Russian defense contractor Admiralty Shipyards launched the latest of its ultra-modern Varshavyanka-class diesel-electric submarines earlier this week. Dubbed the Krasnodar, this sub is the third of six its class. These vessels are primarily designed to hunt surface ships and other subs in littoral waters. They can't dive as deep or stay submerged as long as either modern nuclear subs or the Kilo-class submarines they're meant to replace. However, the Varshavyankas are armed to the gills with 18 torpedoes and eight surface-to-air Club missiles, according to reports from Russia Today. What's more, when running silent, the Krasnodar and its ilk are nearly impossible to detect acoustically, hence their NATO callsign "Black Hole." The first two Varshavyanka-class submarines, the Novorossiysk and the Rostov-on-Don, are currently undergoing deep-water testing and are expected to begin service to the Black Sea Fleet by the end of the year. There are currently no public estimates as to when the Krasnodar will join them.
[Image credit: Admiralty Shipyards]