Russia completes first Algerian Varshavyanka class submarine (Project 636)

Admiralty Shipyards in St Petersburg has completed the first of two Kilo class submarines for the Algerian Navy.

Photos of the ceremony emerged on social media this week, which is believed to have taken place on 14 March in the presence of Algerian naval officials. 

Algeria’s order for two Project 636 Varshavyanka (Kilo class) submarines was revealed in mid-2014, with deliveries due to take place in 2018. 

The new submarines will add to four already in Algeria’s fleet – in June 2006 Rosoboronexport signed a contract with the Algerian Navy for the construction of two Project 636 Improved Kilo class submarines under a roughly US$400-600 million contract. Construction of the first submarine started in 2006 and the second began in 2007. They were handed over to the Algerian Navy in March and September 2010 where they joined two Project 877EKM Kilo diesel electric submarines, which Algeria received in 1987-1988. The latter two were upgraded by Russian shipyards.

The Project 636 Varshavyanka (Kilo) class is mainly intended for anti-shipping and anti-submarine operations in relatively shallow waters. The tear-drop hulled submarine is 72.6m long, 9.9m wide and can dive to 300 meters. The design has a displacement of 3 076 tons. Underwater, it reportedly has a speed of up to 25 knots. The complement is 52 and the submarine has an endurance of 45 days.

The boat is fitted with six 533 mm torpedo tubes and carries up to 18 homing or wire-guided torpedoes, or 24 AM-1 mines. The type can apparently also be fitted with Kalibr cruise missiles.

The outer hull is covered with sound damping tiles and its machinery as well as design is regarded as very quiet. Designed by the Rubin Central Maritime Design Bureau of St Petersburg, the submarine entered service in 1982. The type was originally built at the Komsomolsk shipyard and lately by the Admiralty Shipyard in St Petersburg. It is in service with the navies of Russia, China, Vietnam, Iran, India and Poland, among others. Some 50 have been built.