The sea trials of the Russian Akula-II class nuclear submarine Nerpa, which is to be leased to India, are proceeding as ‘per schedule´ and it will join the Naval fleet by the year-end.
“The resumed sea trials are proceeding as per schedule” in the high seas, an official of Amur Shipyard quoted.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has taken a personal initiative to ensure that the nuclear submarine, part of the larger Gorshkov package signed in 2004, is handed over to the Indian Navy by the end of 2009.
With the acquisition of Nerpa, the Indian Navy will regain its under-sea nuclear operational capability. The Nerpa would be joining the Naval fleet much before the country’s indigenous nuclear submarine, which is currently undergoing sea trials expected to go on for at least two years.
After induction of Nerpa, India would be only the fifth country in the world to have such a capability. Nuclear submarines have far longer submergence power and can operate far from the base for as long as five to six months.