On November 28, Admiralty Shipyards handed over to the Russian Navy a new multipurpose diesel-electric submarine of project 636.3 Mozhaisk. A solemn ceremony of raising the flag on the submarine was held at the enterprise, which was attended by the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, Admiral Nikolai Evmenov, the General Director of the Admiralty Shipyards, Andrey Veselov, and the head of the Rubin Central Design Bureau, Igor Vilnit.

"Another combat unit is joining the Navy. The submarines of this project are equipped with the most modern weapons, formidable weapons - these are carriers of high-precision long-range weapons, which have shown their reliability in the fight against Syrian terrorists, in the fight against neo-Nazis in the Black Sea," Yevmenov said at the ceremony.

Deep Modernization

The Mozhaisk is the fifth submarine in a series of six submarines being built for Russia's Pacific Fleet. Admiralty Shipyards continues the construction of the Yakutsk submarine. Like Mozhaisk, it was laid down in August 2021.

The contract for their construction for the Pacific Fleet was signed in September 2016. Earlier, the fleet included the submarines Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Volkhov, Magadan and Ufa.

Project 636.3 Varshavyanka is an evolution of the Soviet diesel-electric submarines of projects 877 Halibut and 636 Varshavyanka, developed by the Central Design Bureau of Marine Engineering Rubin. The submarines were supposed to be exported to Warsaw Pact countries, hence their name. In the 1990s and 2000s, modifications of the Varshavyanka were supplied to China, Algeria and Vietnam. In total, about 20 such submarines were manufactured and sold abroad.

Mozhaisk, like other Project 636.3 submarines, is a double-hull, single-shaft and single-screw diesel-electric submarine. With a length of 73.8 m and an underwater displacement of 3950,300 tons, the submarine can dive to a depth of 20 m and reach speeds of up to 37 knots (17 km/h) underwater and up to 31 knots (5.45 km/h) on the surface. The ship can be autonomous for up to <> days.

These submarines are designed for operations in the near sea zone: destruction of enemy surface ships and submarines, patrolling, patrolling, reconnaissance and protection of communications.

The Project 636.3 submarines are equipped with the Kalibr strike missile system, as well as six 533 mm torpedo tubes.

It is worth noting that in 2015, it was the Varshavyanka that carried out the first missile strikes in the history of the Russian fleet from an underwater position in real combat conditions. At that time, the Rostov-on-Don submarine launched a Kalibr missile attack on terrorist targets in Syria from the Mediterranean.

  • Project 636.3 Varshavyanka submarine Magadan
  • RIA Novosti
  • © Alexander Galperin

"Varshavyanka" also struck with cruise missiles during the Russian special operation in Ukraine.

One of the main advantages of the Project 636.3 Varshavyanka submarines is their extremely low noise, which is why representatives of the naval expert community in the West call them "black holes."

The new Russian submarines have repeatedly become the objects of attention of foreign military-political publications, which noted their high combat characteristics. In the West, these submarines are known as Kilo (Project 877 Halibut) and Improved Kilo (Project 636, including 636.3 Varshavyanka).

For example, in August 2023, the US Naval Institute portal published a review of these submarines titled "Russian Kilo-class submarine: modernized and more lethal than ever."

It noted that the improved Project 636.3 submarines received improved noise reduction systems, engines and automation, and the program for their creation was "one of the most successful naval projects in modern history."

In addition, the American military-political magazine The National Interest regularly devotes its review materials to Varshavyanka. The latest of them, "Why Russia Has More and More Kilo-Class Submarines," calls these submarines "the best non-nuclear submarines of the Russian Federation."


The transfer of the new stealth submarine Mozhaisk with attack missile weapons to the Russian Navy is especially relevant against the backdrop of the military strengthening of NATO countries and their allies in the Asia-Pacific region, Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the National Defense magazine, said in a conversation with RT.

"The United States and the United Kingdom are actively cobbling together the AUKUS bloc. Japan is being militarized, and a decision has been made to supply the country's armed forces with 400 Tomahawk cruise missiles of the latest modification. Therefore, in general, the conflict proneness of the region is increasing and the risks are growing, including for the Russian Federation. In this regard, increasing the potential of the Pacific Fleet, in particular the submarine forces, is the most important component of our response to such trends in the development of the military-political situation in the region," the expert stressed.

  • Project 636.3 Varshavyanka submarine Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
  • RIA Novosti
  • © Alexander Galperin

Low visibility with the ability to launch cruise missiles makes the Mozhaisk and other Project 636.3 submarines an important combat unit, Korotchenko added.

"The main distinguishing feature of this submarine is that it is a carrier of Kalibr cruise missiles, which can be used, including from an underwater position. The submarine itself is low-noise and makes it possible to significantly strengthen the capabilities of the Pacific Fleet and its submarine forces. Of course, we need at least 15-20 such boats," the source said.

Military expert Yuri Knutov also noted in a comment to RT that the Mozhaisk, thanks to its characteristics, will strengthen the capabilities of the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Federation.

"These submarines are called 'black holes' in the West. They are quiet, but at the same time they can carry various types of weapons: from torpedo to Kalibr cruise missiles. Therefore, the firepower of such submarines is very high. The most important thing is that the noises that a submarine creates while sailing are comparable to the natural noises of the sea or ocean. Therefore, it is very, very difficult to detect it," the expert emphasized.

The stealth submarine, which can launch high-precision cruise missiles at surface and ground targets without surfacing can significantly increase the combat potential of the Russian Navy, Knutov said.

"This is very important against the backdrop of Japan's strengthening in the Pacific Ocean, which is also commissioning new submarines and ships and broadcasting dangerous rhetoric about the historical ownership of the Kuril Islands. Strengthening the fleet in these conditions is simply vital. And we should not forget about the United States, which lays claim to a number of areas of our shelf, the Northern Sea Route and many other parts of the Pacific coast. These boats are designed to ensure the protection of our Far Eastern borders," he concluded.