Russian shipyard to launch 3rd submarine built for Vietnam

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Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (yellow tie) and a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation on the deck of the first Varshavyanka-class submarine built by Russia during an official visit to the country last May. PHOTO: VGP

Russian shipbuilder Admiralty Shipyards said Monday it would finish work on a third Varshavyanka-class submarine, an improvement on the older Kilo-class, it is building for Vietnam this month, RIA Novosti reported.

The HQ-184 Hai Phong is one of six diesel-electric submarines Vietnam has agreed to buy from Russia in a US$2-billion deal.

Russia will deliver all of them by 2016, train Vietnamese crews, and supply Vietnam with necessary spares. 

The first two, HQ-182 Hanoi and HQ-183 Ho Chi Minh City, were completed in August and December 2012.

HQ-182 Hanoi is expected to be handed over to Vietnam in November. It finished 100-day sea trials last month and its Vietnamese crew has been training since April, the Russian news agency quoted the St. Petersburg-based ship manufacturer as saying.

Varshavyanka-class submarines, nicknamed "black holes" for their ability to remain undetected under water, are designed for anti-submarine and anti-ship missions in relatively shallow waters, general reconnaissance, and patrols.

They are equipped with 533-millimeter torpedo tubes, mines, and Kalibr 3M54 cruise missiles, displace 3,100 tons, reach speeds of 20 knots, dive to 300 meters and carry 52 crew members.

They make little noise and can hit targets at long distances, according to the news report.

Vietnam says it is buying the submarines and other armaments for self-defense.

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