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Akula-class Nuclear Attack Submarine

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Project 971 Щука-Б (Shchuka-B, 'Shchuka' meaning "pike", NATO reporting name "Akula"), is a nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) first deployed by the Soviet Navy in 1986. The class is also known under the name Bars (meaning "snow leopard"). There are four sub-classes or flights of Shchuka, consisting of the original eight Akula Is, six Improved Akula Is, six Akula IIs, and four Akula IIIs. The Russians call all of the submarines Shchuka-B, regardless of modifications.

Some potential for confusion may exist, as the name Akula (Акула meaning "shark" in Russian) was used by the Soviets for a different submarine, the Projekt 941 which is known in the West as the Typhoon-class. By contrast, the Projekt 971 (the subject of this article) was named Shchuka-B by the Soviets but designated as the "Akula-class" by the West after the name of the lead ship, K-284.

The launch of the first submarine in 1985, according to defense analyst Norman Polmar, "shook everyone [in the West] up", as Western intelligence agencies had not expected the Soviet Union to produce such a boat for another ten years.

Three incomplete Akula IIs were completed and sold to India in the late 1990s.

Unit Run[edit]


Akula I[edit]

  • RFK Akula (K-284)
  • RFK Delfin (K-263)
  • RFK Kashalot (K-322)
  • RFK Ak Bars (K-480)
  • RFK Bratsk (K-391)
  • RFK Pantera (K-317)
  • RFK Madagon (K-331)
  • RFK Kharius (K-273)

Improved Akula I[edit]

  • RFK Volk (K-461)
  • RFK Leopard (K-328)
  • RFK Kuzbass (K-419)
  • RFK Tigr (K-154)
  • RFK Iribis (K-224)
  • RFK Terpug (K-318)

Akula II[edit]

  • RFK Samara (K-295)
  • RFK Vepr (K-157)
  • RFK Kuguar (K-337)
  • RFK Rys (K-182)
  • RFK Nerpal (K-152)
  • RFK Akula-molot (K-225)

Akula III[edit]

  • RFK Gepard (K-335)
  • RFK Narval (K-350)
  • RFK Lev (K-346)
  • RFK Gadyuka (K-342)


  • INS Chakra (S71)
  • INS Chilka (S72)
  • INS Cauvery (S73)
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