Abstract The scattering of plane steady-state sound waves from a viscous fluid-filled thin cylindrical shell weak- ened by a long linear slit and submerged in an ideal fluid is studied. For the description of vibrations of elastic objects the Kirchhoff-Love shell-theory approximation is used. An exact solution of this problem is obtained in the form of series with cylindrical harmonics. The numerical analysis is carried out for a steel shell filled with oil and immersed in seawater. The modules and phases of the scattering amplitudes versus the dimensionless wavenumber of the incident sound wave as well as directivity patterns of the scattered field are investigated taking into consideration the orientation of the slit on the elastic shell surface. The plots obtained show a considerable influence of the slit and viscous fluid filler on the diffraction process.