The Russian Typhoon-class submarine is massive. According to Russian sources, a submerged Typhoon class displaces 48,000 tons. To get a feel for size, the largest submarines in the United States’ arsenal, the much-lauded Ohio class, displace nearly 19,000 tons, making the Typhoon two and a half times the size.
Like the Ohio-class, the Soviet Union built the Typhoon to conduct nuclear deterrent patrols that lay quietly underwater in remote locations, waiting for orders to fire their whopping twenty R-39 Rif ICBMs at targets in the United States. The Soviet Union’s R-39 Rif missile was the largest intercontinental ballistic missile ever built, and the Typhoon were built around the missiles.
The enormous size of the Typhoon class is due to their correspondingly large ballistic missiles. The US Naval Institute explains how big these missiles are:
According to the U.S. Naval Institute, this massive difference in size between the American and Soviet / Russian missiles is due to differences in the maturity of the plastics industry, which in the United States has been able to make both plastic children’s toys and key binders for solid rocket components.
Due to its enormous size, the Typhoon class offers many amenities on board that are not unknown in any other submarine class – some border on the ridiculous. Apparently there is a pool, sauna, waterfall and even a bird aviary on board.
The Typhoon submarines could carry a full crew of 160 sailors and supplies for a single four-month mission. There were also some amenities on board like the pool, sauna and gym.