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Russia launches first Kilo-class sub for Vietnam


A Kilo-class submarine. File photo

ST. PETERSBURG (BNS): A Russian shipyard has launched a new diesel-electric submarine for Vietnam, according to a media report.

The Admiralteiskie Verfi shipyard launched the first of six new Kilo-class Project 636 diesel-electric submarines for Vietnam on Tuesday, Ria Novosti reported quoting sources from a military-industrial complex.

Vietnam had agreed to buy six Kilo 636-class submarines from Russia at a cost of $2 billion in December 2009.

All the vessels are scheduled to be delivered by 2016. The first ship will be delivered by the end of this year, the report said.

The Kilo-class submarines are designed mainly for anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare operations.

Each vessel has an underwater speed of 20 knots, a cruising range of 643 kilometers with the ability to patrol for 45 days. It can carry a 52-member crew. The submarines are armed with torpedos, mines, and cruise missiles.

Vietnam is making the new naval acquisition amidst growing regional tension over the South China Sea. The country is locked in a spat with China over the maritime region which is believed to be rich in oil and gas deposits.

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