(NSI News Source Info) April 28, 2009: Russia will build six submarines for the Vietnamese navy, the daily Kommersant reported April 27.
Kilo class is the NATO designation for the very quiet Russian diesel-electric Project 877 Paltus (Turbot) submarines. The Kilo Class Submarines were designed primarily for the purpose of anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare in the protection of naval bases, coastal installations and sea lanes in shallow waters. They were also used for reconnaissance and patrol missions. Design of the Kilo Class Submarines was undertaken by Rubin Central Maritime Design Bureau.
The first submarine entered service in 1982. Continuing development of the Kilo class (Project 877) lead to the Type 877EKM and the Type 636. Project 636 was a further development of Project 877EKM. The Russian Type 636 Submarine was developed for the purpose of anti-submarine (ASW) and anti-surface ship (ASuW) warfare. Project 636 submarines have earned the nikname the "The Black Hole", from the US navy because of their almost mysterious ability to just disappear.
Project 636 submarines are to detect hostile submarines at a range of up to four times greater than it can be detected itself. Project 636 submarines are renowned for their quitness, part of which was gained through an advanced anti-acoustic rubber coating applied on the outer hull surface. Flooding ports were removed from the fore-body of the 636 varient to reduce the submarine's acoustic signature. Anechoic tiles are fitted on casings and fins to absorb the sonar sound waves of active sonar, which results in a reducion and distortion of the return signal. These Anechoic tiles help attenuate sounds that are emitted from the submarine, thus reducing the range of which the sub may be detected by hostile passive sonar.
Depending on the varients Kilo clss Submarines may be fitted with six 553mm torpedo tubes, eighteen torpedoes, twenty-four mines, eight SA-N-8 Gremlin or 8 SA-N-10 Gimlet Surface-to-air missiles. Export versions of the Submarines may not be equipped with air defense weapons.
A number of Kilo Class Submarines have been exported to various countries including: Algeria, People's Republic of China, India, Indonesia, Poland, Romania and Iran.
The St Petersburg naval dockyard Admiralteyskye verfi and Vietnam will shortly sign the contract, worth $1.8 billion, the report said, quoting sources close to Russian arms export agency Rosoboronexport. It gave no time frame. "Initially it was expected that the submarines would be bought by Venezuela, but Rosoboronexport refused to clinch the deal with that country, largely due to a recent meeting between Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his American counterpart Barack Obama," Kommersant said. Chavez, a ferocious foe of the United States under the George W. Bush presidency, showed signs of warming to Obama during the Americas conference earlier this month, telling the new U.S. president: "I want to be your friend."