The Russian Typhoon-class submarine is massive. According to Russian sources, a submerged Typhoon-class displaces 48,000 tons. For a sense of size, the largest submarines in the United States’ arsenal, the much-vaunted Ohio-class, displace just shy of 19,000 tons, making the Typhoons two-and-a-half times as large by displacement.
Like the Ohio-class, the Soviet Union built the Typhoons to conduct nuclear deterrence patrols, lying quietly undetected in remote locations underwater and awaiting the command to launch their whopping twenty R-39 Rif intercontinental ballistic missiles at targets in the United States. The Soviet Union’s R-39 Rif missile was the largest intercontinental ballistic missile ever created, and the Typhoons were built around the missiles.
The massive size of the Typhoon-class is due to its correspondingly large ballistic missiles. The U.S. Naval Institute explains just how large these missiles are:
According to the U.S. Naval Institute, this massive disparity in size between the American and Soviet/Russian missiles is due to the differences in plastics industry maturity, which in the United States, was able to create both plastic children’s toys, as well as important binders for solid-fuel missile components.
Due to their massive size, the Typhoon-class has many amenities onboard that would be unheard of in any other submarine class — some bordering on the ridiculous. There is apparently a pool, a sauna, a waterfall, and even a bird aviary onboard.
The Typhoon submarines were able to carry a full crew of 160 seamen and supplies to last for a single 4-month deployment. There were also some creature comforts on board like the pool, sauna, and gym.