Rosoboronexport signed a delivery contract on six Project 636Mdiesel electric submarines to Vietnam during visit of Vietnamese PrimeMinister Nguyen Tan Dung to Russia on Dec 15, 2009. All subs will bebuilt at Admiralteyskie Verfi shipyard in St. Petersburg; rateof delivery is one sub per year. Total contract value of submarinesconstruction makes $2.1 bln. Considering establishment of appropriatecoastal infrastructure in Vietnam, delivery of arms and other systems,total sum could reach $3.2 bln. In this case the agreement would becomethe most expensive contract in the Russia's naval arms export.
"Amount of Russian Project 636/877 diesel electric submarines in Asiancountries will increase up to 28 after execution of the contract withVietnam; that will ensure Russia to keep leading positions at thismarket", informed RIA Novosti referring to GATAC press release.
Vietnam's decision to purchase Russian diesel electric subs fits intothe general trend of some Asian countries to create national submarinefleets. To make the best use of this factor, Russia makes a packageoffer including not only building submarines but also establishment ofappropriate submarine maintenance infrastructure, and trainingpersonnel, pointed out GATAC experts.
At present, Russia proceeds with implementation of long-term upgradeprogram of ten Project 877EKM diesel electric subs for Indian Navy.Since 2000 Indian Project 877EKM submarines have been armed with Club-S missile system. Indian Navy currently has in service 5 Project 877EKM submarines with Club-S system. One more sub is under modernization. Upgrade contract of four more Indian diesel subs and installation of Club-S system with 3M-54E1missiles was signed in Sept 2009. All modernized Project 877EKMsubmarines have six 533-mm torpedo tubes with 14 torpedoes, and 4supersonic cruise missiles 3M-54E1 having flight range about 220 km and designed for destroying surface ships, submarines, and land targets.
Construction program of diesel submarines for China has become one ofthe largest orders in Russia's recent history. Delivery contract ofeight Project 636 subs armed with Club-Smissile system for Chinese Navy was tied in May 2002. Its total valueexceeded $1.6 bln. The contract was implemented in 2004-2006. Chinaalso intends to mount Club-S system into previously delivered Russian diesel subs (two Project 877EKM and two Project 636 submarines).
According to estimates of GATAC, Russia, Germany, and France willremain key players at Asian market of diesel submarines. In someparticular countries the leading trio could compete with Sweden andHolland. South Korea with its Project 209 diesel subs built underGerman license could also participate.
Russia has a chance to win some regional tenders, such as second parcelof six diesel electric submarines for India, ànd also Indonesia,Thailand and other countries.
Project 636 submarine is the evolution of Project 877EKM dieselelectric submarine and has such distinctive features as increasedsubmarine speed (up to 20 knots), extended operational range insubmerged position, and improved silence. Combat effectiveness ofProject 636 submarine has been significantly increased because of Club-S missile system