The Russian Navy is planning to commission the first vessel in the series of six Varshavyanka-class diesel-electric submarines into service with the Crimea-based Black Sea Fleet, on 22 August.

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

Construction on the vessel started in August 2010 and second phase trials are currently underway in the Baltic Sea.

"The new vessel is a key part of Russia’s naval policy in the Mediterranean."

The new vessel is a key part of Russia’s naval policy in the Mediterranean, where it has recently deployed a permanent task force comprising ten surface ships.

Featuring sophisticated stealth technology, extended combat range and the capability to hit land, surface and underwater targets, the improved versions of the Kilo-class submarines are mainly designed for anti-shipping and anti-submarine missions in quite shallow waters.

Capable of accommodating 52 submariners, the vessels have an underwater speed of 20k, 400m cruising range and are armed with 18 torpedoes and eight surface-to-air missiles.

The vessels have the capacity to patrol for 45 days.

The Russian Black Sea Fleet has not taken delivery of new submarines for decades, and has been operating the Kilo-class Alrosa vessel since 1990, according to RIA Novosti.

Defence Technology