Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Indian Navy: resumption of negotiations for the rental of a third SSN

New Delhi and Moscow are said to have resumed their discussions at the beginning of December regarding the rental of a third Russian Nuclear Attack Submarine ( SNA ) by the Indian Navy . The challenge is to perpetuate the current operational capacity in a context of tensions over the format of the Indian submarine and the preparation of a future Indian national program of nuclear attack submarines to be launched in 2025, the hoped-for date. entry into service of the third leased SNA

India became the sixth member nation of the very exclusive club of navies implementing Nuclear Attack Submarines ( SNA or SSN ( Sub Surface Nuclear ) in 1988. Moscow granted India the possibility of leasing for three years (1988 - 1991) the K-43. It was the head of the series of nuclear attack submarines carrying cruise missiles (SSGN ) of the 670 Skat project ( Charlie I in the NATO classification).

The building currently leased by the Russian Federation to India is the K-152 Nerpa under a ten-year contract (2012 – 2022) and worth 760 million euros (2012). The K-152 Nerpa is one of the fifteen submarines of Project 971 Shchuka-B and more precisely one of the three vessels of the Project 971U ( Akula II in the NATO classification). The construction of the K-152 Nerpa was undertaken in Komsomolsk-on-Amur by laying it on hold in 1991. Its construction was abandoned during the 1990s. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin decided to resume construction in 1999, this which was undertaken following the signing of an agreement in 2004. The Nerpa was launched on June 24, 2006 and admitted to active service on December 29, 2009.

He then dedicated himself, in addition to the manufacturer tests which ended on December 28, 2009, to training up to 300 Indian submariners. The program was delayed due to the 2008 accident (3 submariners and 17 Russian engineers and workers killed, fire on board). The K-152 Nerpa was officially transferred to India on January 23, 2012 where it became the INS Chakra "II" in the Indian Navy where it was admitted to active service on April 4, 2012.

INS Chakra K 43
The INS Chakra "I" (1988 - 1991) was the K-43 of the Soviet (1967 - 1988) and Russian (1991 - 1992) navies. The leasing by India was to prepare the Indian Navy for admission to service of its SSBNs. But the program recorded delay after delay to the point that the first of them, the INS Arihant (S2), was only admitted to active service in 2016. The INS Arighat (S3) would follow in 2020 then the S4, S4* and S5.

The technological leap is significant for India compared to the previous SNA : a 971U project ( Akula II in the NATO classification) new and well maintained during its service at sea is considered one of the quietest submarines in the world. US Navy Improved Los Angeles ( 688I ) subclass nuclear attack submarines .

Since 2012, there has been regular discussion of the rental of a "second" SNA by India to Russia: not a second unit to succeed the first at the end of its service, but rather a second unit in order to to complete the first. Despite an agreement signed on December 17, 2014, Indian will has not materialized. It is now the question of the successor to the current INS Chakra "II" which occupies part of the diplomatic exchanges between Moscow and New Delhi.

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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