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ST. PETERSBURG, March 18. /TASS/. The Russian Navy Command is preparing a proposal for continuing the construction of Project 636.3 diesel-electric submarines, Navy Deputy Commander-in-Chief Alexander Fedotenkov said on Friday.
"The Navy Command will prepare a proposal on further building the vessels of both this series [Project 636.3] and other projects, which are at the stage of operational testing," Fedotenkov said at a ceremony of floating out the fifth submarine of this Project, the Veliky Novgorod, at the Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg.
"From the viewpoint of the noise level, the systems of detection and target acquisition, and also armament, the Project 636 fully suits us," the Navy deputy commander-in-chief said.
When asked about when a contract would be signed for building the fourth, series 677 Lada-class submarine, Fedotenkov said that "the issue is under consideration."
The submarines of the modified Project 636 are more combat-efficient compared with the previous versions. The Russian Black Sea Fleet is expected to receive such submarines. The lead submarine Novorossiysk was transferred to the Russian Navy in August 2014 and the second submarine Rostov-on-Don became operational on December 30, 2014.
The third submarine of this series, the Stary Oskol, has been on combat duty in the Russian Navy since July 2015. The submarine Krasnodar, the fifth in the series, was transferred to the Navy on November 5, 2015. The sixth submarine of this Project is expected to be floated out in May this year.
The submarine Rostov-on-Don delivered a strike with Kalibr cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea against the facilities of the Islamic State terrorist organization (outlawed in Russia) on the territory of the Syrian province of Raqqa in December last year.
The Lada-class conventional submarines feature fourth-generation technology. Compared with their Varshavyanka-class predecessors, the Lada-class submarines are smaller in size, displacing only 1,750 tons as against 2,300 tons and are faster with a subsurface speed of 21 knots.
The new-generation submarines are characterized by the low noise level and the high automation level. There are armed with Kalibr cruise missiles.
Russia has been building Project 677 submarines for almost 20 years. The lead submarine St. Petersburg was laid down in 1997 and has been used in the operational testing mode since it was transferred to the Navy in 2010. The Project 677 submarines Kronshtadt and Velikiye Luki were laid down in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Their construction was later suspended and restarted only in 2013.
A source in Russia’s Navy Main Command earlier told TASS that the second and third Project 677 Lada-class submarines would be transferred to the Russian Navy in 2019, later than scheduled.