When it comes to vessels on the sea, in our opinion, the bigger they are the better they are. With that in mind, the aircraft vessels are the largest and most impressive vessels on the water. Today there are 226 aircraft carriers across 19 countries. However, at present only 23 of these are in service. While aircraft carriers are impressive, they also look more like a strip of land on the water. That is why submarines are far better. The largest submarine in the world is found in the Russian fleet and it is an intimidating monster.
There are far more nuclear submarines today than there are aircraft carriers. The leading nation in terms of nuclear submarines (and aircraft carriers) will come as no surprise, the United States. The US has 72 nuclear submarines while Russia is in second place with 38. France, the UK and China round out the top five with 16, 12 and 6 respectively. The only other nation worth mentioning is India with two. North Korea is the only nation I haven’t mentioned that is worth considering. They have been seen testing nuclear submarine missiles in recent years and may now have the capability too.
So while America wins in numbers, it is the Russians who win in size. The largest submarine in the world today is the Dmitriy Donskoy. It is a submarine that was built in the 1980s and is known by NATO as a codename Typhoon class submarine. The weapon is 175 feet long and 25 meters wide, making it a massive, massive machine. It is so large that in entering the water it displaces 48,000 tons. It takes only 160 men to operate which is pretty impressive when you consider the size is about the same as six football fields.
It has 20 launchers on the submarine so can launch a whole fleet of missiles when it feels the need and it can do this both under and on top of the water. Reports suggest it has one of the most advanced submarine missile systems in the world.
When the submarine was first built it was part of a fleet but all of its sister submarines have now been retired. Instead of retiring this beast though the Russian military simply took it back to the workshop for refitting. The submarine was surfaced since 1990 and only reappeared after ten years. In that time it was basically rebuilt to modern standards. The submarine was originally a 3rd generation model and is now regarded as a 4th generation model.
In 2005 it was fitted with the ability to launch Bulava nuclear missiles the Russian’s lead nuclear focus. The submarine is still in service today but is likely facing a limited time left on the sea as the Russian military now focusses on smaller ships. This will mean though that even after it is retired it will likely remain the largest submarine ever in history for a long time.
While bigger may be cooler it is not always the most suitable choice. The new Russian focus is on Borei class submarines that are smaller but still have the ability to launch Bulava nuclear missiles.
It will be a pity the day that the DD is retired because it is an incredible weapon. On board the submarine is a full gym, sauna and even a swimming pool. Although when you see the video and realize that the pool is about five feet wide and ten feet long, so a lot more like a bath, it does make you what else the Russian military has been exaggerating. One thing they are clearly not exaggerating is just how big this submarine is. That is clear for all to see.