15 Largest Submarines in The World

Submarines are undersea ships or vessels that may operate at significant depths below the water’s surface, making them difficult to detect and destroy from a military perspective.

Submarines today have become an essential part of the naval fleet in any country. In addition to serving as a nuclear deterrent, these vessels conduct surveillance missions and monitor domestic seas. The submarines propelled by steam engines gained widespread as they were used in naval combat during World War II in 1812.

The earliest submarines were manually operated and extremely slow until the first nuclear-driven USS Nautilus was launched in 1955. Since then, these became the deadliest attack ships, reaching 25 to 35 knots.

So in this article, I will take you through the 15 largest Submarines in the World, starting with the least in length and then down to the very largest one.

15. Akula Class Submarine, Russia (113m)

Source: militaryphotos.net

A nuclear-powered assault submarine, the Akula Class has a submerged displacement of 13,800 tons. There are ten submarines, with nine serving in the Russian Navy and one in the Indian Navy.

The primary components are a nuclear reactor using pressurized water, a steam turbine, and two turbo generators producing 2,000 kilowatts each. One seven-bladed propeller and one retractable electric propulsor make up the propulsion system, allowing for low-speed cruising.

It is 113m long with a submerged surface and underwater displacement of 13800 tons, 10 knots, and 35 knots, respectively. Its beam and draft are 13.6m and 9.7m, respectively.

The submarine can carry up to twelve nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, each with a three thousand kilometers range. There are eight torpedo tubes on board, four measuring 533mm and four measuring 650mm.

14. Virginia-Class Submarine, United States (114m)

Source: pocketfullofgrace.com

Virginia-Class Submarine is a stealthy multimission nuclear-powered submarine built for warfare in the deep ocean and coastal missions. These 114m long enclosures can house equipment with a standard width of 19 inches or 24 inches. It has a submerged, surface, and underwater displacement of 7800 tons.

While the Russian Improved Akula-Class and fourth-generation attack submarines make more noise than Virginia, the noise level of Virginia is on par with that of the US Navy Seawolf, SSN 21. Virginia employs recently developed anechoic coatings, separated deck structures, and an innovative propulsor to produce the low sound signature.

The Virginia-Class assault submarine has four 533mm torpedo tubes and twelve vertical missile launch tubes. Sixteen Tomahawk submarine-launched cruise missiles (SLCM) may be fired rapidly from the vertical launch system. Up to 26 mk48 ADCAP mod 6 heavyweight torpedoes or sub-harpoon anti-ship missiles may be launched from the ship’s 21 torpedo tubes. It’s also possible to equip Mk60 CAPTOR mines.

Related: Zubr Class – The World’s Largest Hovercraft

13. Sendoku Class Submarine, Japan (121m)

The Japanese I-400, 121m in length, was twice as long as its American equivalents and hence the longest submarine of World War Two. It has a 5.5-inch deck gun, three 25-millimeter autocannons, and eight Bow torpedo tubes, all of which are highly powerful (2 Bow, 1 Aft). Three M6A Sieran Seaplanes were kept dry and secure in the I-400’s own hangar. Just five Type-400 were built because of the difficulty of the project.

12. Jin Class Submarine, China (138m)

Source: eurasiantimes.com

The Type 094 Jin-Class Submarine is an update of the Type 092 Ballistic Nuclear Submarine produced by China. It represents the country’s first attempt at a nuclear deterrent faring at sea. The Jin-class submarine is armed with modern sensors, 12 nuclear missile tubes, and quieting technology.

It is dedicated to propelling nuclear weapons and carries 12 JL-3 Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) with a striking range of 7,200km and 9,000km. When submerged, it has a displacement of 14335 tons and 25 tons on the surface.

11. Triomphant Class Submarine, France (138m)

Source: AFP/Nicolas Tucat

The Triomphant Class, with a submerged displacement of 14,335 tonnes, is also one of the world’s largest submarines. This French nuclear ballistic missile submarine is an element of the French Navy’s nuclear strike deterrent force. It has four variants: Le Triomphant, Téméraire, Vigilant, and Terrible.

