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

1981: Typhoon Class (Soviet and Russian)
World’s Largest Submarines


Soviet Typhoon Class
A Soviet Typhoon class ballistic missile submarine underway.
Photograph from CORBIS

Typhoon-class submarines are the world’s largest. They are quieter than their predecessors, largely due to their enormous size and improvements in quieting techniques. Despite their size, they are also more maneuverable than their immediate predecessors.

The main body of the sub contains two “pressure hulls,” which lie parallel to each other and a third, which sits on top of them. This unique design increases the width and simplifies the internal arrangement of the sub.

As part of a cooperative arms reduction program with former Soviet states, most of the six submarines in the Typhoon class are scheduled for dismantling by 2003.

Next: Bristling With Missiles >>

Length: Approx. 574 ft (175 m)

Beam: 75 ft (23 m)

Draft: 38 ft (12 m)

Displacement: 33,800 tons

Propulsion: 2 pressurized-water nuclear reactors, 2 propellers

Crew: 150

Armament: 6 torpedo tubes, 20 ballistic missiles

First Sub Commissioned: December 12, 1981

Maximum Speed: Approx. 27 knots (31 mph/50 kph)