, engineers put a powerful stern fin and a retractable system into their ice-breaking technology. The top speed of these warships was 25 knots while submerged, and they could go at 12 knots on the surface.
The Dmitry Donskoy, or TK-208, became the first submarine of the Typhoon class to go into service in the early 1980s. It is the only submarine that is still working. The other five have been taken out of service. Donskoy has become a place where Russian missiles and the newest technologies for the sea are tested.