New Delhi: India is on course to lease out a second Akula-II nuclear-powered attack submarine from Russia with the two countries hammering out a deal worth almost $3 billion on Thursday, two officials said requesting anonymity.
At present the Indian Navy operates one Akula-II attack submarine, named Chakra II, which has been leased from Russia in 2012 for 10 years.
The second Akula-II being leased It will be the third Russian submarine to be leased to the Indian Navy.
It is expected to join the Navy in five to six years and will be called Chakra-III, the officials said.
Defence ministry spokesman Colonel Aman Anand declined to comment on the deal.
‘It would significantly add to Navy’s capability’
Military affairs expert Rear Admiral Sudarshan Shrikhande (retd) said, “If a second nuclear-powered attack submarine is leased, it would significantly add to the Navy’s underwater domain capability. It will also take us ahead on the operational, tactical and technical as well as eventual indigenisation curves.”
He said the Navy’s ability to maintain peace in the Indian Ocean region and having a good measure of underwater domain dominance depended on nuclear-powered attack submarines.