Beneath the churning waves, shrouded in secrecy, lurk colossal machines: nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). These underwater behemoths form the backbone of any nation’s nuclear deterrent, capable of unleashing devastating firepower from the depths.

Today, we dive deep to explore two titans of the deep: the American Ohio class and the Russian Borei class—ready to unleash serious firepower if needed.

Built for Power: A Comparative Look

Size Matters (Kind Of)

The Ohio class reigns supreme in terms of size.

With a submerged displacement of 18,750 tons, it’s the third-largest submarine ever built, dwarfed only by the Soviet-era Typhoon class (retired in 2023) and the Borei class itself (24,000 tons).

This translates to superior living space for the crew, increased storage capacity, and potentially more advanced onboard systems.

USS Michigan submarine
USS Michigan (SSBN-727) at a dry-dock in November 2002. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Firepower Philosophy

Both classes pack a nuclear punch but with a difference.

The Ohio class boasts an impressive 24 Trident missiles, each capable of delivering multiple warheads over intercontinental distances.

The Borei class carries 16 Bulava missiles, offering a shorter range but reported improvements in accuracy.