India to lease third Akula-class submarine from Russia

5 March 2019 (Last Updated March 5th, 2019 17:45)

The Indian Government is reportedly expected to sign a $3bn deal with Russia later this week to lease another Akula-class submarine for use by the Indian Navy.

India to lease third Akula-class submarine from Russia
INS Chakra is an Indian nuclear submarine leased from Russia. Credit: Indian Navy.

The Indian Government is reportedly expected to sign a $3bn deal with Russia later this week to lease another Akula-class submarine for use by the Indian Navy.

Known as Chakra III, the new submarine will undergo an extensive building programme on mothballed hulls at a Russian shipyard, reported The Economic Times.

Citing sources, the publication stated that the vessel will be customised to meet Indian needs and incorporated with domestic communications systems and sensors before its targeted delivery in 2025.

The proposed deal comes after years of negotiations between the two sides. India previously procured two similar vessels from Russia.

“The Akula-class submarines have the ability to remain underwater for months.”

The new vessel is expected to be in operation with the navy for a period of ten years and will replace the Chakra II nuclear-powered attack submarine, which entered service in 2012.

The lease for Chakra II is set to expire in 2022. The report added that India is likely to seek an extension of the lease for a further five-year period to keep the vessel in service until the construction and testing of its successor has been completed.

According to the publication, the new submarine will give India significant strike capability in the region.

The Akula-class submarines have the ability to remain underwater for months, acting as a deterrent for enemy vessels in the region.