The first unit of the Delta class was launched in 1972 and, in 2016, a certain number of its successors still form the backbone of
the Russian fleet of ballistic missile submarines. Around 1985 there were 38 units in service. Armed with sixteen SLBM, they are
undoubtedly very powerful units, but suffer from defects which have been characteristic of the Soviet submarine design. The
large amount of holes in the hull and the large casing behind the sail are a cause of hydrodynamical drag and underwater noise
emissions, which are exacerbated by the presence of twin propellers. These effects have been attenuated in the last group of the
class, the Delta IV, built from 1981 and which currently has seven units in service, along with three or four of the Delta III.
The SSN23 transports four 100kiloton nuclear warheads and has a maximum range of about 8300 kilometers, with an estimated accuracy
(CEP) of about 900 meters. A derivative version entered service in 2007 for being fitted to the Delta IV class. It has a similar
operational range, is fitted with four or eight reentry vehicles and has a CEP of about 500 meters. The maximum test range achieved
was 11547 kilometers. On the other hand, the SSN18 was produced in three different versions, with ranges from 6500 to 8600 kilometers
and a CEP varying from 900 to 1400 meters. The units of the Delta class can launch as well the antiship missile SSN15 through their
torpedo tubes.
Delta class: 43 units (18 units Delta I; 4 units Delta II; 14 units Delta III (K424, K441, K449, K455, K490,
K487, K496 Borisoglebsk, K506 Zelenograd, K211 PetropavlovskKamchatskiy, K223 Podolsk, K180, K433 Svyatoy Georgiy Pobedonosets,
K129 Orenburg, K44 Ryazan); 7 units Delta IV (K51 Verkhoturye, K84 Ekaterinburg, K64 Podmoskovye, K114 Tula, K117 Bryansk, K18 Karelia, K407 Novomoskovsk))
Type: Nuclearpowered ballistic missile submarine
Length: 136.1 meters (Delta I); 152.7 meters (Delta II); 155.1 meters (Delta III); 160 meters (Delta IV)
Beam: 11.6 meters (Delta I); 11.8 meters (Delta II); 12 meters (Delta III and Delta IV)
Draught: 10 meters (Delta I); 10.2 meters (Delta II); 10.2 meters (Delta III and Delta IV)
Displacement (surfaced): 8600 tonnes (Delta I); 9600 tonnes (Delta II); 11000 tonnes (Delta III); 12000 tonnes (Delta IV)
Displacement (submerged): 10000 tonnes (Delta I); 11400 tonnes (Delta II); 13250 tonnes (Delta III); 14250 tonnes (Delta IV)
Propulsion: 2 x shaft, 2 x steam turbine, 2 x nuclear reactor, 5200060000 shaft horsepower
Speed (surfaced): 1214 knots (22.225.9 kilometers/hour)
Speed (submerged): 2425 knots (44.446.3 kilometers/hour)
Range: Theoretically unlimited; 80 days of endurance
Design depth: 390 meters (Delta I and Delta II); 320 meters (Delta III and Delta IV)
Complement: 120135
Armament (Delta I): 12 x SSN8 SLBM, 4 x 533millimeter torpedo tube, 12 x torpedo/missile reload
Armament (Delta II): 16 x SSN8 SLBM, 4 x 533millimeter torpedo tube, 2 x 400millimeter torpedo tube
Armament (Delta III): 16 x SSN18 SLBM, 4 x 533millimeter torpedo tube, 12 x torpedo/missile reload
Armament (Delta IV): 16 x SSN23 SLBM, 4 x 533millimeter torpedo tube, 12 x torpedo/missile reload
