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India to get its new nuclear submarine by year end

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Russia's Akula class Nerpa submarine. A file photo

MOSCOW (PTI): Russia will hand over an Akula class nuclear attack submarine to India by the end of the year, Deputy Defence Minister Vladimir Popovkin has said, amid reports here that the deal between Moscow and New Delhi provides for supply of two N-submarines on lease.

"The Nerpa submarine should finish all its sea-trials by June 20. We are planning to hand over the nuclear submarine to India by the end of this year," Popovkin was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

The Nerpa class submarine met with an accident during trials in the Sea of Japan last November when its fire fighting system went off by accident filling the vessel with toxic gas which killed 20 sailors.

The Russian Minister said fresh sea trials would be completed by June 20. Russian officials have said earlier that Nerpa might be briefly inducted in the Russian Navy to undertake training of Indian naval personnel.

Meanwhile, media reports here said that under the deal for the transfer of nuclear subs, India would pay Russia USD 2 billion for two submarines with an option to buy them when the lease runs out.
Though, the details of the tenure of the lease were not published, reports said it could be for as long as 10 years.

The induction of the Nerpa class submarine would reintroduce the nuclear vessel handling technology to the Indian Navy.

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