New Delhi: India's only Russian-origin nuclear submarine INS Chakra is facing problems with its critical components affecting its operational readiness. The 8,000-tonne submarine has been facing problems with its critical components and Russia has been asked to provide the parts for the vessel which need to be replaced, Navy sources told PTI.
However, they did not divulge the components which would have to be replaced but indicated they are critical for the operations of the submarine. India had inducted the Akula-II Class 'Nerpa' nuclear submarine in its inventory in April, 2012 at the Vishakhapatnam-based Eastern Naval Command. It was renamed 'Chakra' by the Indian Navy.
The Russian submarine had met with an accident in November 2008 when it was undergoing sea trials in the Sea of Japan in which around twenty sailors were killed and several others were left injured. The submarine was launched in 1993-94 but its construction was held up since then due to lack of funds with the Russian Navy.
However, in 2004, the Russian side decided to build it after reaching a ten-year lease agreement for operation of the submarine with the Indian side. With INS Chakra and the yet-to-be-inducted indigenously built INS Arihant, India is planning to have two nuclear submarines guarding its vast maritime boundary.
With a maximum speed of 30 knots, Chakra can go to a depth of 600 metres and has an endurance of 100 days with a crew of 73. However, as per the lease accord, it cannot carry nuclear warheads. The vessel is armed with four 533mm and four 650mm torpedo tubes. India had leased and operated a Charlie-class Russian nuclear submarine, also called 'Chakra', in 1988 for training its personnel on such submarines.