Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"Novorossiysk" to Depart for Northern Fleet This Week?

Kilo SS "Novorossiysk" August 22, 2014
(Image courtesy of Admiralty Shipyards)
There have been several statements by design and shipbuilding industry officials over the past year discussing an interfleet transit of the first new domestic Project 636.3 Kilo-class diesel submarine, "Novorossiysk", to the Northern Fleet area for additional testing. After the submarine joined the Russian Navy on August 22 of this year, everyone has been wondering when it will depart.

"Novorossiysk" conducted a 30-hour check ride on October 11-12 before returning to Admiralty Shipyards - the submarine's only underway period since being commissioned. Two auxiliaries arrived at the shipyard yesterday, probably in support of the transfer: Goryn-class oceangoing tug MB-119 (which first towed Bereza-class degaussing vessel SR-926 to Kronshtadt) and Toplivo-class oiler VTN-34.

Also visiting Admiralty Shipyards yesterday was Sidehole-class harbor tug RB-250, which made a round trip from Angliyskaya Naberezhnaya, and passenger ferry PSK-1562, which made a round trip from  Kronshtadt.

Admiralty Shipyards doesn't normally see this much visitor traffic, so it's a good sign that something unusual is about to occur. And it's not related to factory sea trials for Belousov-class submarine rescue ship IGOR BELOUSOV, as that ship has not even completed initial deperming operations. And the next transfer of Vietnamese Kilo "Haiphong" won't happen until later this year - and that will involve a semi-submersible heavy-lift ship, not a smaller oceangoing tug.