The French Navy’s flagship submarine first went into service in 1997. Each submarine measures 138 meters in length, 12.50 meters in beam, and 10.60 meters in depth. This submarine has a surface speed of 25 knots, pressurized water K15 nuclear reactor, two SEMT Pielstick diesel alternators, a turbo reduction system, and eight PA4V200 SM auxiliary motors that comprise the ship’s propulsion system.

The submarine is loaded with sixteen M45 intermediate-range missiles. There are additionally F17 torpedoes, four 533mm torpedo tubes, and TN 75-tipped missiles.

Related: World’s Longest Sea Bridges: The Magnificent 15

10. Graney Class Submarine, Russia (139m)

Source: USNI News/Dave Majumdar

The Graney Class submarine is also known as Project 885 Yasen. It is a series of new nuclear-powered submarines built for the Russian Navy. Severodvinsk (K-329), the first of its kind, entered service with the Russian Navy in 2013, and six more are now in the works.

The Graney class features a single hull fabricated with low magnetic steel, giving it a less magnetic footprint. It has a submerged displacement of 13,800 tonnes, a length of 139 meters, and a beam of 15 meters.

The Yasen class submarine can travel at a maximum submerged speed of 35kt and a maximum surface speed of 20kt thanks to its KPM-type pressurized water reactor and steam turbine propulsion systems.

9. Vanguard Class Submarine, United Kingdom (149m)

Source: zona-militar.com / Sebastian

With a submerged displacement of 15,900 tonnes, the UK Royal Navy’s Vanguard-class submarines are the fifth largest in the world. A Rolls-Royce pressurized water reactor powers them, two GEC 20.5 MW turbines, two auxiliary retractable propeller engines, two turbo generators, and two diesel alternators.

Submarines in the Vanguard class measure 149.9 m in length, 12.8 m in beam, and 12 m in draught. The submarine is armed with 16 Trident II missiles and four 533mm torpedo tubes, among other arsenals.

8. HMS Dreadnought Class Submarine (153.6m)

Source: snafu-solomon.com/Solomon

The elegant Dreadnought-Class submarines will replace the Vanguard-class ships. UK Defense Journal reports that while specifics regarding the new submarine are few, we should expect more autonomy, a cheaper sensor array, and a unified missile department. By the early 2030s, the Dreadnought will start plying the seas.

7. Oscar II Class Submarine, Russia (155m)

Source: nationalinterest.org/Sebastien Roblin

The double-hulled Oscar II class is the world’s seventh-biggest submarine in length. It was built to plow through Arctic ice during wartime. It carries 3M-54 Kalibr supersonic cruise missiles and 24 anti-ship cruise missiles. It has a submerged displacement of 24000 tons, an underwater displacement of 26 knots, and a beam of 18.2m.

These massive Soviet-era submarines have a peak submerged speed of 32 knots/37 mph, making them ideal for attacking US aircraft carrier battle groups and coastal sites.

6. Delta Class Submarine, Russia (166m)

Source: reddit.com/Saturnax1

Severodvinsk’s Delta Class is a massive ballistic missile submarine. There are four distinct sub-classes within it. The power plant consists of two steam turbines driving two five-bladed fixed-pitch shrouded propellers and two pressurized water-cooled reactors.

The Delta IV submarine has a submerged displacement of 18,200 tons. The dimensions of the sub are 166 meters in length, 12.3 meters in beam, and 8.8 meters in depth. The submarine can travel at a speed of 24 knots when submerged. There are sixteen R-29D SLBMs, four 533mm and two 400mm torpedo tubes in the arsenal’s D-9D launch tubes.

5. Columbia Class Submarine, United States (170.1m)

Source: www.defensedaily.com

The Columbia-class submarines are the future of the US nuclear deterrent. It will be far cheaper than maintaining the Ohio-class fleet over its expected 40-year lifespan. The submarines will have a submerged displacement of 20,810 long tons and measure 170.7m in length with a beam of 13m.

The Columbia class will never need to refuel in service as its predecessor did. In addition, it will include an electric-drive system, making it quieter and lowering the cost of repairs. Within the next decade, you may expect these submarines to operate in the open seas.

