MOSCOW, September 17 (RIA Novosti) – Russia's first Varshavyanka-class submarine, the Novorossiisk, has entered service with the Black Sea fleet, the Southern Military District's press service said Wednesday.
The submarine currently remains at the Admiralty shipyard in St. Petersburg and will head to the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk after completing final trials with the Northern Fleet.
The Defense Ministry has ordered a total of six Varshavyanka-class subs, dubbed "black holes in the ocean" by the US Navy because they are nearly undetectable when submerged.
The Novorossiisk was laid down in August 2010. Back in August 2014, Russian Navy Commander Admiral Viktor Chirkov confirmed that two Project 636.3 diesel-electric submarines, the Novorossiysk and the Rostov-on-Don, would join the Black Sea Fleet by the end of the year. The construction of all six subs is to be completed by 2016.
The submarines are primarily intended for anti-ship and anti-submarine missions in relatively shallow waters. They will be crewed by 52 submariners, have an underwater speed of 20 knots and a cruising range of 400 miles with the ability to patrol for 45 days.