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Russia plans to beef up Baltic submarine forces — source

The sub is to be delivered to the Pacific Fleet before the end of the year
Project 636.3 submarine Alexei Pavlishak/TASS
Project 636.3 submarine
© Alexei Pavlishak/TASS

MOSCOW, November 14. /TASS/. The Baltic Fleet may become the third naval force in Russia after the Black Sea and Pacific Fleets, for which shipbuilders will build a series of Project 636.3 stealth submarines armed with Kalibr cruise missiles, two sources in the shipbuilding industry told TASS on Thursday.

"The Navy’s Main Command is discussing the issue of building a series of Project 636.3 diesel-electric submarines for the Baltic Fleet," one of the sources said, adding that "submarines with Kalibr missiles in the Baltic Fleet will considerably strengthen Russia’s striking potential in the Baltic region."

The other source told TASS that instead of six submarines as in the other fleets, "the series for the Baltic Fleet may include a lesser number."

The Navy’s Main Command declined to comment for TASS on the information provided by the sources.

The Admiralty Shipyard (part of Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation) earlier built a series of six Project 636.3 submarines for the Black Sea Fleet. Six more submarines of this Project are at various stages of their construction and trials for the Pacific Fleet. All of Project 636.3 submarines are armed with Kalibr-PL missile systems. The submarines of this Project built for the Black Sea Fleet earlier delivered missile strikes against terrorist targets in Syria from the Mediterranean Sea.

By now, the Project 636.3 first submarine built for the Pacific Fleet, the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, has completed its state trials. The sub is to be delivered to the Pacific Fleet before the end of the year.

Project 636.3 submarines

Project 636.3 submarines (NATO reporting name: Improved Kilo-II) are 74 meters long and displace more than 3,900 tonnes. Due to its strong hull, the submarine has an operational depth of 240 meters and can dive to a maximum depth of 300 meters. Submarines of this Project have an operational range of up to 7,500 miles. They are armed with Kalibr cruise missiles that are launched from torpedo tubes from the sub’s submerged position.

Project 636 submarines are considered among the world’s most noiseless underwater cruisers. They can develop a speed of up to 20 knots, have their sea endurance of 45 days and a crew of 52 men.