he Russian Navy has formerly decommissioned its last Typhoon Class nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine the Dmitry Donskoy, according to a report by the state media outlet TASS.

This follows longstanding speculation regarding the ship’s fate, with the possibility having raised that it could still remain semi operational for research purposes despite no longer being officially in service.

The Typhoon Class is by far the largest submarine class ever laid down, displacing 48,000 tons when fully submerged, which is greater than the size of two British Invincible Class aircraft carriers and slightly under the size of two Japanese Izumo Class carriers.

The first ship of the class was laid down in 1976, with six completed for the Soviet Navy. It was by far the most capable Soviet submarine class when commissioned.

The typhoon unprecedentedly integrated intercontinental ranged ballistic missiles with both solid fuel composites and multiple warheads, but the collapse of the Russian economy after the Soviet Union’s disintegration led to the fleet contracting to just three ships by 2000.


These were then gradually phased out of service from the 2010’s and replaced by new more modernized Borei Class submarine ships.

The Borei has been favored over the Typhoon due to its much lower operational costs, and at around half the size they carry 80% as many ballistic missiles of similar size and are considerably more stealthy. 

Six Borei Class ships are currently in service with four more having been laid down, one of which is already in sea trials, and two more planned but yet to begin construction for an intended fleet size of 12.


The last was commissioned on December 29, 2022, possibly closely coinciding with the Dmitry Donskoy’s decommissioning the date of which remains uncertain.

While Typhoon Class ships were quickly phased out of service, the Dmitry Donskoy was the sole ship of its class to receive significant upgrades including the integration of the RSM-56 ballistic missiles.

These missiles were developed as the primary armament of the Borei Class and replaced the Donskoy’s older R-39 missiles.


The ship has nevertheless been held back from front-line deployments and been relegated primarily to training duties. It has also played important roles in R&D and received various modifications to better perform these duties.

Some reports are indicating that its modification to integrate the RSM-56 was in order to test the missiles, not because upgrade the old vessel’s armaments was seen as a sound investment decision.


It remains uncertain what portion of its 20 launch tubes have received such upgrades. A number of upgrades for the Typhoon Class, including an unusual proposal to turn them into cruise missile carriers mirroring the similar conversion of American Ohio Class ballistic missile submarines for this purpose after the Cold War.

However, this narrative has been rejected, with the age of the ships’ stealth capabilities and their exceedingly high operational costs resulting in a perceived lack of cost effectiveness compared to building new submarines.


The Typhoon’s case has contrasted to that of Russian heavy surface combatants, as while its submarine industry has remained relatively healthy and is currently laying down new nuclear powered strategic and attack submarines at a rapid rate.

By contrast no new surface combatants have been laid down for the Russian Navy since the USSR’s disintegration in 1991.

The Typhoon’s retirement despite its elite status in the Soviet fleet is thus a result of the prioritization which modernization of the submarine fleet has received, while the surface fleet is set to rely on Soviet-built cruisers and destroyers seemingly indefinitely.

Military Watch Magazine / ABC Flash Point News 2023.

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08-02-23 20:37

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09-02-23 06:58

There are lies and there are g*****d lies and then there are American propaganda lies which tops them all- quote from above article :- “there are no new surface ships laid down by the Russian Navy since 1991 “. 30th December -2022— President Putin said as a result of the Ukrainian conflict Russia will increase its surface fleet –he said that as he handed over THREE newly build warships to the Russian navy in Baltiysk and Vladivostok –PLUS a new nuclear submarine launched in Severodvinsk . While Military Watch has some interesting military information its a “done deal ” its… Read more »