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The Kilo class is the NATO reporting name for a military diesel-electric submarine that is made in Russiamarker. The original version of the vessels were designated Project 877 Paltus (Turbot) in Russia. There is also a more advanced version, designated as Improved Kilo in the west, and Project 636 Varshavyanka in Russia. The Kilo will be succeeded by the Lada class submarine, which began sea trials in 2005.

The boats are mainly intended for anti-shipping and anti-submarine operations in relatively shallow waters. Original Project 877 boats are equipped with Rubikon MGK-400 sonar system (with NATO reporting name Shark Gill), which includes a mine detection and avoidance sonar MG-519 Arfa (with NATO reporting name Mouse Roar). Newer Project 636 boats are equipped with improved MGK-400EM, with MG-519 Afra also upgraded to MG-519EM. The improved sonar systems have reduced the number of operators needed by sharing the same console via automation. Project 636, sometimes called "The Black Hole" by the US Navy for its uncanny ability to "disappear", is thought to be one of the quietest diesel-electric submarine classes in the world.

Anechoic tiles are fitted on casings and fins to absorb the sonar sound waves of active sonar, which results in a reduction and distortion of the return signal. These tiles also help attenuate sounds that are emitted from the submarine, thus reducing the range by which the sub may be detected by passive sonar.


The first submarine entered service in the Soviet Navy in 1982, and the class remains in use with the Russian navy. 16 vessels are believed to still be in active service with the Russian Navy, while 8 vessels are thought to be in reserve. So far, 33 vessels have been exported to several countries:

  • - 2 Original Kilo, 2 Improved Kilo to be commissioned between 2009-2010.
  • - 2 Original Kilo, 10 Improved Kilo.
  • - 10 Kilo designated the Sindhughosh Class.
  • - 1 Kilo ORP Orzeł.
  • - 8 Improved Kilo ordered in Sept 2007, Scheduled to arrive at 2009.
  • - 3 Kilo.
  • - 1 Kilo - (Delfinul).
  • - 16 Kilo in active service, 8 in reserve.
  • - 6 Improved Kilo on order, first delivery of 2 ships in 2010, completion of order in 2011.


There are several variants of the Kilo class. The information below is the smallest and largest number from the available information for all three variants of the ship.

  • Displacement:
    • 2,300-2,350 tons surfaced
    • 3,000-4,000 tons submerged
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 70-74 meters
    • Beam: 9.9 meters
    • Draft: 6.2-6.5 meters
  • Maximum speed
    • 10-12 knots surfaced
    • 17-25 knots submerged
  • Propulsion: Diesel-electric
  • Maximum depth: 300 meters (240-250 meters operational)
  • Endurance
    • at submerged
    • at snorkeling (7,500 miles for the Improved Kilo class)
    • 45 days sea endurance
  • Armament
  • Crew: 52
  • Price per unit is US$200–250 million (China paid approx. US$1.5-2 billion for 8 Project 636 Kilo class submarines)


Image:ORP Orzeł NTW 11 93.jpg|Polishmarker Kilo class ORP Orzeł submarine, view from circa 1993Image:Submarine Kilo class.jpg|Soviet Kilo class submarine.Image:Submarine-Kilo-Algeria.JPG|Algerian Kilo class submarine.Image:Heavy-lift SS Sea Tal carrying Chinese Kilo submarine.jpeg|A Chinese Kilo class submarine being delivered from Russia as deck cargo in 1995.

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