PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – One of the deadliest weapons in a country’s arsenal is submarines. In the past, they played a significant role during World War II and during the Cold War.
Realistically, this type of weapon has never stopped improving and developing, which is proof that submarines are an indispensable part of the navy.
In the current ranking there is no way to put the latest developments in this area, for the main reason that they still do not have enough life, or combat missions to determine their rank. But maybe in a year or two we will make this ranking, because today countries like Russia, the United States, South Korea, Japan, France, China, Great Britain, India and others. have started processes to upgrade their fleet of submarines, which will certainly exceed the characteristics of those listed below in this ranking.
Here we are at the beginning – let’s start!
5. Sierra-class, Russia
A Soviet project of the late 70s of the last century belongs to the multipurpose generation of submarines, in which special attention was paid to increasing their search capabilities. Their main purpose was the timely detection of enemy submarines, tracking them down and then destroying them, if an order was given for this. Thanks to the high-strength titanium alloy, it was possible to significantly increase the diving depth and reduce the magnetic field of the vessel, and according to the last point, submarines of this type are still world leaders today.
Lightweight design, two-body. On the bow you can find an elliptical extremity, on the stern – fusiform. In total, there are six interconnecting compartments under the main body, and they are waterproof. The compartment where the water flows is insulated if necessary. The crew rescue system is also thought over – there is a pop-up capsule designed for the entire crew of the boat at once.
The main power plant is a pressurized water reactor with a capacity of 43,000 horsepower, there is also a turbo-toothed reactor, the latter being equipped with four steam generators. The armament complex allows you to fire regardless of the depth at which the submarine is at the moment. The ammunition stock includes 40 torpedoes and missiles, and even nuclear warheads are allowed.
- Slight noise when moving underwater;
- The branched power plant will not allow the boat to remain motionless;
- Well thought out high-precision target detection system;
- The ability to shoot, regardless of the diving depth.
- The hull is made of an expensive alloy, so the boat was produced for only 7 years.
4. Yasen-class, Russia
Unlike many submarines, this project is characterized by the so-called one-and-a-half-hull design. Only the fairings of the front and aft parts act as a light hull, the captain’s and conning tower and the superstructure received additional protection. From the inside, the boat is divided into several compartments; during the development, a certain number of changes were made to the location of the weapons in comparison with the models of the previous generation.
Torpedoes here are not in the bow of the boat, as in most, but on the sides, in the middle part – a similar solution is more typical of surface ships. The body is made of low-magnetic steel, which is also covered with a layer of special rubber, which reduces noise and reduces the reflection of acoustic waves from the locators. In the bow there is a high-activity hydroacoustic complex with a number of additional antennas that occupy almost the entire bow surface of the boat, leaving no room for torpedo hatches.
The nuclear reactor available here is capable of operating without recharging for 30 years – the boat itself will last about the same. The primary coolant is located directly in the reactor itself, which prevents radiation exposure of the crew and reduces the likelihood of an emergency.
- Torpedo tubes are located on the sides;
- Reliable nuclear reactor;
- The rubber cover of the case allows for very quiet movement;
- Possibility of completing with various torpedoes and missiles.
- There is no hull reinforcement in the compartments where the crew is.
3. Astute-class, UK
In third place is a fairly large submarine of the Royal British Navy. Its release began relatively recently – the development of the project started in 1991. A Trafalgar-class submarine was used as a prototype, but the new submarine should have almost doubled its ammunition.
The result is a single-body, single-shaft design with a pump-type engine that practically does not make noise during operation. Outside, the boat is covered with a special anti-acoustic coating, which includes 39 thousand special plates that absorb the sonar signal. Compared to previous versions, it is better suited to work in coastal waters and even in shallow waters. This solution allows you to hit targets very far on land.
As a power plant, a water-moderated nuclear reactor is used, two steam turbines, through a gearbox, delivering torque to one shaft. The reactor operates for 25 years without recharging. During its service life, the submarine can perform as many as 40 voyages around the world. In order to increase the autonomy period, a system for generating oxygen from sea water has been installed here. There are six torpedo tubes, the maximum range of the missile is 1600 km, one warhead has a mass of 454 kg.
- One of the newest world developments;
- Long service life of the reactor, which does not require recharging;
- A special system is provided for the production of oxygen contained in sea water;
- Able to maneuver in shallow water.
- There is no ability to carry nuclear warheads.
2. Virginia-class, US
The American fourth-generation submarine is designed to work with the enemy both at considerable depths and for coastal operations. In addition to a set of standard weapons, this submarine has original equipment – uninhabited underwater vehicles, an airlock for divers with lightweight equipment, deck mount that allows you to install a container or a miniature submarine.
The development of the project started in the late 1980s, but the first model left the shipyard only in 2004. The boat turned out to be quite noisy, to combat this defect, the latest coatings were used to damp acoustic vibrations, a system of insulated decks was installed from the inside, the power plant was developed using the latest technologies. In addition, to reduce noise, the propeller was placed in a fenestron or annular fairing, which is approximately equal in depth to the diameter of the propeller itself.
This is the first boat in the world without a periscope in the traditional sense. Instead, a special telescopic mast is used here, which does not penetrate into the boat’s hull itself. It houses a television camera that transmits a signal to a display at the command post via fiber optic cable. The body also has communication and electronic reconnaissance antennas, a sensor for observation in infrared mode. The infrared laser is used as a rangefinder. To detect underwater minefields, unmanned automatic vehicles are used that can operate in an autonomous mode for up to 18 hours.
- Significant equipment not only with combat units, but also with additional devices;
- The world’s first model without the classic optical periscope;
- It is capable of performing a whole range of combat and reconnaissance tasks.
- Quite noisy propeller, despite all its acoustic protection.
1. Seawolf-class, US
Initially, the development of this project was carried out in response to the creation of a submarine of the Shchuka-B class by Soviet military engineers. It is a revolutionary example of American design and the use of the latest technology in the construction of submarines. The submarine has been under development for 10 years. The first model was laid down in the fall of 1989, it was launched into the water in the summer of 1995.
This is one of the very first designs that was developed using computer technology. Initially, it was planned to release a series of 30 submarines, but after the collapse of the socialist state, the number was reduced to 12, and even fewer were released – only three ships. Today this model is the most modern in a number of its characteristics, besides, such a boat is more expensive than any similar product in the world.
When developing the project, special attention was paid to a significant reduction in the noise of the boat during movement at low speed. For this, the original jet-type engine was used, which was previously used on the British Trafalgar series submarines. Here, 8 torpedo tubes were installed at once, and the number of charges was increased to 50 units, and missiles and torpedoes are capable of hitting underwater, waterborne and ground targets at a considerable distance, it is possible to launch nuclear warheads, volley fire simultaneously from all mines.
- The original design of the propeller blades and the engine provide low noise when driving at low speed;
- It is allowed to release 8 torpedoes in one gulp at once;
- The first submarine developed exclusively on a computer.
- A very expensive submarine.
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