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SSN Nerpa Handed Over to India

SSN Nerpa Handed Over to India 23.01.2012
Text: Lenta.Ru
Photo: SSN Nerpa. 1tv.ru
Project 971U Schuka-B nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) K-152 Nerpa has been leased to Indian Navy; the handing-over ceremony was held on Jan 23 at Zvezda Shipyard in Bolshoi Kamen (Primorsky Krai), an undisclosed informed source told Interfax.

The ceremony was attended by representatives of Rosoboronexport, United Shipbuilding Corporation, Pacific Fleet (PF) command, and India's diplomatic mission; it started at 10.30 am, local time (3.30 am, Moscow time). At request of the Indian party, press was not allowed to participate in the ceremony, said the interviewee.

The submarine obtained the name of INS Chakra and will be controlled by Indian crew during the next 10 years without participation of Russian experts. The contract costs over $900 mln, reminds ITAR-TASS.

The acceptance certificate was signed on Dec 30, 2011 in Russian Navy Main HQ. Nerpa was supposed to join Indian Navy in 2008, but an accident happened to the sub during sea trials in Nov 2008; 20 men died then and leasing date was postponed. Later on, it was changed many times due to non-availability of onboard combat systems, reminds Interfax.

In Aug 2010, some media agencies reported that Nerpa had already departed for India; however, that information was refuted by Amur Shipyard and Pacific Fleet HQ.

Nerpa will be the only nuclear-powered submarine in Indian Navy and be stationed at the Visakhapatnam naval base. Supposedly, the sub would be used as training platform for the crew of Indian-made nuclear submarine INS Arihant.

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