Russia Lays Keel of First Two of Six Varshavyanka-class (Project 636.3)

The Varshavyanka-class (Project 636.3) is an improved version of Kilo-class submarines that features advanced stealth technology, extended combat range and the ability to strike land, surface and underwater targets.

Russia currently has 6 Project 636.3 vessels commissioned into service with the Black Sea Fleet and this package is being built for the Passific Fleet.

“The [production] cycle of a submarine is decreasing, becomes less than three years. That is why we will look forward to the new submarines and we will run up a flag of the Russian Navy when in 2019 you hand over first two submarines to us” Deputy Defense Minister Yuriy Borisov said in the keel lying ceremony.

Ceremony on Admiralty Shipyard
Ceremony in Admiralty Shipyard 28.07.2017

The diesel-electric submarine has a maximum speed of 10–12 knots surfaced (18–22 km/h) and 17–25 knots submerged (31–46 km/h). A submerged displacement is around 4,000 tons. Fifty-two sailors are needed to operate the sub, which displaces 3,100 tons and can maintain continuous patrol for 45 days.

The first of the six diesel-electric submarines of project 636.3 Varshavyanka-class (improved Kilo-class) for the Pacific fleet – the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky – will be handed over to the Russian Navy in November 2019, Admiralty Shipyard Director General Alexander Buzakov said during the keel-laying ceremony. The last if six SSK is set to be delivered in 2022. Project 636.3 submarines are fitted with Kalibr missiles for strike at surface (anti-ship 3M-54 and 3M-541 missiles) and ground targets (cruise missiles 3M-14) and have upgraded radio-electronic equipment.

After years of inattention, Russia has embarked on an ambitious submarine-building program as part of its larger military modernization.