New Delhi: In a major boost to its defence
prowess, India is all set to receive the much-awaited
Akula-II class `Nerpa` nuclear attack submarine from Russia by
the month end on a 10-year lease.
Russia is set to hand over the nuclear-powered attack
submarine by the month end, sources said today, adding that
the vessel will be rechristened as `INS Chakra`.
The submarine, capable of remaining underwater for
months, will be leased to India for a 10-year-period, they
The Akula-II class submarines are equipped with 28
nuclear-capable cruise missiles with a striking range of 3,000
km. The Indian version is reportedly expected to be armed with
the 300-km Club nuclear-capable missiles.
According to earlier reports, the lease contract is
estimated to be worth between USD 650 to 900 million. India
had funded the completion of the Nerpa nuclear submarine at
Amur Shipyard before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
While K-152 Nerpa was undergoing sea trials in the Sea of
Japan on November 8, 2008, an accident caused the deaths of
some 20 sailors and injury to 21 others. A fire suppression
system discharged gas in the bow of the sub, suffocating
civilian specialists and navy crew members.
The Nerpa was laid down at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur
shipyard in 1993, but its completion was delayed by nearly a
decade due to a lack of funds caused by the economic crisis of
the early 1990s.