In a major breakthrough for Indian Navy, the nation successfully struck a USD 3 billion deal with Russia for the leasing of a “nuclear-powered attack submarine” for a period of 10 years, the military sources added in a statement.
The 2 countries signed an inter-governmental agreement after months of negotiations on price and several other aspects of the deal.
Under the formal agreement between the parties, Russia will have to deliver the Akula class submarine, to be called Chakra III, to the Indian Navy by 2025. This means that it will be the third Russian submarine to be leased to the Indian Navy as it has already taken two more submarines from Russia on lease.
When further asked about the deal in detail, the spokesperson in the Defence Ministry refused to comment on the matter. India has been making strides in effectively bolstering its naval know-how in the backdrop of China’s endeavours to broaden its power in the Indian Ocean region.
The first Russian nuclear-powered submarine — christened INS Chakra — was taken in 1988 under a three-year lease. A second INS Chakra was taken on lease in 2012 for a period of 10 years.
The lease of Chakra II will be no longer valid in 2022 and India is now contemplating to extending the lease, sources said.
The recent deal for the Chakra III came days after Indo-Russian joint production facility to make AK-203 assault rifles for the Indian Army was laid foundations by PM Narendra Modi in Amethi, UP.
It is to be noted that India signed a multi-billion dollar deal with Russia in October to acquire a batch of S-400 air defence missile system.