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.