Corrected entry: This could be an error done on purpose to simplify the audience understanding. When the Russian Alpha fires on the Red October towards the movie's end, the torpedo's course is stated as 315. Ramius then tells Ryan to steer the sub to a course of 315 to head into the torpedo. That's wrong. If the torpedo were on a bearing of 315, the sub would need to be on a bearing of 135 to be heading directly into it.
Corrected entry: In the scene where Ramius and Borodin are discussing what their intentions are when they each America, Jones yells out "Crazy Ivan", though Ramius does not give the order to perform a "Crazy Ivan" at any point in that scene, or the previous scenes.
Corrected entry: Just as Red October turns to port after engaging the caterpillar, the camera pans from Red October's stern to the Dallas, which is visible. In the next shot, Jones (the sonar operator) says Red October was some 4,000 yards dead ahead. From the previous shot of the two subs, they are less than 4,000 yards (or some 3.6 km) apart. The large distance would lead to zero visibility. (00:28:00 - 00:30:00)
Corrected entry: In the scene where Ramius orders the use of the caterpillar drive, it shows the rear of the Red October to have one huge propeller. Later in the movie, they are being tracked by a torpedo in which they narrowly escape by making a sharp turn to the starboard just before crashing into an undersea rock formation. While making this turn Ramius orders right full rudder, reverse starboard engine, and it again shows the rear of the Red October, but this time there are two smaller propellers, not the one huge one shown earlier.
Corrected entry: Captain Vasily Borodin's Russian uniform has American Navy captain rank (a gold star and four gold stripes) on the sleeves of his uniform. (01:09:15)
Corrected entry: The boarding party would include Ryan and maybe the first officer. Not likely the Captain of The Dallas. But never a lowly sonar operator. What does he know about boarding other ships?
Corrected entry: In the scene where the U.S. submarine Dallas is chasing the Red October in an underwater canyon, if you listen carefully you can hear an officer on the bridge yell out gravity anomaly values in milligals. This was an incredible breach of U.S. security at the time the movie was made, because it was a highly classified secret that gravity measurements were used to navigate by the U.S. navy. [The technology can "see" terrain passively and silently, without sending out a signal.] This technology was later declassified after the movie came out. However the mistake was that only large Trident submarines had this capability, not smaller hunter-killer subs.
Corrected entry: In both the opening in Alec Baldwin's house and on the sub at Scott Glen's station, you can see an edition of Jane's date 1977-1978. Since this takes place in 1984, is this really the most recent edition of this important reference/information text? The sub commander might have an old favorite, but also a CIA employee would be referencing a 7 year old text?
Corrected entry: All submarine movies contain 1 inherent factual flaw: even on a clear sunny day, if you're submerged in several hundred feet of water, you simply can't see; much less see items a hundred meters away. North Atlantic seawater transparency dissipates after about 100 feet of depth.
Corrected entry: When the Dallas loses contact with Red October, why did they assume it "disappeared"? Wouldn't the more likely scenario be that it went silent (dead in the water) and they might be about to crash into them? Seems like an unlikely and risky assumption. When Ramius declared abandon ship, wouldn't the radio/comms operator break radio silence and contact the Russian fleet to declare an emergency, thus alerting the crew to the Captian's ruse and defection? If not, how would the fleet supposedly find them as the Captain implied to the doctor? Seems like an overlooked flaw in his plan.
Corrected entry: In the scene where Jack Ryan gives his brief to Jeffrey Pelt and the Joint Chiefs, they discuss how Ramius may be a madman set to launch his missiles on the United States, and that the Red October must be near the US coast to do so. This sets in motion a whole series of events to hunt for the Red October. One of the Joint Chiefs says "If it gets within 500 miles of the Coast, we'll have less than 2 minutes warning." However, doesn't the Red October carry ICBMs that can be launched from any location, not just the US Coast? And, if so, the "madman" could/would have already launched the missiles? This "madman" premise is put forward again by the Soviet ambassador when he meets with Jeffrey Pelt in Pelt's office. The ambassador wants to ask the President to assist in hunting down the "insane" captain who is going to launch his missiles on the US. But there appears to be no real explanation as to why a "mad" Captain Ramius would not have already fired the missiles.
Corrected entry: Jonesy identifies the sub contact as a typhoon-class ballistic missile submarine. They dub it the Typhoon-7 as they have six other typhoon submarines recorded in the computer. In reality, six typhoons were indeed built, with a 7th canceled under construction. However, in November 1984, which is when this is supposed to happen, only two had been commissioned and the third was near completion. Thus, the Dallas couldn't have had six typhoons in its computer at the time, only two.
Corrected entry: Ramius says that when Hernàn Cortés reached the new world that he burned his ships, which is historically inaccurate. Cortés actually sunk his sank his ships in July 1519 and that wasn't his first visit to the new world either. And he actually sunk his ships for militaristic reasons, not because he had no desire to return to Spain.
Corrected entry: In the scene when the Americans leave the Dallas to go to Red October the D.S.R.V. (rescue sub) they use to travel underwater is seen attached to the deck of the Dallas immediately in back of the sail. The D.S.R.V. is not there in the scenes when the Ryan arrives on the Dallas by helicopter, or in the scene when the Dallas is alongside Red October going to periscope depth.
Corrected entry: In the October officer mess scene where the Doctor is ushered out to get the radiation figures, there is a cook in cook's hat with his back towards the camera standing at a bench top behind Ramius. Borodin shuts the door after the doctor is outside and the officers all sit to speak with Ramius, but the cook vanishes without leaving the wardroom.
Corrected entry: After asking if Red October has opened its outer torpedo tube doors, Captain Mancuso asks Sonar to report all contacts. Sonar reports back that the only contact is Typhoon 7 bearing 195. The issue is that bearing 195º is very close to directly behind Dallas, whereas in the preceding exterior scene, Red October appeared in front of Dallas at a bearing between 030 to 045. Captain Ramius had directed "All Stop" for Red October, so it would not have progressed much further into its 'Crazy Ivan' circular path. After having exposed Dallas' presence, Captain Mancuso would likely have taken action to reposition Dallas in order to prevent Red October from achieving a position behind Dallas. (To minimize torpedo travel, Captain Mancuso would have kept his loaded torpedo tubes pointed roughly at Red October).
Corrected entry: Near the beginning of the movie, Ramius is in his cabin with one of the crew members and they are getting ready to read their orders. The safe containing the orders has 2 locks, one on top of the other, requiring two separate keys. Ramius takes his key and puts it into the lower lock, then gets the key from his comrade for the upper lock. But the next camera shot shows a key already in the upper lock, and Ramius apparently using the key he had just gotten from the other guy to turn the lower lock.
Corrected entry: As Ryan embarks to shoot it out with the KGB agent down amid Red October's ballistic missile tubes, Ramius warns Ryan to be careful what he shoots at, because the nukes don't "react well to bullets". Of course it's wise to be careful with guns, but you could unload an assault rifle on the tubes and the nukes inside wouldn't care. The tubes are tough enough to stand up to launching their rockets. A stray bullet would be nothing.