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On January 23 the Indian Navy received the Russian Nerpa Project 971 Shchuka-B class nuclear powered attack submarine on a 10-year lease. The deal is estimated at more than $900 million. The handover ceremony took place in Bolshoy Kamen, in Russia’s Far East. The boat was re-named as INS Chakra, evidently after the ex-Soviet Charlie class nuclear sub leased by the Indian Navy in 1988-1991.Kommersant daily cited the representative of Russia’s Pacific Fleet saying that the sub will head off for India in February. It will reportedly operate out of the Visakhapatnam naval base.Nerpa was laid down in Komosomolsk-on-Amur in 1993, but its construction was frozen due to lack of financing. It was completed only after India agreed to lease it. Initially it was expected to be handed over to the Indian Navy in 2009, but during the factory sea trials in the Japan Sea in November 2008 a fire extinguishing system was accidentally triggered killing 20 men with freon gas (208 were aboard). The full complement of trials was completed in December 2011.Project 971 subs have a displacement of 12,700 tons, full speed of 30 knots, maximum depth of 600 meters, endurance of 100 days and a crew of 73 men. They are armed with 533-mm and 650-mm torpedoes which launch from four tubes.
ar99, Russia, India
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