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Allied Naval threat level greater than expected - you have been authorized to use Akula Subs in the region.
- Soviet advisor

The Akula (meaning "shark" in Russian) was a class of Soviet submarine in service during the Third World War. The Akula is armed exclusively with torpedoes and specializes in anti-ship operations. These torpedoes are an improvement over early designs as they have a sophisticated tracking system to ensure a hit on enemy vessels.


Recent years have seen the Soviet Union pursuing an aggressive policy towards all perceived threats to its waterways, including the sinking of numerous civilian cargo ships and passenger liners. Emblematic of this attitude is the Akula Attack Sub, a stealthy and deadly undersea killer that is often held up as a symbol of Soviet aggression. For all of its notoriety, however, details about the Akula were largely a mystery until an Allied cargo ship found a Soviet sailor adrift in open waters, miles from all known Soviet naval forces.

The sailor, an illiterate peasant impressed into the Soviet naval service, was a crewmember of the Akula Sub K-420. During regular maintenance of one of the Akula's torpedoes, he had inadvertently damaged that torpedo’s motor, preventing an attack on the undefended Allied ship. The captain, uncharacteristically calm, ordered the sailor into a loaded torpedo tube to attempt a repair before the enemy escaped. He then ejected the crippled torpedo into the ocean along with the surprised sailor, who, resigned to his fate, swam to the surface to await capture.

Based on evidence like that gleaned from the Soviet sailor’s interrogation, Allied commanders have been piecing together the story of the Akula Sub. During its design, the Soviet navy knew it needed an effective ship killer, but also that they would have to crew these ships with poorly trained crews, often with no maritime experience. As a result, they chose the RU-7 torpedo as the Akula's main weapon. Based on the previous generation of Soviet torpedoes, the RU-7 is a time-tested design, reliable, effective, and easily used even by an inexperienced crew.

Soviet commanders realized, however, that an even more powerful weapon was needed to deal with the new generation of larger, more heavily armored naval vessels, so the Akula fleet was also given the new RU-20 "supercavitating" torpedoes. Monstrous in size and power, the RU-20s give the Akula an immense destructive capability.

However, their power is offset by a slow firing rate, trading a lengthy loading and firing sequence for high reliability.

Beyond the technical specifications of the sub, the captured sailor also gave insight into life aboard an Akula. The frantic pace of Soviet naval operations requires Akulas to stay at sea for years at a time. These long tours, in cramped quarters, skulking under tons of ocean while searching for prey, take a heavy psychological toll on the crews, and Akula captains use a heavy hand to maintain discipline and combat effectiveness. Failure is not tolerated, and reprimands are harsh. Some critics argue that these extreme conditions are detrimental to the Akulas' ability to carry out their missions, but their overwhelming effectiveness against enemy naval forces indicates otherwise. Indeed, the price of failure seems to be the whetstone that hones both crew and sub into such a deadly weapon.


The Akula when underwater

The Akula has two pairs of torpedo tubes protruding out the front, from which normal torpedoes and ultra-torpedoes are fired, respectively. Normal torpedoes are fired one at a time in short sequence while both ultra-torpedoes are fired at the same time. The Akula also features rather heavy armor, making it one of the best-protected vessels in the Soviet Navy, second only to the Dreadnought. To produce the Akula submarine, Soviet Commanders must have already built a Super Reactor. The Akula must surface to fire its normal torpedoes (even when firing at other submarines), but otherwise stays submerged, even when under attack. Costing 1800 credits, it is a somewhat expensive unit.


Despite the expensive cost of building an Akula Sub, its naval existence and purpose will be well paid off, with its additional weapon: the Ultra-Torpedoes- the Akula Sub's special, yet dreaded naval weapon. These are fast-accelerating torpedoes that lack guidance systems but pack extremely powerful explosives. They can only move in a straight line and will keep on moving until they hit land, a structure, or a unit (be it friend or foe). The recharge time for the ultra-torpedoes is considerable and this ability should be used strategically. They are highly effective against structures and slow-moving units such as Aircraft Carriers. One tactic used by Soviet commanders, is to fire one salvo of regular torpedoes, and since the submarine lines up with the target, the ultra-torpedoes are much more accurate when they are fired.

Alternatively, if the enemy has no submarine defense, the ultra-torpedoes can be used in a sort of building sniper maneuver, by placing the Akula in "hold fire" mode (thus preventing it from automatically surfacing) and then launching the ultra-torpedoes at a high-value target. Since the Akula does not need to surface in order to fire the ultra-torpedoes, this is extremely effective at killing off outlying power plants, or even better, base defenses, without fear of retaliation. The ultra-torpedoes also have incredible range (technically infinite, as long as they don't hit anything), so if the player's aim is good enough, they can do this far enough away from the target as to be even outside of his enemy's sight, leaving them short a power plant and clueless as to what killed it. In serious competitive play, this has a very big psychological impact on most opponents.


