Russia to begin delivery of submarines to Vietnam in November

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  A Varshavyanka class submarine

Russian shipbuilder Admiralty Shipyards will hand over the first of six submarines to Vietnam in November, Russian news agency RIA Novosti has reported.

"We are expecting the signing of the acceptance act and the sub's sailing to Vietnam in November," it quoted the shipyard as saying.

Vietnam ordered the submarines in 2009, with the contract, which also includes training for Vietnamese crews in Russia, said to be worth US$2 billion.

The delivery is expected to be completed by 2016.

The first submarine successfully completed 100-day trials in July and a Vietnamese crew has been training since April this year, the shipbuilder said.

"The vessel showed excellent maneuverability and reliable work of all mechanisms during the trials."

The underwater vessel belongs to the Varshavyanka class, an improvement on the Kilo which is described by the US Navy as "black holes in the ocean" because they are "nearly undetectable when submerged."

The Varshavyanka class has more advanced stealth technology  and an extended combat range, the RIA Novosti report said.

It displaces 3,100 tons, can reach speeds of 20 knots, dive to 300 meters, and carry 52 sailors.

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Armed with 533-millimeter torpedoes, mines, and cruise missiles, the submarine is mainly intended for anti-shipping and anti-submarine missions in relatively shallow waters.

The diesel-electric submarine has very low noise emission and can hit targets at long distances without being detected by enemy anti-submarine systems, according to the report.

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