:: DELTA CLASS (1972-1990) ::

Delta III class ballistic missile submarine (1976-1982) High resolution picture

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 SS-N-23 transports four 100-kiloton 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 SS-N-18 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 SS-N-15 through their torpedo tubes.

Delta class: 43 units (18 units Delta I; 4 units Delta II; 14 units Delta III (K-424, K-441, K-449, K-455, K-490, K-487, K-496 Borisoglebsk, K-506 Zelenograd, K-211 Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, K-223 Podolsk, K-180, K-433 Svyatoy Georgiy Pobedonosets, K-129 Orenburg, K-44 Ryazan); 7 units Delta IV (K-51 Verkhoturye, K-84 Ekaterinburg, K-64 Podmoskovye, K-114 Tula, K-117 Bryansk, K-18 Karelia, K-407 Novomoskovsk))

Type: Nuclear-powered 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, 52000-60000 shaft horsepower

Speed (surfaced): 12-14 knots (22.2-25.9 kilometers/hour)

Speed (submerged): 24-25 knots (44.4-46.3 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: 120-135

Armament (Delta I): 12 x SS-N-8 SLBM, 4 x 533-millimeter torpedo tube, 12 x torpedo/missile reload

Armament (Delta II): 16 x SS-N-8 SLBM, 4 x 533-millimeter torpedo tube, 2 x 400-millimeter torpedo tube

Armament (Delta III): 16 x SS-N-18 SLBM, 4 x 533-millimeter torpedo tube, 12 x torpedo/missile reload

Armament (Delta IV): 16 x SS-N-23 SLBM, 4 x 533-millimeter torpedo tube, 12 x torpedo/missile reload

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