Posted By RichC on October 14, 2017
In late 1984, when the first Akula submarine of the Soviet Navy put to sea, it immediately changed the way anti-submarine warfare would be conducted. With the Akula’s arrival the American submarine fleet would no longer enjoy the dramatic undersea advantages they had possessed since the end of the World War II. The Akula, which is Russian for shark, stunned NATO with its high-level of stealth, especially compared to any Soviet submarine before it.
That’s because in the battle for undersea supremacy, silence is the key to survival and victory. Prior to the Akula, the Soviets had already been making huge strides, making their submarines faster, deeper diving, and more heavily armed than American submarines. One submarine, the lone Papa SSGN, a nuclear-powered guided-missile sub, is still the world’s fastest after reaching 44.7 knots (around 51 mph) in 1970.
But the ability to make their submarines as quiet, or nearly as quiet, as American subs had long eluded them. The Akula dramatically changed that. Or, as William Perry—who would later become Secretary of Defense—told a House Armed Services Committee in 1989, “The free lunch was over.”
Read full article: How The Soviet Akula Changed Submarine Warfare