ST. PETERSBURG, July 4 (Itar-Tass) - The development of the Northern Sea Route and addressing problems on the Arctic point to the necessity to equip Russia’s Navy with small submarines. Vice Admiral Viktor Patrushev, an adviser to director general of the St. Petersburg-based maritime machine-building design bureau Malakhit, told ARMS-Tass on Thursday.
Malakhit is exhibiting a series of projects of Piranya-type small submarines at an international naval show in St. Petersburg. These submarines of 218 cubic meters displacement weighing up to 870 tons and from five to ten meters long are capable of accommodating from three to nine crewmembers.
According to Patrushev, as of now there are no such submarines in the Russian Navy. But, in his words, such submarines are fit to solve tasks in the Arctic shallow waters. Such submarines can be used to ensure security at drilling rigs. Moreover, thanks to their small sizes they can be used as coastal guards in “shallow waters where submarines of other types cannot be used,” he noted.
Apart from that, no special coastal infrastructure is needed to operate this type of vessels. Thus, Patrushev cited an example of the Bering Sea, which is not Russia’s inner sea. “Foreign vessels sail in this sea as well, but it is inefficient to engage special forces there, movable bases with small submarines on combat duty are needed there,” he noted.
“Several submarines with crews of from four to nine might be engaged on combat duty there for a period from three to six months until the sea is cover with ice,” he suggested.
Malakhit’s small submarines may be equipped with the same types of weapons, including high-precision missiles, that are used in big submarines. Small submarines are equipped with proper hydro-acoustic systems and are characterized by low levels of noise. Moreover, their cost is twice to trice lower than that of big submarines and it is much easier to transport small submarines to their deployment area. Their operation require no special coastal infrastructure and technical fittings of bases.