April 4th, 2012
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India to induct first nuclear submarine

INS-ChakraVishakapattanam: With the induction of the Russian made nuclear submarine ‘Nerpa’ into the Navy , India will become one among those few countries who are in the elite club of nations having nuclear powered submarines. Nuclear submarine ‘Nerpa’ has been rechristened as INS Chakra.

Defence Minister A K Antony  will formally commission INS Chakra into the Navy at the Ship Building Complex here today. Indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant is also expected to start operational patrol soon. With INS Arihant, India would soon be having two nuclear submarines guarding its maritime boundaries.

The Nerpa has been taken on lease from Russia for ten years and would provide Navy the opportunity to train and operate such nuclear-powered vessels. India had signed a deal with Russia in 2004 worth over $900 million for leasing the submarine. Though the submarine was supposed to be inducted much earlier, the process got delayed. It was expected to be inducted a couple of years earlier, but the delivery schedule was delayed after an accident in 2008, in which scores of Russian sailors died during trials.

“Our crews will get the experience of operating under water for several months at a go as unlike the conventional diesel electric submarines, which have to come to surface at regular intervals, nuclear submarines can remain under water for months,” Navy officials said.

Indian Navy crews have already been imparted training for operating the submarine in Russia. A crew of over 70 people including around 30 officers is required to operate the INS Chakra. The heart of the submarine is its nuclear reactor which has been made by Russia. Its displacement is around 8,140 tonnes. With a maximum speed of 30 knots, the vessel can go up to 600 meters in water and has an endurance of 100 days with a crew of 73. The vessel is armed with four 533mm torpedo tubes and four 650mm torpedo tubes.


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