Submarines of the Soviet Navy - Page 1
|Like the U.S. Navy, the Soviet Navy found German submarine innovations
of compelling interest. It rapidly built a fleet of fast, modern ocean-going
submarines based on German models and continued to build and deploy diesel-electric
attack submarines throughout the Cold War. The first Soviet ballistic missile
submarines in the late 1950s were also diesel-electric. By 1960, however,
the Soviet Navy had launched its first nuclear-powered attack and ballistic
It also developed a third type of nuclear-powered submarine (called SSGNs) designed specifically to launch cruise missiles against American aircraft carrier task forces. At its peak in 1980, the Soviet submarine force numbered 480 boats, including 71 fast attacks and 94 cruise and ballistic missile submarines. Because the names of individual Soviet submarines are seldom known abroad, the usual practice is to refer to them only as a member of a submarine class. The most widely known class names are those assigned as code names by NATO, such as Alfa, Charlie, and Kilo.
Soviet Alfa-Class Nuclear-powered Attack Submarine
Soviet Typhoon-Class Nuclear-powered Ballistic Missile Submarine
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Soviet Kilo-Class Diesel-Electric Attack Submarine
Diesel-electric submarines can be effective for missions such as coastal defense, where high speed and long range are not crucial. Operating on virtually silent electric motors underwater, they are inherently quieter than nuclear-powered boats with their coolant pumps. Diesel-electric submarines are also less costly to build and maintain.
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