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Russian shipyard to begin work on new sub for Navy

A Varshavyanka-class submarine. An Admiralty shipyard photo

MOSCOW (BNS): A Russian shipyard will lay the foundation of a new Varshavyanka-class diesel-electric submarine for the Navy's Black Sea Fleet at St. Petersburg on Friday.

The submarine, named Stary Oskol, will be the third of six Project 636.3 Varshavyanka-class diesel-electric vessels being built by Russia's Admiralty shipyard.

The new-class of subs are expected to join the Russian Navy by 2016, Ria Novosti news agency reported.

The first submarine of the class, the Novorossiisk, was laid down in August 2010, followed by Rostov-on-Don in November 2011, the report said.

An improved variant of the Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines, the Varshavyanka-class of subs feature advanced stealth technology, extended combat range, modern inertial navigation system and the ability to strike land, surface and underwater targets.

Each vessel has an underwater speed of 20 knots, a cruising range of 643 kilometers with the ability to patrol for 45 days. It can carry a 52-member crew and will be armed with 18 torpedoes and eight surface-to-air missiles.

The Varshavyanka-class of submarines has primarily been designed for anti-shipping and anti-submarine missions in relatively shallow waters.

The Russian Navy currently operates 20 diesel-electric submarines and the Black Sea Fleet has only one Kilo-class submarine, the Alrosa, which was inducted in the Navy in 1990.

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