Delta I and Delta II Class


Delta I and Delta II Class

Nationality: Soviet Union

Designed as a follow on to the Yankee class, the Delta I was larger than its predecessor. The eighteen vessels in this class were built at Severodvinsk and Komosomolsk.

When the Delta I first entered service with the Soviet Northern Fleet in 1972, it was the world’s largest submarine. The last one in the class was brought into service in 1977.

The range of the R-29 (SS-N-8) missiles was such that the Delta I boats could operate in the Barents and Norwegian Seas, rather than venture out into the Atlantic. By deploying these submarines in friendly waters the Soviet Navy was able to offer a measure of protection from NATO anti-submarine units.

The Delta I boats were operated by the Soviet Northern and Pacific Fleets. By the early 1990s only nine remained in service and they began to be decommissioned as part of START 1 agreements.

Between 1972 and 1975 four interim Delta II class submarines were built at Severodvinsk. They were basically the same as the earlier vessels but were lengthened by 16m (52ft 6in) to allow the addition of four more missiles tubes. These improved boats carried the R-29D missile, and had reduced noise levels brought about by a new hydroacoustic coating over the entire vessel. The first Delta II entered service in September 1975. In accordance with the START1 agreement Delta II boats were decommissioned from 1996 onwards.

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