Of 62 strategic submarines deployed by the Soviet Union in 1990, by 1998 the Russian Navy had only 28, and by some recent reports, as few as 23 were operational. Most of the rest had been junked or were waiting to be. At a peak of the Cold War tensions, 20 to 22 submarines were at sea. By the late 1990s there were usually two, and they did not go far. By the late 1990s the lack of resources and qualified personnel forced the Russian Navy to cut back operations considerably, with typically only two of its two dozen ballistic missile submarines on combat patrol at sea at any time -- typically, a Delta-IV submarine in the Northern Fleet, and a Delta-III in the Pacific.
Sources and Methods
- Secrets of the Soviet SLBMs , Christian Lardier , Air & Cosmos/Aviation International, 12/6/1996 -- Soviet SLBMs make use of unique technologies such as "immersed" engine technology and nuclear warheads in "inverted" position.
- Submarine Successfully Launches ICBM in Barents Sea 3 Oct , ITAR-TASS, 10/4/1996
- Navy Reports Successful Test Launches of SLBMs , INTERFAX, 7/16/1996 -- Two submarines of the Delta-III and Delta-IV class launched two SLBMs of the RSM-40 and RSM-54 types.
- Russia: Navy Reports Successful Test Launches of SLBM's , INTERFAX, 7/16/1996 -- Two submarines of the Delta-III and Delta-IV class launched two SLBMs of the RSM-40 and RSM-54 types.
- Russia: Atomic Submarines Practice Firing in Barents Sea , Vasiliy Belousov, ITAR-TASS, 7/15/1996
- Pacific Fleet Conducts First Ballistic Test Launch 28 Jun , ITAR-TASS, 7/1/1996
- Our Finest Scientific-Technical Achievements Are Embodied in the Russian Fleet, VOORUZHENIYE, POLITIKA, KONVERSIYA, No. 2(13), 1996 -- Interview with Professor G.P. Voronin, doctor of sciences on technological developments in the Russian Navy.
- Strategic Naval Forces. Problems and Prospects , A.M. Ovcharenko, VOORUZHENIYE, POLITIKA, KONVERSIYA, No. 2 (13), 1996
- Tigers' Living Under Water, Sergey Ptichkin, ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA, 3/16/1996 -- Strategic Subs Said To Show Superiority Over U.S. Rivals.
- The Maritime Component of the Nuclear Triad: It Embodies the Best Achievements of the Domestic Military- Industrial Complex, Admiral Oleg Aleksandrovich Yerofeyev, commander of the Northern Fleet, NEZAVISIMOYE VOYENNOYE OBOZRENIYE, 3/14/1996 -- Supports implementing START II without unduly affecting submarine missile force levels.
- AES--Underground!, Sergey Alekhin, ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA, 8/5/1995 -- New Uses for Nuclear Equipped Ships, Subs Investigated
- Typhoon in a Teacup: Undervaluing Naval Strategic Forces Poses Threat of Russia Losing Most Important Priorities, and Not Only Military Ones, Sergey Ptichkin, ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA, 5/19/1995 -- Does Russia need a strategic submarine fleet, and what does it stand to lose if it is given up for reasons of economy?
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