Not a new acquisition, India clarifies to US Congress about leasing of Akula class sub from Russia

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Published: March 16, 2019 6:52:56 PM

The Akula-II submarine will replace INS Chakra for the Indian Navy.

The Indian Navy already has two Akula class submarines from Russia on lease. (IE)

The issue of India signing a deal with Russia for a nuclear submarine last week was raised by a number of members of the US Congress with the Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale who was in Washington DC earlier this week. Sources said the Indian foreign secretary during his discussion had clarified that this was not a new acquisition from Russia rather it was finalisation of a leasing agreement of a nuclear-powered attack submarine from Russia.

According to sources, not the US administration but some US Congress members had some misconception about the submarine which has been leased from Russia which will have only conventional weapons.

Earlier this month India inked $ 3.3 billion deal with Russia for leasing an Akula-class submarine, which will be customized according to the requirements of India.

The Akula-II submarine will replace INS Chakra for the Indian Navy, which was taken on a 10-year lease from Russia for $2.5 billion in 2011 and the lease is expiring in 2022.

The Indian navy already has two Akula class submarines from Russia on lease –the first had come in 1998 for a three-year period; followed by a second INS Chakra was taken on lease in 2012 for a period of 10 years, which is expiring in 2022 as was reported by Financial Express Online earlier.

As reported earlier, this new leased submarine will help India to expand not only its strike capability, but will also be able to expand its presence in the Indian Ocean. These marines have the capability to remain underwater – for an extended period of time which helps in making its detection impossible.

The military trade between the two countries in FY 2018-19 between the two countries is touching $ 11 billion. The other deals concluded between the two countries in the last one year include: $ 5.5 billion purchase of five S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems and the recently approved $ 1 billion deal to buy two Admiral Grigorovich class frigates from Russia.

What is Akula Class submarine?

– This is the third Akula to be leased by India from Russia

– It will be designated as Chakra III

– It will come in 2025

– It is expected to give Indian Navy a major boost in terms of stealth and stealth capabilities

– This class submarine is the top in the world

– It will add to India’s deterrence capabilities

– The submarine is not coming with any weapons but has the capability of not only carrying and launching missiles with nuclear warheads

– The two countries are also working to extend the lease of the Chakra II which is expiring in 2022

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