One of the most important characteristics of a submarine is stealth, which largely depends on the depth of immersion. The submarine at great depths is less noticeable and therefore less vulnerable, and the blow it inflicts will be all the more unexpected and inevitable.
How submarines are submerged
The evolution of the submarine fleet is a gradual dive to great depths. If during the First and Second World Wars it was limited to 80-100 and 100-150 meters, respectively, today this figure has increased by 3-5 times.
How does the dive take place? On the surface, the submarine is not much different from an ordinary ship, if you do not take into account its specific appearance. The immersion takes place due to the reception of ballast - sea water - into the tanks. The containers are located between the lightweight and durable housings.
Ascent is carried out "in reverse order" - by blowing the ballast. Water is squeezed out of the tanks with a powerful stream of compressed air. After complete immersion, the depth at which the boat is located is regulated by special rudders.
The submarine's ability to dive is characterized by two main indicators - working (operational) and maximum depth. In the first case, we are talking about the depth to which the boat can submerge without any restrictions throughout its entire service life.
The maximum immersion depth denotes the boundary below which the destruction of the skin and the entire structure can begin. Usually, immediately after launching, the submarine is sent to the maximum depth, where it is “run in” for some time. This indicator is individual for each type of submarine.
The Soviet nuclear submarine "Komsomolets", which "dived" almost 1030 meters in 1985, remains the absolute record holder of maximum diving. Alas, her fate in the future was tragic. 4 years later, as a result of a fire that led to irreversible destruction of the hull, she sank in the Norwegian Sea.
Depth - save or perish
To hide, sneak up on the enemy and inflict a devastating blow on him, and then disappear unnoticed - this is how you can designate the tactics of a submarine. And the depth here is one of the most important factors.
However, it is fraught with colossal danger. At a depth of only 50 meters, the conning tower exit hatch with an area of 2 m² is under pressure of almost 60, 000 kg. It is easy to calculate how much this indicator will increase at a depth of 300-400 meters.
For the controllability of the submarine in the vertical plane, as a rule, two pairs of horizontal rudders are responsible - stern and bow. Depending on their position, the boat gets a bow or stern trim. The task of the commander and the crew is to carry out the necessary maneuvering within the technical capabilities of the boat, so that, if this happens, the limiting, maximum dive does not turn out to be the last.
Features of Russian and US nuclear submarines
The main differences lie in "architecture". American submarines are single-hull: pressure is resisted by a single streamlined hull. In contrast to them, Soviet and later Russian nuclear submarines are a kind of "matryoshka", where under the outer streamlined lightweight hull there is a strong inner one. The real record holder for the number of buildings is the famous Typhoon (project 941). The largest nuclear submarine in the world has five durable hulls inside a lightweight hull.
According to experts, double-hull boats are more tenacious, albeit heavier. For example, the Typhoon's rubber soundproofing coating alone weighs 800 tons, which is slightly more than the entire American nuclear submarine NR-1.
Prospects for the Russian nuclear submarine fleet
Over the past 4 years, the Russian Navy has been replenished with four modern nuclear submarines: Severodvinsk (avenue Yasen) with operating and maximum diving depths of 520 and 600 m, respectively, Vladimir Monomakh - 400 and 480 m, Yuri Dolgoruky - 400 and 450 m, "Alexander Nevsky" - 400 and 480 meters. Another 11 nuclear submarines of the Borey-A and Yasen projects are next in line.
However, immersion depth is not their only advantage. Today, low noise is becoming much more important. According to experts, here Russia has taken a leading position in the world.