NEW DELHI: The nuclear-powered Russian-built submarine INS Chakra will touch the Indian shores in the first week of March.
India has taken the submarine, considered one of the stealthiest and deadliest in the world, on a 10-year lease. The Akula class Nerpa submarine has been renamed INS Chakra -- after Lord Krishna’s invincible weapon Sudarshan Chakra -- for induction into the Indian Navy, making the country the sixth in the world to operate a nuclear submarine. “The submarine has already set course for home. It will be touching Indian shores sometime in the first week of March,” sources told Express. Though the sources refrained from giving an exact date of INS Chakra’s arrival for security reasons, it is learnt that the submarine will be reaching Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
The vessel is not equipped with nuclear weapons, but it will provide the Indian Navy an opportunity to operate on a similar platform with indigenous nuclear submarine programme INS Arihant inching towards completion. INS Arihant will complete India’s nuclear triad -- the capability of delivering nuclear weapons by air, land and water. A nuclear submarine is in sync with the country’s nuclear policy of “no first use” and will act as “deterrence” for the adversaries. The other countries with nuclear submarine capability are the US, Russia, France, Britain and China.
The arrival of INS Chakra will also mark the materialising of the $920 million defence deal with Russia, which had been under wraps so far, in January 2004. The submarine will give the Indian Navy greater depth to hoodwink the enemy’s surveillance system and strike hard as they can remain submerged indefinitely and thus have strong chances of going undetected.