Russia's Admiralteiskie Verfi shipyard has launched a new Kilo-class Project 636 diesel-electric submarine for Vietnam, a military-industrial complex sources said on Tuesday.
The boat is the first of six ordered by Hanoi.
Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Zung announced the signing of a contract worth almost $2 billion for the six boats in December 2009.
"The first boat will be launched on Tuesday and will begin tests soon after," a shipyard source said earlier today. The boat is due to be delivered to the customer by the end of the year, he added. All six boats are due to be delivered by 2016.
The Project 636 class boats displace 3,100 tons, have a top speed of 20 knots, can dive to 300 meters and have a crew of 52. The boats are armed with 533-mm torpedo tubes and are armed with torpedos, mines, and Kaliber 3M54 (NATO SS-N-27) cruise missiles.