Langkawai: Russian shipbuilders are developing new "super mini" submarines, the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) state holding company said Friday.
Work on the sea craft was in progress at the St. Petersburg-based Malakhit naval machine manufacturing bureau and that Navy command has been showing interest in the project, the company`s vice president Igor Zakharov said.
Alexander Terenov, an advisor to Malakhit`s general director, said the Project 865 Piranha submersible (NATO reporting name Losos) could go beyond just "hit and run" operations.
"They have a broad range of applications and can carry full-fledged missile and torpedo systems," Terenov said.
He said the Piranha could also be deployed for the protection of naval installations, and would be operated by small crews and cost little to maintain.
Piranha is a midget submarine designed for special operations and is almost completely silent. Only two Piranha-class submarines were reportedly ever built in Russia.