India to Lease Nuclear-Powered Attack Submarine Nerpa


Nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) Nerpa which breakdown claimed lives of 20 sailors and shipwrights will be handed over to India late in Nov 2011, reported RIA Novosti on Oct 4 referring to a top-ranking source in Russian defense industry.

It was planned to lease the sub to India as early as in 2008, although due to technical problems delivery term was postponed. Twenty servicemen and shipyard’s experts died of intoxication as a result of spontaneous operation of onboard firefighting system during sea trials in Nov 2008.

“State commission convened and decided that Nerpa would be leased to India in second half of November”, said the interviewee.

According to him, the session attended by representatives of Rosoboronexport and defense industry was held in Komsomolsk-on-Amur late in Aug or early in Sept behind closed doors.

The source reminded that the Nerpa-leasing contract had been signed with Indian Navy in 2004. Delhi appropriated $650 mln for completion of the submarine in Komsomolsk-on-Amur with a view to lease her to Indian Navy. “Amur Shipyard will complete elimination of all defects till Nov 2011. Then the state commission will accept the sub and hand over Nerpa to India“, specified the source.

India needs Nerpa to train crews of nuclear-powered submarines. Experience acquired by Indian submariners in SSN Nerpa will be useful while service in national submarine INS Arihant which is to be commissioned in 2012.

In 1988 the Soviet Union leased a nuclear submarine to India, but the leasing term was expired in 1991 and was not prolonged. The crew served in that sub was retired, so Indian Navy had lost experience of nuclear submarine operations.

Source: rusnavy, October 06, 2011