Moscow, Jan 23 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia’s K-152 Nerpa nuclear-powered attack submarine has been handed over to the Indian Navy, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported Monday.
In line with the contract worth over $900 million, the Project 971 Shchuka-B (NATO: Akula II) class sub has been leased to India’s Navy for ten years. It will be renamed the INS Chakra.
The ceremony took place in the Far Eastern Primorye Territory. Russian submariners trained their Indian colleagues to steer the Nerpa in the Pacific Ocean.
The event was attended by Indian Ambassador to Russia Ajai Malhotra, United Shipbuilding Corporation head Roman Trotsenko, Eastern Military District commander Admiral Konstantin Sidenko and other officials.
The submarine’s displacement is 8,140/12,770 tonnes. Its maximum speed is 30 knots, maximum operating depth, 600 m; its endurance is 100 days with a crew of 73. The vessel is armed with four 533mm torpedo tubes and four 650mm torpedo tubes.
India has become the sixth operator of nuclear submarines in the world, after the US, Russia, France, Britain and China, though it previously leased another Russian submarine which was then returned.
Twenty sailors died on the Nerpa in 2008 after the vessel’s fire-suppression systems were accidentally triggered during sea trials, releasing toxic gases.