NEW DELHI: India on Monday was catapulted into the selected club of nations, as it became the sixth country in the world to operate a nuclear-powered submarine with the commissioning of Russian-built INS Chakra in its armada.
It is after over 20 years that India will now be operating a ballistic submarine. Far from Indian shores, the Akula class Nerpa submarine, considered to be one of the world’s deadliest and soundless submarines, was inducted during a small ceremony in Far Eastern Primary Territory in Russia.
Indian Navy sources confirmed the news, but refused to comment anything officially.
The submarine, leased for ten years, is part of the Indian nuclear policy and will act as “deterrence” for the adversaries.
The ceremony was attended by Indian Ambassador to Russia Ajai Malhotra, United Shipbuilding Corporation head Roman Trotsenko, Eastern Military District commander Admiral Konstantin Sidenko and other officials. India is the 6th country, after the US, Russia, France, Britain and China, to have a nuclear submarine.
The Akula class submarine will give the Indian Navy greater ability to hoodwink the enemy’s surveillance system and strike hard. The South Block has so far put a veil of secrecy on the January 2004 defence deal with Russia and has also refused to acknowledge it. In sync with this “hush-hush” policy of the government on the $ 920 million deal, the vessel was commissioned without any pomp and show.
“The nuclear submarine will give us the requisite experience to operate such vessels as we are set to induct our indigenous nuclear-attack submarines soon,” sources added.
Christened INS Chakra , the submarine will have its home base in Visakhapatnam. The vessel will be primarily used to train Indian sailors to operate nuclear submarines as India will soon be inducting the indigenous vessel INS Arihant (Destroyer of Enemy) into the Navy. Work on the second home-built nuclear submarine named INS Aridaman has also begun.