Russia plans to add a new frigate and two new diesel electric submarines (SSKs) to its Black Sea Fleet by years end, the head of the Russian Navy said on Monday.
The Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate and two Improved Kilo-class (Varshavyanka-class) SSKs will commission by the end of the year, Commander-in-Chief, Adm. Viktor Chirkov told Russian news outlet RIA Novosti in a Monday interview.
“The Black Sea Fleet will receive two out of six Varshavyanka-class boats by the end of the year,” he said.
“In addition, we are planning to raise the flag on the first out of six Project 1135.6 frigates by the same time.”
The plan is part of a previously announced $2.4 billion Russian Navy Black Sea Fleet expansion planned to be completed in 2020.
All told, the Russian Navy plans for 11 ships, including the two Kilos, an additional frigate, two Grachonok-class patrol craft and six other service and support vessels, according to local press.
The Russian Navy’s current fleet is composed of few capital ships and is oriented toward anti-submarine warfare and minesweeping.
The Kilos are improved variants of the 1980s era SSKs Russia has widely exported to countries including Iran, India, China and Vietnam.
The boats displace about 4,000 tons and are armed with surface to air missiles and some variants posses anti-ship missiles.
The Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates displace 4,000 tons and carry a vertical launch system that can carry the 3M-54 Sizzler (Klub) anti-ship missile and the P-800 Onyx supersonic anti-ship missile.
Tensions in the Black Sea have been the highest in decades since the Russian seizure of the Crimean region of Ukraine in March.
Since then, NATO and the U.S. Navy have stepped up presence missions in the region.