India in talks with RF on 2dn Shchuka-B submarine lease

Thursday, 28 March 2013 05:56

India is in talks with Russia on the lease of the second Shchuka-B multipurpose nuclear submarine of Project 971, which will be adopted for service in the naval nuclear deterrent forces that are being created in the republic, The Times of India reported on Tuesday.

“After the Indian Navy last year leased from Russia the torpedo Schuka-B class submarine worth 900 million US dollars, New Delhi intends to lease another submarine of the same type,” the publication says. The two submarines are planned to be included in the Indian Navy’s nuclear deterrence forces that are being created. They will consist of at least three nuclear missile submarines and six torpedo nuclear submarines.

“The Indian Navy will soon begin sea trials of the country’s first nuclear missile submarine Arihant with the displacement of 6 thousand tonnes, built at the shipyard in the city of Visakhapatnam,” the newspaper said. “In the future the Indian Navy will receive a few more missile submarines armed with the underwater-launched K ballistic missiles. Thus, India will create the land-, air- and sea-based nuclear triad.”

Project 971 (Shchuka-B, ‘Shchuka’ meaning pike, NATO reporting name “Akula”), is a nuclear-powered attack submarine first deployed by the Soviet Navy in 1986. The class is also known under the name Bars (eng. snow leopard). There are four sub-classes or flights of Shchuka, consisting of the original seven Akula I submarines which were commissioned between 1984 and 1990, six Improved Akula submarines commissioned between 1991 and 2009, one Akula II submarine commissioned in 1995 and one Akula III commissioned in 2001. The Russians call all of the submarines Schuka-B, regardless of modifications. The name Akula (meaning “shark” in Russian) is the Soviet designation of the ballistic missile submarine class designated by NATO as the Typhoon class submarine. The name Akula was used as the NATO designation of Project 971 because the first of the class was the K-284 christened Akula.

According to the Times of India, the missile and torpedo nuclear submarines will be based at the Karwar new naval base on the west coast in Karnataka State, as well as at one of the bases on the east coast. Karwar will also become the base for the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier (former Admiral Gorshkov), which will soon be delivered to India by Russia, as well as for six Scorpio submarines that are being built under the French license.

According to earlier reports of the local media, India requests Russia to finance the completion of the Shchuka-B multipurpose nuclear submarine of the third generation the body of which is currently at the Amur Shipyard. Once completed, the submarine is planned to be taken on lease. The submarine has a displacement of 12,800 tonnes, is capable of developing speeds up to 30 knots and diving to the maximum depth of 600 metres. The submarine is armed with four 533 mm torpedo tubes and four 650 mm calibre torpedo tubes.

NEW DELHI, March 26 (Itar-Tass)


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