Rostov-na-Donu will transit Bosphorus tomorrow morning and enter the Black Sea. Following the deployment of Rostov-na-Donu, the Russian Black Sea Fleet will have four improved Kilo-class submarines equipped with Kalibr land-attack missiles in the Black Sea. According to the OSINT reports, the Black Sea Fleet’s other two Project 636.3 submarines (B-262 Stary Oskol, B-265 Krasnodar) are currently in Russia’s Tartous Naval Base in Syria.
Russia has been reinforcing its Black Sea Fleet since last week. As Naval News reported on February 08, the first part of a Russian Navy amphibious landing ship force consists of three Ropucha-class amphibious assault ships (Minsk (127), Korolev (130), and Kaliningrad (102)), which can carry troops, tanks, and supplies, has entered the Black Sea. On February 08, three additional amphibious vessels (Project 775 (Ropucha-class) Georgy Pobedonosets (016), Olenegorsky Gornyak (012), and Project 11711 (Ivan Gren-class) Pyotr Morgunov (017)) of the Russian Navy transited the Bosporus tonight to enter the Black Sea.
In addition to the current tensions in the region, Russia issued NOTAMs in the Black Sea on February 9, effectively blocking the entrance to the Sea of Azov as well as the ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk. The NOTAMs were released in preparation for the Black Sea Fleet’s live missile and gun firing exercises, which will take place from February 13 to February 19, 2022.
The naval capabilities of both countries and the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s possible course of action are given in our January analysis.
About Improved Kilo-class submarines:
Improved Kilo-class submarines are referred to as the third generation of large diesel-electric submarines, which were built at the JSC Admiralty Shipyards for the Russian Navy’s main fleets. Originally, these submarines are called Project 636.3, in Western countries, they are defined as Improved Kilo-class, which are the upgraded version of Project 877 (Kilo-class) subs.
The improved Kilo-class submarines are designed to conduct anti-shipping and anti-submarine missions in shallow waters and feature stealth technology with extended combat range to strike land, surface, and underwater targets.
According to Russia, the Project 636.3 submarines are among the world’s quietest submarines. It is 74 meters long, has a displacement of over 3,900 tonnes, and has an operational depth of 240 meters. It can operate at a maximum depth of 300 meters and has a range of 7,500 nautical miles.
The submarines have a cruising speed of 20 knots, a range of 400 nautical miles using electronic propulsion, can patrol for 45 days, and can accommodate a crew of 52. They are equipped with 6×533 mm torpedo tubes with 18 torpedoes and eight Strela-3/Igla-1 surface-to-air missiles. Alternatively, the torpedo tubes can deploy 24 mines.
These submarines are powered with two 4DL-42M diesel generators, 1500 kW each (1000 kW each for the first 2 diesel generators). Different from Project 877 submarines which have a 6 bladed propeller, Improved Kilo-class subs are fitted with a 7 bladed propeller.
The MGK-400EM digital sonar is installed on Type 636.3. The sonar suit, according to Robosonexport, detects submarine and surface ship targets in sonar listening mode, echo-ranging in a 30° sector of the target relative bearing, telephone and telegraph communication in both long and short-range modes, detection of underwater sound signals, and signal-bearing determination.