Vladivostok: For the first time, Indian Navy submarine crew will take part in the ongoing sea trials of the Russian Schuka-B class (NATO: Akula-II) nuclear attack submarine, Nerpa. The next round of sea trials are scheduled to commence in mid-September, according to Russian media sources.
The current round of sea trials of the Nerpa commenced on 10 July this year after repairing damage to the Nerpa resulting from a fatal accident suffered during tests last November in the Sea of Japan. The accident resulted in the death of three crew members and 17 shipyard workers.
Repairs have cost an estimated 1.9 billion rubles ($60 million), according to Russian sources.
Indian submariners will undergo a training course conducted by Russian specialists and servicemen in order to familiarise themselves with the operation of the submarine.
India has reportedly paid $650 million for a 10-year lease of the 12,000-ton K-152 Nerpa, an Akula II class nuclear-powered attack submarine, which is considered to be one of the quietest and deadliest of all nuclear-powered attack submarines.
The submarine is to be leased to the Indian Navy by the end of 2009 under the name INS Chakra.