4. Borei-Class Submarine, Russia (170m)

Source: IIdus Gilyazutdinov

The Borei-Class is the first Russian submarine to utilize pump-jet propulsion technology. It is powered by an AEU steam turbine and an upgraded hull OK-650 nuclear reactor. Ranked as the second largest submarine in the world, the Borei-Class has a submerged displacement of 24,000 tons.

Borei-Class can transport nuclear warheads, RPK-2 Viyuga cruise missiles, 5t Bulava ballistic missiles, and 533mm torpedo tubes. The Borei class is 170 meters long, 13.5 meters wide, and 10 meters deep. It can go at 15 speeds above and 29 knots below the surface.

3. Ohio-Class Submarine, United States (171m)

Source: businessinsider.com

The Ohio-class submarine has a 242 kW auxiliary diesel engine, a seven-bladed shaft, and an S8G pressurized water reactor to ensure a surface displacement speed of 12 knots and an underwater speed of 20 knots. With a submerged displacement of 18,750 tons, the Ohio Class is the third-largest submarine in the world.

Each Ohio-class submarine has a length of 171m, a beam of 13m, and a draft of 10.8m. An Ohio-class submarine can launch one of its 24 Trident II missiles up to 12,000 km away. They can carry more missiles than the Russian Typhoon and Borei-class submarines.

2. Typhoon Class Submarine, Russia (175m)

Source: 19fortyfive.com/Russian State Media

The Typhoon Class Russia now makes the second largest on the list. It may not be the largest in the world, but it is the most massive and heaviest submarine. It is a nuclear-powered submarine with ballistic missiles and a submerged displacement of 48,000 tons. The Typhoon-class submarines are 175 meters long, 23 meters wide, and 12 meters deep.

They are propelled by two pressurized water nuclear reactors (-650B), two steam turbines with a combined power of 50,714 horsepower, and four turbogenerators with a combined power of 3,200 KW, allowing them to travel at 22.2 knots above the surface and 27 knots below it.

A 100kt nuclear warhead can be carried by each of the 20 RSM-52 intercontinental ballistic missiles with which the submarine is armed. Additionally, it has type 53 torpedoes and six 533mm (21 in) torpedo tubes in its arsenal. It is wider than any other submarine because it has multiple pressure hulls, allowing crew members to live peacefully on board for up to 120 days. For more details and images on the Typhoon Class check our detailed article:

Related: Typhoon Class: The World’s Largest Submarine

1. Oscar-II Class Belgorod Submarine, Russia (178.1m)

Source: 19fortyfive.com

The Russian Oscar-II Class Belgorod tops the list of our largest submarines in the world. It beats the legendary Typhoon Class submarine as it has a whooping length of 178.1 meters. One of its distinguishing characteristics is a more miniature submarine (named the Losharik) that is attached to and can be released from the vessel’s underbelly.

The Losharik will be utilized for clandestine operations and underwater espionage, while the Belgorod is equipped to launch the heaviest and deadliest torpedoes ever made, the Poseidon. Word on the street has said this 65-foot long, 2-megaton nuclear warhead torpedo can cover thousands of miles at top speed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most powerful submarine in the world?

The Russian nuclear submarine Dmitry Donskoy is the most powerful submarine in the world. It was designed to carry 20 RSM-52 intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of holding nuclear warheads. It’s also armed with 22 anti-submarine missiles and torpedoes of varying types.

Who has the largest nuclear submarine fleet in the world?

The United States of America has by far the largest nuclear-powered fleet worldwide.

What is the longest submarine in the world?

The Russian Oscar-II Class Belgorod is the longest submarine in the world, with a length of 178.1m.


From the earliest wooden craft submarines down to today’s largest nuclear ones, submarines are fascinating. Countries that possess them use them for various reasons, including protection, warfare, blockade running, salvage, exploration, marine science, and tourism. So, the race is on to construct the largest submarine in the world.

This article has provided a list of the 15 largest submarines in the world, having Russia as the country with the first two largest ones, followed by the United States of America. Also, Russia has the highest number of large submarines, followed by the United States of America.

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