*Source: Defense Media
(NSI News Source Info) BALABANOVO, Russia - June 12, 2009: The Defense Ministry plans to complete sea trials of a new diesel Lada-class submarine this year, a military official said on Wednesday. The new, fourth postwar generation Project 677 Lada class diesel-electric submarine is a successor to the Type 877EKM and Type 636 Kilo-class submarines. The Lada type is significantly smaller (1,600 tons D/W) than the previous Kilo type submarines (2,325 tons D/W), and generally configured for anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, minelaying and special forces deployment. The Project 1650 Amur, intended for export, is part of the same project and differ only in customer requirements and operational conditions. In 1989 the Rubin Marine Design Bureau in St. Petersburg was commissioned by the Russian Navy to design a new fourth-generation diesel-electric submarine. Rubin completed design work on a whole family of the Amur diesel-electric submarines with a displacement of 550 to 1,850 tons. The designers adopted essentially the same design and layout solutions for entire submarines and their separate subsystems, using unified or modified equipment. The Amur class will also include provisions for a fuel cell plant that can be installed during construction or modernisation to give air independent propulsion with oxygen/hydrogen and electric/ chemical generators. However, the first submarines of the type will not be powered with such a plant. The reason is high cost of air-indipendent power plants, as well as higher level of fire safety required to operate them. The submarines powered with air-indipendent power plants may appear in the market not earlier than by 2003-2004. . According to estimates, Kristall-27E AIP system will increase the Amur Class submarines’ submerged endurance by 15 to 45 days (the longer endurance is ensured by a short-term operation of the diesel engine in the snorkeling mode). The submarines will have high submerged cruising range and endurance, combat efficiency and reliability, and low acoustic signature. The Amur is intended to be the most advanced export design to date, incorporating many of the signature-reduction technologies proven on the Project 636 Kilo, notably anechoic tile coatings and a skewed seven-bladed propeller. Their sonar equipment includes highly sensitive direct-listening transducers at the forward end and a towed transducer array. It will be outfitted with six torpedo tubes, and its 18 weapons will comprise a mix of torpedoes and torpedo-tube launched missiles. Measuring 67 metres in length and 7.2 metres wide, It will include an anechoic tile coating on the outer hull and a skewed 7-blade propeller. The vessel's surface speed will be 10 kt; submerged 21 kt. The submerged cruising range using economic speed is 500 nautical miles at 3 kt. The maximum diving depth is 250 m, with an endurance of 45 days with a crew of 34. As of mid-1999 no customer had been found for the Amur 1650-class export submarine laid down at Admiralty Shipyard on 26 December 1997, as India had apparently decided it was not interested in the boat. The similar Lada-class (some sources consider this to be a Project 877 boat) Sankt Petersburg was begun the same day at the same facility for the Russian Navy.* "The Navy will complete trials of the Lada-class submarine equipped with new sonar systems in 2009," said Maj. Gen. Alexander Shevchenko, in charge of the Armed Forces' armaments maintenance and support. A deputy head of the Navy General Staff said in March that the first Lada-class would enter service with the Russian Navy in 2010. The Project 677 diesel submarine, developed by the Rubin design bureau, features an advanced anti-sonar coating for its hull, an extended cruise range, and advanced anti-ship and anti-submarine weaponry, including Club-S cruise missile systems. The construction of the sub began in 1997 at St. Petersburg's Admiralty Shipyards. Two other submarines of the same class - the Kronshtadt and the Sevastopol - are being built by the company. The Lada-class vessels will gradually replace the Kilo class submarines, which are sometimes called "Black Holes" for their ability to avoid detection, and are considered to be among the quietest diesel-electric submarines in the world.