In 1980 the US and USSR both had submersible ships which carried nuclear-powered ballistic missiles. The Cold War showed no signs of thawing and both the US and USSR were engaged in a proxy war in Afghanistan. Although there was no eruption into a ‘hot war’ (direct conflict) both the US and USSR were continuing to build increasingly more powerful nuclear-powered submarines, designed to launch nuclear attack and ballistic missiles against one another. In 1980, both super powers had many submersibles patrolling mid-ocean waters in the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, positioning themselves within firing range of putative enemy targets. In 1980, the US began construction of Ohio-class submarines, which could carry up to 24 Trident nuclear missiles, while in 1977 the Soviet Typhoons were constructed, capable of carrying 20 nuclear ballistic missiles.
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