Construction on the Russian Navy's new Project 636.3 Varshavyanka-Class diesel-electric submarine, Stary Oskol, has started with a keel laying ceremony by the Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The third of six Varshavyanka-Class submarines, Stary Oskol, will join Russia's Black Sea Fleet along with the remaining vessels by 2016, as reported by RIA Novosti.
In August 2010, the first Varshavyanka-Class submarine Novorossiisk was laid down, while the construction on the second vessel Rostov-on-Don began in November 2011.
Designed to conduct anti-shipping and anti-submarine missions in shallow waters, the improved Kilo-Class submarines feature stealth technology with extended combat range to strike land, surface and underwater targets.
Equipped with 18 torpedoes and eight surface-to-air missiles, the submarines have a cruising speed of 20k, a range of 400 miles using electronic propulsion, can patrol for 45 days and are capable of accommodating a crew of 52.
Featuring low noise, advanced hull architecture, optimal level of control process automation, the submarines provide high reliabilit and are low maintenance.
Having first entered into service in the early 1980s, the Russian Kilo-Class submarines were designed by the Rubin Central Maritime Design Bureau.
Originally built at the Komsomolsk shipyard, developments to the vessel resulted in the current production versions, the Type 877EKM and the Type 636.
Currently, the Russian Navy operates 20 diesel-electric submarines, while the Black Sea Fleet operates only one Kilo-Class vessel, the Alrosa, which entered into service in 1990.