Akula-class Nuclear Attack Submarine

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The Russian submarine RFK Vepr (K-157) underway in Kolsky Gulf in May 2003.

The Project 971 Shchuka B-class submarine (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 five 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 | edit source]

Russia[edit | edit source]

Akula I[edit | edit source]

  • RFK Barnaul (K-263)
  • RFK Akula (K-284)
  • RFK Pantera (K-317)
  • RFK Cashalot (K-322)
  • RFK Magadan (K-331)
  • RFK Bratsk (K-391)
  • RFK Volk (K-461)
  • RFK Ak Bars (K-480)

Improved Akula I[edit | edit source]

  • RFK Tigr (K-154)
  • RFK Delfin (K-264)
  • RFK Kharius (K-273)
  • RFK Leopard (K-328)
  • RFK Gadyuka (K-342)
  • RFK Kuzbass (K-419)

Akula II[edit | edit source]

  • RFK Nerpa (K-152)
  • RFK Vepr (K-157)
  • RFK Iribis (K-224)
  • RFK Akula-molot (K-225)
  • RFK Samara (K-295)
  • RFK Terpug (K-318)

Akula III[edit | edit source]

  • RFK Ryys (K-333)
  • RFK Gepard (K-335)
  • RFK Kuguar (K-337)
  • RFK Lev (K-346)
  • RFK Narval (K-350)

India[edit | edit source]

INS Chakra (S71) at sea on March 31st, 2012.
  • INS Chakra (S71)
  • INS Chilka (S72)
  • INS Cauvery (S73)