The Black Sea Fleet’s Project 636.3 diesel-electric submarine Stary Oskol will return to combat patrols off Syria in July, a source in military and diplomatic circles told TASS on Thursday.
“The submarine’s first planned repairs at the Kronshtadt Marine Plant are expected to be completed by June 10. In a month, it will operate as part of the Russian Navy’s permanent Mediterranean task force,” the source said.
Currently, the Black Sea Fleet same-type submarine Krasnodar is operating within the Russian Navy’s Mediterranean Squadron. The sub is also expected to arrive at the Kronshtadt Marine Plant for repairs after its replacement in the Mediterranean task force.
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.
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.