The new ranking of the 49 most dangerous submarines in the world includes A-list heavy submarines as well as some of the smallest submarines in service. The list features American Ohio- class missile submarines , each capable of covering targets with up to 154 cruise missiles, as well as some ships built during World War II and midget submarines designed by Iran and North Korea.
The list, compiled by the submarine agency HI Sutton in Covert Shores., Is a rundown of the deadliest submarines operated by the world’s naval forces. The list takes into account the number of torpedoes, torpedo and missile launchers of the submarine, designed to fire anti-ship or ground attack cruise missiles.
A submarine usually carries 12 to 38 torpedoes or missiles, and uses four to eight torpedo tubes. Meanwhile, the rocket assemblies, which are usually mounted vertically on top of the hull, carry one rocket. For example, later versions of the US Navy’s Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered submarines are armed with four 533mm torpedoes to launch the Mk. 48 ADCAP torpedoes, some of the best guided torpedoes in the world.
The Los Angeles ship can carry up to 33 weapons for these pipes, including the Mk. 48s and a submarine-launched variant of the Harpoon anti-ship missile. The submarines are equipped with 12 more missile units, each of which is equipped with Tomahawk ground attack cruise missiles.
Four Ohio-class missile submarines topped the new list. Originally designed to carry up to 24 Trident nuclear-armed ballistic missiles, these submarines were excluded from the nuclear deterrent mission as a result of the nuclear arms limitation treaty between the United States and Russia. The US Navy, rather than retiring, traded its Trident missile silos for the ability to carry SEALs and their underwater vehicles and Tomahawk ground attack missiles. The four converted Ohio-class boats can now carry a whopping 154 Tomahawk missiles – far more than any other platform.
The rest of the list includes several new submarines, including the new Russian Severodvinsk-class missile submarines with 72 torpedoes and missiles and the Royal Navy’s Astute class submarines with 44 guns. There are indeed some odd picks on the list, including two Taiwanese Guppy class submarines originally built during World War II. Elsewhere on the list, you will find smaller non-ocean-going submarines such as the Iranian Fateh.
Size isn’t everything, and some of the world’s smallest submarines have made it to Sutton’s list. In fact, of the 49 types of submarines included, only one, the tiny Yono class, actually sank an enemy warship. In March 2010, one of five North Korean Yono boats attacked the South Korean corvette Cheonan. Sinking it and killing 46 sailors.
The Yono (“Salmon”) is only 95 feet long, displaces only 130 tons, and is equipped with only two torpedo tubes. Nevertheless, he managed to sink a surface warship far exceeding its size, and it escaped unnoticed.
Of course, sinking enemy ships is not the only task of a modern submarine. Capable of sneaking up on enemy coastlines, submarines are also excellent platforms for land-based cruise missiles. In 2018, the Virginia-class submarine USS John Warner (No. 8 on the list) launched Tomahawk missiles at chemical weapons targets in Syria. Royal Navy Trafalgar (No. 10) submarines fired Tomahawk missiles at targets in Afghanistan and Libya, and Russian Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines (No. 24) launched 3M14 Caliber cruise missiles at targets in Syria in 2015.
The list doesn’t rank everything. It does not include, for example, the quality and effectiveness of torpedoes and missiles, which vary from navy to navy. He also does not assess the overall effectiveness: two Taiwanese Hai Shih class submarines from World War II rank 11th on the list, but only because of their 10 torpedo tubes (six forward-facing, four backward) and 14 torpedoes. Today’s submarines typically have half as many tubes (all facing forward), but twice as many torpedoes and missiles.