Jaala Smith (JHOLLA)
India has formally commissioned a nuclear-powered submarine into its navy, rejoining the elite club of nations with such a weapon.
Russia gave India a 1billion dollar vessel and its will be in India’s navy for the next ten years. India previously operated a Soviet nuclear submarine until 1991.It now rejoins China, Russia, the US, the UK and France as an operator of nuclear submarines. India is also developing its own nuclear-powered submarine which is expected to be ready by the end of this year.
The 8,140-tonne Akula II-class submarine, built by the Russians as the K-152 Nerpa, has been renamed by India as the INS Chakra II. Mr Antony told reporters after the ceremony that “This will be a big boost for the Indian navy.” This will ensure security and sovereignty of the country.It has a crew of 80 under the command of Captain P Ashokan and the submarine set sail from the Russian port of Vladivostok 40 days ago. In keeping with international treaties, the submarine will not be equipped with nuclear weapons. It will only carry cruise missiles, our correspondent adds.
At least 20 people died in an accident on the Nerpa, in November 2008, when a fire extinguishing system was activated by mistake. India is also building an indigenous nuclear submarine, the Arihant, which is expected to join the navy some time later this year. Russia is also expected to help India train the Arihant’s crew. India and Russia are long-time allies and Russia supplies 70% of India’s military hardware.
Majumder, Sanjoy. “Russian-built Nuclear Submarine Joins Indian Navy.” BBC News. BBC, 04 Apr. 2012. Web. 04 Apr. 2012. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-17606829>.
Russian Built Submarine. 2012. Photograph.