The Typhoon ballistic missile nuclear-powered (SSBN) submarines are the largest submarines ever to be built. They were constructed at the Severodvinsk Shipyard, on the White Sea near Archangel.
The first of the six members of the class to be commissioned was TK 208 in 1981, followed by TK 202 in 1983, TK 12 in 1984, TK 13 in 1985, TK 17 in 1987 and TK 20 in 1989. The submarines were stationed with the Russian Northern Fleet at Litsa Guba.
Of the six, only TK 17 and TK 20 are operational. TK 208 was relaunched following refit in 2002 and is being used as a trials ship. TK 12 and TK 13 are decommissioned, waiting to be scrapped.
With assistance from the United States, through the cooperative threat reduction programme, TK 202 has had its nuclear fuel removed by US funded processing facilities and converted into forms suitable for long-term storage or reuse.
The UK has also agreed to take part in the dismantling of Russia’s decommissioned nuclear submarines.