LONDON -

 Nuclear submarines are at the center of the crisis between France on the one hand and the trio of the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States on the other hand, against the backdrop of the three countries signing a security agreement under which Australia will obtain nuclear submarines, instead of the conventional submarines that it would have acquired from France.

And interest has returned again to nuclear submarines, which are considered one of the most advanced strategic weapons in terms of technologies, and their great destructive capabilities.

A number of military experts were not surprised that Australia went to the United States and the United Kingdom to obtain nuclear submarines, as they are among the most advanced countries in their manufacture.

We review the most important nuclear submarines owned by the United Kingdom and the United States and their combat capabilities.

The US submarine "USS Georgia" while crossing the Strait of Hormuz (US Department of Defense)

The most powerful fleet

Military estimates agree that the United States owns more than 70 submarines, some of which are conventional and strategic nuclear submarines, the most famous of which are the “Virginia” submarines, which are nuclear-powered fast attack submarines, and they are the latest American submarines that include stealth and intelligence-gathering techniques. "Sea Spy" as the most dangerous collector of information in the oceans.

These submarines are designed to engage in submarine warfare, and are scheduled to replace the Los Angeles-class submarines, and more are expected to be manufactured until 2043, and to remain in service until 2060.

submarines "Ohio"

The website "National Interest" classified these submarines as capable of "ending the world", and they can carry 24 Trident 2 D5 ballistic missiles, and each missile can carry up to 12 A nuclear warhead, with absolute accuracy in hitting the target, where the probability of error is less than 90 meters next to the target.

About 14 of these submarines are still in service with two undergoing maintenance, each carrying 20 Trident 2D5 nuclear missiles, which means that this fleet of submarines carries about 240 nuclear missiles. Since 2016, 9 submarines have been deployed Of this class in the Pacific Ocean, while 5 other submarines have been allocated to the Atlantic Ocean.


Sea wolf submarines

They are nuclear-powered, high-speed attack submarines, of which the US Navy owns 3, and were designed in the conditions of the Cold War, and are considered among the most expensive in the world, with the cost of each submarine amounting to 3 billion dollars.

The submarine is among the weapons of the final military response of the United States, which means that moving it means ending the battle. It is considered the fastest and calmest in the water, and the most heavily armed, and was moved in 2019 in the high North Atlantic to confront Russian submarines in that region.

Los Angeles submarines

They are submarines that operate with a nuclear reactor, and they are the most prevalent category in the US nuclear fleet, as there are 51 nuclear submarines distributed between the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans.

These submarines can carry a nuclear warhead, are equipped with an anti-radiation warhead, and can be equipped with anti-ship missiles with a range of more than 150 kilometers.

British submarines are the world's most capable submarines to carry out covert surveillance operations (British Royal Navy website)

"Vanguard" submarines

In presenting its nuclear fleet of nuclear submarines, the British Navy says that while this fleet is "hidden, it is capable of hearing everything and capable of securing nuclear missiles".

At the forefront of this fleet, there are "Vanguard" submarines, of which the Kingdom owns 4, each armed with "Trident 2D5" nuclear missiles, which are among the most powerful nuclear missiles that can be launched from the sea, and the United Kingdom considers it its "nuclear deterrent", which is able to protect it from any military threat to it.

These missiles can be launched at targets more than 4,000 miles away, and have a speed of more than 13,000 miles per hour. These submarines carry 40 nuclear warheads, and about 8 missiles to operate the nuclear warheads.

Vanguard's submarines have a universal sensor, described as the British Navy's "ocean ear", given that it is an ultra-sensitive system capable of hearing ships more than 50 miles away.

These submarines are equipped with "SPEARFISH" torpedoes, a torpedo weighing more than a ton and capable of blowing up submarines and large-sized ships, and can reach a target at a distance of 14 miles, and at low speed it increases to 30 miles.

Submarines "Trafalgar"

The Trafalgar submarines were designed during the Cold War for the UK Army, but have undergone extensive development to meet the requirements of the 21st century. The main role of these submarines is to track and destroy enemy nuclear submarines, as well as destroy naval ships.

These submarines are also considered among the world's most capable submarines to carry out covert surveillance and reconnaissance close to the shore, as they can hear any target more than 50 miles away.


Astute submarines

The Astute, or Artful, submarines are the Royal Navy's largest and most powerful attack submarines ever, and combine highly sensitive sensors with world-leading weaponry.

In 2012, it demonstrated its ability to launch Tomahawk missiles, in addition to successfully launching ballistic missiles from the Gulf of Mexico and successfully hitting targets in northern Florida.

It was to be built 7 submarines of this class, which are the latest and most advanced, the cost of the first 3 submarines about $ 1.8 billion each, and the remaining four $ 1.2 billion each as well, as part of a program launched by the Royal Navy to develop nuclear submarines worth $ 40 billion.

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