India to Lease Second Russian-Built Submarine?
Indian defense minister A.K. Antony announced during commission ceremony of nuclear-powered submarine INS Chakra (SSN Nerpa) that there was a proposal to take second Russian-built submarine on lease. According to him, the offer is being presently considered.
The offer was made, but the decision has not been taken so far, Antony told reporters. Although he did not specify who had made that proposal, some sources say that did Russia several years ago. Certainly, the price is not a problem. According to Antony, India can afford it [the second submarine].
Russian-built Project 971I nuclear-powered submarine INS Chakra is taken on lease for 10 years. The submarine and her 84-men crew arrived in India on April 31 after the 50-day long trip from Vladivostok.
Indeed, India initially planned to lease two Akula-class nuclear submarines meant for Russian Navy. The contract was tied in 2003 and provided leasing of only one sub. Reportedly, the reason was high price. Overall contract cost is about $1 bln.
Naval Today Staff , April 06, 2012; Image: ssbn