Topping the list are Project 971 Shchuka-B nuclear submarines (NATO reporting name: “Akula”). The Shchuka-B third-generation multirole subs, introduced in 1984, are designed to protect own surface ships and hunt down and destroy enemy submarines.
Paltus and Varshavyanka
Coming up next are Project 877 Paltus (Halibut) and Project 636 Varshavyanka Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines, which are the most silent in their class.
The Varshavyanka, nicknamed by NATO as “a Black Hole,” was designed to be the first to find and destroy an enemy sub before it knows what hit it.
Just like the Paltus, the Varshavyanka is armed with six 533 mm torpedoes. It also boasts a number of Kalibr-PL cruise missiles, capable of hitting targets about 2,000 miles away.
There are a number of Paltus and Varshavyanka submarines currently in service in Algeria, Vietnam, India and China.
Next on the list is Project 955 Borei-class strategic nuclear-powered missile submarine – the first entirely designed in built in post-Soviet Russia.
The Borei subs are armed with nuclear tipped ballistic missiles and torpedo tubes capable of firing a wide array of anti-submarine and anti-ship torpedoes.
The onboard nuclear reactor generates a very impressive submerged speed of up to 30 knots. The submarine can dive to depths of up to 480 meters and stay underwater for 90 days.
Three Borei-class submarines are currently in service and eight more are scheduled to join the Russian Navy before 2020.
And last, but certainly not least, are Project 885 Yasen-class nuclear subs. These are the most advanced and most expensive of Russia’s fourth generation multirole nuclear submarines. The first such vessel, the Severodvinsk, joined the Northern Fleet in 2014.
An impressive arsenal of self-homing torpedoes and cruise missiles with an effective range of up to 400 miles makes the Yasen equally deadly against underwater, surface and ground targets. The hull is made of rubber-plated low-magnetic steel, which makes the submarine invisible to the enemy.
The giant spherical sonar located in the bow section enables the crew to “hear” the enemy vessel long before it does them.
With its submerged speed of 35 knots, the ability to dive to 600 meters and stay submerged for up to 100 days the Yasen submarine is one of the most sophisticated and powerful of its kind.