The Russian Navy will install advanced ultra-quiet propulsion system on the first Lada-class attack submarine within the next three years, the Russian naval commander Admiral Viktor Chirkov said.
RIA Novosti cited Chirkov as saying that the latest generation attack submarine will be integrated with the air-independent system by 2016 aimed to improve the submarine's range and stealth capabilities.
Being developed at the northern Sevmash shipyard, the new air-independent power plants enable submarines to stay submerged for weeks at a time, while providing significant advantages over diesel-electric submarines.
Following more than a decade of construction and sea trials, only operational Lada-class submarine, Sankt-Petersburg (B-585), entered into service with the Russian Navy four years ago.
Being built by Admiralty Shipyard, the Lada-class submarines are improved version of the Project 636 Kilo-class submarines, featuring much quieter, powerful propulsion and new combat systems.
The submarines can support missions such as anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (AsuW) operations, protection of naval bases, reconnaissance and patrol missions.
With submerged displacement capacity of 2,700t, the vessels have a maximum diving depth of 300m and can cruise at a surface speed of 10k and submerged speed of 21k.
The Russian Rubin Design Bureau-designed Lada-class boats are armed with club-S submarine launched cruise missiles, as well as six 533mm torpedo tubes to launch up to 18 torpedoes, tube-launched anti-submarine and anti-ship missiles.
Capable of defending naval bases, coastal waters and sea communication lines, the submarine features electronic support measures (ESM) system, radar warning receiver and direction finder.