Jack Ryan, as a young covert CIA analyst, uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack.
When the president of Russia suddenly dies, a man whose politics are virtually unknown succeeds him. The change in political leaders sparks paranoia among American CIA officials, so CIA director Bill Cabot recruits a young analyst to supply insight and advice on the situation. Then the unthinkable happens: a nuclear bomb explodes in a U.S. city, and America is quick to blame the Russians.
A new technologically-superior Soviet nuclear sub, the Red October, is heading for the U.S. coast under the command of Captain Marko Ramius. The American government thinks Ramius is planning to attack. A lone CIA analyst has a different idea: he thinks Ramius is planning to defect, but he has only a few hours to find him and prove it - because the entire Russian naval and air commands are trying to find him, too. The hunt is on!
CIA Analyst Jack Ryan is drawn into an illegal war fought by the US government against a Colombian drug cartel.