Nuke sub to join Russian navy prior to lease to India
Moscow, June 02: Russia's Akula class nuclear-powered attack submarine "Nerpa" will be inducted by the Russian Navy after pre-delivery trials are completed this summer, prior to its formal lease to India later this year.
The submarine would be commissioned by the Russian Navy in autumn for subsequent 10-year lease to the Indian Navy, RIA Novosti said quoting 'sources' in Russian naval headquarters.
Last November, during sea trials in the Sea of Japan 20 members of the crew and technical staff of the Amur Shipyard were killed and 21 injured due to accidental triggering of fire-suppression system filled with toxic Freon gas.
"All the technical and organisational measures on the sub have been completed. Only pre-delivery trials by the shipyard and pre-commissioning state trials are ahead of us, which will be completed this summer (June-August). After which the submarine will be commissioned by the Russian Navy," naval sources were quoted as saying by the agency.
Earlier in May, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had flown to the Komsomolsk-on-Amur - based naval shipyard and had released USD 300 million to cash-strapped defence enterprise with the orders to deliver the submarine to India by the end of this year.
To be inducted as INS Chakra, the Shchuka-B class (NATO name Akula-II) nuclear-powered attack submarine is a third generation submarine, whose keel was laid in 1991 - the year Soviet Union collapsed.
In 1990s its construction was frozen due to lack of financing, which was resumed through Indian advance payments as part of the larger Gorshkov package.
India, which is believed to have paid USD 650 million for the completion of the submarine, is expected to pay USD 50 million annually to the Russian Navy for its lease.