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Typhoon class submarine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Project 941 Typhoon class
Typhoon class submarine underway
Class overview
Name: Akula (Акула) (NATO: Typhoon)
Builders: Rubin Design Bureau
Operators:  Soviet Navy
 Russian Navy
Preceded by: Delta class submarine
Succeeded by: Borei class submarine
In commission: December 12, 1981
Completed: 6
Active: 1
Scrapped: 3
General characteristics
Type: Ballistic missile submarine
Displacement: 23,200–24,500 t (22,830–24,110 long tons) surfaced
33,800–48,000 t (33,270–47,240 long tons) submerged
Length: 175 m (574 ft 2 in)
Beam: 23 m (75 ft 6 in)
Draught: 12 m (39 ft 4 in)
Propulsion: 2 × OK-650 pressurized-water nuclear reactors, 190 MW (254,800 hp) each
2 × VV-type steam turbines, 37 MW (49,600 hp) each
2 shafts
7 bladed shrouded screws
Speed: 22.22 knots (41.15 km/h; 25.57 mph) surfaced
27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph) submerged
Endurance: 120 days submerged[1]
Test depth: 400 m (1,300 ft)
Complement: 160[1]
Armament: 1 × 9K38 Igla SAM
2 × 650 mm (26 in) torpedo tubes
RPK-7 Vodopad AShMs
Type 65K torpedoes
4 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes
RPK-2 Viyuga cruise missiles
Type 53 torpedoes[2]
D-19 launch system
• 20 × RSM-52 SLBMs
Notes: Ships in class include: TK-208[3] TK-202 TK-12[4] TK-13 TK-17[5] TK-20[6] TK-210
The Project 941 or Akula, Russian "Акула" ("Shark") class submarine (NATO reporting name: Typhoon) is a type of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine deployed by the Soviet Navy in the 1980s. With a submerged displacement of 48,000 tons,[1] the Typhoons are the largest class of submarine ever built,[7] large enough to accommodate decent living facilities for the crew when submerged for months on end.[8] The source of the NATO reporting name remains unclear, although it is often claimed to be related to the use of the word "Typhoon" ("Тайфун") by Leonid Brezhnev in a 1974 speech while describing a new type of nuclear ballistic missile submarine. Soviet doctrine for these vessels was to have them launch SLBMs while submerged under the arctic ice, avoiding the traversal of the GIUK gap to remain safe from the enemy attack submarines and anti-submarine forces. Technically Typhoons were also able to successfully deploy their long-range nuclear missiles while moored at their docks.[9]

Contents

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[edit] Description

Typhoon submarines are among the quietest Russian sea vessels in operation,[citation needed] being quieter and yet more maneuverable than their predecessors. Besides their missile armament, the Typhoon class features six torpedo tubes; four are designed to handle RPK-2 (SS-N-15) missiles or Type 53 torpedoes, and the other two are designed to launch RPK-7 (SS-N-16) missiles, Type 65 torpedoes, or mines[citation needed]. A Typhoon class submarine can stay submerged for periods up to 120 days[1] in normal conditions, and potentially more if deemed necessary (e.g., in the case of a nuclear war). Their primary weapons system is composed of 20 R-39 (NATO: SS-N-20) ballistic missiles (SLBM) with a maximum of 10 MIRV nuclear warheads each.
Typhoon class submarines feature multiple pressure hulls that simplify internal design while making the vessel much wider than a normal submarine. In the main body of the sub, two Delta class pressure hulls lie parallel with a third, smaller pressure hull above them (which protrudes just below the sail), and two other pressure hulls for torpedoes and steering gear. This also greatly increases their survivability - even if one pressure hull is breached, the crew members in the other are safe and there is less potential for flooding.

[edit] History

The Typhoon class was developed under Project 941 as the Russian Akula class (Акула), meaning shark. It is sometimes confused with other submarines, as Akula is the name NATO uses to designate the Russian Project 971 Shchuka-B (Щука-Б) class attack submarines. The project was developed with the objective to match the SLBM armament of Ohio class submarines, capable of carrying 192 nuclear warheads, 100 kt each (as 24 UGM-96 Trident I missiles). However, at the time, state-of-the-art Soviet SLBMs were substantially larger and heavier than their American counterparts (the R-39 is more than two times heavier than the Trident I; it remains the heaviest SLBM in service worldwide). The submarine had to be scaled accordingly.
Six Typhoon class submarines were built. Originally, the submarines were designated by hull numbers only. Names were later assigned to the four vessels retained by the Russian Navy, which were sponsored by either a city or company. The construction order for an additional vessel (hull number TK-210) was canceled and never completed. Only the first of these submarines to be constructed, the Dmitriy Donskoy, is still in active service with the Russian Navy, serving as a test platform for the Bulava (SS-NX-32) missile which is currently under development. The Arkhangelsk (TK-17) and Severstal (TK-20) remain commissioned, though not currently active with the Russian fleet. All the R-39 missiles have been retired. The Typhoons are slated to be replaced by the Borei class starting in 2010-11.
In late December 2008, a senior Navy official announced that the two Typhoon-class submarines, the TK-17 and TK-20, that are in reserve would not be rearmed with the new Bulava SLBM missile system. They could however be modified to carry cruise missiles or to lay mines, or could be used in special operations.[10] In late June 2009, the Navy Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky told reporters that the two submarines would be reserved for possible future repairs and modernization.[11] In May 2010 the Navy Commander-in-Chief reported that Russia's Typhoon-class submarines would remain in service with the Navy until 2019.[12]

[edit] Variants

[edit] Typhoon-based cargo vessel

The Submarine Cargo Vessel is a proposed idea by the Rubin Design Bureau where a Typhoon has its missile launchers removed and replaced with cargo holds. The projected cargo capacity of this configuration is 15,000 tonnes (15,000 long tons).

