MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti) – Vietnam will next month take delivery of a Russian submarine dubbed “a black hole in the ocean” by the US Navy for its undetectability when submerged, a military industry source told RIA Novosti on Monday.
Vietnam ordered a fleet of six Varshavyanka class diesel-electric submarines in 2009 in what has been seen as an effort to counterbalance China’s expanding maritime influence.
The contract, which also includes training for Vietnamese submarine crews in Russia, is reportedly worth $2 billion.
Project 636M submarines have very low noise emission and can hit targets at long distances without being detected by the enemy’s anti-submarine systems.
All total of six boats are being built for Vietnam at the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg. They are due for delivery by 2016.
The vessels displace 3,100 tons, reach speeds of 20 knots, can dive to 300 meters and carry crews of 52 people.
The submarines feature 533-mm torpedo tubes and are armed with torpedoes, mines and Kalibr 3M54 (NATO SS-N-27 Sizzler) cruise missiles. They are mainly intended for anti-shipping and anti-submarine missions in relatively shallow waters.