The Indian navy on Monday was to assume physical control of a leased nuclear-capable Russian submarine, Agence France-Presse reported (see GSN, Jan. 3).
India is not anticipated to load the atomic energy-powered Akula 2-class attack submarine with nuclear weapons, though earlier reports indicated the vessel has the capacity to wield as many as 28 conventional or nuclear-armed Granat cruise missiles.
New Delhi's decade-long lease of the submarine upset its longtime nuclear-armed rival, Pakistan.
It has been more than 20 years since India has fielded a submarine powered by atomic energy. That Soviet-delivered vessel was mothballed in 1991.
"INS Chakra 2 is being handed over to Indian personnel in the east, near Vladivostok," an anonymous high-ranking Indian naval source said.
Russia has yet to officially declare the handoff completed.
The submarine is to be based out of the Bay of Bengal at Visakhapatnam.
New Delhi is wrapping up work on its first indigenous atomic-powered ballistic missile submarine, the INS Arihant, which is anticipated to be begin sea-acceptance trials in late February. The INS Chakra is anticipated to be used to train Indian navy personnel for eventual posting to the INS Arihant once it is commissioned in 2013 (Agence France-Presse/Google News, Jan. 23).
The Indian navy on Monday was to assume physical control of a leased nuclear-capable Russian submarine, Agence France-Presse reported.