Russian shipyard launches last 'Black Hole' sub built for Vietnam Navy

By Anh Son, Thanh Nien News

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Russian shipbuilders on Monday launched the last of the six Kilo-class submarines ordered by the Vietnamese Navy.
Admiral Viktor Chirkov, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy, and Rear Admiral Pham Hoai Nam, Commander of the People's Navy of Vietnam, were present at the launching ceremony for the submarine, codenamed HQ-187 Ba Ria Vung Tau, at the Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg.
It is part of a deal reached between Vietnam and Russia for six Project 636 Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines for $2 billion back in 2009.
Under the agreement, Russia would also train Vietnamese crews and supply necessary spare parts.
Vietnam has operated four Kilo-class submarines. The fifth, codenamed HQ-186-Da Nang, is reportedly running sea trials in the Baltic.
The delivery of the two last vessels is slated for next year.
Armed with cruise missiles, this diesel-electric stealth sub is believed to be the quietest in the world, and so was dubbed ‘black hole’ by NATO.
At the launching ceremony, Adm Viktor Chirkov and R.Adm Nam also discussed cooperation in strengthening security in the Asia-Pacific.

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