New Delhi, Dec 16 : 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 said.
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 Klub 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.