Russia to lease second nuclear submarine to India: Report

New Delhi, Oct 19 (IANS) Russia agreed to lease a second nuclear attack submarine worth $2 billion to India. Other major defence deals also were inked during the summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Goa last week, a report said on Wednesday.

A report written by Alexei Nikolsky, a columnist with Russian daily Vedomosti, quoted an unnamed person from Russian defence ministry as saying that an agreement was signed in Goa for “leasing multipurpose nuclear submarine of Project 971 from the Russian Navy”.

Project 971 is the Russian Akula class submarine, on which India’s indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant is based.

The agreement was not announced by the two sides during the summit, where India and Russia also signed contracts worth around Rs 60,000 crore for S-400 Air Defence Systems, Ka-226T helicopters, and frigates which will be made in India.

The Indian Navy and the Defence Ministry have not commented on the report yet.

On Tuesday, asked about leasing a second nuclear submarine from Russia, Controller of Warship Production & Acquisition in Indian Navy Vice Admiral G.S. Pabby had refused to comment on its status.

The Indian Navy already operates one Akula 2 class nuclear submarine, Nerpa, now called INS Chakra, which was leased by Russia for 10 years.

It was commissioned in the navy on April 4, 2012.

Meanwhile, indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant has been inducted in the navy as well amidst secrecy.

Built in the Soviet Union as the Bars Class 971, Akula is the NATO reporting name for the submarines.

–IANS

ao/rn/vt

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