World's Top Ferrari-Fast Nuclear Submarines

Catch Me But You Can't: World's Top Ferrari-Fast Nuclear Submarines

Being able to move at high speeds is one the most crucial features of modern nuclear-powered multirole submarines. A submarine needs to be fast to hunt down an enemy but also escape from an enemy’s anti-ship forces.


During  the Cold War, the United States and the USSR fiercely competed for global military dominance, including in terms of underwater warfare. The best American and Soviet constructors and engineers invested much time and energy in developing cutting-edge submarines with outstanding specifications and capabilities.
We takes a look at the five fastest submarines ever built.

5. Los Angeles-class submarine -

The Los Angeles class is a class of nuclear-powered fast attack submarines (SSN) in service with the United States Navy. The submarines are also known as the 688 class, after the hull number of lead vessel USS Los Angeles (SSN-688). They represent two generations and close to half a century of the U.S. Navy's attack submarine fleet. As of 2017, 36 of the class are still in commission and 26 retired from service. 


According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the top speed of the submarines of the Los Angeles class is over 25 knots(46 km/h; 29 mph), although the actual maximum is classified. Some published estimates have placed their top speed at 30 to 33 knots (56 to 61 km/h; 35 to 38 mph)

For a Soviet submarine, it was very difficult to escape when being chased by a Los Angeles-class sub in service since the 1970s.

4. Project 945 Barracuda -

The Sierra I class is the NATO reporting name for a type of nuclear attack submarines intended for the Soviet Navy and Russian Navy. The Soviet designation is Project 945 (Barrakuda). The Sierra class has a light and strong titanium pressure hull which enables the class to dive to greater depths, reduce the level of radiated noise and increase resistance to torpedo attacks. 


The main target of the project 945 Barracuda (NATO reporting name Sierra-I) nuclear-powered submarines was enemy strategic submarines and aircraft carrier groups. The first Barracuda entered service with the Soviet Navy in 1984. 

3. Seawolf-class -

The Seawolf-class multi-role nuclear-powered submarines were one the most expensive projects in the history of the US Navy. The cost of each of the three submarines built reached $3 billion.

At one time, an intended fleet of 29 submarines was to be built over a ten-year period, later reduced to twelve submarines. The end of the Cold War and budget constraints led to the cancellation in 1995 of any further additions to the fleet, leaving the Seawolf class limited to just three boats. This, in turn, led to the design of the smaller Virginia class. The Seawolf class cost about $3 billion ($3.5 billion for USS Jimmy Carter) making it the most expensive SSN submarine and second most expensive submarine ever after the French SSBN Triomphant class.

2. Lira-class submarines -

The Soviet project 705 Lira (NATO reporting name Alfa) was one of the most unusual class of submarines in the history of the Russian Navy. The Lira-class submarines were equipped with automatic command and control systems had a small crew of only 31.


The Lira was a unique design among submarines. In addition to the revolutionary use of titanium for its hull, it used a powerful lead cooled fast reactor as a power source, which greatly reduced the size of the reactor compared to conventional designs, thus reducing the overall size of the submarine, and allowing for very high speeds. However, it also meant that the reactor had a short lifetime and had to be kept warm when it was not being used. As a result, the Liras were used as interceptors, mostly kept in port ready for a high-speed dash into the North Atlantic.

A special titanium alloy hull would be used to create a small, low drag, 1,500 ton, six compartment vessel capable of very high speeds (in excess of 40 knots (46 mph; 74 km/h)) and deep diving. 

1. Project Anchar -

Soviet submarine K-162 was the world's fastest submarine.[3] The first submarine constructed with a titanium hull, she was the only vessel of the Soviet Union's Project 661 Anchar nuclear-powered attack submarine design. The boat is best known in the West by its NATO reporting name Papa classK-162 was renamed K-222 in 1978.


Its speed capability had a downside – the extremely high level of noise the submarine produced at high speeds. This disadvantage made the submarine tactically useless, in addition to its exorbitant cost. The project was rendered futile.






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