India gets nuclear submarine from Russia

India gets nuclear submarine from Russia

Akula II class submarine to reach next month, will be based near Vishakhapatnam

India has taken delivery of the nuclear-powered submarine INS Chakra from Russia, which is likely to be operated by the Navy for 10 years.

The Akula II class submarine has set sail from a Russian base near Vladivostak and expected to reach India within a month.  It will be based near Vishakhapatnam in India.

The Russian-origin nuclear-powered submarine will primarily be used for training Indian officers and crew about intricacies of boomer operations before the indigenous N-powered submarine INS Arihant joins the fleet. This is India’s second brush with an SSN after the first INS Chakra — also leased from Russia —which was in service for almost eight years between 1989 and 1997.

Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma has stated that the INS Arihant—launched in water in July 2009 in presence of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh— will be on patrol duty before December 2012.
Work on two more indigenous nuclear-powered submarines as well as a secret under-water base to house all the boomers is continuing.

Worth $900 million

Even though there are no official conformation, the INS Chakra (originally known as Nerpa) is understood to have been leased out to India in a contract worth $ 900 million.

The formal handing over ceremony was attended by Indian Ambassador to Russia Ajai Malhotra and officials, including United Shipbuilding Corporation head Roman Trotsenko and Eastern Military District commander Admiral Konstantin Sidenko.

With a displacement of 12,770 tonnes and maximum speed of 30 knots, the INS Chakra can remain underwater for 100 days with a crew of 73. The vessel that can operate at a maximum depth of 600 metres is armed with four 533-mm torpedo tubes and four 650-mm torpedo tubes.
With the INS Chakra in service, India has become the sixth country to operate nuclear submarines in the world, after the US, Russia, France, Britain and China.

“The knowledge and operating experience of the highly trained crew on board the INS Chakra will be transferred to carry out the trials and commissioning of home-built SSBN INS Arihant, which is due to go to sea later this year,” commented Ranjit Rai, a former Navy officer and vice-president of National Maritime Foundation.

In 2008, the Nerpa had met with a major accident during its sea trials. Nearly 20 sailors died after its fire-suppression system was switched on accidentally leading to the release of poisonous gases, which killed the crew.