Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
18 December 1982
Also Known As: Akula and Typhoon
Rubin and Sevmash
Parent System: Project 941
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 18 December 1982
Total Production: 6
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Description: The Project 941, Akula Russian nickname and Typhoon NATO-designation, class submarines have been designed to perform long endurance nuclear deterrence patrols. They are the largest submarines ever built with a multi-hulled (up to 5) design. Its design has been optimized for under ice operations and ice-breaking in the case of a strategic launch. The Soviet Navy commissioned six Akula-class submarines beginning in 1981 which were decommissioned between 1995 and 2005 due to service life expiration of the R-39 missiles and the lack of a replacement.
The Akula-class submarines are equipped with 20 R-39, also known as RSM-52 and SS-N-20 Sturgeon in the West, submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) carrying 10 nuclear warheads each. Six torpedo tubes (two 650mm and four 533mm) provide engagement capability against surface ships and submarines employing torpedoes and missiles. The R-39UTTH Bark was designed as the replacement for the R-39 SLBM but the program was abandoned in the 2000s.
As of 2009, the Russian Navy only operates three submarines due to be decommissioned before 2010. There are plans to extend the service life of remaining submarines but that option seems unlikely due to spare parts unavailability and their high noise emission levels. However, the Dmitry Donskoy submarine was modified to launch the Bulava SLBM with the ship acting as the launch platform during the flight tests in the 2000s. Another two surviving boats could be upgraded to carry the Bulava missile.
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