(From the National Interest)
By Dave Majumdar
Though the Project 705 Lira-class attack submarine—better known in the West as the Alfa-class—is perhaps most famous for starring as the main antagonist in the movie The Hunt for Red October, the ill-fated boats have left an outsized legacy independent of the silver screen. That’s because Moscow’s future submarine fleet will be far more automated than current designs—continuing a trend that was pioneered in the late 1970s by the Soviet Union’s Project 705 Lira-class attack boats.
While the Alfa-class boats were in many ways an unsuccessful experiment, the fast titanium-hulled submarines pioneered many innovative technologies. Their strong hulls gave them tremendous speed—close to 45 knots according to some sources—and they could dive to impressive depths. Indeed, the Liras had a never-exceed depth of around 3,900ft, but operationally rarely exceeded 2,000ft. Moreover, the submarines were relatively tiny—displacing only 3,200-tons submerged. Read more
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