Russia’s Black Sea Fleet soon to welcome final two Kilo submarines

The Russian Navy’s final two diesel-electric submarines have reached the Mediterranean Sea en route to their permanent homeport in the Black Sea, Russian defense ministry announced on August 28.

Project 636.3 (NATO reporting name: improved Kilo-class) submarines Kolpino and Veliky Novgorod got underway this month from Saint Petersburg on the Baltic Sea where they were built by Admiralty Shipyards.

On August 16, the submarines were escorted by NATO vessels as they traveled through the North Sea while surfaced.

They are accompanied by Baltic Fleet tug SB-921 on their way to the Black Sea fleet where they will round off the Russian Navy’s goal of operating six improved Kilo-class submarines in the Black Sea.

Prior to entering the Black Sea, the submarines are likely to spend some time in the Mediterranean taking part in Russian operations in Syria, similarly to what their predecessor Krasnodar did a month ago before docking in Sevastopol.

Veliky Novgorod was launched on March 18 and commissioned into service on October 26, 2016. Kolpino was launched in May 2016 and commissioned on November 24, 2016.

Kilo-class submarines are armed with 18 torpedoes and eight surface-to-air missiles. The vessels can accommodate a crew of 52 submariners and can stay at sea for 45 days.

They displace 4,000 tonnes when submerged and 2,000 on the surface and reach speeds of over 17 knots.