MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. The Black Sea Fleet’s submarines Krasnodar and Stary Oskol will wrap up their deployment as part of the Russian Navy’s permanent Mediterranean task force in early 2020, a source in the shipbuilding industry told TASS on Tuesday.
"The deployment of the two submarines in the Mediterranean Sea on a rotating basis will last until the beginning of 2020, after which they will sail to St. Petersburg for planned repairs at the Admiralty Shipyard," the press office said in a statement.
In late April, the Krasnodar and the Stary Oskol sailed from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean to replace the same-type submarines Veliky Novgorod and Kolpino in the Russian Navy’s Mediterranean Squadron whose deployment off Syria lasted a year and a half. The sub crews were rotated every three months.
Under the Montreux Convention, submarines of the Black Sea basin countries can transit the Bosporus and Dardanelles Straits only for undergoing repairs.
The Admiralty Shipyard (part of the United Shipbuilding Corporation) has built a series of six Project 636.3 conventional submarines for the Black Sea Fleet. Three of them, the Veliky Novgorod, the Kolpino and the Rostov-on-Don, numerously delivered strikes with Kalibr-PL cruise missiles against terrorist targets in Syria.
The Black Sea Fleet’s press office earlier reported that the Stary Oskol would undergo repairs in north-west Russia.
Project 636.3 submarines are referred to the third generation of diesel-electric subs. These submarines are considered among the world’s most noiseless vessels. They develop a speed of up to 20 knots, can dive to a depth of about 300 meters and their sea endurance is 45 days. The sub has a crew of 52 men and displaces about 4,000 tonnes.
The Soviet Navy’s 5th Mediterranean Squadron served as a prototype for the Russian Navy’s permanent Mediterranean task force operating at present. The 5th operational Soviet Squadron dealt with the tasks of naval presence in the Mediterranean theater of operations during the Cold War period.
Its main rival was the US Navy’s 6th Fleet. The Soviet Squadron was disbanded on December 31, 1992, a year after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
As it emerged in 2013, Russia was creating a new operational Mediterranean task force in its modern history. Russia’s new permanent task force is dealing with planned and urgent combat missions arising in the Mediterranean theater of operations, including warding off threats for Russia’s national and military security.