Attack submarine

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HMCS Windsor is an attack submarine.

An attack submarine or hunter-killer submarine is a submarine specifically designed for the purpose of attacking and sinking other submarines, surface combatants and merchant vessels. In the Soviet and Russian navies they were and are called "multi-purpose submarines".[1] They are also used to protect friendly surface combatants and missile submarines.[2] Some attack subs are also armed with cruise missiles mounted in vertical launch tubes, increasing the scope of their potential missions to include land targets.

Attack submarines may be either nuclear-powered or diesel-electric ("conventionally") powered. In the United States Navy naming system, and in the equivalent NATO system (STANAG 1166), nuclear-powered attack submarines are known as SSNs and their diesel-electric predecessors were SSKs.


  1. ^ Gorshkov, p. 55
  2. ^ US Navy. "Attack Submarine Info". Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  • Gorshkov, Sergei Georgievich, "The Sea Power of the State", 2nd Edition, Naval Institute Press, 1979. ISBN 0-87021-961-8.