Russia leases submarine K-152 Nerpa to India for ten years

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Indian navy yesterday began their ten-year lease of the nuclear submarine K-152 Nerpa, agreed with Russia several years ago, and secured at a cost in-excess of 900 million USD. Reporting on the addition to India's fleet, the Times of India announced the boat had been renamed to INS Chakra II.

An Akula-II class nuclear submarine, the same class as the INS Chakra II.

Indian naval officers assumed control of the submarine at the port town of Bolshoi Kamen, near Valdivostok. Ajai Malhotra, India's ambassador to Russia, Roman Trotsenko, head of United Shipbuilding Corporation, and Konstantin Sidenko, Eastern Military District commander, were amongst the officials attending yesterday's ceremony.

Initially planned for the lease to begin in 2009, testing failures delayed the handover — including the death of 20 sailors in a Sea of Japan exercise where toxic gasses were accidentally released by the fire-suppression systems.

The submarine can attain a peak speed of 30 knots and has a 8,140/12,770 tonne displacement. It can be equipped with both torpedoes and Granat cruise missiles.

India previously operated a Russian Charlie class submarine, returned in 1991. With the acquisition of Nerpa, India becomes the sixth country operating nuclear submarines; previously only the United States, Russia, France, United Kingdom, and China counted such vessels as part of their fleets.