Russia has launched its new state-of-the-art Novorossiysk submarine, which set sail from a St Petersburg shipyard to become the first of six diesel-electric stealth subs delivered to the Russian Black Sea fleet in the next two years.
The Novorossiysk belongs to the Varshavyanka-class (Project 636), which is characterized by advanced stealth technology, making it virtually undetectable when submerged.
"Our potential opponents call it the 'Black Hole' due to the very low noise emission and visibility of the submarine," Konstantin Tabachny, captain of the Novorossiysk, told Channel One TV. "To be undetectable is the main quality for a submarine. And this whole project really fits its purpose."
The construction of the Novorossiysk at St Petersburg's Admiralty Shipyards took over three years, beginning in August 2010.
Construction was also started on two other Varshavyanka-class vessels -- the Rostov-on-Don sub in November 2011 and the Stary Oskol in August 2012.
Project-636 submarines are mainly intended for anti-shipping and anti-submarine missions in relatively shallow waters.
Armed with 18 torpedoes and eight surface-to-air missiles, they have an extended combat range and can strike land, surface and underwater targets.
The Novorossiysk and other subs of its class can reach a speed of 20 knots (37 kilometers per hour).
With a cruising range of 400 miles on electric propulsion and max submission of 300 meters, the vessels have the ability to patrol for up to 45 days with a crew of 52 people onboard.
The Varshavyanka-class subs will be tasked with patrolling Russia's maritime borders and protecting Black Sea coastal territories.
The Novorossiysk will be deployed in its namesake port of Novorossiysk, on the Black Sea.
The sub will make the two-month journey to its home port under its own power, said Rear Admiral Victor Bursuk, the deputy commander of the Russian Navy.
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