Russian submarine Dmitri Donskoi (TK-208)

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For other ships of the same name, see Dmitri Donskoi (ship).
Soviet Union, Russia
Name: Dmitri Donskoy
Namesake: Dmitri Donskoy
Laid down: 3 March 1977
Launched: 23 September 1980
Commissioned: 12 December 1981
General characteristics
Class & type: Typhoon-class submarine
Propulsion: 2 × OK-650 reactors

Dmitri Donskoy (TK-208) is a Russian Navy nuclear ballistic missile submarine, designated Project 941 Akula class (NATO reporting name Typhoon). It is the largest nuclear submarine in the world.


Hull number TK-208 was the lead vessel of the Soviet third generation Project 941 Akula class (NATO reporting name Typhoon) of ballistic missile submarines. She was laid down at the Severodvinsk shipyards on 3 March 1977 and launched on 22 September 1980. At 175 metres in length, she became the world's largest submarine, a record which she still holds along with her five sister ships.


In 1990, she entered the dry dock in Severodvinsk for upgrades and repairs. Due to both economic and technological problems, the completion was severely postponed. In 2000, work on the submarine was intensified.

In June 2002, now serving in the Russian Navy, TK-208 finally left the Severodvinsk dry dock. After 12 years of overhaul and modifications, she had now received the name Dmitry Donskoy, named after the Grand Duke of Moscow Dmitry Donskoy (1359–1389). The twenty launchers for the R-39 missiles she originally carried were replaced with launchers for the most advanced submarine-launched ballistic missile to date, the RSM-56 Bulava. Although she was built as a third generation submarine, the vessel is now referred to as a fourth generation submarine due to her extensive modifications.

The first launch of a Bulava missile was carried out by Dmitry Donskoy on 27 September 2005. The vessel was surfaced and fired the missile from a point in the White Sea. On 21 December 2005, the new missile system was tested underwater for the first time. It successfully hit a target on the Kura Test Range on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

In August 2009, Patriarch Kirill visited the submarine and met her crewmen.[1]

On 9 December 2009, Dmitry Donskoy launched a Bulava missile which had a failed third stage and was visible in Norway making a glowing spiral in the sky.[2]

On 7 October 2010, the submarine launched another Bulava ballistic missile from the White Sea. Targets at the Kura Test Range in the Russian Far East were successfully hit.[3]

On 2 September 2015, she was deployed to the Syrian coast in support of the Russian ground mission in Syria.[4]


Dmitry Donskoy and the rest of the Deltas are to be replaced by the Russian fourth generation submarine class, the Borei class.