RA3 Ultratorpedoes Icons.png
Ultra-Torpedoes The Akula Attack Submarine has 2 auxiliary launch tubes armed with Ultra-Torpedoes. These dumb-fired torpedoes (they won't track targets) are armed with very high explosive warheads and will thus cause a lot more damage than ordinary torpedoes. It will take a while to reload these.


The Akula Submarine is more capable of dispatching naval enemies than the Allied assault destroyer on a one-on-one basis, and is capable of defeating a Naginata cruiser if it uses its Ultra-torpedoes, though one must be wary of the Naginata Cruiser's more powerful version of the Ultra-torpedoes: the Type-S Torpedoes. It is only capable of attacking naval vessels and is somewhat more vulnerable to large numbers of enemies than the Naginata, which has the Type-S Torpedo special attack and a higher rate of fire. All Akula Subs must surface to fire and the time it takes to surface also results in a significant pre-attack delay. Aside from being scout units- they are excellent killers of important ships. While submerged, they are invulnerable to most weapons (launched from base defenses or vehicles)- except advanced base defenses, torpedoes, the Allies Assault Destroyer's main gun, and rogue Soviet Terror Drones. As with the Naginata's Type-S, care must be taken when using the ultra-torpedoes, lest they incur friendly fire. The Akula is best used in 'wolf-packs' of up to 6 submarines; they work exceptionally well as an escort to the Dreadnought.

The Akula is first available in March of the red army.

Notes from the Field

Battlefield reconnaissance has revealed at least these facts about the Akula Sub:

  • Dive! Dive! -- Akula Subs spend most of their time submerged, needing to surface only to launch their RU-7 torpedoes. Since most surface and air units are unable to target submerged vehicles, Akulas are able to travel most waters with impunity. They excel at escorting more vulnerable ships, such as the Dreadnought, as well as carrying out hit and run operations against enemy naval bases.
  • Heavy Hitter -- The RU-20 supercavitating torpedoes are extremely powerful, but they carry no internal guidance. This allows them to be fired underwater; but they cannot track targets, travelling instead in a straight line- continuously until it reaches its intended target or it hits anything that comes in its path. However: they also lack the ability to distinguish friend from foe, and more than one Soviet ship has been sunk because it accidentally crossed in front of one of these devastating weapons.
  • Stand-Off Capability -- Enemies of the Soviet Union have begun fielding defensive structures that can target and destroy even submerged Akula subs. The RU-20's extreme long range and destructive power makes it the weapon of choice for the discerning commander to take out these defenses.
  • High Tech -- Their titanium alloy hull make Akulas very expensive, and the Soviet Admiralty dole them out sparingly to field commanders. In addition, they require a Super Reactor to charge their advanced batteries. This means that Akulas are usually only found in the most intense combat zones.




  • Akula Sub, ready for the deep!
  • Akula Sub, on the hunt!


  • Akula!
  • What? What is it?
  • Do you see something?
  • We lurk the seas!
  • We've come this far!
  • So much pressure!
  • What's that dripping sound?!
  • Shhh! Quiet!
  • Are the scanners working?!
  • Do you hear that noise?


  • Yes, I was going there!
  • Staying deep!
  • Full ahead!
  • Push forward!
  • Further out!
  • We must scour these depths!
  • Men, new coordinates!


  • Fire!
  • Torpedoes!
  • Sink them NOW!
  • Empty the tubes!
  • Bring them down!
  • NOW!
  • Take them, take them!

Move to Attack

  • We're going after them!
  • Don't let him out of our sight!
  • Send them to the abyss!
  • Sonar locked!
  • Closing in!
  • After them!
  • Pursue them!

In combat

  • They're still out there!
  • Stay on them, crew!
  • Make this one count!
  • Curse them!
  • Come on! Come on!
  • We need another one!


  • That's it! We're going back!
  • They're on our trail!
  • Maybe we can lose them!
  • We'll need some patching up!

Under fire

  • I know! I know!
  • We've been hit haven't we?!
  • We can't take much more of this!
  • Patch up that leak!
  • Mayday! Mayday!



  • "Akula (Акула)" means "Shark" in Russian, coincidentally, real-life Russian "Akula-Class" Submarine is codenamed "Typhoon-Class" by NATO, sharing same name of Typhoon attack submarine in Red Alert 2 and Yuri's Revenge.
  • The Akula sub is possibly based on the real-life 971 Shchuka-B submarine, NATO designation Akula.
  • Like other submarines in the game, the Akula needs to surface before firing even when firing at submerged units. This is likely due to balancing reasons.
  • Ultra-torpedoes can reach the other side of the map unlike the Naginata's special ability. This can be very useful in all-water maps like "Trench Warfare" in which Akulas can stay at the base and fire ultra-torpedoes repeatedly at the enemy's location.

See also

RA3 USSR logo.png Soviet Red Alert 3 Arsenal RA3 USSR logo.png