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    • INS Chakra

      By
      Sean Meade
      India has become the sixth country to operate a nuclear submarine with the commissioning of the leased Russian Akula II-class K-152 Nerpa on Jan. 23, contributing to the fledgling third leg of India's nuclear triad. The 8,140-ton Akula II, capable of remaining underwater for months, was rechristened INS Chakra. It set sail from a Russian base near Vladivostok late in January and is expected to reach India within a month, where it will be based at the southern port of Visakhapatnam. Its 10-year lease is worth $920 million. Russia, the U.S., the U.K., France and China are other operators of underwater nuclear vessels (see p. 38). Akula II subs are equipped with 28 nuclear cruise missiles with a striking range of 3,000 km (1,875 mi.). The Indian version is reportedly expected to be armed with 300-km Club nuclear missiles. Long-range missiles are not onboard due to international non-proliferation treaties such as the Missile Technology Control Regime. The highly sophisticated platform will provide training for Indian naval personnel on how to operate nuclear reactors and other systems, an Indian naval official says. Credit: Russian Embassy in India

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