India is likely to sign $3 billion worth inter-governmental agreement to lease another Akula class nuclear submarine from Russia later this week.
The submarine hulls will be mothballed at the Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk would undergo a deep refit and rebuild, to be fitted with Indian sensors, operation room electronics, and communication equipment before being delivered to India in or before 2025, Sputnik reported quoting unnamed sources as saying Monday.
"The Indian navy wants to have the intended submarine by 2023 but the modernisation of the submarine to meet India's needs including that of torpedoes and land-attack missiles will take more time,” the news portal quoted another unnamed source as saying.
An Indian naval delegation led by Inspector General (Nuclear Safety) Vice Admiral Soonil V Bhokare inspected two Akula-2 class submarines, the Bratsk and the Samara in December 2018.
The Navy single Akula-2 class submarine, the INS Chakra, was taken on a ten year lease from Russia for USD 2.5 billion in 2011.
The INS Chakra had a shorter four- year refit between 2004 and 2008 because it did not require a reactor replacement, usually the most challenging part of a nuclear submarine's overhaul.
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.