How big are the Russian and Chinese submarine fleets?


As the Congress ponders shipbuilding plans and defense spending, it is important to answer that question, to ensure that the Navy will receive enough funding to build an adequate number of submarines.

As of 21/12/2010, Russia has 248 SLBMs: 192 (12*16) on its 12 Delta class submarines (16 missiles per submarine), 40 on its 2 active-duty Typhoon class submarines (20 missiles per submarine), and 16 on the Borei class submarine Yuri Dolgoruki.
If Russia has 248 SLBMs, 88 intercontinental bombers and 369 ICBMs, then its total triad of delivery systems numbers 705 weapons.
Russia currently possesses 12 active-duty Akula class subs, plus 1 reserve vessel; 8 Victor class submarines (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_class_submarine); and 3 Sierra class submarines. The total Russian SSN fleet is 24 subs. On top of this, Russia has 10 SSGNs (which are not subject to the New START treaty), including 8 Oscar-II class submarines, plus 16 SSBNs (3 of the Typhoon class, 12 of the Delta class and 1 of the Borei class), including 2 reserve SSBNs of the Typhoon class. So the total Russian fleet of nuclear submarines is 48 submarines, including 2 reserve subs. Yes, Russia is modernizing its military and developing decent weapon systems, but it cannot afford to maintain its nuclear arsenal at its current size.

On top of those 40 nuclear-propelled submarines, Russia has 17 conventional Kilo class submarines (including reserve boats) (all of the Paltus subclass), 1 obsolete Tango class submarine, and 1 Lada/Amur class submarine, although there are several Tango class and Kilo class submarines whose status is uncertain/unknown.

So Russia has a total fleet of 59 submarines of all types.

If it is true that 31 Romeo class and Ming class are still serving with the Chinese Navy as of 28-11-2010, then the PLAN has 71 submarines of all kinds (31 Romeo class and Ming class subs, 5 Han class subs, 2 Shang class subs, 1 Xia class SSBN, 5 Jin class SSBNs, 13 Song class submarines, 5 Yuan class submarines, and 1 Golf class submarine). This is the same as the number of subs possessed by the USN (43 LA class submarines, 3 Seawolf class submarines, 18 Ohio class subs, and 7 Virginia class subs.) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarines_of_the_People%27s_Liberation_Army_Navy)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s