The military capability of countries all over the world has grown from small naval ships to now nuclear-powered submarines which stay under the water for several weeks or even months. Nuclear submarines are more powerful than diesel-powered submarines because nuclear reactors power them. Nuclear reactors run for years without the need for refueling like diesel-powered submarines. The development in the nuclear sectors has enabled a lot of countries to build nuclear-powered submarines to defend their borders. Some of the countries with nuclear submarines are the United Kingdom, Russia, India, United States, China, and France.
Countries With Nuclear Submarines
The United States has several nuclear submarines in three categories cruise missile, attack submarines, and ballistic submarine. Each of the three submarines serves a specific purpose with the latter used for carrying ballistic missiles. Attack submarines take care of tactical missions like intelligence gathering, launching cruise missiles, and even sinking ships or submarines. From the first sub the US had, the Turtle, the advance in technology has enabled better submarines to be built. The US has 72 submarines in total which are further divided into class Los Angeles, Ohio, Virginia, and Seawolf.
The Russian Navy has several nuclear submarines; some were inherited from the Gorbachev while others were built. In total, the Russian navy has 45 nuclear submarines in three categories attack, ballistic missile, and cruise missile submarines. The attack submarines in the Russian navy can also carry land nuclear cruise missiles.
The People’s Republic of China navy operates three fleets of submarines in the North Sea, South Sea, and the East Sea fleet. The fleets consist of both the nuclear powered and conventional powered submarines of which fourteen of the submarines are nuclear powered. The nuclear-powered submarines are categorized into ballistic and attack. The submarines are further placed into different classes namely type 091 Han class, 092 Xia class, 093 Shang, 094 Jin, 095, 96 Tang class, and type 098. The submarines are active and patrol the waters of the People’s Republic of China while protecting its citizens.
The Indian navy has only two nuclear submarines with other submarines powered by other means. The two are ballistic missile and attack submarine. The last submarine was leased from the Russians in 2012, and it is under the Indian Navy for ten years. The attack submarine is an Akula class 11 submarine named Chakra. The other sub is in Arihant class submarine and was commissioned in 2016. Both of the two submarines are active and in the water. Apart from the two, the Indian navy has another submarine under construction which may be commissioned in December 2017.
Future of Nuclear Submarines
The nuclear submarine club is increasing year after year as countries around the world see the importance of having a nuclear submarines for their security. The advancement in technology is also enabling submarines to be built with the top-notch technology. Technology incorporated in the submarines enables the missiles to be fired from a far without the location of the sub being known.