[edit] Units

# Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
TK-208[3] Dmitriy Donskoy June 30, 1976 September 27, 1980 December 29, 1981[1] In service. Upgraded to project 941UM for use of Bulava missiles
TK-202 April 22, 1978 September 23, 1982 December 28, 1983[1] Withdrawn from active service in June 1999, scrapped 2003-2005
TK-12,Simbirsk April 19, 1980 December 17, 1983 December 26, 1984[1] Withdrawn from active service in 1996, scrapped 2006-2008
TK-13 February 23, 1982 April 30, 1985 December 26, 1985[1] Withdrawn from active service in 1997, scrapped 2007-2009 [13]
TK-17[5] Arkhangelsk August 9, 1983 December 12, 1986 December 15, 1987[1] In reserve from 2006, main armament inactive.
TK-20[6] Severstal August 27, 1985 April 11, 1988 December 19, 1989[1] In reserve from 2004, main armament inactive.
TK-210 1986 1990 (scrapped on the ways)[1]

[edit] 834 TK 208 Dmitriy Donskoy

Typhoon-#1
  • 9 February 1982: Entered 18th division (Zapadnaya Litsa), NOR.
  • December 1982: Transferred from Severodvinsk to Zapadnaya Litsa.
  • 1983-1984: Tests of D-19 missile complex. Commanders: A.V.Olkhovikov (1980–1984).
  • 3 December 1986: Entered Navy Board of the Winners of the Socialist Competition.
  • 18 January 1987: Entered MoD Board of Glory.
  • 20 September 1989–1991: Repairs and refit at Sevmash to Project 941U. 1991 refit cancelled.
  • 1996: Returned to 941U refit.
  • 2002: Named Dmitriy Donskoy.
  • 26 June 2002: End of refit.
  • 30 June 2002: Start of testing.
  • 26 July 2002: Entered sea trials, Re-entered fleet, without missile system.
  • December 2003: Sea trials; refitted to carry a new Bulava missile system. New missile system expected to be operational by 2005.
  • 9 October 2005: Successfully launched SS-NX-30 Bulava SLBM from surface.
  • 21 December 2005: Successfully launched SS-NX-30 Bulava SLBM from submerged position on move.
  • 7 September 2006: Test launch of the Bulava missile failed after several minutes in flight due to the problems in the flight control system. The missile fell into the sea about a minute after the launch. The sub was not affected and was returning to Severodvinsk base submerged. Later reports blamed the engine of the first stage for the failure.
  • 25 October 2006: Test launch of the Bulava-M missile in the White Sea failed some 200 seconds after liftoff due to the apparent failure of the flight control system.
  • 28 August 2008: Undergone successful testing at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk, Arkhangelsk Oblast. More than 170 men are currently working with the Dmitriy Donskoy, hundred of them employees at the Sevmash plant and 70 from other involved companies.

[edit] 830 TK 17 Arkhangelsk

Typhoon-#5
  • 19 February 1988: Entered 18th division (Zapadnaya Litsa) NOR.
  • 8 January–9 November 2002: Refit at Sevmash.
  • In July 2002, crew petitioned Main Navy Headquarters to adopt the name Arkhangel'sk (renamed on 18 November 2002).
  • Commander: 2002-2003 V.Volkov.
  • 17 February 2004: Took part in military exercises with President Vladimir Putin aboard.
  • Could be modified to carry cruise missiles or to lay mines, or could be used in special operations.

[edit] TK 20 Severstal

Typhoon-#6
  • 28 February 1990: Entered 18th division (Zapadnaya Litsa), NOR.
  • 25 August 1996: Successfully launched SLBM
  • November 1996: Successfully launched SLBM from North Pole.
  • 24 July 1999: Took part in parade on Navy Day in Severomorsk, NOR.
  • November–December 1999 - distant cruise.
  • 2001: named to Severstal.
  • June 2001–December 2002: Repairs at Sevmash.
  • Commander: A.Bogachev (2001).

[edit] Satellite photos

Two to four units (depending on the satellite map service you click) visible in the waters of the naval base/submarine manufacturing/scrap base of Severodvinsk, Russia
One to three units (depending on the satellite map service you click) visible in the waters of the Zapadnaya Litsa naval base on the Kola peninsula

[edit] Media references


Typhoon class submarine, covered with ice

[edit] Red October

Probably the best-known fictional Typhoon class submarine was the stealth equipped Red October, the subject of the Tom Clancy novel The Hunt for Red October and its 1990 movie adaptation, starring Sean Connery as the fictional Captain Marko Ramius.
In the novel, the Red October used a drive system consisting of long shafts cut through the hull with impellers inside them, called a tunnel drive or caterpillar drive. In the movie, the caterpillar drive was instead said to be a magnetohydrodynamic drive. In both the novel and the movie, the drive was said to be near-silent; this made the Red October a perfect platform for launching depressed-trajectory ballistic missiles at the United States.
The movie features the Red October as an upgraded Typhoon class submarine with additional length and a towed array sonar (the distinctive "bulb" seen on top of the rudder houses).

[edit] National Geographic

In 2008 National Geographic released a documentary about the scrapping of one of the Typhoons in the series "Break It Down".[14] This ship is TK-13, which was scrapped over the time period 2007-2009.
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