The Black Sea Fleet’s Project 636.3 diesel-electric submarine Rostov-on-Don will soon rejoin the Russian Navy’s permanent Mediterranean task force, a source in the defense industry told TASS on Wednesday.
“The submarine has been prepared for its long-distance deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. It will begin in coming days,” the source said.
The source did not specify whether the submarine Rostov-on-Don would replace the same-type sub Krasnodar currently on its deployment in the Russian Navy’s Mediterranean Squadron or would join the task force.
Normally, two of the Black Sea Fleet’s six Project 636.3 submarines are deployed in the Mediterranean Squadron. Their deployment lasts an average of 18 months, while the crews are rotated every three months. From the previous pair, the submarine Stary Oskol left the Mediterranean Squadron for repairs at the Kronshtadt Marine Plant (part of Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation) while the Krasnodar is still staying in the Mediterranean Sea.
The submarine Krasnodar was earlier expected to follow the same-type sub Stay Oskol and sail to the Kronshtadt Marine Plant for repairs.
The submarines Stary Oskol and Krasnodar joined the Russian Navy’s Mediterranean task force in April 2019. They replaced the same-type submarines Veliky Novgorod and Kolpino, which had stayed in the Mediterranean after their inter-fleet transit from the Baltic Sea and then sailed to the Black Sea. Their crews were rotated every three months.
In late December 2019, the Stary Oskol arrived at the Kronshtadt Marine Plant for repairs.
The Admiralty Shipyard has built a series of six Project 636.3 diesel-electric submarines for the Black Sea Fleet. The three of them, the Veliky Novgorod, the Kolpino and the Rostov-on-Don, numerously delivered strikes with Kalibr-PL cruise missiles against terrorist targets in Syria.
Project 636.3 submarines are referred to the third generation of diesel-electric subs. These submarines are considered among the world’s most noiseless vessels. They develop a speed of up to 20 knots, can dive to a depth of about 300 meters and their sea endurance is 45 days. The sub has a crew of 52 men and displaces about 4,000 tonnes.
Project 636 submarines are considered to be the most noiseless among Russian conventional subs. They have been dubbed the ‘Black Hole’ for their unique quietness. They are also furnished with modern radar and communications systems, sonars and 533mm torpedoes.