What Is The Deepest A Military Submarine Has Gone?

What Is The Deepest A Military Submarine Has Gone - Merchant Navy Info - Blogs

A military submarine is a pressure vessel that can operate at depth. These are mechanically balanced by a uniform hydrostatic pressure distribution over the surface. Submarines are designed to withstand very high loads and pressures. Due to the hydrostatic pressure of the water level in which they are submerged.

Submarine design should always consider linear incremental hydrostatic pressure and depth theory. Therefore, if you choose a particular submarine design. Its survivability is only at a certain depth. Beyond this it will collapse due to pressure loads exceeding the limit state. Oxygen storage is a critical issue for military submarine with surviving crews. All military submarine are designed to carry breathable oxygen on board. Depending on the number of crew members and the range of the ship. H. Estimated time underwater. This capacity is limited.


Furthermore, at very great depths, the oxygen density increases due to the increasing pressure gradient. Therefore, the attrition rate is also high. Additionally, various elements such as propulsion, machinery, communications, ammunition, and power can withstand certain limiting conditions. Therefore, for practical reasons, submarines are designed to operate only up to a certain depth.

How deep is this? 

The answer to this is very relative and variable. This depends on a variety of factors, including vessel service, design, material properties, and operating conditions. Conversely, based on the ship’s requirements, material and structural design criteria are also selected. So that the ship remains intact and achieves its purpose under the desired operating conditions. Even within the upper safety limits will be done.

As with all design conditions, there are limits to submarine survivability. The diving depth of a submarine determines the submarine’s navigation and diving capabilities. And is the most important parameter considered in the early stages of design. This depth is not a single quantity and has various evaluations and definitions. These are: 

Normal Depth or Test Depth

This is the depth at which the submarine will operate under normal conditions. Normal conditions refer to various aspects, from the absence of war or conflict to favorable weather and maritime conditions. In such situations, submarines are designed to operate at different depths. And move from one place to another within this range. This is also known as test depth, as submarines are required to operate at such depths during sea trials. The test depth is the minimum depth value for the submarine’s diving depth limit.

Maximum Operating Depth

This is the deepest permissible limit that a submarine can operate under all conditions to ensure integrity and functionality. Under harsh conditions, such as during wartime or in extremely harsh weather conditions, submarines can dive much deeper than normal conditions if necessary. This rating indicates the highest depth value to which the submarine can dive without compromising structural integrity, maneuverability, and any aspects affecting the adequate survival and maintenance of the crew. For all practical purposes, the maximum operating depth range is not absolute and can vary widely as designers set this limit with appropriate safety margins.

Design depth

This is a critical point for submarines and should not be exceeded even in the worst case. This is the maximum value at which the probability of structural collapse or overall damage in technical terms becomes very high, including mechanical failure, equipment malfunction, loss of all communications, etc. From a practical point of view, this can be considered an upper limit on the maximum operating depth.

Fracture depth

This is the upper limit of the design depth and can be called the failure point at which the submarine structure explodes due to high compressive loads. Choose a distance greater than the design depth to ensure a safety margin.

These depth ratings for submarine designs can therefore be ordered as follows: 

Normal depth > Maximum operational depth > Design depth > Destruction depth. 

For practical reasons, the maximum depth of submarines was well within the design depth range. In addition, there is a difference between submarine depth and navigable depth, with the latter referring to the limit beyond the nominal depth and the former indicating the actual recorded depth reached. This also leads to another controversial point. Submarines and submarines are also pressure vessels similar to submarines (but smaller and with different design features) but reaching greater depths.

The submarines Trieste and Deepsea 

Challenger set a record in human history by reaching the deepest point on Earth, Challenger Deep, at the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 11,000 meters below average sea level. However, submarines have different design configurations for defensive purposes, such as stealth and climate change, operating at much shallower depths with a significant margin of safety. Military submarines are robustly built, constructed of high-quality materials, double-hull construction, and ample reinforcements such as ribs and frames.

Since the technical specifications of all defence equipment are top secret, there is no absolute confirmation of how deep military submarines are designed. All available information regarding their functionality is based on speculation, data leaks, limited government or high-level press reports, and technical and technical Based on estimates. Depending on its capabilities, defense ships can dive at a wide range of depths, and most of the available values ​​or numbers fall within the design depth range. It was reported that a military submarine had penetrated to a depth of 1500 meters.

Russia’s (former Soviet Union) 

Akula-class submarine is the largest submarine ever built and is thought to have reached a maximum depth of 1,200 to 1,300 meters below sea level. The last submarine of this class was decommissioned in early 2023. The Yasen-class attack submarine is estimated to reach depths of approximately 600 meters, while Russia’s Borei-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines can reach depths of approximately 500 meters.

The Navy also has an excellent fleet of powerful deep-submarine submarines, with the Los Angeles class capable of operating at depths of up to 600-700 meters. The Ohio-class submarines, which are nuclear-powered submarines, also have an unclassified test depth of approximately 250 meters but an operational depth of 300 meters. The Virginia class submarine is considered to be the successor to the LA class and has high technological capabilities. The test depth is approximately 500 m, but it may be designed for even deeper depths of 800-900 m.

China’s Jin-class nuclear submarine and the German Navy’s diesel-electric submarine Type 212 are also powerful military submarines that can reach depths of 400 meters. The Indian Navy’s Arihant class submarines are also capable of testing depths of 300 meters and are believed to be capable of diving even deeper under harsh conditions.

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