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Fastest Boat In the World Goes To The Breakers
by James Dunnigan
August 19, 2008

Discussion Board on this DLS topic

Russia is decommissioning and scraping its fastest submarine. The only ship of its class, the K-222 entered service in 1970, and was referred to by NATO as the Papa Class. This 5,200 nuclear boat had a record breaking top speed of 82 kilometers an hour. But it was very noisy at this speed, and uncomfortable for the crew as well, so not very useful as a combat boat. The K-222 did, however, serve as a test bed for two other classes of subs; the smaller (2,300 ton) Alfa class SSNs (attack boats), and the larger missile carrying boats. Because of their high cost (they had the same titanium hull as the K-222), only seven Alfa's were built in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The K-222 also carried ten anti-ship missiles, and this feature taught the Russians that silence, more than speed, was needed for these weapons to work in combat. The 4,3000 ton Charlie class appeared a few years before the K-222, but these only had a top speed of closer to 45 kilometers an hour.

The K-222 has been laid up for twenty years, after problems with its reactor proved too expensive to repair. Actually, the K-222 cost about twice what a Charlie class boat cost to operate, and was less effective as a "carrier killer" (a sub equipped with anti-ship missiles.) Thus there was no incentive to get the K-222 back into service. Thus, age finally caught up with the K-222, and it will be cut up for scrap.

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