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Nuke sub to join Russian navy prior to lease to India

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - 14:42

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.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 - 14:42
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