Chakra-3: India May Not Get Nuclear-Powered Attack Submarine Leased From Russia By 2026 Deadline

Ujjwal Shrotryia

Mar 17, 2023, 05:37 PM | Updated 05:37 PM IST

The INS Chakra-2 submarine which will be replaced by Chakra-3. (@livefist/Twitter).
The INS Chakra-2 submarine which will be replaced by Chakra-3. (@livefist/Twitter).

The delivery of the INS Chakra-3 nuclear powered attack submarine leased from Russia, might get delayed beyond the 2026 deadline.

The cause for the postponement remains unclear, although the sanctions against Russia in light of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine could be the reason for the delay.

India had signed a $3 billion deal with Russia in 2019, for leasing an Akula-class submarine which would be named INS Chakra-3 in Indian service.

INS Chakra-3 will be the replacement of INS Chakra-2 — another Akula-class submarine — which India used to operate in a 10-year lease from Russia.

The submarine was leased in 2012 and was returned to Russia in 2021 after the completion of its 10-year lease.

Nuclear Powered Attack Submarines (SSNs), like the Nuclear Powered Ballistic Missile Submarines (SSBNs) are powered by nuclear reactors but do not carry any nuclear-tipped missiles.

The nuclear reactor allows the SSN to remain underwater for long periods, much longer than diesel-electric submarines or SSKs, which have to surface at regular intervals to charge their batteries which power them underwater.

India first leased a nuclear submarine from the Soviet Union in 1987. That submarine too was called INS Chakra.

India is also working on a project to make its own indigenous SSNs. The green light for this project was given in 2015, a year after the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) came to power.

The initial design work had begun at the Gurgaon-based Submarine Design Centre sometime around 2017 and considerable progress has been made since.

In 2019, the government granted Rs 100 crore for the initial phase of the development of these submarines.

With success in the initial design phase, the program has received clearance from the government for the detailed design phase.

This means that the government will now deploy more resources for this project.

Meanwhile, India’s second SSBN — INS Arighat — is expected to be commissioned in the Navy by 2024.

Launched in 2017, the Arighat has been undergoing extensive trials.

The submarine is an upgraded variant of the only in-service SSBN INS Arihant.

With a displacement of around 6,000 tonnes, the boat will be capable of carrying 12 K-15 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) or four K-4 SLMBs, apart from conventional torpedoes and mines.

Staff Writer at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.

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