The Russian Typhoon-class submarine is massive. According to Russian sources, a submerged Typhoon-class displaces 48,000 tons. For a sense of size, the largest submarines in the United States’ arsenal, the much-vaunted Ohio-class, displace just shy of 19,000 tons, making the Typhoons two-and-a-half times as large by displacement.
Like the Ohio-class, the Soviet Union built the Typhoons to conduct nuclear deterrence patrols, lying quietly undetected in remote locations underwater and awaiting the command to launch their whopping twenty R-39 Rif intercontinental ballistic missiles at targets in the United States. The Soviet Union’s R-39 Rif missile was the largest intercontinental ballistic missile ever created, and the Typhoons were built around the missiles.
The massive size of the Typhoon-class is due to its correspondingly large ballistic missiles. The U.S. Naval Institute explains just how large these missiles are: