Russia hands over nuclear attack sub to India

Moscow: Russia`s Nerpa nuclear-powered attack submarine was handed over to the Indian Navy at a ceremony in the far eastern port of Primorye, making India the sixth operator of such subs in the world.

With a displacement of 8,140/12,770 tonnes and maximum speed of 30 knots, the K-152 submarine is armed with four 533mm torpedo tubes and four 650mm torpedo tubes, RIA Novosti reported today.

The attack submarine was handed over at a ceremony 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 has been re-christened INS Chakra and has been handed over to India on a lease of 10 years at a contract worth USD 900 million. The acquisition of the submarine will make Indian Navy only the sixth country in the world after the US, Russia, China, the UK and France to operate nuclear underwater vessels.

India had operated a Russian Charlie Class nuclear submarine in late 80s on lease from Russia. The Novosti report did not mention whether the Nerpa class submarine was carrying its normal complement of long range nuclear and conventional missiles.

Twenty sailors died on the Nerpa in 2008 after the vessel`s fire-suppression systems were accidentally triggered during sea trials, releasing toxic gases and Russians ship builders carrying out extensive refitting of the vessel before handing over it to India.