On November 24, 2016, ceremony was held at St.Petersburg’s JSC “Admiralty Shipyards” – one of the oldest and largest of its kind in Russia. Amongst the dignitaries present was Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg Sergei Movchan, who on behalf of the city congratulated the employees on the completion of the latest project 636.3 submarine.
B-271 Kolpino is the final Improved-Kilo submarine to be commissioned, out of the original total order of six for the Russian Navy, with the first boat of the class – Novorossiysk – being laid in 2010 and subsequently commissioned in 2014. All six boats serve with the Black Sea Fleet.
Just like its predecessor, the venerable Project 877 Kilo class, the export version of the Improved-Kilo, known as Project 636M, has proved popular with the foreign customers. To date, a total of no less than 18 Improved-Kilo boats have been exported to China(10), Algeria(2) and Vietnam(6). These conventional diesel-electric subs are known as Varshavyanka in Russia. The name Varshavyanka was given to the class not long before the break up of the Soviet Union, when their development began. It arose from the intent to equip the Warsaw Pact countries with this capable boat, just as the Soviets did with its predecessor – the Project 877 Paltus (Halibut) class.
Allegedly dubbed the “Balck Hole” subamrine by the U.S. Navy, Varshavyankas are well known for their low acoustic signature. When armed with the Kalibr cruise missiles they represent a potent asymmetric weapon choice for countries who seek advanced naval capabilities at a reasonable cost.