The IRIN is currently operating a total of 3 Kilo-class submarines, including the Tareq. The Tareq was the first of them to join the Navy, commissioned in 1992. The other two, Noor and Younes were inducted in to the army in 1993 and 1997 respectively. In addition to these foreign developed submarines, the IRIN also operates a number of locally built, but smaller subs. All the three Iranian Kilos were built at the Leningradskoe Admiralteyskoe Obedinenie Shipyard, St.Petersburg.
The Kilo class submarines were first developed by the Russian armed forces in the late 1970s to replace its ageing Tango class submarines. Russia has exported the subs to allied nations such as India and Vietnam. As of now, the naval forces in a total of 8 nations use the Kilo class vessels. The Russian Navy is using a total of 17, while India is using another 10. The People’s Republic of China is using a total of 12 (including 10 upgraded units). Currently, Egypt, Venezuela, and Indonesia are negotiating with Russia for the purchase of this class of submarine.
The Russian Navy had earlier planned to replace the Kilos with the new conventional attack submarines of the Lada class. But in 2011, it was decided that the Kilos will stay in active naval service, as the Lada submarines have fallen short of expectations. The Lada program was dropped by the Russian Navy in November 2011.
The 4,000-tonne Kilo class submarines, which use the diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system, can attain a maximum speed of up to 25 knots. The class is having an endurance of one and a half months and an operational range of 7,000 miles. It operates with a crew of 52. The main armaments are the 3M-54 Klub anti-ship missiles, and the 9K34 Strela-3 anti-aircraft missiles, in addition to the torpedoes and naval mines.