India has agreed to lease a second Akula-class nuclear powered submarine Nerpa from Russia.
"India agreed to lease a project 971 submarine which will be withdrawn from the Russian Navy," Sputnik cited an unnamed source as saying to Kommersant Tuesday.
The official confirmation about the lease of second nuke submarine even though speculation is rife about India seeking another one from Russia after the success of INS Chakra, the Akula Class submarine that has been on lease from Russia for ten years came up only in February this year. “The hull of the submarine is ready but it has to be refurbished as per Indian needs after the talks are concluded,” Russian Ambassador to India Alexander M Kadakin had said.
INS Chakra was inducted into Indian Navy about four years back. Satisfied with its performance, India is now looking at adding more to its fleet. Already India-made nuke-powered sub INS Arihant is undergoing sea trials. INS Arihant is made with technical support from Russia and India plans to make more such in future.
Akula-class submarines feature very low acoustic signatures and can carry up to 12 submarine-launched cruise missiles with nuclear warheads and a range of 3,000 kilometers (1,860 miles) in addition to anti-ship missiles and torpedoes.