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Export capability of Russian subs to Southeast Asia is on the rise – experts

Export capability of Russian subs to Southeast Asia is on the rise – experts 25.01.2010 Source: RIA Novosti, photo: a Project 677 Lada submarine (by Rubin Design Bureau)

Russia with its new Lada-class (Project 677) diesel electric submarine has a great chance to significantly increase its naval export capability to Southeast Asia, say experts of Moscow Defense Brief.

"Russia greatly increases rates of its submarine export offers to Asian countries, planning to take active part in regional submarine boom. It is not improbable that Amur-class subs (export version of Lada) will arouse interest of even India and China. Russia with its naval export intends to continue having a serious impact on naval correlation in Asian-Pacific region and to increase number of friends and partners among navies of Asian countries", says the article which is to be published in the first issue of 2010.

It is mentioned that after 6-year long trials in 2010 Russian Navy would get lead sub of 4-gen Project 677 Lada named Sankt-Peterburg. "According to available data, that means solution of the project's basic engineering problems (related to sonar and Permasine type electric motor) and enables to launch export deliveries of the sub's export variant (Amur) in the new decade; sizes of the sub are customized", underlined experts of Moscow Defense Brief.

According to the article, Russia with its advanced underwater technologies still plays a key role at submarine arms market of Asia. Current Indian and Chinese submarine programs make progress largely thanks to Russia's technical assistance. Realization of Indian submarine fleet program closely connected with Russia.

"Russian Kilo-class submarines (Projects 877 and 636) form the basis of Indian and Chinese operable non-nuclear submarine forces; obviously, they will keep this role at least for a decade, especially, taking into account potential of being armed with cruise missiles and Club-S antiship missiles", suppose experts.

Russia goes on promoting of those inexpensive, reliable and effective subs to Asian region. It is evident from macrocontract signed in 2009 on construction of six Kilo-class subs (Project 636M) for Vietnam and resumption of talks on construction of two same subs for Indonesia on credit basis.

Project 677 Lada submarines are series of Russian diesel electric subs developed late 90-ies. The project general designer is Yury Kormilitsyn. Unique feature of the project is combination of small size and low noisiness with powerful torpedo and missile armament; use of hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells generating electricity.

The subs are designed for antisubmarine and antisurface warfare, defense of naval bases, seashore and sea lanes, as well as for conducting reconnaissance.

Mono-hull design was used during the sub's construction for the first time since 40-ies.

In comparison to double-hulled Varshavianka, surface displacement has been reduced by 1.3 times – from 2,300 down to 1,765 tonnes. Full submerged speed has been increased from 19 up to 21 knots. Crew complement has been lessened from 52 down to 34 submariners; endurance has been increased up to 45 days. Lada-type subs are distinguished with its silence level, high-grade automation and comparatively small price as regard to foreign projects – German Type 212 and Franco-Spanish Scorpene. However, Russian ones are armed with more powerful weapons.

The sub is equipped with Litiy combat control automated system.

The subs are built at Admiralteyskie Verfi shipyard (St. Petersburg); it is planned to construct 50 submarines of this project.

Three subs are presently in different phases of completeness.

Lead sub B-585 Sankt-Peterburg was laid down in 1997; launched on Oct 28, 2004; in 2005 it was prepared for trials. Commission was scheduled on 2006 but later on postponed to Dec 2007 and then to 2010. B-586 Kronshtadt was laid down on July 28, 2005; B-587 Sevastopol – on Nov 10, 2006.

Amur-950 submarines are export version of Project 667 Lada which in its turn is sequel of Project 877 Paltus and Project 636 Varshavianka subs.

Amur-950 submarine is armed with four torpedo tubes and ten vertical launchers for antiship missiles. The crew is 18 (other source say 21); endurance is 30 days; diving depth is 250 meters.

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