A Balance of Doom – Ballistic Missile Submarines in 2022

K-549 KnyazVladimir 2019. Credit: https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:HoteitH&redlink=1 [modified]

This post totals up the number of currently operational ballistic missile submarines and their submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) tubes.* These boats are mostly equipped with nuclear-armed missiles with Multiple Independently targetable Reentry Vehicle (MIRV). Missile boats or “boomers” are a premier strategic deterrence – as opposed to land-based stationary missile sites, they are difficult to target in any first strike and so present a potent retaliatory threat. Follow the links to see other submarines.

NATO Allies – 464 MIRV SLBM tubes:

United States Navy – 14X24 Ohio class SSBN LOA 560′ / 170.7 m TDISP 18,750 tons submerged

Royal Navy – 4X16 Vanguard class SSBN LOA 492′ / 150 m TDISP 15,900 tons

French Navy – 4X16 Triomphant Class SSBN LOA 453′ / 138.1 m TDISP 14,350 tons submerged

Russia – 192 MIRV SLBM tubes:

5X16 Borei Class / Project 955 SSBN LOA 557′ / 169.8 m TDISP 24,000 tons submerged

6X16 Delta IV Classes / Project 667BDRM Delfin 1X16 Delta III / Project 667BDR Calmar SSBN LOA 520′ / 158.5 m TDISP 18,200 tons submerged

China – 72 MIRV SLBM tubes:

6X12 Type 094 / 094A (NATO: Jin class) SSBN LOA 443’/ 135 m TDISP 11,ooo tons submerged

India – 24 SLBM tubes

2X12 Arihant class SSBN LOA 364′ / 110.9 m TDISP 6,000 tons. Currently armed with short or intermediate-range missiles that do not break down into MIRVs.

North Korea 1 or 2 short-ranged SLBM tubes

1X1 OR 1X2 Simpo / Gorae class SSB (Ballistic missile conventionally powered submarine) (1 active) LOA ca. 225′ / 68.6 m TDISP 1,600 tons submerged (estimate). SLBM missiles, based on observed tests are short-ranged and do not break down into MIRVs.

*At any given time, several of these boats will be undergoing dockyard work. This list does not include submarines reported to be test beds, such as the last Russian Typhoon class, Dmitriy Donskoy, or the Chinese Type 032/Qing class.

104 year old Russian Salvage Ship found to be doing just fine!

Kommuna rescue ship, Sevastopol, 2009. George Chernilevsky / Public domain

The Komunna has been salvaging Russian subs since the time of the last Czar, Nicholas II. She was loosely modeled on the Imperial German ship, SMS Vulkan. Shipsearcher staff located the catamaran-style vessel, with four enormous connecting trusses, in a bay near Sevastopol, in the Crimea. This specialized ship is the oldest operational warship in the World. Entering service in 1915, “Volkhov” (her name from 1915-1922), salvaged submarines from the First World War.

During the Second World War, at the Siege of Leningrad, crews worked tirelessly to help Soviet defenders salvage and raise tanks and other vehicles that had fallen thru the ice bridge resupplying the beleaguered city. Russian regimes have come and gone, but Kommuna has remained active salvaging submarines, other shipwrecks, and even advanced aircraft on the seafloor. A 1999 refit saw her outfitted as a submarine rescue ship, with modern equipment. Recent additions include a British Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), the Pantera Plus, and other rescue submersibles. Visit the page for Russian naval auxiliaries and other vessels for Kommuna and other unique Russian warships!

The entire Russian Northern Fleet has sortied and they are searching for YOU!!

Comrades, this is your captain. It is an honor to speak to you today, and I am honored to be sailing with you on the maiden voyage of our motherland’s most recent achievement. Once more, we play our dangerous game, a game of chess against our old adversary — The American Navy. For forty years, your fathers before you and your older brothers played this game and played it well. But today the game is different. We have the advantage. (Captain Marco Ramius – Hunt for Red October)

Introducing Russian Surface Units – Current and Retired. It joins the Soviet / Russian submarines page to document many classes of Russian warships, from the massive Kirov class battlecruisers to new stealth frigates. Among the strangest of naval vessels, near the end of the list, are the Ekranoplans: These are the daughters of the “Caspian Sea Monster.” You will have to visit the page to untangle that shipsearcher statement!

Soviet / Russian Subs Spotted on the Surface!

Shipsearcher staff have been busy looking into the inlets around Murmansk and Vladivostok for large Russian submarines. We’ve found some nice satellite captures of boats to share in a new page on Russian submarines.

Oscar II Pacific Fleet 2018 test

DN-SN-96-00408
Oscar II class submarine, showing the wide breadth, 1994 NARA: 330-CFD-DN-SN-96-00408

Many, like the enormous Typhoon Class of Hunt for Red October fame, are resurrected dinosaurs of the Cold War, while some are new and terrifying breeds.Typhoon TK208 Sevmash 2018

Featured in the page are nuclear boats that have been the subject of media speculation, such as the World’s longest submarine, the special mission heavily modified Oscar II class Belgorod, and the Losharik deep submergence mini-sub. These are some of the biggest and scariest subs active today. We hope you enjoy these views, just remember, in Soviet Russia, submarine submerges YOU!!