A multipurpose deep-sea test range can be established in Russian waters of the Black Sea, writes online Dni.ru. Its basic purpose will be visual demonstration of Russian-made arms to foreign customers.
It will be finally decided whether to found the range during the HydroAviaSalon-2012 international exhibition to be held in Gelendzhik, Russia. Directors of the Institute of Oceanology, Russian defense industrial companies, Ministry of Trade and Industry, and Russian Navy command will debate about the need to establish the test range.
"Such test facility gives us the chance to demonstrate our weapons to foreign clients, and that considerably increases Russia's competitiveness at the world arms market", said Konstantin Roginsky, deputy director of the Institute of Oceanology.
According to military experts, to compare Russian weapons with foreign analogs, it is necessary to carry out range trials in realistic conditions. In Soviet times up to 1992, most of full-scale tests of underwater weapons were held in Feodosia (Ukraine), in Gagry (Georgia), and Lake Issyk-Kul (Kyrgyzstan).
In Russia, the only currently operating underwater test range is located in the Lake Ladoga, reports ITAR-TASS. However, only seasonal trials can be held at the range due to cold weather conditions which makes certain impact on underwater weapon testing.
As was recently reported, the new Project 636.3 (Improved Kilo class) diesel submarine named Stary Oskol was laid down in St. Petersburg. The sub is expected to join Black Sea Fleet. Recall that the lead submarine of the project was keel-laid in Aug 2010 under name of Novorossiysk, the second one named Rostov-na-Donu was laid down in Nov 2011.