While navies use different types of submersible vessels to perform underwater missions, submarines constitute a crucial element of a country’s naval arsenal. Submarines that are armed with strategic nuclear missiles can also act as a credible and continuous nuclear deterrent against adversaries in a war.

With countries focused on naval expansion and modernisation initiatives in the face of increasing maritime border disputes, the global submarine market is expected to grow by more than 4% a year during 2021-2031, according to estimates by GlobalData.

Finding the best submersibles and submarine manufacturers

Naval Technology has listed some of the leading submersibles and submarine manufacturing companies based on its intel, insights and decades-long experience in the sector.

The list includes nuclear submarine manufacturers and other submarine building companies, along with submarine parts, technology and technical service providers. It also includes suppliers of a wide range of submersibles used in naval missions, from submersible patrol ships and submarine training vessels to unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) such as autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).

The information contained within the download document is useful for defence planners, naval warfare strategists, fleet commanders, senior procurement executives, submarine integrators, maintenance supervisors, and any other individual involved in the acquisition, operation and maintenance of submarines and submersibles.

The download contains detailed information on submersibles and submarine companies and their product lines, alongside contact details to aid your purchasing decision.

Types and uses of submarines

Submarines are self-propelled vessels that are designed to sail undetected beneath the water and equipped with lethal weapons and advanced sensors to perform vital maritime military functions in both offensive and defensive roles.

Submarines can be armed with torpedoes, as well as ballistic, anti-ship and supersonic cruise missiles, projecting a formidable strike force in naval warfare. They can also serve as launch platforms for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) carrying nuclear warheads.

Naval missions performed by submarines include anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, protecting friendly aircraft carriers, intelligence gathering, special operations, offensive mine mooring and covert tracking of illegal activities, among others.

Naval forces use different types of submarines including, but not limited to:

· Nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs)

· Nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs)

· Diesel-electric submarines (SSKs)

· Diesel-electric air-independent propulsion (AIP) submarines (SSPs), and

· Midget submarines (SSMs)

Advancements in submarine technology

Nuclear propulsion has been the greatest advance in submarine technology, with the major navies having entirely switched to nuclear-propelled submarines that can operate submerged indefinitely and at an impressive high speed.

Along with the effort to maximise the speed, endurance and diving range, nuclear submarine manufacturers are also trying to enhance the stealth capabilities and lower the acoustic signature of submarines by using innovative isolated structures, anechoic coatings and new propulsor designs.

Furthermore, the use of technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) could enable more autonomous and effective submarine operations.