Thanks to the eight ballistic-missile submarines homeported at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor — the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the U.S. — Washington state would be the third-largest nuclear-weapons power in the world if it were a sovereign nation, according to government estimates.
The state Legislature, in part to symbolically mark the winding down of the Cold War, approved a bill in 1984 stating the Washington State Military Department (which oversees National Guard and emergency operations) shall “not include preparation for emergency evacuation or relocation of residents in anticipation of nuclear attack” in its planning. It was the lawmakers’ way of celebrating the nuclear threat was over.
It was a dusty, forgotten law until it appeared North Korea would take out parts of the Evergreen State.
Russian Navy, Project 949A Antey (NATO reporting name: Oscar II) nuclear-powered cruise missiles submarines in dry dock.
With a length of
155 meters, a beam of 18.2 meters, and a displacement of almost 20,000 metric tons submerged, they’re the largest non-ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) ever made, being bigger than many ballistic missile submarines currently in service, like the British Vanguard-class or the french Triomphant-class.
The Project 941 submarine (NATO reporting name: Typhoon) is a type of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine deployed by the Soviet Navy in the 1980s. With a submerged displacement of 48,000 tons, the Typhoons are the largest class of submarine ever built, large enough to accommodate decent living facilities for the crew when submerged for months on end.
This strange object was seen by many residents of Southern California on 11/07/15. Numerous videos of the sightings were posted on social media.
The Pentagon said in a statement that the Navy Strategic Systems Programs held a scheduled missile test flight at sea from USS Kentucky, which is a ballistic missile submarine and that is what the people saw that Saturday night.
American forces inspect the hanger of the captured Sen Toku class submarine aircraft carrier I-400 after it surrendered to American forces in August of 1945. Capable of carrying three Aichi M6A Seiran floatplane bombers, the I-400 class were the largest submarines ever constructed until the 1960s and the introduction of nuclear ballistic missile submarines. 1945
Before we begin, I’ll only be accounting ACTIVE ships, so planned or under constructions won’t be mentioned, while ships close to retiring but still active will. Also amphibious ships won’t be accounted for as well, as in case of a naval clash they can’t provide any form of assistance, as this is a Jutland-type scenario.
With this said, let’s begin with the ruler of the waves for over 200 years, the Royal Navy.
77 active ships, of which her main combatants are:
Now, let’s move to the French navy, the Marine Nationale.
96 active ships, of which her main combatants are:
The Charles de Gaulle nuclear-powered, catapult-equipped aircraft carrier, which carries the superb Rafale M naval multirole 4.5 generation fighter jet, alongside a small AEW&C detachment of E-2 aircraft
(Plus varios ASW helicopters, deadly to any submarine.)
4 Le Triomphant-class nuclear ballistic missile submarines
6 Rubis-class nuclear attack submarines
2 Horizon-class air defense destroyers
2 Jean Bart-class air defense destroyers
3 FREMM ASW frigates
5 Georges Leygues-class ASW frigates
5 La Fayette-class general purpose (anti-surface with very limited ASW and AA capabilities) frigates
Alright, so lets break it down:
The French have a (true) carrier, while the brits have none
Both navies have equal numbers of ballistic missile subs, but the French ones are younger, more modern, and with better anti-surface capabilities, although both are equally quiet, as confirmed when two subs of both classes accidentally collided while underwater after neither managed to detect the other.
Britain has 7 attack subs, while France has 6, and France’s fleet is far older and less capable than her British counterparts overall, being their first generation of this type of subs, with all 6 vessels being close to decommissioning, while in Britain’s case only the Trafalgar boats share a similar situation.
In surface combatants, Britain has the numerical advantage with 19 vessels vs 17 french ones, and overall hers are of superior quality, specially compared to the older George Leygues and Jean Bart classes, the FREMMs being basic frigates with Stealth characteristics and piss-poor AA systems, and the 2 Horizons being slightly inferior to their Type 45 counterparts, both classes sharing somewhat similar requirements as both were originally envisioned as a single multi-national class.
So, all in all, a very tough choice, but the French carrier, the world’s sole non-america fully-fledged vessel of her kind, is a big game changer, and that coupled with the slightly superior french ballistic missile subs and adequate surface fleet, has to make France the winner, if only by a small margin.