The Russian Amur Shipyard will resume sea trials of the repaired 'Nerpa' Schucka-B (NATO: Akula II) nuclear attack submarine from 15-20 June. The submarine is to be leased to the Indian Navy for a period of 10 years.
The newly constructed submarine suffered a mishap in the course of its first sea trials last year when 20 sailors and technical staff died after a fire extinguishing system was accidentally switched on releasing deadly freon gas into the fore section of the submarine. The nuclear reactor, though, remained unaffected. The submarine was being tested in the Sea of Japan.
It is has now been repaired and is ready to resume sea trials.
Just last week director of the Amur Shipyard, Nikolai Povzyk, had said that the submarine would be delivered to the Indian Navy by the end of the year.
"The repairs are complete and the vessel is technically ready for the resumption of sea trials," he was quoted as saying by Interfax. According to Povzyk, the "aim is to deliver the vessel by the end of this year."
"We are completing the enrolment of trial team, which will have to finish trials and deliver the submarine to the Indian side by the end of this year," Povzyk said.
Meanwhile, Povzyk has said that the fate of the shipyard fully depended on the order from India. The company is 36 billion rubles in debt at the moment. It has cost the shipyard 1.9 billion rubles to repair the submarine after the accident.
The Nerpa was abandoned, about 75-80% complete, after the collapse of the erstwhile Soviet Union. Its construction has been completed with funding received from the Indian Navy.
The Amur Shipyard, founded in 1936, is the largest ship-building enterprise in Russia's Far East and to date has built a total of 270 vessels, including 56 submarines.
Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin said 11 May that the Russian government would assign 2.5 billion rubles and over $400 million to restructure the company's debts.