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Kolpino Russian submarine trains Kalibr anti-ship missile fire.

| 2020

The Kolpino submarine of the Black Sea fleet fired a Kalibr missile at a coastal target during Caucasus-2020 strategic command-staff exercise, the Russian Defense Ministry said. “The Kolpino launched a missile from a submerged position. It flew by a sophisticated trajectory close to a hundred nautical miles and hit the coastal target,” it said. Close to 20 warships and vessels, as well as naval aircraft closed the exercise area to ensure safety.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 B-271 Kolpino (Project 06363) Improved Kilo class submarine (Picture source: Russian MoD)

Kilo class is the NATO reporting name for a type of military diesel-electric submarines. The original version of these vessels is designated Project 877 "Paltus" (Turbot). There is also a more advanced version, which is designated in the West Improved Kilo and in Russia as Project 06363. Nicknamed the “Black Hole” submarine by the U.S. Navy, the Improved Kilos are extremely quiet.

The ships are powered by two diesel generators and an electric drive, giving them enough power to make ten knots at the surface and 17 knots underwater. They are not fast submarines. They have a range of 6,000 to 7,500 nautical miles.The ship has a rubbery anechoic coating to deaden noise emanating from the submarine, which occasionally gives the submarines a blocky appearance noticeable in photographs. The sensor suite consists of the MGK-400 Rubikon (Shark Gill) low-frequency active and passive radar suite with a passive hull array. It also has a MG519 Mouse Roar high-frequency radar for target classification and mine avoidance. For simple surface navigation and search the Kilos are equipped with the MRK-50 Albatros radar.

Submarine B-271 Kolpino was laid down 30 October 2014 at the Admiralty Shipyard, Saint Petersburg (yard No.01675), launched on 31 May 2016, commissioned on 24 November 2016. This submarine the last in the group of six submarines of project 06363 (Varshavyanka Mod) built for the Black Sea Fleet.

These submarines have six torpedo tubes of standard 533mm diameter, and were originally configured to carry homing torpedoes and eighteen SS-N-15A Starfish antisubmarine missiles. On the Improved Kilos, two of the torpedo tubes are capable of firing wire-guided torpedoes. One major improvement of the Project 06363 is the ability to launch Kalibr cruise missiles. 

Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Kalibr cruise missile (Picture source: Wikimedia)

The 3M-54 Kalibr, also referred to as 3M54-1 Kalibr, 3M14 Biryuza (turquoise), NATO codenames SS-N-27 Sizzler and SS-N-30A, 91R1, 91RT2 is a group of Russian surface ship-, submarine-launched and airborne anti-ship and coastal anti ship (AShM), land attack cruise missiles (LACM) and anti-submarine missiles developed by the Novator Design Bureau (OKB-8). Derived export versions are the 3M54E, 3M54E1, 3M14E, 91RE1, 91RTE2. The 3M54T, 3M54K, 3M54A, 3M54E (3M54TE), 3M54KE and 3M54AE have a second stage that performs a supersonic sprint in the terminal approach to the target, reducing the time that target's defense systems have to react. The 3M54T1, 3M54K1, 3M54A1, 3M54E1 (3M54T/K/AE1) only travel at subsonic speeds, although their range is accordingly greater than those of the supersonic versions.

The Russian domestic variant (3M54T / 3M54K) and export variants (3M54TE/3M54KE) fly at sub-sonic speeds while achieving supersonic speed as they near their target. They are also capable of performing very high angled defensive high speed maneuvers in contrast to the common linear flight path of other anti-ship cruise missiles.

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