Russian Navy to receive first second-batch Improved Kilo submarines in 2020

Illustration: A Project 636.3 submarine sits in dry dock. Photo: Russian defense ministry

After starting construction on the first two boats of a new batch of Project 636.3 (Improved Kilo-class) submarines in 2017, Russia’s Admiralty Shipyard is set to deliver the submarines to the navy in 2020.

The seventh and eighth boats in their class will be handed over to the Pacific Fleet in November 2020, Russian news agency Tass reported based on the shipyard’s annual report.

Admiralty Shipyard started construction on the boats, to be named ‘Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky’ and ‘Volkhov’, in July 2017 with a keel laying ceremony in St. Petersburg.

According to plans from 2017, the two submarines were expected to be delivered in 2019 while all six second-batch Project 636.3 subs were to be delivered by 2022. The latest adjustments will likely postpone delivery dates for all units in the class.

These new submarines (also referred to as Varshavyanka-class in Russia) are being built under a contract the Russian defense ministry signed with Admiralty Shipyard and Armur Shipbuilding Plant in September 2016.

The sixth unit in the class – Kolpino – was expected to be the Russian Navy’s final Improved Kilo-class submarine, but problems and delays in the development of the Project 677 Lada-class diesel-electric attack submarine program prompted Russia to order an additional six Project 636.3 submarines.

The submarines are armed with 18 torpedoes and eight surface-to-air missiles. The vessels can accommodate a crew of 52 submariners and stay at sea for 45 days.

They displace 4,000 tonnes when submerged and reach speeds of over 17 knots, according the Russian Navy. The submarines carry Kalibr-cruise missiles which are also being fitted on Russian nuclear-powered Oscar-class submarines.

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