SSK Kilo Class (Type 877EKM)

The Russian Kilo Class submarine first entered into service in the early 1980s.





Maximum Diving Depth



45 days


The Russian Kilo Class submarine first entered into service in the early 1980s. It was designed by the Rubin Central Maritime Design Bureau, St Petersburg. Subsequent developments have led to the current production versions, the Type 877EKM and most recently, the Type 636. The submarines are constructed at the Admiralty Shipyard in St Petersburg.

24 Kilo Class submarines are in service in the Russian Navy (most of the older designs).

Kilo Class submarines have also been exported to Iran, China, India, Poland, Romania and Algeria. China has two Type 877EKMs, Iran has three Type 877EKM and India has ten Type 877EKM (Sindughosh Class). The Type 877EKM is designed for anti-submarine (ASW) and anti-surface ship (ASuW) warfare.

Submarine design

The submarine is a single-shaft vessel with a double hull. The bow planes are positioned close to the midship to improve the performance of the sonar. To reduce the submarine’s acoustic signature, the flooding ports have been removed from the forebody. It also has a new gas-freeing system and the hull is covered with rubber anti-sonar protection tiles to reduce the risk of detection.

Type 877EKM has a displacement of 2,300t surfaced and 3,950t submerged. Maximum diving depth is 300m. Speed is 10k when surfaced and 17k when submerged. The range is 6,000 miles when sailing at 7kt and 400 miles when submerged at 3k.

Kilo Class combat system

The combat information system consists of a multipurpose MVU-110EM computer which allows for five targets to be tracked simultaneously, two automatically and three manually. Course, position and speed data from the Andoga navigation system is also fed into the combat data system.

Kilo Class torpedoes

The Type 877EKM has six 533mm torpedo tubes and carries 18 heavyweight torpedoes (six in the tubes and 12 on the racks), with an automatic rapid loader. Two targets can be engaged simultaneously.

“The tubes are capable of deploying 24 mines.”

Two of the launch tubes can fire the TEST-71MKE TV electric homing torpedo, which has an active sonar homing system with TV guidance which allows the operator to manually switch to an alternative target and can manoeuvre in two axes. It weighs 1,820kg with a 205kg explosive charge.

The submarine is also fitted with UGST wake-homing torpedoes. This torpedo weighs 2,200kg with a 200kg explosive charge. It has a range of up to 40km and a depth of search of up to 500m.

The tubes are also capable of deploying 24 mines.

Kilo Class missiles

The submarine has a launcher for eight Strela-3 or Igla surface-to-air missiles. These missiles are manufactured by the Fakel Design Bureau, Kaliningrad. Strela-3 (Nato designation SA-N-8 Gremlin) has a cooled infrared seeker and 2kg warhead. Maximum range is 6km. Igla (Nato designation SA-N-10 Gimlet) is also infrared-guided but heavier, with a maximum range of 5km and speed of Mach 1.65.

The Indian vessels are fitted with the Novator 3M-54E1 anti-ship missile as part of the Klub-S missile system. The range is 220km with 450kg high-explosive warhead.

Ten Indian navy vessels are being retrofitted with the Novator 3M-14 land-attack cruise missile, also part of the Klub-S system, which has a range of 275km and a 499kg warhead.


Countermeasures include electronic support measures (ESM), a radar warning receiver and a direction finder.

Kilo Class sensors

Type 877EKM can be fitted with the MGK-400 sonar, which provides echo target ranging, detection of active sonar signals and underwater sound communication.

It has a dual-channel system to reduce error and improve direction finding and has a frequency indicator to improve target discrimination. The 877EKM has an active radar with a target separation system.

Kilo Class propulsion

The Type 877EKM submarine is powered by diesel-electric propulsion with two 1,000kW diesel generators and one 5,500hp propulsion motor. These are produced by Elektrosila and Kolomensky Zavod of Russia. It also has 190hp motor for economic running and two 102hp standby propulsion systems. It has a seven-blade fixed-pitch propeller.

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