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March 12, 2019 | International, Naval

India signs $3 billion contract with Russia for lease of a nuclear submarine


NEW DELHI — India on Thursday signed a $3 billion contract for the lease of an Akula-1 class nuclear-powered attack submarine from Russia for a period of 10 years.

An agreement was signed between India and Russia after two years of negotiations on the price and various other aspects of the deal. Under the pact, Russia will have to deliver the Akula-1 class submarine, to be known as Chakra III, to the Indian Navy by 2025.

It will be the third Russian nuclear attack submarine to be leased to the Indian Navy. A senior Indian Navy official said the deal includes refurbishment of the submarine with Indian communication and sensor systems, spares support and training technical infrastructure for its operations.

The INS Chakra III will not be equipped with long-range nuclear missiles because of international treaties and because it is not meant for deterrence patrols. Its armaments include conventional land-attack and anti-ship missiles and torpedoes.

The Indian Navy already operates one Russian nuclear-powered attack submarine, INS Chakra, that was taken on lease for a period of 10 years at a cost of around $1 billion in 2012, and its lease is new expected to be extended for three more years. The service acquired its first nuclear attack submarine, a Charlie-class boat from the Soviet era. The sub served in the Indian Navy from 1988 to 1991.

The Indian Navy also operates the home-built, nuclear-propelled submarine INS Arihant, which is equipped with nuclear ballistic missiles. A second nuclear submarine, INS Aririghat, will be commissioned later this year, with two more currently under construction.

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