Russia dominates Asian market with 28 diesel subs

Russia with its implemented and signed delivery contracts of 28
submarines dominates Asian market; Vietnamese contract has strengthened
Russia’s positions, reported Thursday Global Arms Trade Analysis Center
(GATAC).

Rosoboronexport signed a delivery contract on six Project 636M
diesel electric submarines to Vietnam during visit of Vietnamese Prime
Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to Russia on Dec 15, 2009. All subs will be
built at Admiralteyskie Verfi shipyard in St. Petersburg; rate
of delivery is one sub per year. Total contract value of submarines
construction makes $2.1 bln. Considering establishment of appropriate
coastal infrastructure in Vietnam, delivery of arms and other systems,
total sum could reach $3.2 bln. In this case the agreement would become
the most expensive contract in the Russia’s naval arms export.

“Amount of Russian Project 636/877 diesel electric submarines in Asian
countries will increase up to 28 after execution of the contract with
Vietnam; that will ensure Russia to keep leading positions at this
market”, informed RIA Novosti referring to GATAC press release.

Vietnam’s decision to purchase Russian diesel electric subs fits into
the general trend of some Asian countries to create national submarine
fleets. To make the best use of this factor, Russia makes a package
offer including not only building submarines but also establishment of
appropriate submarine maintenance infrastructure, and training
personnel, pointed out GATAC experts.

At present, Russia proceeds with implementation of long-term upgrade
program of ten Project 877EKM diesel electric subs for Indian Navy.
Since 2000 Indian Project 877EKM submarines have been armed with Club-S missile system. Indian Navy currently has in service 5 Project 877EKM submarines with Club-S system. One more sub is under modernization. Upgrade contract of four more Indian diesel subs and installation of Club-S system with 3M-54E1
missiles was signed in Sept 2009. All modernized Project 877EKM
submarines have six 533-mm torpedo tubes with 14 torpedoes, and 4
supersonic cruise missiles 3M-54E1 having flight range about 220 km and designed for destroying surface ships, submarines, and land targets.

Construction program of diesel submarines for China has become one of
the largest orders in Russia’s recent history. Delivery contract of
eight Project 636 subs armed with Club-S
missile system for Chinese Navy was tied in May 2002. Its total value
exceeded $1.6 bln. The contract was implemented in 2004-2006. China
also intends to mount Club-S system into previously delivered Russian diesel subs (two Project 877EKM and two Project 636 submarines).

According to estimates of GATAC, Russia, Germany, and France will
remain key players at Asian market of diesel submarines. In some
particular countries the leading trio could compete with Sweden and
Holland. South Korea with its Project 209 diesel subs built under
German license could also participate.

Russia has a chance to win some regional tenders, such as second parcel
of six diesel electric submarines for India, ànd also Indonesia,
Thailand and other countries.

Project 636 submarine is the evolution of Project 877EKM diesel
electric submarine and has such distinctive features as increased
submarine speed (up to 20 knots), extended operational range in
submerged position, and improved silence. Combat effectiveness of
Project 636 submarine has been significantly increased because of Club-S missile system