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Russian Navy to induct 1st Varshavyanka-class stealth sub on Aug 22


A Varshavyanka-class submarine. An Admiralty shipyard photo

MOSCOW (BNS): The first of six Project 636.3 Varshavyanka-class (improved Kilo class) diesel-electric stealth submarines will be commissioned into the Russian Navy's Crimea-based Black Sea fleet on August 22.

The new sub, "Novorossiisk", was laid down in August 2010, and launched in November 2013. It is presently undergoing the second phase of sea trials in the Baltic Sea and will soon arrive at the Admiralty Shipyards which has built the vessel.

"On August 22, St. Andrew's flag of the Russian Navy will be raised on diesel-electric submarine Novorossiisk at the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg," Navy spokesman Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo, was quoted as saying by Ria Novosti.

An improved variant of the Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines, the Varshavyanka-class subs feature advanced stealth technology, extended combat range, modern inertial navigation system and the ability to strike land, surface and underwater targets.

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 and will be armed with 18 torpedoes and eight surface-to-air missiles.

The submarines are primarily designed for anti-shipping and anti-submarine missions in relatively shallow waters.

The much-anticipated delivery of these submarines, dubbed by the US Navy as "black holes in the ocean" because they are nearly undetectable when submerged, is a key part of Russia's naval strategy in the Mediterranean, where Moscow has recently deployed a permanent task force consisting of some 10 surface ships, the Ria Novosti report said.

The Russian Navy currently operates 20 diesel-electric submarines and the Black Sea Fleet has only one Kilo-class submarine, the Alrosa, which was inducted in 1990.

According to the Navy, all new six Varshavyanka-class submarines will be deployed at its Novorossiisk naval base by 2016.

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