Typhoon Class

Overview

Typhoon Class

Nationality: Soviet Union

The Typhoon class are the largest submarines ever built. Their design is unusual in that it is based on two separate pressure hulls joined by a single outer covering; this is thought to provide greater protection against ASW weapons.

The Soviets designed these undersea battleships for operation with the Northern Fleet. Although they are entirely capable of going to war without ever going to sea and, in fact, not even submerging, they are specially designed to operate in the Arctic ice pack – one of the most difficult submarine operating areas in the world. The submarine has a re-enforced sail, advanced designs of tail fin, horizontal hydroplanes, which are aft of the screws, and a retractable bow hydroplane. All these features allow the Typhoon class to break through the areas of thin ice crust within the Arctic. The Soviet pre-occupation with operating from the Arctic regions was to allow the Typhoon boats to act as an effective and lethal second strike weapon after an initial nuclear exchange.

The first vessel was laid down at Severodvinsk in 1977 and was commissioned three years later. The first Typhoon operational patrol took place in 1981. In all, six boats were built in this class, the last in 1989.

The weapon chosen to arm these submarines was the R-39 (SS-N-20) which was capable of hitting any target in the continental United States from the boat’s home port of Nyerpicha.

The exact status of the Typhoons is unclear.

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