The Venezuelan Navy will induct several non-atomic submarines into its fleet, President Hugo Chavez said.

The submarines worth $1bn, of which $800m was financed by Moscow, are normal submarines equipped with conventional weapons and radars, which are capable of completing missions.

The submersibles include three diesel-electric powered Varshavianka Class submarines and project 636 (also known as Kilo), a third-generation submarine armed with four 533mm torpedo launchers and ten missile launchers.

Kilo submersibles can launch attacks on fixed or mobile submerged, coastal or sea surface targets under conditions of intense radio-electronic interference.

Currently, the Venezuelan Navy has two German-built U-209 submarines, launched in 1975.