Russia Might Take the Biggest Submarine Ever and Add 200 Cruise Missiles

Sebastien Roblin

Sebastien Roblin

Security,

Or is this just a bluff? 

Russia Might Take the Biggest Submarine Ever and Add 200 Cruise Missiles

Thus, while the idea of Russia reviving its cold war leviathans sounds compellingly scary, there’s evidence it makes little practical or financial sense given more cost-efficient and survivable means to achieve the same ends. It could also be the project is being trumpeted for the propagandistic symbolism behind deploying super-submarines that are larger and carry more missiles than their American counterparts.

On April 20, 2019, Russia’s TASS Agency reported that Vice Admiral Oleg Burtsev announced Russia’s intention to take two of its decommissioned Typhoon-class ballistic submarines and pack them full of hundreds of cruise missiles.

(This first appeared last month.)

“The dimensions of these submarines allow arming each of them with at least 200 cruise missiles [each],” he said.

The Typhoon ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), famously featured in the film Hunt for Red October, are by far the biggest and most expensive submarines ever built. Cruise-missile-armed Typhoons would give Russia direct analogs of the United States’ four Ohio-class cruise missile submarines (SSGNs), which had their launch tubes for nuclear-armed ballistic missiles replaced with vertical launch systems for 154 conventionally-armed Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Burtsev made the missile-envy issue explicit:

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