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gelgoog

Senior Member
Registered Member
I could see them building 8 nuclear submarines per year but 18 seems excessive.
With the end of the Cold War the major powers limited the amount of nuclear submarines they operate.
Russia's nuclear submarine fleet is bound to shrink further in numbers of the next decade and may only recover after that.
Both Russia and the US are operating older submarines way beyond their originally expected design lifetimes.

You also have to remember that nuclear submarines today are much larger and have larger displacements. So one single submarine has a lot more firepower available to it than older types. This is similar to what happens in aviation where with each generation each aircraft grows more capable and total acquisition in terms of number of aircraft tends to decline. Some people call this Augustine's Law after Norman Augustine who used to head Lockheed Martin.
 

banjex

Junior Member
Registered Member
In my view, anything over 3-4 nuclear submarines a year is pushing it. Modern nuke subs are very complicated and expensive, especially SSBNs. And given China's relative weakness in nuclear submarines, it is extremely unlikely in my view that they'll lay down any more than 3-4 SSN/SSBN a year for the foreseeable future.

Russia's nuclear submarine fleet is bound to shrink further in numbers of the next decade and may only recover after that.
Doubtful - they're upgrading the Akulas and Oscars, and building more Yasens and Borei. Plus the whole Delta IV fleet is still in service, with a few boats overhauled in recent years.
 
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gelgoog

Senior Member
Registered Member
...
Doubtful - they're upgrading the Akulas and Oscars, and building more Yasens and Borei. Plus the whole Delta IV fleet is still in service, with a few boats overhauled in recent years.
Only a couple of the Akulas and Oscars are getting major upgrades. The others only had minor maintenance done to them which means they will remain obsolete in weapons and systems so by the end of the decade are likely to be decommissioned. The Borei program is the most advanced in terms of construction thanks to them reusing those Akula hulls for the first three units. I do not expect the SSBNs to be an issue. But Russia is way behind in terms of attack subs.

The US has the opposite problem in that they have a mostly obsolete SSBN fleet and relatively modern attack submarines. But even then they are still operating some Los Angeles attack subs which is kind of ridiculous. Those hulls are really old by now.

Then again given the recent scandal about low quality steel being used in US submarines by forging the inspection certificates for submarines over the last couple of decades, perhaps they are better off retaining those relics after all.
 

banjex

Junior Member
Registered Member
There are only a couple of Akulas and Oscars left so they don't need to modernize many to maintain the fleet size :)
 

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