2 nuke submarines in the offing

INS Arihant will take two more years to be inducted into the Navy

Gusharan Kaur, wife of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, breaking the auspicious coconut on the hull of ‘INS Arihant’ marking its launch in Visakhapatnam on Sunday. PTI

India plans to construct three nuclear submarines modelled on the Russian Akula class subs to realise the goal of Blue water navy with proven second strike capability. Steel cutting of the second nuclear sub is believed to have taken place in Gujarat a few years ago. However, there is no official confirmation.

Secret agreement

INS Arihant will take two years to induct into the Navy. To train more crew on the operation of nuclear submarines, India will be leasing a Russian submarine Nerpa –– to be renamed as INS Chakra when inducted –– for training the crew, which is expected to join the service by the end of 2009. India signed a secret $ 650 million intergovernmental agreement with Russia for leasing the second Akula class submarine in the Navy for three years.

While the 93 crew of INS Arihant could not train themselves with the new Russian submarines, some of them were trained in the first Akula class nuclear submarine which came to India in the year 1989 and was in the service till 1992. That was also named INS Chakra.

The classified Arihant project –– codenamed advanced technology vessel (ATV) –– was construed as a mission on copious Russian assistance was expected. Though there was initial support on the technology and material, disintegration of USSR came as a big jolt.
However, in the project’s second half that began 11 years ago witnessed renewed technological help from Moscow, which was apparent from the presence of a large number of Russian delegates including the Russian ambassador at the launch ceremony here.

DH News Service

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