India signs pact with Russia on Chakra-3 attack submarine

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New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) Amid the ongoing tension with Pakistan, India on Thursday signed a $3.3 billion deal with Russia for leasing the third nuclear-powered Akula class attack submarine.

An Inter Governmental Agreement (IGA) was signed between the two countries in New Delhi. The submarine, to be called Chakra -3, will be delivered in 2025 for a 10-year period. It will be prepared out of one of the several Akula class submarine hulls available at the Zvedochka shipyard in Severodvinsk after extensive re-fit process. India at the moment operates Chakra-2 whose 10-year lease ending in 2022.

This is the second major India-Russia defence project finalized this month. A new facility to manufacture AK-203 assault rifles is coming up in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.

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INS Chakra is a nuclear-powered submarine and unlike INS Arihant, the other nuclear submarine in Indian navy fleet, it does not have a strategic weapon.

The Navy is all set to induct its second French Scorpene submarine — Khanderi — next month. The first submarine in this class — INS Kalvari — is already under operation. The Navy will get four more boats in the coming years.

The Navy has 14 conventional submarines apart from a nuclear attack and nuclear ballistic missile submarine.

–IANS

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