:: OSCAR CLASS (1980-1996) ::

Oscar I class cruise missile submarine (1980-1982) High resolution picture

The units of the Oscar class represent the largest cruise missile submarines built for the Soviet Navy. They are of double hull construction, with the two rows of silos placed between the inner and the outer hull, which gives them a characteristic flattened appearance. Flanking a huge sail of 32 meters in length are 24 silos for many other SS-N-19 long-range cruise missiles, the same ones carried by the missile cruisers of the Kirov class. In fact, these submarines and those cruisers share the same purpose: the neutralization of the American aircraft-carrier task forces. The SS-N-19 has a maximum effective range of about 625 kilometers and can carry either 750 kilograms of high explosive or a 500-kiloton nuclear warhead.

Unlike other attack submarines (SSN) which are prepared for launching cruise missiles solely from their torpedo tubes, the Oscar class represents a specialized type of cruise missile submarine (SSGN). With the introduction of long-range cruise missiles which can be launched from torpedo tubes it is possible that the production of SSGN be discontinued in the future in favor of the more compact SSN. However a number of ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) in service with both spheres of power has been adapted to launch cruise missiles from their vertical silos, following the international treaties which aim for a reduction in the number of nuclear warheads in the world.

All of the units in the class were launched between 1980 and 1996. As 2016 about five units of the Oscar II class might remain in active service. Despite of their large size and wide hull these are very fast submarines capable of speeds above 30 knots while in immersion. They are more silent than previous classes of Soviet submarines but surely less than the average western counterpart. Like these, they have been covered with anechoic tiles. Stealth shortcomings could be compensated by the long operational range of the SS-N-19, however this one probably would require some form of external guidance for hitting a target at such long distances.

Oscar class: 13 units (2 units Oscar I (K-525 Arkhangelsk (ex-Minskiy Komsomolets), K-206 Murmansk); 11 units Oscar II (K-148 Krasnodar, K-173 Krasnoyarsk, K-132 Irkutsk, K-119 Voronezh, K-410 Smolensk, K-442 Chelyabinsk, K-456 Vilyuchinsk, K-266 Orel, K-186 Omsk, K-141 Kursk, K-150 Tomsk))

Type: Nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine

Length: 145 meters (Oscar I); 154 meters (Oscar II)

Beam: 18.2 meters

Draught: 9 meters

Displacement (surfaced): 12500 tonnes (Oscar I); 13900 tonnes (Oscar II)

Displacement (submerged): 16500 tonnes (Oscar I); 18300 tonnes (Oscar II)

Propulsion: 2 x shaft, 2 x steam turbine, 2 x nuclear reactor OK-650B 190 megawatt, up to 100000 shaft horsepower

Speed (surfaced): 16 knots (29.63 kilometers/hour)

Speed (submerged): 30-35 knots (55.5-64.8 kilometers/hour)

Range: Theoretically unlimited; 120 days of endurance

Design depth: 500 meters

Complement: 94 (Oscar I); 107 (Oscar II)

Armament: 24 x SS-N-19 SLCM, 2 x 650-millimeter torpedo tube, 4 x 533-millimeter torpedo tube, 28 x torpedo/missile reload (Type 40 antisubmarine torpedo, SS-N-15 antiship missile, SS-N-16 antisubmarine missile) or 32 x mine

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