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U.S. Navy Nuclear Attack Submarine Breaks Through Thick Polar Ice (Amazing Footage)

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The video, from the Ultimate Military Channel, shows a submarine breaking through a sheet of ice in the Arctic. The submarine slowly rises out of a blanket of white ice, and cracking sounds can be clearly heard as men laugh in the background. The top view of the operation is shown in slow motion. Soldiers wearing snow shoes come over with picks and saws to hack away at the ice so that a hatch in the submarine can be opened, allowing those inside to come out.

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Submarines have conducted under-ice operations in the strategically important Arctic for over fifty years. The first submerged transit was completed in 1958 by the USS Nautilus. The first ever North Pole surfacing was carried out in March of 1959 (performed by USS Skate).

The submarine featured in this video belongs to the Los Angeles-class; they are a nuclear powered fast attack vessel in service with the United States Navy since 1976. The boats have of course been significantly enhanced and upgraded throughout the decades. The current boats are equipped with 12 vertical launch tubes they can fire Tomahawk long-range cruise missiles. They are quieter than their predecessors, equipped with more advanced electronics, sensors and noise reduction capabilities.

The US Department of Defense says that the Los Angeles class has top speeds of over 25 knots, though some have put the number higher. The maximum operating depth is 650 feet, although experts say the submarines can go much deeper.

The Los Angeles class of submarines represent two generations and close to fifty years of the US Navy’s attack submarine fleet. There are 39 of the class in commission and 23 retired from service as of 2015. This class has more operating nuclear submarines than any other kind in the world and all submarines are named after towns and cities in the country, such as Key West in Florida and Greeneville in Tennessee.

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