India-Russia begin deliberations for the lease of third Akula-class nuclear attack submarine

NP1550 10/12/2019 14:51 PM

New Delhi. The deliberations between India and Russia have commenced regarding the lease of a third Akula-class nuclear-powered attack submarine. As per the sources, the discussions are at a very preliminary stage currently but India is aware of the "submarine gap" in the 2020s, particularly in the later years. One possibility is to lease another Akula-class submarine from Russia.


India already has one nuclear-powered submarine, the Chakra, leased from Russia. It came in 2012. India is also expected to lease a second submarine of the Akula-class but an official announcement has not been made yet. Highly-placed sources confirmed that discussions have begun for a third, keeping in mind the projected shortage of submarines. By the late 2020s, the 9 Russian-built Sindhughosh class submarines would be about 40 years old and on their last legs, despite their refit, happening now. That would only leave the 4 HDW Germany-designed submarines, which are just as old and hopefully, the 6 Scorpene submarines and most of them are yet to join service. 


The 6 Scorpenes apart, there would be 2 Akula-class nuclear powered-submarines (though one could go back) and perhaps, 2 nuclear-powered submarines of the Arihant class. The latter has a totally different purpose. A total of 14 submarines in the late 2020s would be fewer than what the Indian Navy has now and the gap, considering the growing strength of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy and its likely presence in the Indian Ocean by then, would be worrying.




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