India is on course to finalise a deal with Russia to procure a nuclear-powered submarine in a $3 billion deal that will be fitted with custom-made indigenous communications systems and sensors, reports Economic Times (ET).
The deal is for the Akula class submarine, named Chakra-II and India has already bought vessels of the same class. The intergovernmental agreement for the submarine lease is expected to be signed on 7 March (2019).
Following this, the submarine will be built on mothballed hulls at a Russian shipyard and will be ready by 2025. Also, this deal will be the biggest arms deal with Russia since the $5.5-billion contract to buy the S-400 air defence system which was finalised in 2018.
Chakra III will serve the Indian Navy for ten years and will replace the Chakra II that was bought from Russia in 2012. Chakra II’s lease, which will expire in 2022, could be extended for five years till the new submarine is commissioned.
Diesel Submarines Too
In February 2019, Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman approved the procurement of six diesel-electric submarines costing $5.6 billion under Project-75I.
Unlike the nuclear submarines that will be made in Russia, the diesel submarines under the project will be taken up under MoD’s ambitious Strategic Partnership (SP) model that envisages indigenous manufacturing of major defence platforms by an Indian Strategic Partner who will collaborate with a foreign OEM (original equipment manufacturer) to set up production facilities in the country.
Also Read: DAC Approves Acquisition Of Defence Equipment Worth Rs 2,700 Crore Amidst Escalating India-Pakistan Tension
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