A Russian submarine is on its way to London to become a tourist attraction.

Russian Submarines UK, which is leasing the 92m former hunter-killer vessel from the Russian Government, plans to moor it beside the Thames Barrier at Charlton. The 1,950-tonne vessel is 7.5m wide and has a 5.1m draft.

Len Duvall, leader of Greenwich council, has given the project his blessing as the council's policy is to bring more tourist attractions to the riverside site.

A spokesman for the Bedford-based company said: 'One of our partners is in Finland and is in constant touch with the Russians. We believe the submarine is already on its way.

Their scheme, however, has not gone completely without a hitch. The last submarine they tried to lease - which came from Helsinki - sank off Denmark during its journey to Britain.

Mr Duvall said: 'It is amazing what the end of the Cold War has achieved. No one had the Russian navy in mind when Greenwich council started bringing new tourist attractions to the waterfront.

'I'm sure the submarine will prove very popular and reinforce Greenwich's status as the top tourist destination.

'Unless there are strong objections, I can't see why planning permission should not be granted.

The council believes there are unlikely to be objections because the barrier is in what is mainly an industrial area and residents are unlikely to be affected.

Thousands of visitors flock to the barrier every year, attracted by the exhibitions, souvenir shop and cafe. There is also a boat service to and from the barrier.