List of 10 Countries That Have the Most Submarines in the World

List of 10 Countries That Have the Most Submarines in the World
List of 10 Countries That Have the Most Submarines in the World

International Military - Submarines are the most effective and important combat tool for navies around the world. It is capable of being a hidden and effective means of defending the interests of a country at sea. The following is a list of the top 10 countries with the most number of submarines in 2023 according to the Global Firepower Index.

1. China

The Chinese Navy has a total of 78 active submarines, 11 more than the United States Navy. Of these 78 submarines, only 12 are nuclear powered while the remaining 66 are conventionally powered submarines. In fact, China's naval ambitions have been under wraps when the country embarked on ambitious plans to expand its submarine fleet, challenging the status quo in the South China Sea.

As China's fleet grew, it became clear that the country's efforts in submarine development were shrouded in secrecy, distinguishing it from plans for a new AUKUS alliance. According to GlobalData's “The Global Submarine Market 2022-2033” report, Chinese policy makers are investing significant funds to expand their submarine fleet.

With rumors of torpedoes armed with unmanned underwater vehicles, China's growing capabilities are causing concern and prompting a reassessment of strategic interests in the South China Sea.

2. Russia

The Russian Navy has a total of 70 submarines, 2 more than the United States Navy. Of these 70 submarines, 29 are nuclear powered while the remaining 41 are conventionally powered submarines.

3. United States

The mighty American Navy has a total of 68 submarines, and all of these submarines are nuclear powered. Of these 68, 14 are ballistic missile submarines, and 54 are attack submarines.

Rear Admiral Jeff Jablon, a US military official, said that in today's world, Washington is facing two enemies on par with nuclear weapons that have never been experienced before. “The Soviet Union – and now Russia – is our enemy in terms of nuclear capabilities.

We are now facing China, which has expanded and modernized its nuclear capabilities." The National Security Strategy outlines that the PRC is our reversing threat, and Russia is an acute threat to our country,” said Rear Adm. Jablon, commander of Submarine Forces, US Pacific Fleet, using the abbreviation of the People's Republic of China.

Jablon said that the majority of our submarine forces are now in the Pacific. "At this point, about 60% of our (operational) submarines are in the Pacific because of the challenge." Despite the progress made by China's military, experts say the US still has a significant advantage in undersea warfare. “Submarines are one area where the US maintains an unrivaled advantage over China,” said Carl Schuster, a retired US Navy captain and former director of operations at the US Pacific Command's Joint Intelligence Center in Hawaii. “The sleam is the only stealth platform with the strike power and survivability to counter the surface and subsurface forces of the PLA Navy,” said Schuster.

4. North Korea

The North Korean Navy has a total of 35 submarines, none of which North Korea has are nuclear powered.

5. South Korea

The South Korean Navy has 22 submarines in total, none of which are nuclear powered. All submarines are conventionally powered.

6. Japan

The Japanese Navy has a total of 21 submarines. None of the submarines owned by the Japanese Navy are nuclear powered.

7. Iran

The Iranian Navy has a total of 19 submarines, and none of them are nuclear powered. Iran is actively expanding and modernizing its submarine fleet.

Initially, none of the Iranian submarines were capable of firing ballistic or cruise missiles. Starting in the 1990s, Iran launched a program to acquire or domestically produce mines and torpedoes for all of its subsurface vessels.

In 2005 it was reported launching two local production line of 533mm and 324mm wake-homing torpedoes with a range of up to 20km. Iran has since developed ballistic and cruise missile technology for its submarines.

On February 24, 2019, Iran successfully conducted a cruise missile test from one of the Ghadir class ships. The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) claims the Tareq and Fateh submarines have the same capabilities. In June 2012, an Iranian official confirmed that scientists were in the "early phases of building an atomic submarine. Despite the delays, Iran claims success in repairing one of its imported Kilo-class submarines (after Russia refused to do so). evidence of the progress of the country's submarine development capabilities.

Iran is also experimenting with submarines, drones and other submarines. The Sabehat-15 GPS-equipped two-seat swimmer delivery vehicle (SDV)—designed by the Esfahan Underwater Research Center—has undergone testing with IRIN and IRGCN. Due to its limited endurance and payload, the SDV is primarily used for mining, reconnaissance and special operations in coastal waters. In March 2022, the IRGC displayed an unmanned underwater vehicle for reconnaissance.

8. India

The Indian Navy has a total of 18 submarines, 1 of which are nuclear powered while 16 are conventionally powered submarines. In early June, Indian ship manufacturer Mazagon Dock signed a memorandum of understanding with Germany's ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, a collaboration hailed by German defense minister Boris Pistorius as a "beacon project". A final deal on the 4.8 billion euro deal is likely to be ready by the end of 2023. The non-nuclear submarines will be built under Delhi's "Make in India" initiative, designed to reduce costly military imports by India, the world's biggest weapons buyer. Some experts put the value of the project to build six submarines with significant local production for the Indian navy at 7 billion euros.

9. Türkiye

Türkiye is 9th on the list. The Turkish Navy has 12 submarines, all conventionally powered, none of which are nuclear powered. Türkiye's first domestically produced submarine, MILDEN, began to be known to the public. It will be larger and more capable than current German-designed ships.

The new model of the submarine, shown by the shipbuilder, provides valuable insight into its current design. The model was disclosed by the Golcuk Naval Shipyard which builds Turkish submarines. Starting in 2025 they will build 6 MILDEN (Milli Denizaltı : National Submarine).

Based on a German designed ship production license, Golcuk Naval Shipyard has a strong foundation in submarine technology. Currently the shipyard is building 6 Type-214TN submarines, known locally as the Reis Class, for the Turkish Navy. It incorporates a significant local production system. And they followed about 11 Type-209 submarines from 1981 to 2008. Physically the submarines had some hints of Type-214 influence, especially in the stern. But it features a distinctive streamlined bow that resembles that of Japan's newest submarines. The sails are narrower and the casing is more distinctly angled.

Tayfun Ozberk, a defense analyst and veteran of the Turkish Navy, said that the main reason for the increase in size is armament. “It's about enhanced firepower. Although there is no official statement on the weapons payload, many analysts believe that it will be capable of carrying and firing the GEZGIN strategic land attack missile," he said.

The GEZGIN is a local weapon roughly analogous to the US Navy's Tomahawk and Russia's Kalibr. In the form of a submarine it was hoped that it would be packaged so that it could be fired from the submarine's torpedo tubes. The capsule will then rise to the surface and launch the missile.

10. Greece

Greece is 10th on the list. The Greek Navy has 11 submarines, all conventionally powered, none of which are nuclear powered.

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