• The Vietnamese Kilo-class submarine, HQ-182 Hanoi.

The Vietnamese Kilo-class submarine, HQ-182 Hanoi. (Photo : Vietnam People's Navy)

Russia has delivered the sixth and last Improved Kilo-class diesel electric submarine contracted by Vietnam in 2009.

Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport delivered the last improved Kilo-class sub, which Russia refers to as Project 636.1 Varshavyanka-class. The contract for the construction of the six Project 636.1 submarines was worth some $2 billion.

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The submarine was transported from the Admiralty Wharves Shipyard in St. Petersburg in northwest Russia to Cam Ranh in central Vietnam aboard the Dutch heavy load carrier, Rolldock Star.

The submarine will be floated out three days after all administrative procedures are completed and customs documentation is formalized.

All six submarines delivered to Vietnam are armed with the 3M-54E Club-S submarine launched anti-ship cruise missiles. Club-S carries a 200 kg warhead and has a range of range 220 km.

It's a sea-skimmer with a supersonic terminal speed and a flight altitude of 4.6 meters at its final stage while traveling at Mach 2.9 (3,600 km/h).

The Vietnam People's Navy has commissioned four of the first five Kilo-class submarines: HQ-182 Hà Noi; HQ-183 Ho Chí Minh City; HQ-184 Hai Phòng and HQ-185 Khánh Hoà. The fifth sub, HQ-186 Ðà Nang, is still undergoing sea trials.

The sixth sub has been christened HQ-187 Bà Ria-Vung Tàu.       

The improved Kilo-class submarines displace 3,950 tons when fully loaded and submerged. They are 74 meters long and have a submerged speed of 46 km/h (25 knots) and a range of 6,000 to 7,500 nautical miles.

For the past three years, the Indian Navy has been training submariners of the Vietnam People's Navy on how to operate their common Russian-made Kilo-class submarines, which are noted for their extreme quietness that complicates detection.

Over the past few years, Vietnam has ordered advanced Russian-made military hardware worth more than $4.5 billion. Russia is a traditional partner of Vietnam in military and technical cooperation.