N-sub Chakra takes India into P5 club


India will join an elite club of five nations on Wednesday when Russian-origin nuclear power submarine Nerpa will be inducted in the Indian Navy for the next 10 years.

Currently, only P5 – the USA, the UK, Russia, France and China – operate nuclear submarines. India will be the sixth country to join the league when Defence Minister A K Antony completes the formalities at a function inside a high-security dockyard in Vishakhapatnam.

Nuclear submarines have strategic advantages as they stay underwater for several months unlike the conventional diesel-electric submarines that needs to surface after a few hours if it runs in high speed.

The 8,140 tonne Russian-origin submarine – rechristened INS Chakra – can stay under water for 100 days and can travel at a speed in excess of 25 knots. “It’s a valuable asset, which will bring a new range of capability. It will provide the Navy an ordnance delivery platform, rapidly anywhere in the Indian Ocean. That’s the advantage,” said a naval source.

The N-submarine’s arsenal includes anti-ship and anti-submarine torpedoes, anti-ship missile and surface-to-air missile. However, it will not complete the nuclear triad, which India was aiming at since the 1998 nuclear tests. The triad will be realised only with the operationalisation of the indigenous SSN, INS Arihant. SSN (Arihant) is a hunter-killer whereas SSBN (Chakra) is a strategic platform designed for second strike capability.

The defence research and development organisation is developing two submarine-launched ballistic missiles for INS Arihant, which will complete the triad. DRDO Director General V K Saraswat said on Saturday that developments of both SLBMs are “progressing well”.

“The K-15 SLBM is now getting ready for the final phase of induction after its two recent tests (from submersible pontoons) were successful. We have done over 10 flights of it,” he said. The 750-km-range K-15, followed by the 3,500-km K-4, will arm Arihant, which is slated to be on patrol duty before December 2012 and, will complete the trial.

“Chakra will help in training the crew for indigenous programme. Even though, Chakra (SSBN) is different from Arihant (SSN), there are certain training overlaps,” said an officer. Two more indigenous nuclear-powered submarines are being constructed.

Though, there are no official conformation, INS Chakra is understood to have been leased out to India on a contract upwards of $ 900 million. The platform was handed over to India on January 23 in Russia after which it began its voyage for Vishakhapatnam.

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Monday, April 2, 2012

N-sub Chakra takes India into P5 club

India will join an elite club of five nations on Wednesday when Russian-origin nuclear power submarine Nerpa will be inducted in the Indian Navy for the next 10 years.

Currently, only P5 – the USA, the UK, Russia, France and China – operate nuclear submarines. India will be the sixth country to join the league when Defence Minister A K Antony completes the formalities at a function inside a high-security dockyard in Vishakhapatnam.

Nuclear submarines have strategic advantages as they stay underwater for several months unlike the conventional diesel-electric submarines that needs to surface after a few hours if it runs in high speed.

The 8,140 tonne Russian-origin submarine – rechristened INS Chakra – can stay under water for 100 days and can travel at a speed in excess of 25 knots. “It’s a valuable asset, which will bring a new range of capability. It will provide the Navy an ordnance delivery platform, rapidly anywhere in the Indian Ocean. That’s the advantage,” said a naval source.

The N-submarine’s arsenal includes anti-ship and anti-submarine torpedoes, anti-ship missile and surface-to-air missile. However, it will not complete the nuclear triad, which India was aiming at since the 1998 nuclear tests. The triad will be realised only with the operationalisation of the indigenous SSN, INS Arihant. SSN (Arihant) is a hunter-killer whereas SSBN (Chakra) is a strategic platform designed for second strike capability.

The defence research and development organisation is developing two submarine-launched ballistic missiles for INS Arihant, which will complete the triad. DRDO Director General V K Saraswat said on Saturday that developments of both SLBMs are “progressing well”.

“The K-15 SLBM is now getting ready for the final phase of induction after its two recent tests (from submersible pontoons) were successful. We have done over 10 flights of it,” he said. The 750-km-range K-15, followed by the 3,500-km K-4, will arm Arihant, which is slated to be on patrol duty before December 2012 and, will complete the trial.

“Chakra will help in training the crew for indigenous programme. Even though, Chakra (SSBN) is different from Arihant (SSN), there are certain training overlaps,” said an officer. Two more indigenous nuclear-powered submarines are being constructed.

Though, there are no official conformation, INS Chakra is understood to have been leased out to India on a contract upwards of $ 900 million. The platform was handed over to India on January 23 in Russia after which it began its voyage for Vishakhapatnam.

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