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LANGKAWI (Malaysia), March 29 (RIA Novosti) – Russian shipbuilders are working on developing new “super mini” submarines, the United Shipbuilding Corporation state holding company said on Friday.
USC vice president Igor Zakharov said work on the sea craft is in progress at the St. Petersburg-based Malakhit naval machine manufacturing bureau and that Navy command has been showing interest in the project.
Alexander Terenov, an advisor to Malakhit’s general director, said the Project 865 Piranha submersible (NATO reporting name Losos) could go beyond just “hit and run” operations.
“They have a broad range of applications and can carry full-fledged missile and torpedo systems,” Terenov said.
Terenov said the Piranha could also be deployed for the protection of naval installations, and would be operated by small crews and cost little to maintain.
Piranha is a midget submarine designed for special operations and is almost completely silent. Only two Piranha-class submarines were reportedly ever built in Russia.
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).