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Delivery of Russian nuclear submarine postponed indefinitely

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Delivery of Russian nuclear submarine postponed indefinitely

Postby U-5075 » Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:39 am ... arine.html

Delivery of Russian nuclear submarine postponed indefinitely: report news

22 January 2009

Agency reports indicate that Russia may have indefinitely postponed delivery of the Schucka-B (NATO: Akula-II) class nuclear submarine to India as sea trials of this advanced attack sub are still incomplete.

According to reports, pre-delivery trials have been postponed by Amur Shipyard as it is short of cash and lacks trained crew to carry out the sophisticated tests. While some of the trained personnel perished in the onboard accident that occurred last year on 8 November 2008, others are either recovering from the accident or refusing to go onboard.

Because of these reasons a new trial team is yet to be appointed by the shipyard.

Reports in a Russian daily suggest that fresh trials may not begin until March 2010. There are chances of further postponement, should a fresh trial team not be mobilized by March this year. New members would have to be trained to carry out sophisticated tasks.

As with all Russian advanced weaponry, strategic programmes, the nuclear submarine lease programme is also running behind schedule leading to deterioration of faith between these strategic allies.

With respect to delivery of this submarine the last commitment made by Russia to India had suggested August of this year as the cut-off point.

Apart from performing defensive duties, the Schucka-B is also expected to perform a training function for Indian naval crew for their own Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV), which is the designation given to the country's indigenous nuclear submarine project.

Delivery of the refurbished aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (Adm Gorshkov) has already been delayed inordinately.
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Postby U-5075 » Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:00 pm

HOWEVER! ... 231923.htm

No delay in acquiring Russian nuke sub: Indian Navy
Friday, January 23, 2009
New Delhi (IANS): The Indian Navy said on Friday there was "no delay" in its acquisition of a Russian nuclear-powered submarine though technical glitches could push the delivery back.

"There is no delay as far as we are concerned (in acquiring an Akula-class submarine). I don't know where these reports have appeared," Indian Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta told reporters on the sidelines of a defence function here.

"The only delay is that it has to go for tests after the incident (in which a number of Russian sailors were killed when poisonous gas was accidentally released during the submarine's sea trials last November)," Mehta added.

Answering a question on the construction of six Scorpene submarines in India, he replied: "The project is well on time."

The first of the French-designed submarines is currently being built at Mumbai's state-owned Mazagaon Docks Limited (MDL).
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Postby U-5075 » Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:35 pm ... 023538.cms

Navy chief hopeful of getting nuke-sub from Russia
24 Jan 2009, 0202

NEW DELHI: Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta on Friday expressed confidence that his force would eventualy get the Akula-II class nuclear-powered submarine from Russia on lease for a 10-year period.

This came in response to questions on reports emanating from Moscow that Russia had cancelled or "indefinitely postponed'' the leasing of the new nuclear submarine `K-152 Nerpa', on which 20 sailors and technicians died due to a toxic gas leak during sea trials on November 8.

"The delay is only till the ship is put to the sea. It will, in due course of time, be handed over,'' said Admiral Mehta.

Interestingly, the secret contract to lease the 12,000-tonne Nerpa, christened INS Chakra by India, was signed with Russia in January 2004, along with the $1.5 billion package deal for refit of aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov and 16 MiG-29K fighters.

As reported by TOI earlier, with the Gorshkov package deal now being renegotiated after Russia demanded $2 billion more, there are indications that a part of the huge cost escalation could be linked to Moscow being keen on extracting more for Nerpa over the initial $650 million.

Nerpa was to be delivered to India much earlier, with Indian sailors undergoing training in Russia for N-sub operations, but technical hitches led to revision in the induction date.

The November 8 accident could now upset the new commissioning date set for August 15, 2009, even though Nerpa's nuclear reactor and structural integrity were not damaged in the mishap.
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Postby U-5075 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:54 pm ... 90127.aspx

Sailors Refuse To Board Cursed Boat

January 27, 2009: The Russian Akula II SSN (nuclear attack submarine) that was supposed to be delivered to India this year, is being delayed by difficulty in completing its sea trials. The problem is that Russians can't get enough qualified sailors and civilian technicians to serve on the boat. This is because, while undergoing sea trials last November, there was an accidental activation of the fire extinguisher system. This killed twenty sailors and civilians, and injured more than twenty. There were 208 people aboard the sub at the time, most of them navy and shipyard personnel there to closely monitor all aspects of the sub as it made its first dives and other maneuvers. The source of the fatal accident was poor design and construction of the safety systems on the sub. This accident led to sailors and shipyard technicians being fearful of going to sea on the boat. So the sea trials have been suspended, making the sub ineligible for transfer to the Indian Navy. A year ago, Indian officials acknowledged that it is leasing at least one Russian Akula II, which was to enter Indian service in 2009.

Late last year, Indian submarine sailors went to Vladivostok, the Russian city on the Pacific, near the naval base where the new Akula II boat is based. These Indian submariners are apparently the crew of the leased boat, that apparently will be called the INS Chakra (the same name used by the Charlie class Russian sub India leased from 1988-91. It's believed that the Indians have the option to back out if the sea trials don't work out. Traditionally, when a new ship losses lots of people during sea trials, it is regarded as "cursed" and unlucky. Sailors can be a superstitious, especially when there are dead bodies involved.

The 7,000 ton Akula IIs are recently built, and each requires a crew of 51 highly trained sailors. The Indian money enabled Russia to complete construction on at least two Akulas. These boats were less than half finished at the end of the Cold War. This was another aftereffect of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Several major shipbuilding projects were basically put on hold (which still cost a lot of money), in the hopes that something would turn up. In this case, it was Indians with lots of cash. The Indian crew was, apparently, to take possession of the INS Chakra this Summer, and take it back to India. But until Russia can lift the curse from this boat, and get enough sailors on board to complete the sea trials, the Indians will have to wait. Talk around the Russian shipyard is that the trials will not resume until next year. Apparently the design of the Akula II is being reviewed, and modifications are planned.

India also expects to complete construction of its own nuclear sub design in a year or two, and begin sea trials and tests. This boat is based on Russian technology, but is basically Indian designed and built. The Russian Akula will basically serve as a training boat for India's new nuclear submarine force.

The new Indian SSN is called the ATV (Advanced Technology Vessel) class. There are to be five boats in the class, assuming that the first one works well. That first ATV SSN (nuclear attack sub) is not expected to enter service for at least another 3-5 years. In the late 1980s, India leased a Russian nuclear sub for three years, providing Indian sailors with an opportunity to become very familiar with the technology.

The ATV will be a 5,000 ton boat, and comparisons are being made to the new Chinese 093 (Shang) class, which is a 6,000 ton boat that entered service two years ago, after more than a decade of construction. That was China's second class of SSNs. The first, the Han class, was a disaster. India is trying to learn from Chinas mistakes. That's one reason the ATV project has been kept so secret. Another reason for the secrecy was that so much of the ATV project involved developing a compact, light water reactor technology that would fit in a submarine. One of these Indian reactors is being installed in a 5,000 ton Charlie II class submarine that was leased from Russia. This boat will be ready for sea trails next year. If that goes well, the reactor will be installed in the first ATV.
Once the ATV SSN is proven, a modified version will be built as a SSBN (ballistic missile carrying sub). This was how everyone else did it, including the Chinese. Get an SSN operational, then modify the design to include some SLBM launch tubes.
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