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NAME

TYPHOON (TK-208)

CLASS

SUBMARINE

ENT/SERVICE

DECEMBER 12th 1981

BUILT

SEVERODVINSK SHIPYARD / ARCHANGEL / RUSSIA

WEIGHT

24,000 TONS

LENGTH

563 FEET

WIDTH

75 FEET

SPEED

27 KNOTS SUBMERGED

PROPELLERS

2 - 7 BLADE FIXED PITCH SHROUDED

ENGINES

2 - NUCLEAR REACTORS POWERING TWO STEAM TURBINES - 100,000 HP

TORPEDOES

4 - 25 INCH+2 - 21 INCH TUBES / 20- RSM-52 BALLISTIC MISSILES


Typhoon was the first of six submarines in this class built for the Russian Navy between 1981 and 1989. The Typhoon class submarines were the largest built in the 20th Century and with the Cold War over, they will probably be the largest ever built. Since entering service in 1981, Typhoon has served with the Russian Northern Fleet based at Lista-Guba. These submarines have a crew of around 150, can dive to over 1,000 feet and are capable of staying at sea for up to 120 days. Each of the Typhoon class submarines carries 20 RSM-52 ballistic missiles that have a range of 8,300 kilometers. These missiles have ten separate nuclear warheads that can be directed onto ten different targets.

Typhoon rear

Typhoon class submarines are designed with an extraordinary hardened hull as they are intended to operate under ice and be capable of breaking through the ice to launch their missiles. This class of submarine also carries 22 various types of conventional torpedoes that can target ships, other submarines and aircraft. Russia has begun dismantling three of their Typhoon class submarines in order to comply with the Strategic Arms Treaty of 1992. Typhoon and the other two remaining submarines of this class underwent a refit and refueling in 1990. It is thought they will be capable of staying in service until around 2007.

Typhoon front

The first Russian submarines were ordered by Rear - Admiral Vitgeft for his fleet based at Vladivostock in 1900. At that time, Russia and Japan were debating who should have control of Manchuria and Korea. This difference of opinion led to the Russo/Japanese war of 1904-1905. During that conflict, both countries believed their opposing navies had advanced submarines, as when their ships hit mines, they believed submarines were attacking them. In reality, submarines at that time were of a primitive design that posed no real threat to warships.

Two Typhoon class in port

Russian submarine development fell behind other nations as their Admiralty thought they were only useful as a deterrent. Throughout World War Two, Russian submarines were relatively ineffective as they had a poor diving depth and range. The first Russian nuclear submarines began entering service in 1955 during the Cold War. At that time, Russia embarked on a building program that saw them construct over 240 nuclear powered submarines by the end of the century. There are currently six nuclear submarines lying on the seabed, four Russian and two American. The latest nuclear submarine to sink was the 18,300-ton Russian Anti Ship Cruise Missile carrying Kursk. An unexplained explosion caused this disaster that led to the loss of all her 118 crew.

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