Saturday, December 31, 2011

India takes delivery of Russian N-submarine

NEW DELHI: India will operate a nuclear-powered submarine in the new year, having taken delivery of INS Chakra or the rechristened Akula-II class nuclear-powered submarine 'K-152 Nerpa' from Russia on a 10-year lease.

Over 50 Indian officers as well as scores of sailors have undergone extensive training on INS Chakra, followed by testing and acceptance trials of the submarine spread over several weeks, as was earlier reported by TOI.

The handing over of the submarine to India comes soon after PM Manmohan Singh visited Moscow from December 15 to 17. INS Chakra is likely to set sail for Indian shores towards January-end, making India the sixth operator of nuclear submarines in the world.

INS Chakra, contrary to some reports, will not complete India's "nuclear triad'' since it will not be armed with long-range nuclear-tipped missiles due to international treaties like the Missile Technology Control Regime.

But it will help train sailors in the art of operating nuclear submarines, which will be useful when India's own N-sub, the INS Arihant, becomes operational. Armed with torpedoes and 300-km Klub-S cruise missiles, INS Chakra will also be a lethal hunter of enemy submarines and warships.

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