MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. Russia will start building a series of fifth-generation conventional submarines with air-independent propulsion units in the imminent future, Navy Deputy Commander-in-Chief Vice-Admiral Alexander Fedotenkov said on Friday.
"These are new-generation submarines. They are currently being developed. The construction of these submarines will start in the imminent future," Fedotenkov said in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV channel.
Fedotenkov didn’t specify when Russian shipbuilders would start constructing fifth-generation submarines.
As the Navy deputy commander-in-chief said, a series of submarines for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is currently under construction. In all, the Russian Black Sea Fleet is expected to receive six Project 636.3 submarines.
"A decision may be made in the imminent future to build Project 636.3 submarines for Russia’s Pacific Fleet," Fedotenkov said.
The Navy deputy commander-in-chief said earlier that a decision to equip the Russian Pacific Fleet with six Project 636.3 submarines "is highly likely to be made."
Russia has been developing air-independent propulsion units for conventional submarines for several years. There were plans to mount them on Project 677 Lada-class conventional submarines.
The first Project 677 conventional submarine has been undergoing operational evaluation with Russia’s Northern Fleet since 2010.
The second and the third Project 677 conventional submarines are under construction now.
It was reported earlier that these submarines would lack air-independent propulsion units as well.