DRDO Team To Visit Israel Next Month For N-Submarine Tie-up

New Delhi, Nov 2: | Updated: Nov 3 2003, 05:30am hrs
India and Israel are moving towards a possible collaboration in nuclear submarines. A high-level technical team from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) headed by Dr VK Atre, chief scientific advisor, will be going to Israel next month for discussions on the issue.

According to highly placed defence ministry sources, a beginning in this direction was made during PM Ariel Sharons visit to India in September. During the week-long visit, the delegation would seek Israeli collaboration in the Indian nuclear submarine programme.

In January 1988 India leased for three years a Soviet nuclear powered attack submarine of the 670A Skat series with eight Ametist (SS-N-7 Starbright) anti-ship missile launchers. In the Indian Navy the ship was called Chakra, and the submarine was manned by a Russian crew training Indian seamen to operate it, sources said.

In December 2000 India announced new negotiations with Russia to lease a nuclear-powered submarine. The goal was to retain the familiarisation with nuclear propulsion gained during the three-year lease of the Chakra.

India has been working since 1985 to develop an indigenously constructed nuclear-powered submarine, one that is based on the Soviet Charlie II-class design, detailed drawings of which are said to have been obtained from the Soviet Union in 1989.