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Evolution of Subs

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Definitions of “beam,” “draft,” “displacement”

1982: Oscar Class (Soviet and Russian)
Bristling With Missiles


Soviet Oscar Class
A Russian Oscar II-class nuclear submarine.
Photograph from REUTERS/HO

Oscar submarines remain some of Russia’s largest and most advanced. Most are still active. They are equipped with three times as many antiship cruise missiles as their predecessors, the Charlie-class subs, and four times as many as Echo-class subs. They were designed mainly to attack U.S. aircraft carrier battle groups.

The Kursk, which sank in 2000, was an Oscar-class submarine.

Read the story of the Kursk tragedy.

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Length: 469 ft (143 m) to 505 ft (154 m)

Beam: 35 ft (18 m)

Draft: 24 ft (9 m)

Displacement: 17,000 tons to 18,000 tons

Propulsion: 2 pressurized-water nuclear reactors, 2 propellers

Crew: Approx. 94 to 118

Armament: 6 torpedo tubes, 24 cruise missiles

First Sub Commissioned: 1982

Maximum Speed: Approx. 30 knots (35 mph/56 kph)