Russia: Nuclear-Powered Attack Submarine Nerpa to Take Sea Late in October


Nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) Nerpa, which is to be leased to India, will take the sea late in Oct to complete trial program, said a spokesman for Russian Navy Main HQ on Oct 7.

“The submarine is going to sail off on Oct 30. Russian-Indian crew will work at sea for over two weeks. If no serious defects are revealed, we plan to deliver Nerpa no later than Nov 22”, reports Interfax citing the Navy spokesman. As for him, delivery date of SSN Nerpa, which is to be renamed into Chakra while in Indian Navy, was finally agreed by Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission convened in Moscow in Oct 4-5.

The $650-mln contract provides that Russia leases SSN Nerpa for 10 years. Indian Navy is going to use Chakra as training platform for the crew of India’s first nuclear-powered strategic submarine INS Arihant.

SSN Nerpa was supposed to join Indian Navy far back in 2008. However, in Nov 2008 during sea trials unauthorized operation of firefighting system claimed lives of 20 persons which led to revision of delivery dates.

SSN Nerpa (Project 971I Schuka-B, NATO classification – Akula) is a third-generation submarine armed with torpedoes, rocket torpedoes, and cruise missiles Granat with cruise range of 3,000 km.

Displacement is 8,140/12,770 tons; max speed is 30 knots; test depth is 600 meters; endurance is 100 days; crew is 73 men. In total, 15 subs of this project have been constructed since 1984.

In 1988 USSR leased a nuclear-powered submarine to India for three years. In 1991 the leasing period was expired and was not prolonged.

Source: rusnavy, October 11, 2011

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