Washington: National Interest’s top-five list of the world’s deadliest submarines includes a Russian strategic Borei-class vessel which carries up to 16 intercontinental ballistic missiles with a range of up to 8,000 kilometres.
The US magazine National Interest has revealed five nuclear-powered submarines that it believes “could destroy the world in 30 minutes” and that proved to be “the most deadly weapons mankind has ever devised”.
The US-made Ohio-class submarine, armed with 24 Trident II ballistic missiles, ranks first in The National Interest’s top-five list.
Each Trident II missile can carry twelve W88 475 kiloton thermonuclear warheads, which “have the capability to be used as first strike weapons”, according to the news outlet, which specifically refers to the Ohio-class submarine’s “formidable capabilities”.
National Interest asserts that even a single such vessel “could reduce as many as 288 city-sized targets into radioactive ash in less than 30 minutes”, ending human civilisation “in less time than it takes to order a pizza”.
Right now, nine Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines are deployed in the Pacific and five more are on mission in the Atlantic.
These submarines are being built to replace the Ohio-class vehicles with their “ageing design”, National Interest reports, adding that the new subs are “slightly larger than the Ohio-class” but only have 16 Trident II missiles on board.
Most of the new vessels’ “massive size is taken up by a new life-of-the-boat reactor and permanent magnet motor drive, which while extremely quiet, is also enormous”, the magazine notes.
The first such submarine, which can be seen as “an advanced derivative” of the Virginia-class vehicle, is expected to enter service in 2031.
The Russian Navy’s Project 955 Borei-class ballistic missile submarine ranks third in the deadliest sub list.
These vessels are equipped with sixteen RSM-56 Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missiles with a rage of 8,000 kilometres (about 4,970 miles).
The missiles’ nuclear warheads are specifically designed to evade enemy air defence systems, National Interest recalls, touting the Borei-class submarines as “the quietest Russian ballistic missile submarines built to date”.