New Delhi: The Indian Navy is all set to induct a nuclear powered submarine, acquired from Russia, by the end of this financial year. The submarine will come on a ten year lease, with the navy retaining the option to either return it on expiry of lease or induct it permanently into its fleet.
The 8,100-tonne INS Chakra, a second-generation Russian Akula II class nuclear submarine, is currently in the final user acceptance trial stage in the northern seas of Russia. According to naval sources, a three-phase technical user acceptance trial for the Akula II submarine has already begun.
The indigenously designed and built nuclear submarine, INS Arihant, is due for extended sea trials over the next six months and will be commissioned sometime next year.
With the induction of these two submarines the Indian Navy is likely to become a formidable force in the Indian Ocean and beyond.
According to reports, the underwater pontoon test-firing of long range, submarine-launched nuclear missiles has already been completed. These missiles will be put into silos on board the indigenous Arihant class nuclear submarines.
It is being given to understand that Captain Ashokan will be the first commanding officer of INS Chakra while Captain Sanjay Mahendru will be the commanding officer of INS Arihant. Both submarines will be based on the eastern seaboard in Visakhapatnam, as this has always been the navy's submarine base.