INS Chakra Inducted In Indian Navy

INS Chakra
The nuclear-powered attack submarine INS Chakra, with lethal
“hunter-killer” and intelligence-gathering capabilities”, was formally
inducted into Indian Navy on a 10-year lease from Russia at a cost of around $1 billion on Wednesday.
Defence minister A K Antony, Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma and
Russian ambassador Alexander M Kadakin, among others, all extolled the
submarine as a “shining example” of the deep and abiding “strategic
partnership” between India and Russia during the “welcome” ceremony
at the highly-guarded Ship-Building Centre.
INS Chakra, with
a dived displacement of 12,000-tonne, will, however, not give India its
long-awaited third leg of the “nuclear weapons triad” since it’s not
armed with long-range strategic missiles due to international treaties.
That will only happen after the country’s own homegrown nuclear
submarine INS Arihant, armed with the nuclear-tipped K-15 missiles, is
inducted into service sometime next year.

But INS Chakra,
propelled by a 190MW nuclear reactor for a maximum speed of around 30
knots, will give India the capability to deploy “a potent weapons
delivery platform”, armed as it is with 300-km Klub-S land-attack
cruise missiles and advanced torpedoes, at a place of its choosing at
long distances with lot of stealth. “We can outrun and overcome any
adversary in our neighbourhood,” said a confident INS Chakra’s captain P
Ashokan.
Admiral Verma said the 100-metre INS Chakra had
propelled India into a select group of countries like the US, Russia,
France, the UK and China, to operate nuclear-powered submarines. “It
gives us operational flexibility in our blue-water operations,” he
said.
China’s growing maritime presence in the Indian Ocean
region (IOR), coupled with its increasing assertiveness in the entire
Asia-Pacific region, is obviously a big worry for India. Interestingly
enough, the Akula-II class “K-152 Nerpa” submarine silently traversed
the South China Sea during its 42-day journey to India after being
rechristened INS Chakra in Russia.
Antony downplayed the China
angle as is his wont. “Induction of INS Chakra, or other warships, is
not aimed at any country. It is meant to more effectively strengthen our
national and maritime security. India does not believe in an arms race
but we have long land and coastal borders,” he said.
On being
asked by ToI, Antony admitted India was in negotiations with Russia for
leasing another Akula-II class submarine from Russia after INS Chakra.
“But no final decision has been taken,” he said.
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