India is set to sign a $3-billion deal with Russia this week to lease another nuclear attack submarine that will be customised and fitted with indigenous communications systems and sensors.
The deal for India’s Akula class submarine which are categorised as Chakra III after the first two similar vessels India obtained from Russia, will be the biggest deal signed with Moscow since the $5.5-billion contract for the S-400 air defence system was finalised last year.
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Sources told India’s Economic Times that the intergovernmental agreement for the submarine lease is likely to be signed on March 7 and that the vessel will be ready by 2025 after an extensive building programme on mothballed hulls at a Russian shipyard.
Operating a nuclear attack submarine or SSN, gives India significant strike capability in the region as these vessels are a big deterrence for enemy vessels in the region.
Indian personnel involved in the project are likely to get significant expertise on working on such submarines that will come in handy for the indigenous nuclear attack submarine programme that has been approved.