Asia Defense | Security

Second Project 636.3 Sub for Russian Pacific Fleet to Be Launched on December 26

The Admiralty shipyard will float out the second Project 636.3 Kilo-class attack submarine destined for service in the Pacific Fleet on December 26.

Franz-Stefan Gady
Second Project 636.3 Sub for Russian Pacific Fleet to Be Launched on December 26
Credit: Youtube Still Shot

The Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg will launch the second improved Project 636.3 Kilo-class (aka Vashavyanka-class) diesel-electric attack submarine (SSK), the Volkhov, destined for service in the Russian Pacific Fleet, on December 26.

“The float-out of the second submarine Volkhov will take place on December 26,” the head of Admiralty Shipyard, Alexander Buzakov, was quoted as saying by TASS news agency on November 25. The submarine, laid down in July 2017, is expected to be commissioned in November 2020. Russian submarines, however, have rarely been delivered to the service on time in recent years.

The Russian ship maker officially delivered the first Project 636.3 Kilo-class SSK, the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, to the Pacific Fleet last month. The boat was handed over to the fleet during a ceremony at the Admiralty shipyard, part of Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation, on November 25.

The Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Volkhov were laid down at the same time. An additional two SSKs of the class were laid down at the beginning of November. Construction of two more boats is expected to begin in 2020. The Admiralty shipyard is expected to deliver a total of six new improved Project 636.3 SSKs to the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet by the end of 2025. Nonetheless, it is uncertain when the first two, the Volkhov and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, will become fully operational with the fleet.

The Russian ship maker has already built and delivered six Project 636.3 SSKs for the Navy, as I wrote previously:

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Between August 2010 and November 2016, Admiralty shipyard built six improved Project 636.3 SSKs for the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet. Five of the subs were deployed to the eastern Mediterranean, with at least two reportedly attacking land targets inside Syria with M-54 Kalibr (NATO designation: SS-N-27A “Sizzler”) cruise missiles in 2015 and 2017.

Project 636.3 Kilo-class SSKs are known for their quietness and feature some of Russia’s most advanced submarine technology, as I explained elsewhere:

The Project 636.3 Kilo-class is an improved variant of the original Project 877 Kilo-class design. The updated version is slightly longer in length the sub’s submerged displacement is around 4,000 tons and features improved engines, an improved combat system, as well as new noise reduction technology.

A Project 636.3Kiloclass SSK can dive to a maximum depth of about 300 meters. It has an operational range of up to 12,000 kilometers. Its armament consists of both heavyweight torpedoes and anti-ship and land attack cruise missiles. It can also carry mines. The per-unit price of each sub is estimated at around $250 million.