New submarine for Northern Fleet will be named “Mariupol”

A file photo of Russian submarines in the ‘Vostok-2022’ military exercises at the Peter the Great Gulf of the Sea of Japan outside the city of Vladivostok on September 5, 2022. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images)

Russia is about to start the building of six improved Kilo-class submarines for Arctic waters. They will all get their names from occupied Ukrainian cities.

The Russian Navy has signed contracts with the United Shipbuilding Corporation on the construction of a fleet of diesel-fueled submarines of the class 636.3.

A contract on the first three vessels was reportedly signed during the Army-2022 military forum in August 2022.

The new subs will be the first of the kind in the Northern Fleet. From before, Russia has a total of ten improved Kilo-class vessels in operation.

Construction to start in 2024

The construction of the first new vessel is reported to start in 2024. It will get the name Mariupol after the occupied Ukrainian city that was completely destroyed by attacking Russian forces. Countless civilians were killed in the battles and grave war crimes committed by the involved Russian and Chechen troops.

Also troops from the Northern Fleet are believed to have been engaged in the fighting and in early June 2023, the governor of Murmansk paid a visit to soldiers from his region based in the city.

Following the Mariupol, another five improved Kilo-class submarines will be built for the Northern Fleet, and all of them will get names from occupied Ukrainian territories.

Paradoxically, the improved Kilo-class subs play a key role in Russia’s onslaught on Ukraine. The Black Sea Fleet has six vessels of the kind in operation, and all of them are regularly engaged in missile attacks on Ukrainian cities.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed in the attacks.

Can operate down to 300 meter depths

A representative of the Russian military-industrial complex in 2022 told TASS that the Project 636.3 has “repeatedly proved its abilities under battle conditions.”

The subs are an improved version of the 636 project (“Varshavyanka”), a kind of vessel built by Russia since the mid-1990s and exported to China, Algeria and Vietnam.

The submarines are all built at the Admiralty Yard in St.Petersburg.

They are 73 meter long and ten meter wide, and can operate down to 300 meter depths. It has a top speed of 20 knots and can operate autonomous for 45 days and at distances up to 7500 nautical miles. It has a crew of 52 men and is equipped with six torpedo chambers, mines and Kalibr cruise missiles.

Related stories from around the North: 

IcelandIceland authorizes U.S. submarine service visits, Eye on the Arctic

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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