Saturday, December 31, 2011
INS CHAKRA [CHARLIE-1 CLASS]
The Charlie I class submarine (Project 670 Skat) SSGN was first launched at the Krasnoye Sormovo inland shipyard at Gorkiy in 1967 with another 10 following over a period of five years. The Charlie Is had two banks of four missile tubes angled upwards on each side of the bow outside the pressure hull. The tubes were covered by large outer doors and the design was to incorporate the P-120 Malakhit (SS-N-9 Siren) medium range anti ship missile. Due to delays in the missile development, the missile was substituted with the short range P-70 Ametist (SS-N-7 Starbright) submerged launch missile which itself was a development of the P-15 Termit (SS-N-2 Styx) surface launched missile. The purpose of the missiles was to be used for pop up surprise attacks on high value surface targets such as aircraft carriers.
In 1972 to 1979, six improved units called the Project 670M SKAT-M (Charlie II class) were built. The improved Charlie IIs were built at Gorkiy with an 8m (26 ft 3in) insertion in the hull forward of the fin to incorporate electronics and launch systems for targeting and firing of the long range P-120 Malakhit anti-ship missile.
The Charlie Is and IIs had to return to port for reload once they had expended their payloads, although the secondary armament of torpedoes and sensor suite of sonar systems meant that they provided useful anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare capabilities.
The last Charlie was retired in 1994. While still operational, one unit of the class was leased to the Indian Navy between 1988 and 1991, mainly for India to gain experience in the operations of a nuclear submarine. India's Arihant class submarine is believed to resemble a Charlie II boat.