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The Typhoon Class Submarine Is Big. But How Big?
The iconic Pr.971 'Akula' (NATO: TYPHOON Class) is the largest submarine ever built. It's overall dimensions are much more than any other submarine (although a few Russian types are longer). They are easy to find: Displacement is 23,200–24,500 t (22,830–24,110 long tons) surfaced and 48,000 t (47,240 long tons) submerged. It's length is 175 m (574 ft 2 in) and its beam is 23 m (75 ft 6 in).
These are impressive but in case you find it difficult to picture just how big that is I made this quick graphic. It shows it compared to the US Navy's largest submarine and an average US house.
The average US home is around 2,300 square feet (sources vary, context is everything). Looking at plans for detached 2-story homes this size shows that a representative house is about 40 ft (12 m) wide. The TYPHOON submarine would tower over this.
The TYPHOON Class was built for the Soviet Navy during the Cold War as the ultimate survivable nuclear deterrence platform. Under its armored outer hull are several smaller pressure hulls containing the people and machinery. And 20 massive nuclear missiles.
The crew space is comparatively spacious and includes a sauna and a swimming pool. Saunas are standard on larger Russian submarines but the swimming pool is unique.
A single TYPHOON Class submarine remains in service with the Russian Navy. The Dmitriy Donskoi (TK-208) serves with the Northern Fleet.
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