Vietnam will takes possession of two Kilo-class diesel attack submarines (SSKs) by the end of the year, according to several press reports.
The two Project 636 Kilos plan to be delivered to the Vietnamese Navy in September as the first delivery of six eventual boats as part of a $1.8 to 2.1 billion deal made in 2009, wrote USNI News contributor Carlyle A. Thayer in 2012.
The deal includes additional training for Vietnamese submarine crews and an unspecified number of arms.
The boats are being built at the Admiralteiskie Verfi shipyard in St. Petersburg and will help Vietnam bolster maritime claims in the South China Sea and are among the most quiet diesel subs on the international market.
“The Project 636 Kilo-class submarine has been dubbed the ‘black hole’ by the U.S. Navy for its level of quietness,” wrote Thayer.
“The Project 636MV-class sub has improved stealth features through the removal of flooding ports and treating the hull with multilayer anechoic rubber tiles. The tiles are fitted on casings and fins to absorb active sonar waves that reduce and distort the return signal. The anechoic tiles also shield sounds from within the submarine thus reducing the range of detection by passive sonar.”
Several other countries are expanding their navies as territorial claims to resources in the South China Sea begin to overlap.