VISAKHAPATNAM: India will become the sixth country in the world to operate a nuclear-propelled submarine, as the Indian Navy will induct the Russian-built Akula class Nerpa submarine in its fleet on Wednesday.
India is the 6th country, after the US, Russia, France, Britain and China, to have such a nuclear attack submarine. Rechristened as INS Chakra, the submarine was handed over to India in January this year. An Indian crew, trained in Russia, had brought the platform home. On Wednesday, Union Defence Minister AK Antony will formally induct the platform, which reached the eastern shores of the country a few days ago.
INS Chakra is considered to be one of the stealthiest nuclear submarines in the world. With its induction, Indian Navy will be operating a nuclear submarine after two decades. A projection of India’s growing power in the region, the submarine will give the country sea denial capabilities.
Even though the vessel is not equipped with nuclear weapons, it would provide experience to the Indian Navy in operating similar platform with indigenous nuclear submarine programme, INS Arihant, inching closer towards completion. INS Arihant will complete India’s nuclear triad - the capability of delivering nuclear weapons by air, land and water. The nuclear submarine is in sync with Indian nuclear policy of “no first use” and will act as a “deterrence” for the adversaries. The home coming of INS Chakra will mark the materializing of the $920 million defence deal with Russia made in January 2004 that has been wrapped under a veil of secrecy so far.