|For more uses, see Submarine.|
Stalin's invasion plan mainly involved ground forces. Additionally, the northern Russian waters are icy, providing a major natural obstacle to any sort of surface navy. As the result, the Soviet Navy was seriously under equipped. But as a sea force was quickly determined to be necessary, a ship that could either break through ice or dive underneath it was required. As submarines trade off increased construction costs for extra protection from air attack and long range detection, the Soviets chose to develop the Victor class submarine.
Victor class submarines feature a teardrop shape, which allows them to travel at high speeds. These vessels were primarily designed to attack the Allied navy (especially cruisers) and shore (water based) installation. Being the only backbone of Soviet Navy force, the ship was enjoying much of Soviet encumbrances and resources. As such, the price of a submarine is (unbelievable) comparable with a cost association of a Heavy Tank. This feature enabled the Soviet Union to field a large number of this type of submarine.
The submarine is outfitted with torpedo bays and has to come to shallow waters to fire its torpedoes, due to the nature of most naval engagements (close to landmasses). The torpedoes are frighteningly effective against most naval vessels and Naval yards. The submarines suffer from the lack of any land attack means and have to be supported by aircraft. This might be a strong reason why Britain is spared from the European war theater in the beginning the war.
After the end of the Second World War the submarine was replaced by the Typhoon attack sub in the Third World War which could attack while submerged. The Typhoon was later replaced by the Akula submarine in the Third World War's third iteration, which like the original submarine must surface to fire.
The submarine is the only Soviet naval unit except for the Transport in the original Red Alert. In the Aftermath expansion, the Soviets were given the Missile submarine to counter the Allied Cruiser. The unit itself is always submerged except in firing position (also opening themselves up to any nearby units that can hit them), giving them some tactical advantage. To counter this, the Allies then deployed sonar technology with satellite enhancement, covering theater-area detection. This type of submarine cannot shoot air and land targets, hindering Soviet marine capability.
In the PlayStation version of Red Alert, there is a mission where submarine fleets are authorized to be armed with nuclear torpedoes. This greatly increase their firepower but with a risk of getting caught in the blast zone. This measure is taken against Allied's cruiser deployment.
The submarine is available to the player starting in Distant Thunder.