The first of six Kilo-class submarines Russia is building for Vietnam will be launched later this month, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.
The report cited Russian defense officials as saying the first diesel-electric submarine will be launched from Admiralty Shipyards in St Petersburg late August and delivered to Vietnam later this year after a series of trials at sea.
A launch ceremony will be held on August 28, according to the sources.
During Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's visit to Moscow in December 2009, Vietnam signed a US$2 billion deal to buy the six submarines from Russia.
Russia has promised to deliver all of them by 2016.
Kilo-class submarines, nicknamed "Black Holes" for their ability to avoid detection, are considered to be among the quietest diesel-electric submarines in the world.
They are designed for anti-submarine and anti-ship warfare and for general reconnaissance and patrol missions.
They have a displacement of 2,300 tons, a maximum depth of 350 meters, and a range of 9,600 km, and are equipped with six 533-mm torpedo tubes.
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