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Indian Navy to receive INS Chakra in June

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A file photo of the Nerpa

MOSCOW (PTI): The trial of Indian Navy’s Akula-II class nuclear attack submarine is nearing completion according to Russian shipbuilders, paving the way for its leasing to India on schedule next month.

"We are now completing the state trials of the nuclear submarine Nerpa in the Far East. So far everything is moving as per schedule," CEO of state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation Roman Trotsenko told Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at their meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The Nerpa being acquired by Indian Navy in USD 650 million 10 year lease deal has been christened INS Chakra and would become the first advanced nuclear submarine of the Indian Navy after its induction.

The Indian Navy had leased a Soviet nuclear submarine in late 80's which was returned to Moscow.

Nerpa was initially scheduled to be delivered in 2009, but its induction was delayed as it was hit by an accident in November 2008 while on factory trial sailing in the Sea of Japan.

Twenty members of the technical staff were killed and 21 poisoned due to accidental release of toxic Freon gas from the fire suppression system in their sleeping quarters. A sailor was detained for alleged tempering of temperature gauge.

Prime Minister Vladmir Putin personally flew to the highly indebted Komsomolsk-on-Amur shipyard last May and released the funds for completion of the project. Putin has been personally supervising the delivery of the sub.

An Indian Naval crew is to do joint sailing with the Russian crew before taking the delivery of the submarine.

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